Those who have been reading my blog for a while know that I have quite a thing for cupcakes. I don’t know exactly what it is about them – the fact that they are personalized desserts, that there are endless flavor combinations possible, that they can be made to look irresistably adorable, and also, they just make me SO happy. Whatever the reason, I LOVE CUPCAKES!!! Sometimes I just get a major urge to bake cupcakes. Last week, that urge perfectly coincided with the fact that I had a lot of leftover buttermilk to use up and a whole package of Oreos in my pantry. I whipped up these cute little confections and sent them off to work with Ben, as well as some to our babysitter. I heard they were much enjoyed by all. I think the airy whipped cream topping nicely countered the dense chocolate cake, and the Oreo flavor was just perfect.
The site where I got my inspiration used the whipped cream frosting for both topping and filling the cupcakes. I thought that sounded great, and I gave it a try. I’ve made filled cupcakes a few times before with no problems at all, but in this situation it did not work so easily. The cake is fairly dense and the filling is incredibly light – this combination was not optimal for simply sticking the pastry bag into the cupcake and squeezing in some filling. The cake didn’t budge, and would not make room for the filling. I ended up just scrapping the idea of filling them, and simply frosted the tops. However, I think these would be wonderful with the filling if you have more time than me. If you opt to go that route I would recommend using the cone method (and be sure to double the amount of frosting so that you have enough for the insides!)
Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the cake:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
For the frosting:
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. whipping cream
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
To prepare the frosting, in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the cookie crumbs with a spatula.
Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe frosting decoratively on top of the cupcakes. Garnish with Oreo cookie halves.
Source: adapted from Dinner with Danielle