The Memorial Day cupcakes you didn’t know you needed

I planned to go to a BBQ on Saturday and wanted to bring something to the gathering, but didn’t have time to bake something elaborate or time consuming. I scrolled through Pinterest, hoping that it would once again be a reliable source for the exact type of treat that I was hoping to bake. I quickly found these Death by Oreo cupcakes and ran off to the grocery store to buy the ingredients.

The guy in line behind me peered into my basket and said, “everyone is getting cookout food today — you’re baking?” I scanned my basket containing powdered sugar, cookies, butter, cream cheese and and cake mix. “Yup! I’m making cupcakes,” I replied. The guy shook his head and looked at me like I was crazy while he loaded his frozen french fries and chicken wings onto the conveyer belt. This is why these are the cupcakes you didn’t know you needed, but everyone at the BBQ I attended definitely wanted them.


What you need

1 package Oreo Cookies, regular size
1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
1 package chocolate cake mix (mix according to directions on box)*
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cupcake liners (I used colorful chevron ones to add an element of spring)

*I used a dark fudge mix here. I also broke my rule of using any kind of mix for baking, but this really helps make it a quick project if you’re in a rush. If you have time to spare, try this decadent chocolate cupcake recipe.

What you need to do

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix packaged cake mix according to directions (do not bake). Line cupcake tins with liner, and place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner. Take half of the remaining cookies and use a food processor to crumble, then add to cake mix. Fill the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions). While the cupcakes are baking, make the icing.

PRO TIP: Because I was in a rush, I put the cupcakes in the fridge as soon as they came out of the oven so they’d be at least room temperature by the time I iced them. You don’t want the heat from the cupcakes to melt the icing, and you don’t want to refrigerate the icing before piping it because it can harden quickly. 

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Put the remaining Oreos in the food processor to crumble, then add to the icing. After the cupcakes have cooled, frost and decorate with Mini Oreos.

NOTE: Because the Oreos at the bottom took up space that the batter could have otherwise occupied, this ended up yielding 32 cupcakes. 


The entire process took about two hours since two and a half batches of cupcakes resulted from this. You might still have enough time before your Memorial Day picnic to whip these up and impress your friends.

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