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A diy pull apart cupcake cake in the shape of a football

Pull Apart Football Cupcake Cake

Celebrate the big game with this easy to make pull apart football cupcake cake!
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Course: Cupcake
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcake cake ideas, football cake, football cupcake cake, how to make a cupcake cake, how to make a football cake, pull apart cupcake cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 219kcal
Author: Sam Adler


  • 13x9 cake board
  • white decorators icing (sold in a small tube in grocery store)


For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs large
  • 3/4 cup milk lowfat
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup applesauce all natural

For the buttercream

  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk


For the cupcake

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F and line a cupcake tin with baking liners enough for 24 cupcakes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 tbsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Mix on low speed to combine for 30 seconds. Add in the 2 eggs, one at a time mixing continuously on low speed. Slowly add in the 3/4 cup milk, then the 3/4 cup water, 1 tbsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup applesauce. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute or until mixed well. Remove and mix with a spatula to make sure everything from the bottom of the bowl got incorporated into the mix.
  • Fill the cupcake liners up ⅔ of the way full with the batter. Don't fill any higher than that or your cupcakes will overflow when baking and you won’t have enough batter for 24 cupcakes. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until the tops are firm but still a little springy.

Make the buttercream

  • You will have to clean your mixing bowl. Microwave the 1/2 cup chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time until fully melted. Make sure to stir in between each time too. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 1 cup butter and 3 cups confectioners sugar and mix on low, leading up to medium speed. Turn the mixer back to low and pour in the melted chocolate in a steady stream. Add the 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp milk and continue to mix until fully combined. Mix with a spatula to make sure everything is combined.

Assemble the cupcake cake

  • You will need all 24 cupcakes to make the football shape. Arrange your cupcakes on the rectangle board by lining them up one line at a time. Start in the middle to make 3 vertical lines next to each other of 4 cupcakes each. Then work your way out to the end of each side with one line of 3 cupcakes, then one line of 2 cupcakes, then one cupcake to finish (on each side).
  • Now that you have your template, you will lift each cupcake and spread a little dollop of frosting on the bottom then stick it back into the football shape. This helps to make sure the cupcakes wont move while you are frosting. 
  • If you opted for the sprinkle surprise, cut a small little circle 1/4 inch deep off the top of the cupcake, lift and put it to the side. Using a measuring spoon, fill the hole with sprinkles, then put the cupcake circle top back on and press down lightly.
  • Next- put the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will make your frosting easier to smooth and also minimizes crumbs! Continue here if even if you didn't add the sprinkles.
  • Smooth the frosting all over the cake with a spatula (an offset one is best), or you can fill a piping bag with the chocolate buttercream and using a round tip, outline the border of the cake and then fill in the center with the rest of the buttercream.
  • To smooth the buttercream out, fill a clean spay bottle with water and lightly spray the cake. Smooth over the damp frosting with the offset spatula.
  • Finish up the decorating by adding white lines to either side of the football and  lines in the center.


  • If you need some tips on how to decorate easily with buttercream be sure to check out this post for some help!
  • *Yes, there is a difference between whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour has more protein in it than the pastry version, which means there is more gluten, which will result in a denser cupcake if you don't use the whole wheat pastry flour.


Nutrition Facts
Pull Apart Football Cupcake Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 219 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 139mg6%
Potassium 121mg3%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 273IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.