Hello, my name is Jenna and I am an over-complicater. (Did you all just answer “Hello Jenna”?) I refuse to use prepackaged baking mixes. I am aghast if my mom suggests I buy candied pecans instead of making my own. I have pulled myself back from the brink of wanting to grind my own flour and grow my own sugar cane! No, but seriously, I thought about it for 15 seconds.
The funny thing is, when many of my friends come to me asking for advice on making cakes, if they have never baked before or are just novices at it, I wholeheartedly suggest they use a cake mix. Whoops. Guess I hold myself to an impossibly high standard in baking as well as in…….hey, I heard you say “everything”. But yes, everything.
BUT–not to be deterred in my quest for spreading baking overcomplicating to my entire social circle, I may add a few little tweaks and additions here or there to a box mix to make it taste homemade. “Doctoring” a cake mix is a great shortcut when you either doubt your ability to make a cake from scratch or you just don’t have the time, okay yes or if you are a normal person who doesn’t need to make everything that much more difficult! Doctoring only takes a few extra ingredients and steps, but wow does it make your bleh cake mix cake taste like a “whoa this is great!” cake mix cake.
So remember the insane Oreo Layer Cake we made a few weeks ago? No, I haven’t recovered from that sugar coma either. Anyway, I wanted to make a version of that cake for a business party I dessert catered because….um did you taste that frosting?! I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give my sane readers a recipe they can make quickly and reliably every time. And, what the heck, let’s make them mini. Everything is cuter when it’s mini. We doctored up a standard super chocolatey cake mix to make it even more super chocolatey, baked it into mini cupcakes, dressed them up with a swirl of that Cookies n’ Cream frosting, and topped them with Mini Oreos as a garnish/decoration because we can. And did I mention mini things are cute?
Yes, I may be an overcomplicater, but isn’t admitting it the first step towards recovery? (Also this recipe makes A LOT of mini cupcakes, so you can make them into regular sized cupcakes and just adjust the baking time per the box’s instructions.)
cookies n’ cream mini cupcakes
Yields 72 mini cupcakes or 36 regular sized cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) triple chocolate fudge cake mix (used betty crocker with pudding)
- 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup full fat sour cream
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup canola oil
For the frosting:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 3-5 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 13 Oreos, crushed (or 1 1/3 cup) *Do not use Double Stuffed Oreos!
- Mini Oreos for decorating
Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill mini cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, blend the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, water, and oil. Beat for 1 minute on low, then scrape down the sides. Increase to medium and beat another 2-3 minutes.
Pour batter evenly into prepared liners ½ full. Bake 11 minutes. Let cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting: Crush Oreos in a food processor until they are a uniform fine crumb. Set aside.
Beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and beat for another minute. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on high for two minutes until fluffy. Stir in the Oreos crumbs. Add more powdered sugar to thicken the frosting; add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the frosting. Add more Oreos to taste (in our experiments, 13 was the perfect balance).
Swirl frosting onto mini cupcakes with a Wilton 1M tip. Top with a mini Oreo.