Well, this is awkward. After wearing my Fitbit Flex 2 for several weeks (and succeeding at losing 8 pounds in a month), I went on a bit of a PMS-induced food bender. It wasn’t really that bad, until the sugar cravings set in. As it stands, I have gained back 6 of the 8 pounds I lost in February. Of course, most of this is temporary weight, as I can assure you I haven’t eaten the 21,000 calories over maintenance intake necessary to accomplish such a feat in 7 days.
Something good came out of this bender, let me tell you. It is something that has probably been obvious to most of you since you began cooking. Before I share with you this common-sense level trick to making the perfect cake or cupcake every time, I have to tell you something: I can be a sickeningly literal and “by-the-book” person. I will spare you the examples, and tell you that the best thing I have done to improve my baking skills is to open my mind.
Every month, my workplace has a potluck. This month, the theme was spring, and apparently I associate Oreos with springtime. Heavy cookies laden with saturated fat just scream, “Let’s take a stroll!” I have made Oreo cupcakes before, but they’ve always turned out just okay.
This time, I did my usual research (open Google search, type in “oreo cupcakes recipe”, look for the recipe with the highest reviews, and make it), but found myself remembering how lackluster the cupcakes were. This time, I used my head and asked myself, “Why not find the best chocolate cupcake recipe, and the best oreo frosting recipe seperately?”
I promise, I am not as dumb as this is making me seem. My whole life, Betty Crocker’s silver white cake can only be topped with Betty Crocker’s buttercream frosting. It has taken me 20 years of cooking and baking to understand that you can do whatever you want to get the outcome that will be most desirable to you.
For the cupcake itself, I found a basic chocolate cupcake recipe. I have made several Oreo cupcakes before, and always found the addition of Oreo cookies to the batter itself to mess up the texture, and never impart the taste it set out to. These chocolate cupcakes turned out perfect every batch, and they were moist and fluffy.
The right frosting recipe was more difficult to find. Many people want to add cream cheese to every frosting because it is an easy way to give the flavor depth and an interesting texture. To me, Oreos and cream cheese don’t go well together, so I hunted down what has got to be the best Oreo buttercream frosting recipe ever. Another bonus of not putting cream cheese in everything is that it will be counter stable for a few days! You can assemble these cupcakes the day before serving and the taste will only get better.
Now that I have learned an important lesson in baking, and eaten on average 2 cupcakes per day for the last 3 days, it is time to get back on track!