Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting

Recently my daughter celebrated her eighth birthday.

When I asked her what kind of treats she wanted to bring to school to celebrate with her classmates she said chocolate cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting - Soft, fluffy cupcakes with frosting you'll want to eat by the spoonful! Amazingly there's no eggs or butter so you can have seconds!!

Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much. Long gone are the days of bringing in a box of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, or even your average homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Everything requires teacher pre-approval and in my daughter’s small class, the teacher went down the line of the kids’ various dietary requirements: vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting - Soft, fluffy cupcakes with frosting you'll want to eat by the spoonful! Amazingly there's no eggs or butter so you can have seconds!!

Making cupcakes without butter is easy because I think oil keeps them softer and moister anyway. But no eggs was new for me and I was worried about the texture and them being too dense and not fluffy enough.

As I was about to bake them, I was still skeptical that they’d even turn out, and taste like chocolate cupcakes should with the proper texture.

I was pleasantly shocked when not only did the turn out, but they’re rich, wonderfully chocolaty, and the texture is incredible. Super soft, fluffy, light, springy, and perfectly moist.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting - Soft, fluffy cupcakes with frosting you'll want to eat by the spoonful! Amazingly there's no eggs or butter so you can have seconds!!

Even if I don’t ‘need’ to make vegan cupcakes, this is my new go-to chocolate cupcake recipe because it’s fast, easy, and they tasted incredible.

You’re in luck if you ever happen to run out of milk, eggs, and butter all at once. Or have to make treats for a crowd with various dietary requirements. The recipe halves easily, too.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting - Soft, fluffy cupcakes with frosting you'll want to eat by the spoonful! Amazingly there's no eggs or butter so you can have seconds!!

The Oreo cookies and cream frosting is truly the icing on the cupcake. Oreos are accidentally vegan and the crunchy texture breaks up the silky smooth buttercream beautifully. They add so much to the overall cupcake bliss factor.

My daughter said her class raved about the cupcakes and they secured the vote for best birthday treats of the school year. Having a baking blog and writing cookbooks apparently paid off.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting - Soft, fluffy cupcakes with frosting you'll want to eat by the spoonful! Amazingly there's no eggs or butter so you can have seconds!!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting

The cupcakes are rich, wonderfully chocolaty, super soft, fluffy, light, springy, and perfectly moist. The Oreo cookies and cream frosting is truly the icing on the cupcake. The crunchy texture breaks up the silky smooth buttercream beautifully and adds so much to the overall bliss factor. The cupcakes are vegan (dairy and egg-free) and peanut-free as written but you can use traditional milk and butter if you don’t need to keep them vegan. Even if I don’t ‘need’ vegan cupcakes, this is my new go-to chocolate cupcake recipe because they’re fast, easy, and incredible. The recipe halves easily.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk; real milk may be used but it isn’t vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) non-dairy butter or shortening (I used Earth Balance Sticks and I don’t recommend margarine because it’s too watery; real unsalted butter may be used but it isn’t vegan)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat oven to 350F and line two 12-count regular muffin pans with paper or foil liners. I made 22 cupcakes and you could probably get 24 from the batch if you fill them more shallow; and the recipe halves easily if you need 11-12 cupcakes. Set pans aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the milk, apple cider vinegar, stir, and set aside for about 5 minutes to curdle. It doesn’t get as thick as regular buttermilk and that’s okay.
  3. While waiting for the milk, to a separate large bowl, add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and whisk a bit. Mixture is thick and granular.
  4. Add the curdled milk to the sugar-oil mixture and whisk until smooth and combined; set aside.
  5. To a separate large bowl, add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and whisk to combine.
  6. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry, stirring until smooth and no large lumps remain. A few tiny lumps are okay. Don’t overmix because that can result in tough cupcakes.
  7. Turn batter out into prepared muffin pans, filling each cavity to about 3/4-full.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter, and are domed and springy to the touch. Start watching closely and checking at 17-18 minutes since all ovens and climates vary; don’t overbake which is easy to do with dark-colored items.
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Cupcakes can be made the night before or a day in advance if necessary and stored airtight at room temp before frosting them. After cupcakes have cooled completely they can be frosted.
  10. Frosting – Makes enough to generously frost each cupcake (about 2 heaping tablespoons per cupcake) and any extra will keep airtight for weeks in the fridge. To a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer), add the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and beat on low speed for about 2 minutes before increasing to high speed and beating for about 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy; set aside.
  11. Roughly chop the Oreos. I chop by hand because I like some decent-sized pieces of Oreos rather than having them pulverized into crumbs which is what tends to happen all too quickly in the food processor.
  12. Add the Oreos to the frosting and mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  13. Frost each cupcake with a generous dollop of frosting. I used my 2-tablespoon cookie scoop but you can experiment with what works best. Cupcakes are best fresh, and I am okay with storing frosted cupcakes at room temp for a day or two but if you’re not, store airtight in the fridge, noting cupcakes will dry out much quicker in the fridge than at room temp.

