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Oreo Cupcakes

I was tempted just to make plain vanilla cupcakes this week but inspiration struck me when I was watching the World Cup: black and white cupcakes, inspired by the colors of a soccer ball. This was quickly followed by a thought of cookies and cream and the oreo cupcake came to life.

It was a simple thing to mix crushed up cookies into a fairly standard vanilla cupcake and I’m surprised I never did it before. All I had to do was put 10 cookies in a zip-lock plastic bag and gently crush them with a rolling pin.

I have to admit that I didn’t even use Oreo cookies in these. I actually used the chocolate and vanilla bean JoJo’s from Trader Joe’s. Essentially Oreos with higher quality ingredients (you can see the vanilla bean specks in the filling), they are non-hydrogenated, so you can feel better about eating them. Any cookie of a similar sandwich composition and texture (such as Hydrox, or whatever they’re calling them now) should work fine.

The cupcakes were fantastic, in my opinion. If you don’t like cookies n’ cream or Oreos in general, you probably won’t feel the same way, but there is a variation of the recipe you can use, below. The cakes were tender and moist, with a satisfying crumb and and excellent vanilla flavor. As for the cookie pieces, the filling of the cookies melted into the batter and while the chocolate wafers stayed ever so slightly crisp, maintining a different texture than the rest of the cake. The smalled bits of cookie were less noticeable, but I enjoyed the textural and flavor contrasts of having both large and small cookie pieces, so don’t crush them too finely.

Overall, the cupcakes remided me exactly of cookies and cream ice cream. Possibly a bit better. The only problem I encountered was that the cookie garnish lost its crispness after storage, so I recommend frosting and adding the cookie garnish the day that you serve the cakes.

Oreo Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cups crushed oreo cookies (10 cookies)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin cups with baking cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract, then beat in the egg whites one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Working in 4 or 5 additions, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the sugar mixture. Keep the mixer on low speed while you do this. When just combined, stir in the crushed oreos.
Spoon batter evenly into muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick comes out clean (a few chocolate cookie crumbs are fine, but not batter).
Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Store in an airtight container if not serving the same day.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Note: If you only have a 12-cup muffin tin, the batter will not suffer from sitting around for a few minutes while the first batch bakes. Just be sure to let the pan cool completely before filling it up again.

Variation: To make plain vanilla cupcakes, simply omit the oreos. You might end up with only about 18 cupcakes, but as long as you fill the tins about 2/3 full, the baking time will be the same.

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat, with an electric mixer, until frosting is creamy, 3-5 minutes.

Frost cupcakes with frosting using a butter knife or offset spatula. Add as much or as little frosting as desired. If making oreo cupcakes, garnish with additional chunks of Oreo.

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  • Alanna
    June 15, 2006

    Very clever, Mz Weston.

  • SimplePleasures
    June 15, 2006

    can’t wait to give this a try I’m a huge oreo fan i tried it with cheesecake before so why not cupcakes they look so good!!!

  • nosheteria
    June 15, 2006

    I never have thought to put cookie crumbs in my cake. Genius– pure genious!

  • Natalia
    June 15, 2006

    I’ve always loved oreos, but now I feel about eating them, with all those bad ingredients, and we don’t have a Trader Joe’s out here! I guess I’ll have to use the Newman’s Own kind, which are pretty good. The cupcakes look great!

  • Niki
    June 15, 2006

    Oh wow! Gorgeous! And innovative. You always provide me with great inspiration. 🙂

  • mrsminik
    June 16, 2006

    Funny — I was just thinking the other morning that I wished that there was such a thing as “oreo donuts”. Oreo cupcakes sound just as good!
    How do you think that the new “double-stuff peanut butter” oreos would work? Also — how about chocolate milk instead of reg. milk (I only have choc. soy milk in the house). Thanks for your advise!

  • Nic
    June 16, 2006

    Niki – Aww, thanks!

    Mrsmink – Soy chocolate milk should work in this recipe. In my experience, they aren’t too sweet. I wouldn’t recommend other types of chocolate milk, which probably have more sugar, though. I think peanut butter oreos will work, too. If you try them, let me know how they turn out!

  • Stephanie
    June 16, 2006

    Oh, my god…if I made these for Matt?…well, he adores me already, but this would definitely seal the deal.

  • emily
    June 16, 2006

    Genius!Two of my favorite things,combined!

  • Sara
    June 16, 2006

    better than oreo ice cream? well now i have to try these.

  • lucette
    June 19, 2006

    Brilliant idea! I’m going to make these for my writing group.

  • Lori
    June 25, 2006

    Isn’t it amazing how we bakers get our inspiration from almost anything? 🙂 The Oreo garnish looks tempting, Nic. This is a good project to do with my little girl.

  • FaRaH
    June 28, 2006

    well what happen if i add in egg yolks? can i just use self raising flour?

  • Nic
    June 28, 2006

    DiValicious – I would not recommed substituting all the whites for yolks as that would alter the texture of the cake. The original reason that I used whites was to create a black/white contrast with the cake, since the cake does not have a yellow tint to it.
    Self-rising flour will also give you a different result than the recipe as written.

  • Angie
    March 9, 2007

    Excellent! Big hit! I also put a full sized oreo in the bottom of the cup cake before pouring on the batter… Was a big hit with the kids… baked right in and then mini oreos on the top.

  • Ceil
    April 12, 2007

    I made these and they came out very dry. What did I do wrong? By the way I love this website. I have gotten a lot of good recipes and tips from you. Thanks.

  • liz
    May 23, 2007

    hi nic, i love your recipes. i check your website everyday. i was just wondering if the oreo part uses just the cookie part or the cream in the middle too? thanks.

  • Nicole
    May 23, 2007

    Thanks, Liz. I used the entire cookie, including the middle.

  • Gina
    June 14, 2007

    hi nic …

    i’ve been looking for an excuse to make these since the day i read this post. i’m obsessed with all things cookies and cream and a girl friend’s birthday tomorrow was all the reason i needed. i just snuck a taste of one and nearly passed out. crazy delicious! i know they’ll be a hit tomorrow.

  • Anonymous
    March 22, 2008

    Yuck. These were dense and dry. They were more like a muffin than a cupcake. I should have just used a mix. YUCK YUCK YUCK>

  • TaraP
    July 21, 2008

    YUM!!! I made 3 kinds of cupcakes for a party this weekend. All of the oreo ones are gone! They were so good. During the holidays I think I’ll try making them with Trader Joe’s peppermint Joe Joe’s.
    Thanks for the great recipe.

  • amelia
    October 9, 2008

    wow this is awesome.. i love it. what i like most is the ingredients are so easy to find. i will surely try this one out. the kids will love it!

  • layla
    November 26, 2008

    hello there, i was just wondering what is the weight conversion for the cups you use in the recipe?

  • anonymous
    January 23, 2009

    Just tried it! There’s something wrong with the taste! it’s not sweet but something is just missing from the recipe. I won’t use this again! But my son loves it! thanks!

  • Marwa
    September 6, 2009

    hi! i’m a regular fan of your website and have tried tons of recipes.. but sadly this one was a complete disaster for me 🙁 the cupcakes were EXTREMELY dry and more like muffins, the tops we crispy too! i have no clue where i went wrong as i double checked the instructions HELP 🙁

  • mathilde
    June 12, 2010

    Marwa I don’t understand how you could failed but you should try to add more milk .
    Great recipe.

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