Clearly you’ve noticed that the latest and greatest food fad is cupcakes. They seem to be everywhere I go. There are TV shows just about cupcakes. Cupcake shops are popping up on every corner. People are substituting cupcakes for a real cake at their wedding. Even my friends are making them. And the more intricate and detailed they are, the better.
Ironically enough, this post is about fabulous cupcakes, but I have never been a big cake person. Maybe it’s because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. For my birthdays, I always wanted cheesecake or ice cream cake, and I still feel that way. Actually, you can skip the cake all together and just give me Thai food. And lots of red wine. (Also, my birthday just so happens to be in 5 days.)
I have been, admittedly, somewhat enchanted by this whole cupcake phenomenon. Exactly a year ago for my birthday, my Long Lost Friend make me the most incredible cupcakes I have ever seen – totally edible, looked like a TV dinner! She got the recipe from the book Hello Cupcake! (which my friend and fellow blogger Una Lounder has to try, by the way).
Then, my fellow j-schooler and friend Hilary Duff posted this incredible Oreo cupcake recipe on her blog. I absolutely loved the whole Oero cookie in the bottom, and Oreos are my favourite store-bought cookie. And Dairy Queen Blizzard flavour too.
That was almost a year ago though, and I pretty much forgot about the recipe. And then can you guess what happened???
Yup, the obvious. Canadian Living came out with its own rendition of an Oreo cupcake recipe. And I was – predictably – sold.
I guess the decision between Hilary’s recipe and the Canadian Living recipe wasn’t really that easy. So I listed the benefits of each recipe:
Hilary’s recipe – cream cheese icing, a whole Oreo in the bottom, chunks of Oreo throughout the cupcake.
Canadian Living’s recipe – chocolate cake, generally prettier to look at.
I ended up deciding to semi-merge the recipes. Sort of. Actually, I just made the Canadian Living recipe but put a whole Oreo in the base of each cupcake. That was the most important part, I felt. I was also fascinated by the Canadian Living recipe because the cake part is dairy-free. I had never baked anything without eggs before, so this intrigued me. And I wasn’t quite sure it would work. I was prepared for the challenge.
Well… I don’t know how else to say this. The cupcakes were probably the best I’ve ever had. And I know that’s saying a lot, especially since I don’t like cake. But these were unreal. I couldn’t stop eating them! They were so moist and delicious – everyone who tried them agreed. The icing was the best non-cream cheese icing I’ve ever tasted. And the cookie in the base… well, it’s basically the best surprise ever.
Now, I did forget to put the chunks of Oreo in the icing, but it didn’t make a difference. I took a dozen of these cupcakes to book club for De’s birthday and another half dozen for a potluck at work. They were GONE! A huge hit and an absolute must-make recipe.
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in water, oil and vanilla. Stir in vinegar. Place one Oreo cookie into the base of 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Pour cupcake batter over top. Bake in 350 degrees until cake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to rack and let cool completely. Beat together butter, icing sugar, cream and vanilla until fluffy. Spread on cupcakes and garnish each with a quarter Oreo.
Adapted from Hilary Makes and Canadian Living
I can’t stop raving about these cupcakes. I think I know why they’re so good – they’re incredibly unhealthy. But they are dairy-free. And they are mouth-watering. So please – try them!!! You won’t regret it, I promise!