These oreo cupcakes are insanely delicious. They feature a deep chocolate cupcake base stuffed with a creamy vanilla cream filling. The cupcakes are frosted with vanilla buttercream infused with loads of crushed oreos and then finished with more oreo crumbs on top.
The easiest chocolate cupcakes
These are by far my favorite chocolate cupcake. No mixer is required, they are intensely chocolate due to added coffee and incredibly moist thanks to a bit of oil.
The batter is easy, with a quick mix of the dry ingredients first and then the eggs and other wet ingredients next. The last ingredient is hot coffee. The coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor without adding any coffee taste.
Substitutes for hot coffee
If you don't want the caffeine from the coffee or just don't want to use coffee in the batter, you can opt for a few substitutes:
- Decaffeinated Coffee: If caffeine is the main worry, then just use a decaf coffee instead.
- Espresso Powder: Dissolve 1-2 tablespoons of espresso powder in ½ cup of hot water if you don't have drip coffee on hand.
- Hot Water: Prefer not to use any type of coffee in your cake? Then just substitute hot water instead.
Can any type of cocoa powder be used?
For some recipes, you need to make sure you use the correct type of cocoa powder as called for in the recipe as it will affect the leavening. If a recipe has only baking soda in it, it needs an acid to neutralize the baking soda. Natural cocoa is an acid so you can't substitute dutch process cocoa as it's less acidic.
For this recipe, there is both baking powder and baking soda so it doesn't matter which type of cocoa powder you use. I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa, a darker cocoa powder that makes the cupcakes darker brown and have a richer flavor.
How to easily fill cupcake pans
The easiest way to get the batter into the cupcake liners is by using an ice cream scoop. I promise this will simplify your life if you've never done it this way! I use a large cookie scoop like this one, or you can use a standard ice cream scoop like this one. Each cup should be filled about ⅔'s full.
Creamy Vanilla Filling
To really mimic that oreo flavor in these oreo cupcakes, they are filled with a sweet vanilla cream. To make the cream, just mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy whipping cream until it's light and fluffy.
How to make oreo buttercream
The proverbial icing on the cake is definitely the oreo buttercream. The frosting starts with a simple american buttercream.
After you make a creamy and fluffy frosting, fold in the crushed oreo cookies. If you plan on piping the frosting onto the cupcakes, make sure you crush the oreos finely. I use a food processor to do this. If they aren't crushed finely, it will be difficult to pipe the buttercream as it will get clogged.
Assembling the cupcakes
The easiest way to fill the oreo cupcakes is to use a cupcake corer to remove the cake from the middle of the cupcake. I use this one and it's really easy to use.
Place it in the middle of the cupcake, push down and twist until you are about ⅓ from the bottom of the cake. Pull the corer up and push the cake out of the corer. Either eat the cupcake cores or freeze to make cake pops!
If you don't have a cupcake corer, don't worry! You can do this with a knife as well. Using a sharp knife, just cut a small circle at an angle into the middle of the cupcake.
Once you've cut the full circle, pull up and remove the cone from the center of the cupcake. Discard or eat the cones. Just remember not to cut all the way through the cupcake to the bottom or you will have filling spilling out.
Use a small spoon to fill each cupcake hole with the vanilla filling. Make sure to fill it all the way to the top, smoothing the vanilla cream with the back of the spoon as needed.
How to decorate the cupcakes
If you'd like to decorate them like the pictures, use an open piping tip or just cut the tip off of a pastry bag and pipe a generous amount of the oreo buttercream on top of the cupcake.
Use an offset spatula like this one or a knife and start smoothing out the top of the buttercream, pushing the excess buttercream down to the edge of the buttercream mound.
Use the spatula to smooth the edges of the buttercream all the way around the cupcake. Go over the top once more to smooth it completely.
Finely crush a few more oreos and spread them into a shallow bowl or plate. Push the edges of the frosted cupcake into the crumbs all the way around.
Storing the cupcakes
These are best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator and should last 4-5 days if tightly covered. Because the frosting is buttercream, when refrigerating, the butter will harden slightly. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving to let the buttercream soften.
For more cupcake recipes, check out:
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- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder natural unsweetened or dutch process
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup milk whole or 2%
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup hot coffee
- 3 oz cream cheese softened
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 oreos finely crushed
- 4 oreos finely crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup cupcake pain with cupcake liners.
- Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, backing soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Combine milk, egg, oil and vanilla extract in another bowl.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
- Carefully add the hot coffee and stir to combine. The batter will be thin.
- Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners. I like to use a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop for this.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes until a cake tester/toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Add the heavy cream and beat until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to fill the cupcakes.
- Beat the softened butter until creamy.
- Add the powedered sugar, vanilla extract and milk and beat until combined. If the frosting seems too thick, add an additional tablespoon of milk.
- Fold in the finely crushed oreos until mixed well.
- Use a sharp paring knife or cupcake corer to create a hole in the middle of the cupcake (see pictures in post). Discard the cake that was cut out (or eat it!).
- Using a spoon or small cookie scoop, scoop about 1-2 teaspoons of the cream filling into each cupcake.
- Pipe a generous swirl of oreo buttercream onto each cupcake. Use an offset spatula or knife to smooth the top of the frosting, pulling the edges of the frosting down to create smooth sides and top.
- Place the finely crushed oreos in a shallow bowl or plate and roll the edges of the frosting into the cookie crumbs.
- Due to the cream cheese filling, these cupcakes should be refrigerated. Keep them tightly covered. Let them sit for at least 20-30 minutes at room temperature to soften the buttercream prior to eating. They'll last for 2-3 days refrigerated.