I live in a barely-managed circus of a house. Last I checked, there are only two actual Hunter boys and one Carl (the sheepadoodle), but it feels like a real life version of Animal House. Mostly thanks to the Little Fox, I’m thinking. He’s a circus contained in a frat house with a dash of toddler; advanced enough to handle most basic human functions but also toddler boy enough to leave a trail of (happy, good natured) destruction.
As I’m writing this, he’s giving Carl the daily house tour/update – it’s just the two of them walking through the house and Fox providing running commentary. I’m afraid to find out how much of this is true:
“Yep, broke that.”
“Too hard to open. Oh. Nope. Got it.”
“Oops. Broke that.”
“Come on, man!”
“My turn to hide! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10! I’m gonna getchu Caw-ul!”
“Broke that one.”
“Got poop on me.”
“Got it! That’s awesome!”
“Oo! Found a wheel!”
“Hey – who did THAT?”
“I need 3 pens and some equipment.”
“Lookie me – I drawed a trac-tor.”
“Whoa. Uhoh. Don’t tell mom”
Such an animal house deserves cupcakes to match. And provide fuel for more circus-like activities. I can think of very few things more fun than frosted animal crackers – I love these things and have been wanting to turn them into cupcakes for months but just now got to it for Easter. Partly due to me being busy washing tractor drawings off of the walls and partly due to Little Fox eating all the cookies before I could get to them.
But we finally got it accomplished and they were worth the wait! Basic vanilla cake with cookie bits mixed in, cookie butter filling, and vanilla buttercream frosting. Animal perfection.
- 2C pure cane white sugar
- 1/2C oil
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2C sour cream, room temperature
- 1C whole milk, room temperature
- 2 1/2C all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2C frosted animal crackers, chopped
- 1C frosted animal crackers
- 3oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2C powdered sugar
- heavy cream, to consistency
- pink food coloring, if desired
- 1 1/2C salted butter, room temperature
- 3C powdered sugar
- heavy cream, as needed for consistency.
- 2 tsp clear vanilla
- Frosted animal crackers and sprinkles, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well-incorporated and the batter is lighter and fluffier.
- Stir in the sour cream until well-combined.
- Alternate adding wet (milk) and dry (flour, baking powder, salt) ingredients, stirring just until incorportated.
- Fold in the chopped cookie bits
- Using a large cookie scoop, fill lined cupcake tins with batter
- Bake at 350F for 14-16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- In a food processor, mix together cookies, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until well-blended and no large chunks of cookie remain.
- Add cream as needed for consistency but be careful not to add too much or you'll end up with cookie soup.
- If desired for color, add a little hot pink food coloring.
- Hollow-out cooled cupcakes and fill.
- Beat butter until fluffy.
- Gradually add powdered sugar and beat well until light and fluffy. If it's too thick, add a Tbsp or two of heavy cream and beat well. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar
- Stir in vanilla and pipe onto cooled and filled cupcakes
- Top with frosted animal crackers and sprinkles