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Beautifully rich and decadent, these red velvet Oreo cupcakes are perfect for any special occasion, or you know, Tuesday. Another semi-homemade masterpiece, this dessert is low on effort but high on flavor. Apple sauce instead of oil amps up the moisture while cutting back on the fat and calories. We use half the sugar compared to most cream cheese frostings to keep things tangy and find just the right balance with the sweet cupcakes. Because of the reduced sugar, you'll want to be sure to store your frosting in the refrigerator up until the few hours prior to serving.
To spruce things up for your favorite holidays, you can play around with sprinkles, fruit toppings and other garnishes. Fresh blueberries or blue sprinkles will set you up for the 4th of July. Chocolate hearts can be placed on top for Valentine's day. Or try a fresh mint garnish or Christmas themed sprinkles for Christmas cupcakes! What variations would you try for your favorite holidays? Comment below!
For the Cupcakes
1 16.5oz package Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
3 large eggs
1 c. water
1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
2 dozen Oreos
For the Frosting
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese - softened
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter - softened
1 T. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar
12 Oreos - crushed - use half in frosting, save half for topping
Preheat oven according to cake box instructions (350 degrees for light metal or glass pans). Grease cupcake tins.
Whisk all of the cupcake ingredients except for the Oreos together until well combined. Fill cupcake tin half-way with cake mixture. Lightly press Oreo down into the cake mixture in the tin and top with another tablespoon or so of batter - just enough to cover the Oreo. Bake 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.
In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Slowly add in powdered sugar whisking on medium-low to combine, scraping the sides occasionally. Turn mixer to high and whisk about 2-3 minutes. Add half of the crushed Oreos, whisk to combine. Store in ziplock bag in refrigerator if not using right away. Remove frosting 30 minutes before serving to soften frosting and make piping easier. Top cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle the remaining crushed Oreos over the top.