I went to a friend’s baby shower this weekend. She’s 6 weeks ahead of me, and having a boy, too! I made cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, with Oreo cream cheese frosting.
As far as cravings go, mine have been fickle and transient. (Potatoes were the only itch that just could not be scratched.)
This week was Oreos.
Know why? Because I saw them in a tv commercial.
We don’t have cable, thank the lord, because every time I’m out and about and catch an ad for something that I would never normally want (Doritos? Taco Bell? Seriously??), I suddenly can’t stop thinking about it for days.
I didn’t indulge those other cravings. But with an impending baby shower and its requisite cupcakes, I found a conscience loophole to secure myself a bag of Oreos.
And…I may or may not have inhaled half the goods before they made it to the cupcakes.
Forcing, of course, the procurement of a second bag…
What? Are there chocolate crumbs stuck to my lip gloss?
The cupcakes are based on my Moist Chocolate Cake recipe. They are seriously the moistest cupcakes ever. And my hubby agrees that they get better the second day. So I always bake them a day in advance, and frost just before serving or transporting. (That way I also ensure that they are completely cool – which is very difficult for a person with my brand of patience.)
This cream cheese frosting on its own is amazing. It’s funny how something with so few ingredients can have so many variations. This recipe just nails it. It’s from Home Baked Comfort, the Williams Sonoma cookbook by Kim Laidlaw. Such a beautiful book. It lives on my nightstand. I am obsessed with it.
I added crushed oreos, whose sweetness is beautifully complemented by tangy cream cheese (think cheesecake with a chocolate cookie base) – and showered the cupcakes with more broken cookies. Yum!
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water)
- 8 oz/250 g cream cheese (one block), at room temperature
- 4 tbsp/2 oz butter, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup/4 oz confectioners' sugar
- 30 oreo cookies, thoroughly crushed
- 6 oreo cookies, lightly crushed, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
- In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes). Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very runny.
- Remove bowl from mixer, and pour batter into a large liquid measuring cup with a spout. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each no more than two-thirds full (or else batter will rise over and make a big mess - not bigger cupcakes). Bake 20-24 minutes, or until cupcakes feel slightly springy when you gently press their centres. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely (at least two hours) before frosting.
- Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. With mixer speed on low, gradually add confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated, then increase speed back to medium and beat until very light and fluffy - about two minutes. With mixer speed on low, incorporate the 30 finely crushed Oreos. OR, for a more distinct "Cookies & Cream" effect, just gently fold them in using a rubber spatula.
- When cupcakes have cooled completely (and by that I mean not a trace of warmth whatsoever or frosting will melt), frost cupcakes by spooning a big dollop onto the centre and patting it down until it spreads nicely to the edges, or transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large circle tip and pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle frosted cupcakes with the 6 lightly crushed oreo cookies.