I've always been somewhat of an experimenter, and baking for me is pretty much no different than mixing together unknown solutions in chemistry class (though with considerably tastier results). After making Death by Oreo cupcakes with the baking club at my university, I decided to incorporate my love for mint chocolate and coffee to provide a college student's twist on the traditional cookies-and-cream flavor.
Based off of Trader Joe's punchy dark chocolate-covered espresso beans and the addictive Andes chocolates, this recipe pulls together everything I've learned since starting my baking journey, including some nifty tricks and tips that are sure to make your cupcakes taste better. Now to the kitchen!
Mint Chocolate Oreo Espresso Cupcakes
- Prep Time:1 hr
- Cook Time:20 mins
- Total Time:1 hr 20 mins
- 1 package Mint Crème Oreo cookies
- 1 package chocolate cake
- Eggs/water/vegetable oil according to cake mix instructions
- Pure peppermint extract
- 1 cup brewed coffee or espresso
- 8 ounces cream cheese - room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter - room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 24 cupcake liners
Start by scraping the mint crème off of all but 24 of the Oreo cookies using a knife or other utensil. Place the cookie halves in one bowl and the mint crème patties in another.
Put the cookie halves into a plastic bag and crush coarsely with a rolling pin. Feel free to get creative with your crushing methods!
Prepare the chocolate cake mix as described on the box. I used Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate cake mix, but I think this recipe would work even better with a more fudgey and dense cake base like Duncan Hines Classic Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix.
Fold and mix in your crushed cookie halves, a dash of peppermint extract, and your brewed cup of coffee or espresso into the batter. You can vary the amount of peppermint extract you add based on how minty you want your cupcakes to be. I would recommend no more than two teaspoons – the extract is quite strong.
Place one whole Mint Crème Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner in your cupcake tin and use an ice cream scoop to fill the liner about ¾ of the way with batter.
Bake the cupcakes for the time specified by the directions on the box. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for at least an hour on a cooling rack.
Core your cupcakes by taking a piping tip (preferably metal) and pushing it into the center of the cupcake. Remove the excess cake using the tip or another utensil, leaving an empty hole in the center – using a chopstick worked well for me.
Melt your mint crème patties by microwaving the bowl at 10-second intervals, making sure to stir in between each interval, until the mint crème is a thick liquid. Pour enough crème into the core of each cupcake to fill up the hole.
For your frosting, mix your cream cheese and butter together in another bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar until all ingredients are mixed well into a fluffy frosting. Cream cheese and mint can be a strange combination for the palate, so if you’re not about that cream cheese, try using a buttercream frosting recipe.
Load your frosting into a piping bag fitted with whatever piping tip you would like to use. I used a Wilton star tip, but a round tip works just as well. Twist the bag tight at the top and pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes.
And just like that you have mint chocolate Oreo espresso cupcakes. The coffee adds a richness and depth of flavor to the chocolate cake, while coring the cupcakes and re-purposing the mint crème gives the taste tester a refreshing surprise. This recipe just goes to show how experimenting (with a dash of knowledge and courage of course) can lead to some crazy, yet sweet creations.