Red Velvet Cream Cheese Oreo Cupcakes

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Ok, so now that we successfully completed our V-Day warm-up with those gorgeous Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, it’s time to go full-on HAM on Valentine’s Day. It’s a Code Red of sorts, if you will. Red Velvet cake, cream cheese filling, crushed Red Velvet Oreos AND whipped cream cheese frosting? I mean, if anything is cause for an all-out alarm, it’s these cupcakes.

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And because over-the-top cupcakes need over-the-top decor, I made it my mission to ensure they had “Valentine’s Day” written all over them. With a little help from Target (I raided the Valentine’s Day section like there was no tomorrow), I would say Mission: More Than Accomplished. It pretty much looked like Cupid threw up all over my apartment when I was baking these this weekend. Sweets. Sprinkles. Red and pink. Everywhere. I may have gone overboard (actually, who am I kidding? Never.), but if I do something, I do it right. And man were these right. So so right.

DSC_0073These bad boys start with a red velvet cake recipe that I’ve used multiple times for different occasions. They’re always perfect and they’re always a hit. Then, since I had finally managed to hunt down the Limited Edition Red Velvet Oreos, I crushed those up with a yummy, rich cream cheese filling and stuffed it inside the cupcakes. To top it all off, a heav-en-ly fluffy, silky, whipped cream cheese frosting. I’m not exaggerating. There is real heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks folded right into it, adding such an unexpectedly light texture while still maintaining the richness cream cheese frosting is known for.

DSC_0086Since no Valentine’s Day treat is complete without some love-ly festive decor (and because I had mounds of it in my possession after my Target run), I decided to have some fun with the finishing touches. I did a few different versions – some with sprinkles, some with toppers, some with classic icing, and some with various combinations of the three. And since my life would not be complete without a version giving a proper nod to the Red Velvet Oreos crushed inside, I did one version with an Oreo prominently placed on top.

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These are definitely some of my favorite cupcakes that I’ve made. I will say that, although I L-O-V-E the look of the ones with sprinkles on top, the sanding sugar does take away from the cream cheese frosting and filling a bit. They’re still delicious, but if you want the cream cheese to be the star of the cupcake, I’d opt for more of a classic icing option.

DSC_0193As you can see, these embody all things Valentine’s Day. I dare you took take one look at these and not give into the hype. And if you have no soul just looking at them doesn’t do it for ya, take a bite. There is no way your heart doesn’t skip a beat.

DSC_0158These are certainly one way to win your Valentine’s heart. I mean, if they don’t, your Valentine might not have a heart. Ok, that’s a little harsh, but I promise these are that good. In fact, I’m baking a whole other batch of these again tonight for the weekend’s various festivities.

DSC_0202 So if you want to do something especially sweet for the special someone in your life, pre-heat that oven and sound the alarm – these things are on fi-yah. And don’t forget that critical special ingredient – love! And with that, let’s bring it down to Earth with some more Valentine’s Day humor. You’re welcome.

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Oreo Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

Red Velvet Cupcakes (from Erica’s Sweet Tooth):

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
Red food coloring

Red Velvet Oreo Cream Cheese Filling (from Taste and Tell):

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Oreos, roughly crushed

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (from Not So Humble Pie):

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream, cold (not milk, not whipping cream – heavy cream!)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bake your cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans with 24 liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and vinegar together until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Add the food coloring until your desired shade of red is achieved. Fill each liner 2/3 of the way full and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans for a few minutes then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.

2. Whip up this DIVINE filling. In a small plastic bag, crush your Oreos to a course crumble (you can use a rolling pin, your fist, whatever works!). In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat until combined.  Fold in the Oreos until evenly combined. Try to refrain from eating by the spoonful.

3. Time for the frosting. Beat the cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then add the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. Beat on low quickly and briefly, only until just combined and smooth (it may look lumpy after a few seconds, but once it fully combines it will smooth out). Do not overbeat! Alternatively, you may fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until fully combined.

4. Assemble these beauties. Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a paring knife or cupcake corer to core each of the cupcakes, trimming off the tops and reserving. Fill each cored cupcake with a small spoonful of the filling, and replace the cupcake top. Fit a pastry bag with your piping tip of choice and fill it with the frosting. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and garnish as desired!

Notes: This recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes, so you can halve it if you don’t need that many!

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