Oreo Cupcakes

I have a problem.

You see, I had absolutely no rational reason to make these cupcakes. My daughter was turning three-years-old, we were having a big princess party to celebrate and my menu was complete. I had planned the perfect dessert table, complete with every pink and green dessert I could think of. Two hours before the party was due to start, I decided that it was a beautiful display but somehow, it was uneven. I mean, I couldn’t possibly have an asymmetrical dessert table, could I?

Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with a lopsided dessert table. For one, it’s dessert, and most people don’t care what kind of arrangement you are working with as long as they get to eat the treats on display. Secondly, asymmetrical dessert tables are often desirable and more interesting than when everything is perfectly aligned. But in my head, this particular display was supposed to look a certain way, and I was one dessert short.

Cue the Oreo cupcakes. Dropped in pink and green cupcake liners, garnished with Cake Batter Oreo cookies and voila – my dessert table was complete, and all was right again in the princess-party universe, and with 30 minutes to spare.

I’ve made several variations of Oreo cupcakes before, but I have to say that these may be my favorite. Something about the rich chocolate cake flavor paired with the creamy buttercream and touch of Oreo cookie makes these a perfect blend of crunchy and creamy, chocolately and buttery — a perfect cupcake.

These start with a whole Oreo cookie dropped in the bottom of the cupcake liner — which in itself is magical, because the cookie gets soft and enhances the flavor of the cake. Crushed cookies mixed into a basic vanilla buttercream carries the cookie flavor through the frosting. And the cookie garnish? Better than a cherry on top.

I do hope you’ll give these a try, and if you haven’t yet, come see me over at Lemon Sugar! I have a Facebook page, a Google + page, or you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram for behind-the-scenes updates and more fun from my kitchen.

See you next month! In the meantime, if you have a chance to make these, let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Oreo Cupcakes
Yield:  24 standard cupcakes

1 package Oreo Cookies, NOT double-stuffed (at least 45 cookies)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup coffee, any temperature is fine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 sticks (1 and 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar
9 to 10 crushed Oreo Cookies (make sure you save 12 for garnish)
3 to 5 Tablespoons whipping cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 24 cupcake wells with high-quality grease-proof cupcake liners. Place a whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each cupcake paper, and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the cake ingredients and beat with the paddle attachment for 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will be thin and runny.

Using an ice cream scoop, pour batter over each of the Oreo cookies and fill cupcake papers no more than HALF to 2/3 full.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, but start to keep an eye on them at 12 minutes. A cake tester should come out mostly clean.

Cool completely on a wire rack, and prepare frosting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add salt, and continue beating. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

If frosting is too thick, you can add whipping cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is met. Add crushed Oreos at the last minute, stir to combine.

Frost as desired, and garnish with the remaining Oreo cookies, cut in half with a large kitchen knife.