Rolo Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

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I don’t know if you’re ready for the taste sensation that is Rolo cupcakes. We bake an ooey-gooey caramelly Rolo inside each moist dark chocolate cupcake, which is topped with brown butter icing and toasted pecans.

Caramel inside a Rolo cupcake.

You are going to LOVE these Rolo cupcakes with brown butter frosting! I actually have Taste of the South magazine to thank for bringing this recipe into my life. It jumped out at me and as soon as I had my first bite, I know I’d be making these cupcakes for my grandkids one day.

We start with a Devil’s Food cake mix to make the dark chocolate cupcakes. Then we add a Rolo to each cupcake before baking, which makes sure each tender and moist cupcake has an ooey-gooey delicious caramel center. But wait, there’s more! We then top each Rolo cupcake with brown butter icing and toasted pecans. When I say it’s a flavor and texture sensation, I mean it! 

Have you ever had brown butter icing? I hadn’t ever had it until I made it for these and WOW, that stuff is good! It tastes like butter that has been slightly turned into butterscotch, then with more butter added in and some sugar to top it off. It’s the perfect sweet topping for our homemade chocolate cupcakes.

So below is the recipe… please don’t trip over yourself getting to the grocery store. Remember, I know we’re all excited, but I need you to walk – don’t run – because when we all walk we all get there safely. My inner kindergarten teacher is talking here again. I’m afraid she’s just telling y’all to walk so she can get to the Rolo aisle first…

Labeled ingredients for Rolo cupcakes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Devil’s Food cake mix
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Rolo chocolate
  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar

How to Make Rolo Cupcakes

Place cake mix and ingredients in a mixing bowl.

 Place your cake mix, eggs, vanilla, and oil in a mixing bowl. 

Put cupcake papers in a muffin tin.

Put cupcake papers in a muffin tin.

Divine Rolo cupcakes batter among muffin cups.

Divide your cupcake batter among the paper-lined muffin cups using a cookie scoop.

Umm, you’re gonna need two muffin pans for this. Did I mention that? No? Well, I just did. I’m all informative like that.

 Unwrap the Rolo candy and place one in the center of each chocolate cupcake, then push it down a little with your finger.

Now the recipe says to make sure the Rolos are covered with cake batter so I got a butter knife and just kinda swished some batter over each one. It was easy and just took a few seconds.

Baked Rolo cupcakes cooling on wire rack.

Bake your cupcakes at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Let those cool for about 10 minutes in the muffin pan and then remove them to a wire rack (keep them in the liners though) to cool completely.

Melt butter in skillet.

Brown Butter Frosting

Now it’s time for the magic to happen! I know, I know, putting a Rolo in a cupcake qualifies as pretty magical already to me, but this is even better!

Place a stick of butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

Browned butter in skillet.

It’s gonna melt (just call me Captain Obvious).

Stir it every now and then and let it cook until it is brown like this (about 10 minutes).

Pour brown butter into cup and refrigerate.

Pour that into a cup or bowl or whatever you grab first that is heat proof and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Place cooled browned butter in a bowl with more softened butter.

Take your deliciously browned butter and put it in a bowl with your other 1/2 cup of softened butter.

Add powdered sugar to mixing bowl.

Add your confectioner’s sugar.

Beat ingredients together to make brown butter frosting.

Beat the living mess out of it, scraping down sides as needed, until it is all smoothified.

New word just for you. 

Toast pecans on baking sheet.

Okay, about the toasted pecans… I had every intention of skipping this step. I mean there is no law that says you have to follow every recipe to the letter, you know? But after I made the frosting, it got the better of me so I dipped a pecan half into it and had a taste.


So I got a good cup or so of pecan pieces, scattered them on a baking sheet, and placed them in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes or so, until lightly toasted.

Icing Rolo cupcakes with brown butter frosting.

Ice each cooled cupcake (still in the cupcake liner) with your delicious brown butter frosting…

Add toasted pecans to frosting on the Rolo cupcakes.

And top with a few pieces of toasted pecans.

Plate of Rolo cupcakes.

Then get ready for a cupcake unlike any you’ve ever had before!

Melted caramel inside Rolo cupcakes.

