These Cookies & Cream Cupcakes are packed with cookies & cream flavor from top to bottom! It even has a little surprise inside!
When I was a kid, cookies and cream was like a special occasion flavor to me. I don’t really know if it was just the environment I grew up in or if my grandma (who used to buy all the snacks for us grandkids) simply was not familiar with cookies and cream, but this flavor did not feature regularly at our household until I was a little older. It became kind of this breakaway flavor from our typical vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry rotation for a time.
These days however, cookies and cream isn’t what comes to mind when I think about a flavor I want to eat. Ironically enough, it’s often salted chocolate or tea-infused chocolate (went back to chocolate in the end lol), or something with tart lemon flavors. I don’t think about cookies and cream at all, which is why it was a bit strange when I woke up one day and craved it. To be honest, I enjoy this flavor the most in ice cream form, but I decided to make some Cookies & Cream Cupcakes instead.
It’s been a loooong time since I made cupcakes. (I literally cannot remember the last time I did.) Granted, I don’t exactly like to eat cupcakes in particular, but when my brain latched on to the idea of cupcakes, I realized I kind of miss making some.
There was one thing I really wanted to do for these Cookies & Cream Cupcakes and that is to add a cookie base to it– as in have a sort of surprise Oreo cookie at the bottom. Something that would contrast with a fluffy cake studded with chopped Oreo cookies. Of course, someone’s already thought of this already lol. And guess what? I ended up using the same recipe! I just switched up the frosting because I always prefer a cream cheese frosting.
These Cookies & Cream Cupcakes are packed with cookies and cream flavor. Quite literally just a cookies & cream lover’s cupcake dreams come true. Starting from the bottom, we have a half piece of Oreo there with the filling as a “surprise” as I mentioned. (I didn’t use a whole cookie because I was afraid it might be too much.) Moving on to the cake itself, it’s a fluffy vanilla cake with bits of chopped Oreo. (I actually lost the video clip of me adding vanilla to the cake base so…)
The frosting on top is a cream cheese frosting with more Oreo crumbs, ground this time, to complete the cookies & cream overload experience. I actually picked this frosting on purpose because I wanted the savoriness of the cream cheese to temper the overall sweetness of the Cookies & Cream Cupcakes. I also like that you don’t need to add so much sugar to this frosting to make it a pipe-able consistency. Any time I get to break out my 1M tip is a happy moment. The swirls it makes is too pretty!
This cake recipe employs a really interesting method in that it has you adding the butter into the flour to create a “paste”, rather than the usual creaming butter with the sugar to start. The official jargon for this method is reverse creaming. By hand, it takes slightly longer than the regular creaming method because you need to patiently mix the liquid into a really thick clump of batter. The resulting batter is much like any other cake batter, but the cakes come out SUPER fluffy. (Of course, the egg whites help too!)
I’m not going to make a long-winded notes section for this post because I’m feeling lazy. Just remember the usual pointers of NOT OVER-MIXING THE BATTER, and you should be good to go. I feel like this recipe is pretty hard to mess up. Check out my recipe video to see how I made these Cookies & Cream Cupcakes:
Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 12 Oreo cookies or similar
- ½ cup (120 mL) whole milk, divided use
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 6 Tablespoons (156 grams) cake flour sifted
- ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 9 Oreo cookies or similar coarsely chopped
For the cookies & cream cheese frosting
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 1 bar (250 grams) cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ to 1 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1 cup Oreo crumbs
Make the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 11 to 12 of the cavities of a cupcake pan with paper liners. Twist the Oreo cookies to separate them. Place the halves with the cream still on into the paper liners, cream-side up. This will serve as a surprise cupcake base.
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine 1/8 cup of milk with the egg whites and vanilla. Whisk until well-blended.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine, on low speed if using the stand mixer. Mix in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand (about 30 seconds on low if using a stand mixer). Mix in the remaining milk.
- Add the egg white-milk mixture in 3 additions, mixing just until incorporated each time. Gently fold in the chopped Oreo cookies just until distributed. Do not over-mix!
- Divide the batter among the prepared liners, filling each 2/3 of the way full. These cupcakes rise quite nicely so don't worry. Bake for 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes come out clean. Rotate pan halfway through for more even baking.
- Let cupcakes cool in pan briefly before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Pipe on frosting only when cupcakes are completely cool.
Make the frosting
- In a bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until well-blended, smooth, and creamy. Beat in vanilla until incorporated.
- Add in ½ cup of the confectioner’s powder first, then mix to combine. Give it a taste to see if it’s sweet enough to your liking. The frosting will be able to hold its shape even with just this much sugar so it’s really just a matter of how sweet you like it.
- Before adding more sugar, mix in the Oreo crumbs first. Taste to see if the flavor and consistency of the icing is satisfactory. If not, add more sugar or crumbs as desired. If it’s too stiff for you, add a splash of milk and mix until well-combined.
- Using your favorite piping tip, pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with the remaining half of the cookie you used as cupcake base earlier, if desired. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!
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