Among many things, my sister is a huge fan of penguins? Why you may ask? Well if you would’ve asked any of our family until 4 years ago they would have thought you were joking. She grew up loving bunny rabbits, not penguins. Then she went to UK where she joined an academic sorority. Their mascot? A penguin. So in honor of her years with her sorority, penguin cupcakes were made for her graduation party.
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup hot water
24 Oreos, plus more for crumbs
1 cup shortening
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-6 Tablespoons milk
2 or more teaspoons Oreo cookie crumbs
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line tray with 12 baking cups.
- Place one whole cookie in each cup or break apart cookies and place the broken pieces into each cup. I used the broken pieces from the creation of the penguin wings here.
- Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl using a wire whisk.
- Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix well until thoroughly combined. Add the hot water and mix until combined. (it will look very runny)
- Transfer the batter (it will be very liquid) to a large measuring cup and then pour batter into each baking cup so it’s about three quarters full. You should have a little left over.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes and then bring out to cool on wire rack.
For the frosting:
- Beat the shortening in a mixer until smooth.
- Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar in three additions, scraping down the sides after each addition.
- Add a Tablespoon of milk at a time and mix together until you achieve the consistency you like.
- Add the cookie crumbs and mix until completely combined. You can add more if you like, but I just wanted a light speckling to show off the white frosting.
- Place frosting in a decorator bag with a 1M tip and swirl on top of each cupcake.
- You can also apply frosting on each cupcake in a mounded shape. Turn upside down and roll the top around in a small bowl of cookie crumbs to coat.
Note: If you choose to pile the frosting on high, you should double this recipe to make sure you have enough.
Now for the fun part: the penguin creation! Or demolition. Whichever you prefer! We had penguin parts every where!
Any left over marshmallow fluff frosting
Wilton Brand Eyes
Patience – LOTS of patience
* Normal people will need one Oreo cookie per penguin they make. People like me need an ENTIRE package for this endeavor. Okay fine, two packages total. Actually I suggest you try and do this part first. Because the things you mess up you can use for your crumbs. I ended up throwing away a lot of Oreo parts instead because every time I touched an Oreo it would just CRUMBLE in my hands. I BROKE SO MANY WINGS. Stupid cookies.
One of the hardest part was twisting that cookie and having the cream stay on only one side. It took forever. Most because it takes skill. It takes coordination. Finesse. Steady hands. I have none of those. But I got it done. The unfortunate part, The cookies aren’t that clean. You still get left with some chocolate on the cream. Ugh! So I tried to fix that a little by putting a dollop of the marshmallow fluff frosting over the cream and spreading it out in order to hide as many imperfections as possible.
Your penguin needs wings. This is where most of the massacre happened I admit. Okay maybe I broke a few faces. But mostly it was their wings. Have you ever TRIED to cut an Oreo with a knife before? They break in 20 ways. About 20 times. And then maybe you get ONE wing. I had a very large pile of broken cookies. Try to cut them in half, and then cut off about the top 1/3 of one half. That’s a good size for wings.
Next were the beaks. Some recipes asked for starbursts. This requires melting them and rolling them, etc. Just use the microwave in small 30 second increments to warm up the candy so you can manipulate it. Then you just shape into the beak. At first they all looked like shark teeth, but once added to the cupcakes it definitely pulled off the whole beak thing very well.