This post may contain affiliate links which help support Zestuous.

I just created the best appetizer I’ve ever made – a macaroni and cheese cupcake with a savory cream cheese frosting. The macaroni is creamy, the cupcakes have a crunchy panko crust and the frosting is to die for.

I’ve been working on this recipe on and off for a few months.

My first attempt included a macaroni and cheese with fancy ingredients like port wine, truffle oil, crème fraiche and brie cheese. It was good but rich, and the cupcakes didn’t hold up.

This weekend, I mastered a basic super creamy cheddar macaroni and cheese and was inspired to try these cupcakes again.

Attempt 1: I scooped mac-n-cheese into a mini muffin cup liner, topped it with panko and baked it.

Result 1: The mac-n-cheese didn’t stay together and some stuck to the liner. It just wasn’t very easy to eat.

Attempt 2: I sprayed the mini muffin pan with Pam and coated it with panko crumbs.

Result 2: It kind of worked, but was messy to hold because it didn’t have a liner.

Finally, I thought to combine the techniques.

Attempt 3: I rolled the mac-n-cheese into a ball and coated it with breadcrumbs. Then, I placed it in a muffin liner.

Result 3: Perfect. The mac-n-cheese stayed together and it didn’t stick to the liner. Plus, it had a nice crunch in every bite.

Mac-n-Cheese Cupcakes from Zestuous

But you can’t have a cupcake without frosting right?

I make a mean almond buttercream icing, but that wasn’t going to work on mac-n-cheese. I knew I wanted to use cream cheese, but I had to find a way to add volume and airiness to the frosting.

Heavy cream, enter stage left. Whipped cream and cream cheese make a delicious icing, but they’re usually combined with sugar and vanilla.

I whipped the cream to soft peaks, massaged the pack of cream cheese and dumped it in the cream and continued to whip it until combined. Then, I folded in some mustard and salt. Perfect, perfect, perfect!!!

It’s so light and creamy, a perfect accent to mac-n-cheese.

When making this appetizer, you can make the cupcakes in advance and let them cool to room temperature. Then, just before serving, whip up the frosting and pipe on top.

No ratings yet

Mac-n-Cheese Cupcakes with Savory Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 4 cups prepared mac-n-cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Savory Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 8- oz. block cream cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard


  • Roll about one tablespoon of mac-n-cheese into a ball, and then roll it in panko breadcrumbs to coat.
  • Place in a mini muffin cup liner in a mini muffin pan.
  • Bake in a 400-degree oven for 8 minutes.
  • Allow to cool.

Savory Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Make this just before serving.
  • Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  • Massage the cream cheese packet to make sure it’s soft and dump it into the bowl.
  • Beat on high until the frosting becomes stiff.
  • Fold in the salt and mustard.
  • Place the frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled mac-n-cheese cupcakes. Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @zestuous

You May Also Like

Christie Vanover

About Zestuous

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Hi, I will need this frosted the day before serving on weekdays. Is it possible to make the frosting the night before, pipe it and leave them savoury cakes overnight in a cupcake box? (Room temp about 20celcius)

    1. Because it’s made with cream cheese, I wouldn’t recommend leaving it at room temperature for more than 4 hours.