These Cake Mix Cookies and Cream Cupcakes are part homemade, part box mix and feature a surprise at the bottom of each one!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Baking cakes is not my specialty. Don’t tell anyone, but Greg is the better baker in the family. I prefer cooking to baking any day. With that being said; however, I do really love baking cookies. Maybe that’s because they start with the word “cook.” Who knows? But in any event, despite not being the diva of cupcake baking, those little pieces of heaven are one of my favorite desserts.
Therefore, it was ever so convenient when a new cupcake shop opened up just minutes from our house. With varying daily flavor specials, this store was a cupcake lover’s paradise. My favorite? The cookies and cream cupcake. Featuring vanilla cake with cookies and cream icing and a surprise cookie baked into the bottom, this cupcake was filled with the stuff dreams are made of. Until the nightmare began and I learned the store was closing due to high rent.
High rent? Surely I alone spent enough money on cookies and cream cupcakes to keep the shop open for the next few decades. OK, but seriously, after the store closed, I wondered if I would ever have my favorite cupcake again.
I knew darn well I wasn’t going to make this cupcake from scratch. And I’m not the only one! In fact just the other day my co-worker and I were discussing baking cupcakes and I asked if she made them from scratch. Her response? “I’m no Betty Hines,” she said. That amused me for the rest of the day. In fact, I think I’m still laughing about it. Oh, the things food bloggers think are funny. OK, OK, fine, I’ll get back to the point of this post.
Sooooo, one day I was at the grocery store and there was this huge sale on cake mixes. It got a little out of hand and I ended up getting one of each flavor. Hey, I have a first grader! Kids always need cupcakes or some other form of baked goods in a pinch. I didn’t buy any frosting because I like to make my own. Since I always have butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder in the pantry, I can whip up vanilla or chocolate buttercream icing when needed.
As I was putting all of the cake mixes away, I was thinking about what I was going to make with each one. I don’t think it really hit me until I put the package of chocolate sandwich cookies on the shelf and then boom, hello light bulb!
I was going to do it. I was going to make my favorite cookies and cream cupcakes using cake mix! I decided to use the white cake mix but yellow will work as well.
Learn how to make them
To make these Cake Mix Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, start by preheating your oven to 350° F. Then line two cupcake/muffin pans with baking cups. Add one cookie to the bottom of each liner.
Make cake mix according to package directions and spoon cake batter into each baking cup (1/2 full).
Bake cupcakes according to package directions until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Now for the hard part. You have to wait until they cool to ice them. Oh, the torture!
So, while you’re waiting, you can mix up your frosting. Start by crushing cookies in a food processor. Then beat butter until creamy. Add confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla and beat again. Stir in crushed cookies and refrigerate until ready to use.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can ice them and more importantly, eat them! You will love how easy these not quite homemade Cake Mix Cookies and Cream Cupcakes are to make. Not to mention, the creamy cookie swirled icing and moist cake melting in your mouth along with the crunchy cookie surprise at the end!
After making a gluten-free version of our Pumpkin Chip Cake Mix Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting, we decided to add a gluten-free option for these Cake Mix Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. To make them gluten-free, simply swap out the cake mix with a gluten-free version and use gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies.
Cake Mix Cookies and Cream Cupcakes [with Gluten-Free Option]
- 1 15.25 oz box white cake mix or 1 box of your favorite gluten-free brand (sizes vary)
- Accompanying ingredients (usually water, vegetable oil or butter, and eggs)
- 30 chocolate sandwich cookies (24 for cupcakes, 6 for frosting - use gluten-free sandwich cookies for gluten-free option)
- 2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons or 1 cup)
- 4 cups confectioners / powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350º F.
- Line cupcake/muffin pans with 24 baking cups.
- Add one cookie to the bottom of each liner.
- Make cake mix according to package directions and spoon cake batter into each baking cup (1/2 full).
- Bake cupcakes according to package directions until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack when done.
- While cupcakes are in the oven, make the frosting. Crush 6 of the cookies in a food processor.
- Using a hand mixer, beat butter until creamy.
- Add confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and vanilla and beat again. At this point you can add an additional tablespoon of milk if a thinner frosting is desired.
- Stir in crushed cookies and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 24 hours).
- Ice cupcakes once they have cooled completely.
Craving more cookies and cream? Try our Cookies and Cream Shakeuccino!
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