These vegan cookies and cream cupcakes are the perfect celebration of everyone’s favourite chocolate cookies. With plenty of crushed Oreo biscuits going into both the cupcake batter and creamy vegan buttercream frosting, these cupcakes are a certain crowd pleaser for all occasions.
Oreo’s are one of my favourite biscuits and the fact that they are also accidentally vegan, meaning they do not contain any dairy or animal products despite their creamy centre, makes them quite dangerous to have in my house with packets seemingly disappearing as quickly as they arrive.
But if you can resist inhaling these addictive cookies straight from the pack, then I suggest you make these cupcakes which bring together the delicious flavour of Oreos with the soft, fluffy texture of cake. It truly is a perfect match.
There are so many variations of recipes for what an Oreo cupcake is, but I find the addition of crushed Oreos in both the cupcake batter and the buttercream frosting make these the most incredible cupcakes that really highlight the flavour of the cookies.
These cookies and cream cupcakes are one of my favourites for a few reasons:
- Perfect for anyone with allergies or diets that require them to be free from eggs or dairy
- So soft and sweet making them the perfect texture and flavour that a cupcake should be
- EASY. Nothing super fancy here, anyone can whip up a batch of these.
These vegan Oreo cupcakes are the perfect treat for any occasion and are made completely vegan so everyone can enjoy them.
THE SECRET TO LIGHT, FLUFFY VEGAN CUPCAKES
When making vegan baked goods, we are removing the egg which acts as not only a binder for the ingredients, but a way to incorporate air providing the lift that makes a traditional cupcake light and fluffy.
To compensate, we have to find other ingredients to help create this texture otherwise the cakes will end up dense and not particularly enjoyable.
In my mind, when I am making vegan recipes it is for the people who still want to enjoy particular foods but cannot due to allergies or other health reasons, so my goal is to give the same experience of flavour and texture just without using dairy or eggs. And that is exactly the result here.
First we use a vegan buttermilk alternative made with a non-dairy milk (I like almond for this) and white vinegar. The addition of the vinegar slightly curdles the milk which makes it a bit thicker adding to the creaminess of the batter. The added acidity also assists in the reaction with the bicarbonate of soda making a lighter and softer crumb.
Secondly, we use both bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. The soda reacts with the added acidity of the buttermilk substitute to provide lift. However, to get the amount of lift we want without adding more acid, we also use baking powder which does the same thing but as it already contains acid it helps us to get the perfect amount of rise and lift in the cakes without tasting bitter.
And finally, it’s all about the texture of the cakes themselves and that is where the oil comes in. Oil is fantastic for adding extra moisture and creating a light crumb.
Now you know why the ingredients in this recipe are so important to the end result of these vegan oreo cupcakes, let’s look closer at what you’ll need and any substitutions.
- Almond milk – you can use any dairy free milk you choose but I always find the best results with either almond milk or oat milk.
- White vinegar – is added to the dairy free milk to make our vegan buttermilk substitute. You could also use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar however I prefer the tasteless option of white vinegar for the best results.
- Plain flour – known as all purpose flour in the US. I haven’t tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour substitute.
- Baking powder – for lift and rise.
- Bicarbonate of soda – also known as baking soda in the US. Reacts with the vinegar to keep the cakes soft and light.
- Vanilla – make sure to use vanilla extract instead of imitation vanilla essence for the best flavour.
- Canola oil – you can use any light tasting or flavourless oil.
- White Sugar – just the right amount to ensure these cupcakes aren’t too sweet and balance well with the buttercream frosting.
- Oreos – essential for these cupcakes. You’ll need enough for the cupcakes themselves, the buttercream and a few extra for decorating.
These cupcakes couldn’t be easier to make. You can use a whisk or an electric mixer to make things even easier! And if you’re a visual learner, make sure to scroll down to the recipe card and watch the video.
Start by making your ‘buttermilk’ substitute by adding the vinegar to the almond milk and setting aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The milk will split a bit but that’s ok and what we’re looking for.
Next crush up your Oreo biscuits into a fine crumb. As we’re only doing a small quantity, I find it easiest to just do this in my mortar and pestle but you can also add them to a ziplock bag and hit it with a rolling pin, or throw them into your food processor. Any method works!
Start by sifting together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt and mix to combine. Then, in your large mixing bowl, add the sugar, oil and vanilla and mix together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the milk mixture, making sure it is completely mixed through before adding more. Once batter has come together and smooth, mix through crushed oreos until just combined.
Spoon the batter into a cupcake pan lined with cases filling them about ⅔ full and place in the oven to bake. Once cooked through, remove them from the pan onto a wire rack and set aside to cool completely before frosting.
How to make Oreo buttercream frosting
We’re using my go-to, favourite vegan vanilla buttercream recipe as the basis of this frosting. To make the buttercream you’ll need an electric mixer. My preference is my stand mixer with a paddle attachment fitted as it makes the job much easier, but you can also use a hand mixer as seen in the below video.
Start by crushing up your Oreos into a fine crumb again using either a mortar and pestle or a food processor. You want a relatively fine crumb to help ensure the frosting pipes smooth through your chosen tip.
In your bowl, start to beat together the dairy free butter and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat to combine, adding the almond milk to gain the right consistency.
You want the frosting to be thick but still smooth. Add the crushed Oreos and beat again to combine.
Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with your favourite piping tip (I’m using a 6B) and pipe a generous amount on each cupcake and finish off with an extra Oreo cookie.
Yes, you can use this batter to make a 3 layer 6 inch or 2 layer 8 inch cake and adjust the cooking time as needed. Otherwise for something bigger, check out my vegan cookies and cream cake recipe, complete with vegan ganache drip!
Yes! I prefer to make and freeze the cupcakes on their own if I’m making them in advance, and frost them just before serving. But they will also freeze frosted just fine.
These cupcakes will be fine in an airtight container in a cool, dry place at room temperature for 2 days. Any longer or if it’s warm or humid, in the fridge is best.
No you don’t! Simply crush your whole cookies in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor to get crumbs. The cream will also break down with the biscuits giving you the perfect crumbs, full of cookies and cream flavour.
More vegan cupcake recipes:
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (Vegan)
For the cupcakes
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 8 oreo biscuits
For the buttercream frosting
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter*
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 – 4 cups icing sugar
- 6 oreo biscuits crushed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 cup cupcake tin with liners.
- Make the cupcakes. Add vinegar to almond milk and set aside. It will split the milk, but that is ok as it helps to create a soft cupcake texture.
- Using a mortar and pestle crush up the oreo biscuits until they are a fine crumb. Set aside. In a large bowl, add sugar, oil and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer.
- In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt and mix to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the milk mixture, making sure it is completely mixed through before adding more. Once batter has come together and smooth, mix through crushed oreos.
- Spoon into the prepared cupcake pan lined with cases filling them about ⅔ full. Bake for 20 minutes or until cakes bounce back when lightly touched. Set aside to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the buttercream frosting. Crush up the oreos again using your mortar and pestle. Make sure there are no large bits and that it is a fine crumb as it will need to be piped onto the cakes and you don’t want any biscuit pieces getting stuck.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free butter and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
- Add 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in the almond milk. If frosting is too thin, add in an extra ½-1 cup of icing sugar until it reaches the desired consistency. Add crushed Oreos and mix until combined.
- Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto cakes ensuring they are completely cool as any heat left in the cakes will melt the icing. Decorate with an extra Oreo cookie.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.
Note: Original recipe was published December 5th 2016, and updated again in April 2019 with a few tweaks to the recipe and new photos. This update contains new content and photographs but the recipe remains the same.