One of my best friend's 24th birthday just recently passed and although all she talks about is how her joints are cracking and she is so incredibly old and has one foot in the grave - she is usually pretty normal and she is an amazing best friend. We met in middle school and have come a long way since fighting over who Chris Potter liked (haha embarrassing!). 

Its been about about 12 years (geez!) of fun and now that we are "adults" and stressed out about what we are going to do with our lives we turn to the only things have never let us down: cupcakes and wine. 

To celebrate her birthday I baked her some jumbo size oreo crusted red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they were gorgeous! We had dinner at the Sundried Tomato Cafe in San Juan Capistrano - which is super yummy! Its always great when we get to spend time together, it seems to be a rare occasion these days.  Heres to my wonderful, sometimes funny, always there when you need her, aspiring chef and best friend Mandy - love you like a fat kid loves cake..or as much as we love cake (which might be more).

Start with baking the Oreo Crust...
Then bake the Red Velvet cake on top...
And decorate with the delicious frosting...

1 1/2 cups crushed oreo cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles) 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners
Crush oreo cookies in small bowl. Gradually add the melted butter to the cookie crumbs and mix until combined (you may or may not need all the butter, the mixture should be incorporate, damp but not too wet)
Fill bottom of muffin tin with cookie mixture and press down into the bottom. Bake 7 minutes.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside
In a large bowl, using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in vanilla, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go.
In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and food coloring.
On medium speed, add 1/3 of the flour to the butter mixture, then 1/2 of the buttermilk, continue with flour, then buttermilk, finishing with flour.
Pour batter on top of partially baked crusts. Bake 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For frosting: beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Then add vanilla to combine.

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Merci Beaucoup!