Okay, here’s another photo of the melted caramel inside because I couldn’t resist! How good does that look? Enjoy your Rolo cupcakes, folks!


  • Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • If you want to freeze them, it’s best to freeze them before you add the frosting. They’ll last up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to use any kind of chocolate cake mix. I’m a big fan of Duncan Hines’ Devil’s Food cake mix.
  • Instead of the toasted pecans, you can also add more Rolo candies to the top of each cupcake or drizzle them with milk chocolate, chocolate sauce, and/or caramel sauce.
  • Instead of brown butter frosting, you can also top the cupcakes with chocolate ganache, my foolproof 7-minute frosting, or my creamy chocolate buttercream frosting.

You may also like these scrumptious cake recipes:

Red Velvet Cupcakes Made From Scratch

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Barbara’s Lime Cupcakes

Mini Bundt Cakes Using Aunt Sue’s Famous Pound Cake

Rolo Cupcakes

Rolo Cupcakes With Brown Butter Frosting

Rolo cupcakes include a Rolo baked inside each moist dark chocolate cupcake, which is topped with brown butter icing and toasted pecans.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcake
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 158kcal


  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 Rolo candies

Brown Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans


  • Preheat the oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened (approximately 30 seconds). Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
    1 box Devil's Food cake mix, 1 1/3 cups water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Divide cupcake batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Press 1 Rolo candy into the batter of each cupcake, letting the batter cover the candy.
    24 Rolo candies
  • Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean (about 15-20 minutes). Be careful to avoid caramel in the center. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing them from the pans and allowing them to cool completely.

Brown Butter Frosting

  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Cook until butter turns brown (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • In a large bowl, combine brown butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until smooth (about a minute). Add confectioner's sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed (approximately 5 minutes). Ice cupcakes and top with toasted pecans.
    6 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans


Calories: 158kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

The recipe was printed with permission from Taste of the South Magazine and excerpted from Southern Cakes Special Issue. Original recipe entitled “Caramel Surprise Cupcakes”.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

~ Desmond Tutu

Submitted by Jenny. Click here to submit your own.

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  1. Looks good but was so dissapointed! Frosting was great! I followed recipe to the letter and when done and cooled the rollo candy became a hard lump in the bottom of the cupcake. no ooey gooey caramel running out like the picuture and my imagination had envisioned. just a hard chew caramel inside a fairly good chocolate cupcake with yummy frosting.

  2. Hi Christy,
    I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan. I enjoy reading your blog and love the recipes. I have come across some southern recipes calling for whole buttermilk. I can not find whole buttermilk anywhere, just the lowfat version. When a recipe specifically says whole buttermilk, can I substitute it with lowfat or do you have any other suggestions since whole buttermilk is not available in my area? Thanks!

  3. Hey Gurls!

    I was reading about how some of you are having trouble with the Rolos sinking to the bottom. I have a suggestion: I have seen a lot of chefs on the TV rolling their blueberries in flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Why not try rolling the ROLOs in flour before putting them in the batter? It may help. While I have not tried this myself, I would love to hear what happened when you did.

  4. I had the problem others have mentioned about the Rolo candies sinking to the bottom and sticking to the cupcake liners. No oozing caramel here. 🙁 I followed the directions exactly…

  5. I made the cupcakes and they looked great but unfortunately the rolos sunk to the bottom. They were just a hard chewy glob. What did I do wrong? The batter seemed extremely runny. Is there too much water added? Help! I think it’s a yummy looking recipe!

  6. Goodness, Christy! You had to do this, didn’t you? LOL.
    I was looking to see if you had a recipe for a delicious dessert with a most inelegant name: dump cake. Easiest thing EVER!. Combine 2 cans of pie filling, flavor(s) of your choice — I’ve been known to put one kind on each end of the pan — and place them in a 13×9 baking pan. Drain a small can of crushed pineapple and layer it over the top. Then (and here’s the weirdness), DUMP an entire box of dry yellow cake mix over the top. Drizzle the mix with a stick of melted butter (margarine) and add half a cup of chopped pecans. Bake for about 35 minutes at 350. My uncles LOVE this.
    So super easy and delicious, it ain’t funny! And you can use all generic products and it won’t hurt the result a bit. It’s a major hit at picnics and church fellowship dinners!

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