Cupcakes and muffins - aren't they the same thing?
After much reading and researching, I conclude that they are similar, yet quite different.
Cupcakes are small versions of cakes that are most of the time frosted and/or decorated; often they are served as light snacks during tea time or as after-dinner desserts. I guess it's partly because of the frosting - I don't think most people will want to start off the day with a frosted cake... probably too heavy and creamy, right?
Muffins, on the other hand, are small versions of breads that are left plain and the method used to make muffins often do not require an electric mixer. From all the muffins I've eaten, they are much lighter and fluffier than cupcakes. They are often served as breakfast food, but honestly, nobody abides by this law nowadays.
But we all know both of them are irresistably yummy and loved by many.
Anyway, I guess it doesn't really matter what is a muffin and what is a cupcake - as long as it's edible and yummy, I will eat it without hesitation!
I baked some Oreo cupcakes using the same basic recipe of the chocolate cupcakes. The twist is a hidden piece of Oreo inside each cupcake and some Oreo crumbs inside the frosting.
If you don't like to see one whole Oreo, crush the Oreos and add it into the batter. (:
My resulting cupcakes have a little dent after baking - I'm not sure if it's really due to the Oreo because I don't have any dents when I baked them plain. Nevertheless, they still taste super light, and tasty. I just can't stop snacking on these little cupcakes!
The Oreo crumbs also gives the frosting a slight greyish tint. I frosted the cupcakes via 2 methods - one is the pipe the frosting then top with a mini Oreo while the other is pile the cupcake with frosting with a palette knife then cover the top of the frosting with Oreo crumbs. If you like to eat more Oreos, the second method is the way to go, but the first method looks more classy.
Let's have a peek...
Goodness! Oreo and Oreo!
Easy Peasy Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24)
150 grams all-purpose flour
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
120 grams caster sugar
½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil *(I used light olive oil)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (185 ml) milk
¾ cup (185 ml) boiling hot water
125 grams room temperature cream cheese
125 grams room temperature unsalted butter
200 - 250 grams icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons crushed Oreos (extra for dipping)
24 mini Oreos, for decoration
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line the cupcake trays with cupcake liners and place one Oreo cookies in each. Set aside.
In a huge bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add in the caster sugar and use a whisk and whisk everything together. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and milk.
Add the eggs mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together till they are all combined together. Add in the boiling hot water and mix together gently.
Pour the cake batter into a measuring cup (because it's easier to transfer the cake batter later on, but if you hate washing an extra item... you can just scoop using a spoon or ladle, though it'll be harder to do so). Pour the cake batter into the cupcake liners till 80% full.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from their trays and let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and unsalted butter together. Gradually add in the icing sugar till the icing sugar is fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the crushed Oreos.
Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and top each with a mini Oreo. Or, spread the frosting on with a palette knife and dip the top into crushed Oreos.
Store frosted cupcakes in an air tight container in the fridge and consume within 5 days. Thaw slightly at room temperature before eating!
Notes and Variations:
- Use an all-buttercream frosting - simply substitute the cream cheese with equal amounts of unsalted butter.
- There's not much icing sugar used in the frosting (I'm not a very huge sweet tooth), so the frosting may be a bit soft to handle, given the warm and humid climate of Singapore. To make it easier to pipe the frosting, transfer the frosting into a piping bag and place the piping bag in the fridge for 15 minutes before using. If not, double the amount of icing sugar to be used for the frosting.
- The mini Oreo will turn soft if kept in the fridge for too long, so it's better to top the cupcake with the mini Oreo just before serving.
I’m going to submit this recipe to Aspiring Bakers #13: Enjoy Cupcakes! (November 2011) hosted by Min of Min’s Blog.