When chocolate cupcakes get topped with a frosting packed with crushed cookies, you get the best cookies and cream cupcakes of your life! The frosting on these cupcakes tastes like the inside of an Oreo, and I can't stop eating it!
I've been keeping a secret from you. I'm sorry.
I know how to make buttercream that tastes exactly like the inside of an Oreo, and I haven't shared it with you, until now.
Part of the reason is that we eat this cookies and cream cupcakes frosting straight out of the bowl, and then go back to our normal lives like it never happened. It's best not to dwell on such moments.
But, the other reason is because it's harder than you think to save 4 Oreos from the box with which to make cupcakes.
I start by adding 4 oreos to a little bag as soon as I open the box. And then somewhere between 9pm and 9:15 (the first few minutes after I put Camille to bed--aka freedom!), the Oreos start calling to me. And so I eat them to shut them up. And then I have no Oreos with which to bake.
How to Make Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
This recipe starts with a small batch of chocolate cupcakes and ends with a luscious cookies and cream buttercream
How are we feeling about 4 cookies and cream cupcakes serving 2 people? It's reasonable, right?
- All-Purpose Flour. Regular all-purpose flour. The recipe has weights for metric baking or regular cups and spoons.
- Cocoa Powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Baking Soda.
- Baking Powder.
- Instant Espresso Powder. Optional; coffee enhances the rich flavors of chocolate.
- Milk + Vinegar. Any type of milk works here. It can be unsweetened almond milk or cow's milk. If you want to use buttermilk, you can, just omit the vinegar. You can also use sour cream. Add the ½ teaspoon of vinegar if you use any type of milk, except buttermilk.
- Oil. An oil without flavor, like canola, sunflower, safflower, or vegetable oil. I don't recommend coconut oil.
- Vanilla Extract.
- Brown Sugar. Light or brown dark sugar both work equally well.
- Unsalted Butter. This is for the buttercream frosting; you can use a plant-based stick, if you like. Oreos are actually vegan, so with a few swabs, you can keep this recipe vegan, if you prefer.
- Powdered Sugar.
- Heavy Cream. This makes the frosting super fluffy, but you can also use thick canned coconut milk in its place.
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. You know the ones I'm talking about!
- Gather all ingredients, and place 4 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
2. Dry Ingredients: whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and instant espresso powder in a bowl.
3. Wet Ingredients: in a separate bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla and brown sugar. Use a whisk to really break up all of the brown sugar.
4. Combine the wet and dry: whisk everything together just until no streaks of flour remain, but be careful not to over-mix. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners.
5. Bake the cupcakes on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Use a toothpick tester to see if they're done before removing from the oven. Let them cool completely.
6. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting: gather the frosting ingredients, and ensure the butter is at room temperature.
7. Combine everything except the crushed Oreos in a bowl, and have an electric hand mixer ready.
8. Beat the frosting ingredients together until nice and fluffy, and don't be afraid to whip it really well to make it nice and fluffy.
9. Once the frosting is done, add the crushed cookies. Do not beat these in, stir them in by hand with a spatula gently. If the cookies are beaten in, it can turn the whole frosting grey instead of white with black specks throughout. It's your choice, though!
10. Place the frosting in a piping bag (or just spread it on with a butter knife), and frost the cupcakes. If you have leftover cookies, you can break up pieces and place them on top, if you like.
Tips for the best cookies and cream cupcakes
- Whisk together your wet and dry ingredients separately, and then add the wet to the dry. This will keep you from over-mixing the batter.
- Use unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe, and make sure you slightly heap it above the measuring spoon. yes, this means you're getting more than exactly 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in the recipe, but cocoa behaves a bit like flour in a recipe, and it will be fine.
- The smaller you crush the Oreos when making the buttercream, the easier it will be to pipe it from a piping bag. If you want big chunks of Oreos in your Oreo buttercream frosting, then skip the piping bag and frost your cupcakes with an offset spatula.
Other Cupcake Recipes for You:
For the cupcakes:
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (slightly heaped) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (or milk + ½ teaspoon vinegar added)
- 4 teaspoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
For the frosting:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Oreo cookies, crushed (plus extra for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line 4 cups in a muffin pan with paper liners. Gather all ingredients for the cupcakes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder (if using).
- Next, in a small measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, vanilla and brown sugar very well.
- Add the wet to the dry, and stir until just mixed. Divide between the cupcake liners and bake for 16-17 minutes. They're done when the tops spring back when touched (if you under-bake, they'll sink).
- Let cupcakes cool completely.
- Gather the ingredients for the frosting, and ensure the butter is at room temperature.
- In a small bowl, beat together with an electric mixer on HIGH the butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute, until very fluffy and light.
- Finally, stir in the crushed cookies by hand. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and serve.
Instant Espresso Powder: Completely optional; omit if you don't have it.
Milk + Vinegar: Yes, literally any type of milk works here. It can be unsweetened almond milk or cow's milk. If you want to use buttermilk, omit the vinegar. You can also use sour cream. Add the ½ teaspoon of vinegar if you use any type of milk, unless you use buttermilk. Buttermilk is acidic enough and does not need the extra vinegar.
Oil: An oil without flavor, like canola, sunflower, safflower, or vegetable oil. I don't recommend coconut oil.
Brown Sugar: Either light or brown dark sugar work well.
Unsalted Butter: This is for the buttercream frosting; you can use a plant-based stick, if you like.
Heavy Cream: You could use thick canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream to keep it vegan, if you prefer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 1gSugar: 44gProtein: 3g