Cupcake recipe generously adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World; frosting recipe is my own.

Only Eats

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56 comments on “Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting”

  1. OMG you have outdone yourself once again! The frosting looks to die for. You are So lucky you can bring homemade treats to her school. The elementary schools here first of all don’t allow “junk” and on top of that everything has to be a packaged product. Your daughter is so lucky. Happy belated bday to her.

    • She has gone to a school in the past where they were extremely strict about birthday treats. As in an individualized packet of Goldfish crackers was as ‘bad’ as we could get. This was actually only the first year where we could do something like this so wanted to make sure it was extra special :)

  2. Looks incredible as always. Now I want something sweet. But I think I’ll go for a smoothie. Much healthier haha :) But on Sunday I’ll have “real”-sweets for sure. :)))
    http://www.color-castles.com

  3. Averie – I love how you took a difficult challenge and totally rocked it’s socks off. It is crazy how many dietary restrictions students have these days. As a teacher, I get a list at the beginning of the year, and sometimes I get really sad for kids who can’t eat chocolate, peanut butter, and even berries. I’m sad just thinking about it right now. I’m sure your daughter is very proud to have you as her mama. Keep being awesome! :)

    • Didn’t know you were a teacher!! Keep being awesome and doing what you’re doing!!

      And I can only imagine when you see the list of allergies, how overwhelming and daunting it must be as the teacher, and yes you feel so badly! Thankfully no one has a chocolate allergy in my daughter’s class!

  4. I love baking vegan chocolate cake bases because it’s so much fun to pour the apple cider vinegar in and watch it fizzle! And these look so phenomenal. Your lucky daughter and her classmates!
    By the way, the fact that Oreos are vegan has always weirded me out. What exactly is their “creme” made of, I wonder? Except, you know, fantastically addictive stuff.

    • I have thought about that too about the creme filling and wondered but then just decided ignorance is bliss :) I’m glad you knew that random factoid about Oreos though too!

  5. Cookies and Cream frosting!! You got me hooked on that one line! Have to make this!

  6. Oh that frosting!!! I love how you appropriately put a generous mound of it on those cupcakes. A couple of my co workers have kids in elementary school so I have heard how times have changed regarding class treats. Definitely a challenge these days to make something for everyone and these look great!

  7. I am not proud of the things that I would do to be a child in your daughters class. That FROSTING?! I need these cupcakes! I CANNOT believe these are vegan either! Pinned!

  8. Incredible is right! Love that these turned out so fabulous without eggs.
    My kids would be so proud to bring these fine cupcakes to school.

    Have a great weekend Averie!

  9. I needed this recipe in November for MY daughter’s classroom birthday treats … instead, I took your peanut butter/corn flake/chocolate bars due to the need to supply a non-egg, non-strawberry treat (BTW, those funny little 3rd graders asked my daughter for the recipe). Funny thing was, no one in her class had peanut allergies …

    If you ever come up with a gluten-free, egg-free, peanut butter free treat, LMK. When I have to make gluten-free items, I tend to rely on peanut butter or egg products as a back-up, but I can foresee situations where I might need to meet multiple allergy needs at the same time. I suppose there is always Rice Krispie Treats …

  10. It totally reminds me of cookies and cream ice cream on top! very cool! And happy belated birthday to your daughter :) <3

  11. These look so good! I’m shocked they came out so light and fluffy without eggs, but I guess the ACV did the trick. Shows what I know!

  12. I googled “cookie butter”–we don’t have a Trader Joe’s out here–so I checked on recipes for how to make it–guess whose recipe popped up??? Yours, of course. I dunno, I rarely keep Nutella in the house because of its addictive properties … I’m afraid I’ll start mainlining cookie butter once I try it … anyway, thanks for your thoughtful response and you are right, you already have many options available out there!

    • Biscoff Spread is essentially cookie butter and you can order that online on Amazon or just go to your local groc store or Target. Most carry it these days! If you think Nutella is tempting, I actually think C.B. is worse :)

  13. I can’t believe Skylar is EIGHT! Also, that people still bring in treats on their birthdays. Like, wow. I always brought in rice krispie treats. Because EASY.

