I love desserts. I love eating them, of course. But I have a passion for creating them, too. The act of mixing flavors and combining textures sends dessert-inspired shivers up and down my spine.
I love fresh lemon curd bursting with bright citrus flavor. I love tart apple crisp topped with a hearty oat and cinnamon streusel and drizzled with caramel sauce. I love cream cheese with all its possibilities. (It’s famous for cheesecake, but it’s also delicious whipped into a trifle layer with pudding or swirled into brownies.)
But my favorite flavor is chocolate.
I can’t bother denying it. If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you have likely seen the many chocolate recipes. (Find a complete listing of my recipes HERE.)
Chocolate is so versatile. There are endless possibilities.
Dark chocolate? Or white? Or perhaps chocolate and caramel? Or should I add in some coffee? Maybe I’m really feeling chocolate and cinnamon? Or perhaps I’ll go classic and just bake some chocolate chip cookies?
When I want to make a dessert, chocolate never fails me.
For my son’s birthday (Mr. Smiles, age 2), my husband requested cupcakes. Given my natural inclination toward chocolate (an inclination shared by Mr. Smiles), I decided to make chocolate cupcakes. I had some white baking chocolate on hand, which inspired these cookies ‘n cream cupcakes.
For the cake portion, I used the “Chocolate Cake” recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Any time I need a chocolate cake from scratch, this is the recipe I use. Usually I make at least one substitution, and this time it was buttermilk instead of milk. I have never purchased real buttermilk in my life, but I like to bake with its substitute (milk mixed with a little lemon juice). I know it’s a substitute for a substitute, but it works. 🙂
If you do not own a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, check out their chocolate cake recipe HERE. Over my years of baking, I have never found another chocolate cake recipe that turns out this moist. It’s even better if you make it a day ahead. The wait time brings out the rich chocolate flavor.
(If you prefer a faster method, try using a chocolate cake box mix. It may not be quite as moist, but you will still get tasty cookies ‘n cream cupcakes!)
Cookies ‘N Cream Cupcakes (makes about 36 cupcakes)
- 1 chocolate cake recipe or box mix (for a 9×13 pan or 2 round layers), prepared batter in the mixing bowl
- 1/2 package Oreos (about 18)
- 4 oz white baking chocolate (or white chocolate chips)
- Chop the baking chocolate into small pieces (about chocolate chip size). If you use chocolate chips, skip this step.
- Chop the Oreos into large chunks (6-8 chunks per Oreo). You could also crush them in a bag or chop roughly in a food processor — I just wanted bigger chunks.
- Fold the white chocolate and chopped Oreos into the cake batter.
- Scoop into a greased and/or lined muffin tin using an ice cream scoop–read more about the wonders of an ice cream scoop in my post on chocolate banana oatmeal muffins HERE.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes, or until toothpick (or butter knife) comes out clean. 🙂
- Once cooled completely, frost with your favorite vanilla frosting. I used a vanilla buttercream (half butter/half shortening).
Check back for the final cupcake display for the birthday boy. Post coming soon. 🙂
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!