These party-perfect Oreo Cupcakes belong at any happy occasion! The cakes are made with rich, black cocoa powder and they’re topped with the best Cookies and Cream buttercream, ever!
As the baker and recipe blogger of the family, I often get asked questions like “Where’s the Oreo cupcake recipe on your blog, I couldn’t find it.” Which makes me panic a little, and wonder why on earth I don’t already have an Oreo cupcake recipe published, after 14 years of blogging. Sure, I have plenty of other Oreo-themed recipes, but this was an obvious oversight. I’m correcting it today.
Black cocoa batter.
This cake recipe starts out as most batters do. First, cream the butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl. Add in an egg, vanilla, sour cream, and buttermilk. Blend together until smooth.
Next, whisk the dry ingredients together. Dark cocoa from the grocery store will work just fine and will taste fantastic. But for authentic Oreo flavor, opt for black cocoa. Which can be purchased online. I used this black dutched cocoa powder. It imparts true Oreo cookie flavor.
Get the wet and dry ingredients together in the same bowl and mix it all up. Beat until the batter is smooth and consistent matte black. Now it’s time to bake!
Now, this is important – fill the cupcake papers no more than 1/2 full. This batter rises quite a bit, and has a super moist and delicate crumb. These won’t crown much on top. And the only way to check for doneness is with a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake. It should come out clean, or with a few small crumbs clinging to it.
Cookies and Cream buttercream.
This buttercream is SOOOO creamy and delicious! I am its biggest fan. The Oreo cream centers are incorporated with the creamed butter and powdered sugar mixture. Then, finely pulverized Oreo cookie shells are mixed in. Use a food processor to get the cookies ground to fine consistency. If you’re like me, you hate dragging out a bulky food processor. But it’s worth it – I promise!
A learning moment.
I SO wanted to use these tall cupcake cups for baking the batter, but their shape doesn’t work well with chocolate cake batter. Their tall popover profile encourages the batter to bubble up in the centers and overflow. After several attempts (and oven scrubs) I was forced to resort to standard size liners. Which worked perfectly. However, the tall papers do make cute cupcake holders, so they weren’t a complete loss. Using them made the cakes sturdier, and easier to transport and arrange very moist chocolate cupcakes.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a large open star tip. See all of those tiny chocolate flecks? They provide so much Oreo flavor! And again, to drive the point home further – it’s important to grind those cookies fine. Or else they’ll clog the piping tip.
Garnish each cupcake with a whole Oreo cookie placed to one side of the frosting swirl. Then sprinkle with a little more crushed Oreo cookies.
The interiors are so soft and moist – and dark! I had a hard time getting a good image of the interior because the cakes are so intensely dark chocolate. Oh well. I tried!
This is a wonderful sweet thing for any happy occasion, such as birthdays, holidays – or just as an ending to Sunday dinner. Enjoy!
Dark chocolate cupcakes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup black cocoa powder or dark cocoa powder such as Hershey’s dark
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Cookies and cream buttercream
- 20 Oreo sandwich cookies
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Milk or cream to thin
- 20 whole Oreo cookies
- 6 Oreo cookie shells crushed in a bag with a rolling pin
Dark chocolate cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the cupcake pans with 20 paper cupcake liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well incorporated.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined.
Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each liner only 1/2 way full. These cupcakes will rise quite a bit in the oven, but will not dome in the centers. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 5-7 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies and Cream Buttercream
Separate the Oreo cookies and scrape the cream centers out into a bowl. Add the Oreo cookie shells to a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, Oreo cream centers, and the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on medium-low until combined. Increase the speed and beat until lightened in color. Add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the buttercream to piping consistency if needed. Beat 5 minutes on high speed until the buttercream is almost white in color.
Add the Oreo crumbs to the buttercream. Mix briefly until the crumbs are well dispersed, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and fold in any pockets of crumbs.
Transfer the buttercream to a large disposable piping bag fitted with a large open star piping tip.
Assembly and toppings
Pipe a triple swirl of buttercream over each cooled cupcake. Immediately place a whole Oreo cookie into one side of the swirl; top each with a sprinkle of crushed Oreo cookies.
Serve immediately, or store in an airtight cupcake keeper at room temperature until ready to serve.
Be sure to process the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs for the buttercream frosting. Otherwise, large pieces of the Oreos will clog the piping tip when trying to frost the cupcakes.