I was invited to take part in a cupcake challenge at work. Almost immediately, I knew I wanted to make cookies and cream cupcakes, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about doing it because I am so not a baker. My standard is chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. Why? Because I found two recipes that are pretty much foolproof. I didn't think those would be fancy enough for a cupcake challenge though, so I fancied them up with processed foods.
Don't these look amazing? I am seriously impressed with myself.
Here's how I did it:
I made the Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever, my preferred chocolate cake recipe. It makes 24 cupcakes. Reduce the baking time to 17 minutes. This cake is so ridiculously moist that you almost can't overcook it. It's a great recipe if you want to make your cake a day ahead, because it won't dry out.
I followed Bakerella's suggestions, from her Cookies and Cream Cupcakes recipe, about adding the Oreos. For the cupcake portion, I quartered regular Oreo cookies and put one cookie in the bottom of each cupcake liner. I filled them about 3/4 full with batter, covering the cookies completely.
For the buttercream frosting, I followed a recipe of unknown origin, but it is easy to remember.
- One pound of unsalted butter (room temperature)
- Two pounds of powdered sugar
- Two teaspoons of vanilla
- Heavy cream
- (For the cupcakes above, add six tablespoons of Oreo cookie crumbs)
In your stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Seriously, SLOWLY. My kitchen was a disaster after this part. Put the vanilla in whenever. After all the sugar is incorporated, add a little bit of heavy cream at a time until the frosting is the consistency you want it to be.
To make it cookies and cream frosting, Bakerella suggested two to three tablespoons of fine Oreo crumbs. I think I used six. When I tasted the frosting after three tablespoons, it didn't taste cookie enough for me, but it was prettier than the final product. Also, next time, I think I will only use one teaspoon of vanilla. (Note: For the crumbs, I crushed regular Oreos in my magic bullet blender, with the cream included.)
Once the cupcakes cooled, I used a pastry bag and a huge closed star tip to swirl the frosting up high enough to hold an Oreo Dubl Stuff cookie. (This is the frosting kit I have.) Since these were for a competition and I had never used a pastry bag before, I did quite a few practice runs on waxed paper before trying to frost the cupcakes.
Let me know if you try these, and if you are brave enough to calculate the calories! For Christmas, I am going to try a version using Trader Joe's Peppermint Joe Joes, and maybe some crushed candy canes.