Cookies & Cream Cupcakes -- fluffy, moist cupcakes made with chocolate cookie pieces and crumbs in the batter and frosted with cookies & cream frosting. So fun and yummy!
This recipe was a labour of love. I started developing this cupcake recipe in January of this year in anticipation of baking them for my brother's wedding in March. Test after test found many not-quite-there results; not enough cookies & cream flavour, not moist enough, not fluffy enough, too salty even. I also had to develop a cupcake that would stay moist and delicious until the day of, considering the fact that I would be baking the cupcakes 2 days ahead and they would have to be stored in the refrigerator due to food safety requirements.
Finally, on February 7th, my 6th test came out PERFECT!! Flavourful, moist, fluffy, not too salty, cupcake perfection! And they passed the test: still delightfully moist even after being stored for 2 days in the refrigerator. Success!! Now, all that was left to do was the final execution on the cupcake baking day! At least that's what I thought...
Then COVID-19 struck. Ah, COVID-19. The big wedding celebration was cancelled and they were married in a sweet outdoor immediate-family ceremony instead. Hopefully, we will have a celebration for my brother and sister-in-law at a later date when all this is cleared up. And we will have CUPCAKES!!! In the meantime, I'm sharing the recipe now, in case you would like to have a little bright & cheery quarantine celebration with some yummy cupcakes! So fun!!
About the Recipe
This recipe has an ingredient that may be a bit surprising: CAKE MIX! That's right, the batter is made from a base of storebought cake mix. This makes the recipe super easy! Other ingredients are added, of course, that make these cupcakes taste like they are completely homemade from scratch, but here's the secret nobody else needs to know: they're not! That can be your little secret. 😉 I won't tell!
When I developed this recipe for the wedding, the plan was not to use the cookies & cream frosting for the wedding cupcakes. I was going to decorate the cupcakes with a pale pink plain vanilla buttercream frosting and edible gold leaf to match the wedding colour scheme. So feel free to skip the cookies & cream frosting and use a plain (or coloured) buttercream, I've included instructions for both in the recipe. Both options are very tasty!
I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as my family and friends do! They sure are fun to make and eat!
If you make this recipe, I invite you to please share an authentic review and starred rating in the comments below, or share on social media using my hashtag: #kneadsomesweets! Thank you for supporting Knead Some Sweets!
Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
- 12-count muffin tin(s)
- cupcake liners
- mixing bowl
- measuring cups & spoons
- silicone spatula
- electric handheld mixer
- piping bag fitted with your desired tip (I used a Wilton 6B for the cupcakes pictured and I love using a Wilton 1M for the plain vanilla buttercream)
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 box french vanilla cake mix
- 6 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix (dry powder)
- ½ cup chocolate cookie crumbs (ground-up cookies without the icing)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 12 whole chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
For Cookies & Cream Buttercream OR Plain Vanilla Buttercream:
- 1 cup room temperature salted butter OR 1 cup unsalted butter + ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 3 - 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup chocolate cookie crumbs (omit if making plain vanilla buttercream)
To make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line muffin tin(s) with cupcake liners or grease with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, chocolate cookie crumbs, baking powder, and chopped sandwich cookies.
- In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until fully incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
- Fill each cupcake liner half full with batter. Bake cupcakes one pan at a time for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely before frosting. Bake the remaining cupcakes.
To make the Buttercream Frosting:
- In a large bowl, cream together the room temperature butter and vanilla using an electric handheld mixer on medium-high speed. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing on low between each addition. Add milk, starting with 1 tablespoon, and beat the frosting on high speed until fluffy. If making cookies & cream buttercream, fold in the chocolate cookie crumbs at this point.
- Frost the fully cooled cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with your desired tip. Note: I have found using a piping tip with a bigger opening works better for the cookies & cream frosting as the cookie crumbs might get stuck in a smaller piping tip.
Love and Cookies,