Soft, light, moist chocolate cupcakes topped with an easy Oreo buttercream frosting. These Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes are the ultimate dessert for Oreo lovers!
It’s been far too long since I’ve shared a cupcake recipe with you. So I figured it would only be fitting to share a cupcake recipe that included two things we both seem to love, chocolate and Oreos.
If you’ve ever felt intimidated when it comes to making cupcakes from scratch I promise you that it’s actually pretty easy. You can mix everything together for these chocolate cupcakes in one bowl in about 15 minutes. That being said, if you’re a little short on time or just want to make things a little easier you can certainly use a box mix for the chocolate cupcakes.
Besides, what really makes these cupcakes taste phenomenal is the Oreo buttercream frosting. Yes, there’s actual Oreos crushed up and mixed into the frosting and then they’re topped with a mini Oreo too. Because, why not?
The base of these cupcakes starts with my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. I wrote an entire post on chocolate cupcakes, but there are a few things that make these so incredibly soft, light, and super moist.
- Brown sugar: I use half brown sugar in my chocolate cupcakes to add extra moisture and flavor.
- Buttermilk: This is what keeps the cupcakes extra tender, soft, and moist.
- Espresso powder: I promise your cupcakes will not taste like coffee. Espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor in desserts and makes them taste extra chocolatey. You can use instant coffee granules or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee instead of the espresso powder, but I love to keep espresso powder on hand to use in chocolate desserts. It’s definitely worth buying a small container to keep on hand!
And finally, these cupcakes are topped with a super delicious Oreo buttercream frosting.
One important thing when it comes to making the frosting is to make sure your Oreos are finely crushed, especially if you’re planning to pipe it. You want to make sure there are not any chunks of Oreo in the frosting, otherwise, they may get stuck in your piping tip.
I prefer to use a blender or food processor to really crush up the Oreos as finely as I can. If you’re just planning to frost these cupcakes with a knife or spatula, then a good old Ziplock bag and rolling pin work fine for crushing up the Oreos.
I also like to buy a small pack of mini Oreos to top on these cupcakes. You can usually find a small snack size container of mini Oreos in the snack aisle of your grocery store for about $1. They’re an inexpensive way to add a little something extra to these cupcakes!
Or you could top these cupcakes with some chocolate ganache too. Just throwing that out there.
Baking Tips for Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
- When measuring your flour, don’t scoop it out of the container with the measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- You may use instant coffee granules instead of espresso powder in these cupcakes, but I find espresso powder adds the best flavor.
- If you plan to pipe the Oreo frosting, I suggest using a blender or food processor to finely crush the Oreos so they don’t get stuck in your piping tip.
Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes:
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml) boiling water
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules optional, but recommended
For the Oreo frosting:
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup finely crushed Oreo crumbs about 9 Oreos
- Optional: 16 mini Oreos
To make the chocolate cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-count muffin pans (or one 24-count muffin pan) with 16 cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Then, add the oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
- Add the instant espresso powder (or instant coffee granules) to the ½ cup boiling water and mix until fully dissolved. Add to the mixing bowl and mix until everything is just combined. The batter will be thin.
- Evenly distribute the batter between all 16 cupcake liners, making sure to just fill each one a little over halfway full. Bake at 350°F for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched.
- Remove from the oven, carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make Oreo frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth.
- Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract and mix on medium-high speed until the mixture is well combined and creamy. Then, mix in the Oreo crumbs on low-medium speed until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and top each one with a mini Oreo. Serve and enjoy!
To prepare ahead of time: Cupcakes may be made 1-2 days in advance. Store cooled cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator. Frosting may be made 1-2 days in advance as well, cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring the frosting to room temperature and mix well before frosting the cupcakes.
To freeze the cupcakes: Allow cupcakes to cool completely, then place in a freezer bag or container, seal tightly, and transfer to the freezer. To thaw, simply remove the cupcakes from the freezer, place them on the counter, and allow to come to room temperature. Cupcakes will freeze well for up to 2-3 months. You may also freeze the frosting in a freezer bag for 2-3 months. Thaw frosting overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting cupcakes.
P.S. You can find my tutorial for how to pipe frosting on cupcakes here. It’s the easiest method I’ve found to get perfect swirls every time!