    Skylar’s classmates are LUCKY.

  14. Oh my lanta…this frosting is simply to die for! The vegan cupcakes sound incredible, and I know I’ll just want to make an extra bowl of that frosting to dig right into!

  15. WoW! Someone really worked their magic on these little yummies. It’s crazy how many restrictions are with the schools these days but you were able to whip up a cupcake that looks light, fluffy and heavenly. And that frosting. . .just hand me the bowl and a spoon and I will be happy as a clam.

  16. When your mom is Averie Cooks, there’s really no contest for who brings in the best treats all year!!

  17. What a great mom you are! That frosting is making my mouth water!

  18. Averie,
    These cupcakes look delicious. My niece eats gluten free and these would be perfect.
    Annamaria

  19. My favorite chocolate cupcake recipe has no eggs and it blew my mind too! These look perfect, and that frosting – delightful. Oreo anything is great in my book. Happy birthday to her!!! :)

    • Right as you were having birthday week, no month :) for yours I made these. Even though I had to stretch myself to get these to work and come up with a viable solution, you had it WAY more intense than I did with like 20 bazillion activities going on :)

  20. Happy belated birthday to your sweet daughter! She’s a girl after my own heart if she asked for chocolate cupcakes for her birthday. ;) I’ve heard that in my hometown, people aren’t allowed to bring homemade food to school for events anymore, including birthdays. Everything needs to come with a label and list of ingredients. It’s absurd! I’d totally smuggle in your cupcakes though… And if I got caught, then more for me!

  21. I found your blog because I searched “carmelitas” in google! haha! and now I’m OBSESSED WITH IT. I hope one day I can make every single one of your bar recipes!!!!! love love love!

  22. Recipe looks lovely, just wondering what I could substitute in for the apple cider vinegar? Thanks in advance!

  23. LOVE these Averie!! Hope u are having a great weekend!

  24. Hi Averie! I am one of your closet fans who never leaves a comment but all your recipes leave me drooling – especially this frosting! Oh My Yummy! I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with oreos – can’t wait to make these! :)

    • Hi Jen, thanks for saying hi! I pin your stuff all the time and the fact that we’re both San Diegans and have never met is something we ought to change! I hope one day we are both at a local SoCal blogger event together!

      And I just saw Nikki/Chef-In-T. make your lava cake recipe today and holy heck I need to make them now too!

  25. Baking for students is difficult these days! Looks Yummy!

  26. These cupcakes look heavenly! My kind of combo!

  27. omigooooodness these cupcakes are amazing! first–I mean…cookies and cream frosting on a chocolate cupcake. 2nd-vegan and such too??! AMAZING. Pinning!

  28. What says birthday or social gathering greater than a tempting and delightfully decorated cupcake? Cupcakes are available a form of patterns, sizes, and sinfully scrumptious flavors. Some of the most up-to-date things individuals are doing with a chocolate cupcake recipe is developing cupcake muffins. A cupcake cake is a bunch of cupcakes grouped together to make a form. If you can give you a easy design, reminiscent of a number, you can make these incredible get together centerpieces yourself.

  29. Hello Averie,

    These cupcakes look really yummy and I cannot wait to try the recipe. I was wondering if I can modify it by eliminating the chocolate? By not adding the chocolate, I am wondering if I need to change volumes of any of the other ingredients while still keeping it vegan.

  30. Hello!
    These cupcakes look amazing and a friend and I were going to make them for a bake sale.
    I know you’ve said in an earlier comment that the apple cider vinegar is instrumental and there is probably no substitution, but I was wondering if another type of vinegar would do the trick? Like white or red wine vinegar? We don’t need these to be vegan, so would even eggs be ok? (If that’s a stupid question don’t mind me I don’t know much about the science of baking haha)
    I just don’t want to buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar that I will probably won’t use up.
    Thanks in advance :)

    • You can buys a small bottle of apple cider vinegar for about one dollar, two dollars max. I haven’t priced it per se because it’s so inexpensive that I really haven’t given it much thought but I know it’s darn cheap, all things considered. You could experiment with other types of vinegar but I haven’t so can’t say if they will work or not. Also for flavor, I don’t know how the other ones will taste since I’ve only tried with ACV.

  31. Averie, I’d like to know the cream in the oreo, do you take it out before chopping the cookie, or you leave it in when chopping. If you take it out, what do you do with it? Thanks.

  32. I’ve used this recipe before and absolutely loved it. It’s my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes. Just wondering, would this recipe work out as well for a 8 inch birthday cake?

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