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chocolate cupcakes with owl faces made with oreo cookies and M&M's candies

Owl Cupcakes with Oreos

An easy recipe for chocolate owl cupcakes made with Oreo cookies and M&M candies topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 30
Calories 308kcal
Author Amee


For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 30 snack-size chocolate peanut butter cups *optional: see notes

For the Frosting:

  • 1 stick ½ cup salted butter, room temperature
  • cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar sifted, plus additional if needed
  • cup whole milk plus a little more if needed
  • 2 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

For the owls:

  • 1 bag double stuff Oreos
  • 1 large bag M&M's candy pieces you'll only need the red and brown ones
  • small tube white decorating icing


To make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line muffin tins with 30 paper baking cups and set aside
  • Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa,baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla
  • Beat on medium speed in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer for 2 minutes
  • Stir in boiling water (don't panic...batter will look thin)
  • Pour batter, evenly, into each cupcake liner a little more than ⅔rds full.
  • Bake 22-25 minutes, until tops spring back and cakes are done
  • Cool completely while you prepare the frosting

To make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • Using a whisk attachment, whip butter and cocoa until smooth and blended
  • Alternately add milk and confectioners' sugar until all is incorporated
  • Add vanilla and peanut butter and whip until smooth

To assemble:

  • Frost your cooled cupcakes using a smooth knife
  • Open the Oreos to separate by gently twisting the cookie
  • Using a very sharp knife, in a sawing motion, slice the plain cookie in half, the half with the icing will be the eyes
  • Using a little squirt of decorator's icing, attach the brown M&M's to the white iced part of the cookie
  • Then place the cookies on top of the frosted cupcake
  • Place the red M&M sideways in between the eyes for the beak
  • Now dab a little decorator's frosting on the back of the two halved cookie portions and place on top of the eyes


*Nutrition information is for the frosted cupcake only.  It does not include the edible Owl accessories.  
*Stuff a fun surprise inside - Pour a few tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner, then place a mini chocolate peanut butter cup on top and gently press it into the batter. You want the peanut butter cup close to the bottom without touching the liner. Pour extra batter on top, filling the liners about ⅔rds full.
  • Don't forget to set the eggs out at temperature before getting started so they blend in better with the dry ingredients.
  • This is a thin cupcake batter, so don't be alarmed and accidentally overmix it. Once it becomes a cohesive cupcake batter, leave it be, and it will rise beautifully.
  • Be careful not to overbake, or the cupcakes will become dry and crumbly instead of soft and tender. When finished, a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
  • If you aren't serving immediately, hold off on the Oreo and M&M toppings until immediately serving, or the moisture from the frosting will make the cookie soggy.


Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg