Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Let me just throw this out there and say that baking is not my thing. I don’t have the patience or precision for measuring things out exactly, which is crucial in a baking recipe. I love the freedom of cooking. You can add a dash of this or that and it still turns out good, but that is not the case in baking. Every once in a while, I get the urge to bake something, but it doesn’t happen often. I have been trying to increase my baking skills over the past couple years, and I am starting to enjoy it more and more.

Cookies and Cream CupcakesThat being said, I do enjoy baking a great dessert for a special occasion. The special occasion this week was Ryan’s birthday! I sent him a few choices of different cakes I could make and he chose these Cookies and Cream cupcakes. I usually stick to chocolate peanut butter desserts, so I was excited to try something different.
The cake here is studded with pieces of Oreo’s and is delicious, but the true star here is the frosting. It is unlike any other cream cheese frosting I have made before and is extra creamy with a subtle tang.
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
One thing that I have learned on my baking journey is that weighing the ingredients instead of using measuring cups really makes for better results. You can get things much more exact. Another note is that the recipe called for cream in the frosting. I did add this, but don’t know if it would be necessary. I kept it in the recipe but use your discretion if you think the frosting is too thin.
Give these a try even if you are a beginning baker. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients, these come together pretty easily.
FYI: I made and served these the same day for the birthday party and they were great. My husband and his coworkers say they were still delicious and even got moister three days later when they ate them, which makes these a great make ahead dessert recipe.
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
Source: Slightly Adapted from Annies Eats
For the Cake:
  • 24 Oreos, halved (keep the opposite halves reserved)
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups (11 oz.) cake flour, sifted
  • 1½ cups (10.5 oz) sugar
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 24 whole Oreos, coarsely chopped
For the Frosting:
  • 2 sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cold
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (Use clear to keep your frosting white)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. heavy cream, half and half, or milk, if necessary.
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Fill each liner with 1 halved Oreo, cream side up. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, put your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix briefly to combine. Add the butter and mix on low speed till the mixture appears crumbly, which should take about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup of the milk and mix for 90 seconds on low to combine. While it is mixing,  in a liquid measuring cup, measure out 1/4 cup of the milk, the egg whites, and vanilla. Whisk to combine and then add into the flour mixture in three increments. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently fold in the crushed Oreos. 
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3s of the way full. Bake in your preheated oven for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Halfway through your bake time, rotate the pans. Remove from the tins and let cool completely. 
For the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly add in the sugar on low speed and beat 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla  and then raise the speed to medium high and whip for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (If your icing appears too thick, add the cream or milk here and then whip to incorporate) Refrigerate the icing for 30 minutes before frosting in order to let it harden a little, which makes it easier to pipe.  
Pipe the icing on as desired and then garnish with crushed Oreos and the reserved opposite halves cut in half. Keep these cupcakes refrigerated until it is time to eat them. This is a softer frosting and will wilt if it gets warm. 

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