Baking is my go-to stress reliever (shocking, right?). And sometimes simply baking isn’t enough. Sometimes, you just need to bake something unique and time-consuming and multi-stepped and completely of your own recipe ideas. And you need it to work perfectly the first time.
That’s not a tall order, is it?
Maybe it is. Maybe it’s three layers tall. Maybe it’s also filled with fluffy vanilla buttercream and Oreo cookie chunks and covered in cookies n’ cream frosting. Just maybe.
Confession time: I was never a huge Oreo girl. I never liked chocolate cake. But I did love chocolate so I wasn’t a total lost cause as a child. Eventually, after years of exposure to cookies n’ cream ice cream, I started to see the light in the dark(chocolate). However, as much as I grew to like Oreos I would still choose any kind of cake over chocolate so even attempting to make a chocolate cake was a challenge! I had no tried and true recipe in my recipe box aka my computer and I refused to use a boxed mix. I knew nothing. Well, I knew one thing–that to really mimic the Oreo look of the layers when you cut inside I had to use a really really really dark chocolate cake. And thus is the origin story of my first attempt at a Devil’s Food Cake and overcoming the biggest obstacle in the Oreo Cake.
This cake looks overwhelming, with three layers, multiple assembly steps, and a never ending ingredient list. (I promise many of the ingredients are just repeats so no need to freak out!) But one bite in to the soft, moist cake layers and that lighter than air cookies n’ cream frosting makes all the work worth it, I can guarantee that. I can also guarantee that you will no longer have any friends if you share this cake because (1) they will be so jealous of your cake prowess (2) they will be in a food coma from multiple slices, and (3) they will be mad that you don’t bring this cake every time you hang out. You have been warned. Now let’s get caking!
*When it comes to the assembly part of the recipe, I have inserted step-by-step pictures.*
oreo layer cake with cookies n’ cream frosting
For the chocolate layers:
- 2 cups (224 g) cake flour (or all-purpose but cake works best)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the vanilla layer:
- 1 2/3 cup (210 g) all-purpose flour or cake flour*
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick, 115 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (plain Greek yogurt or regular yogurt will work as well)
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting (per batch, you will need two):
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 3-5 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 10 Oreos, crushed (only for second batch of frosting)
- Additional Oreos for filling and decorating
Make the Chocolate Layers: Preheat oven to 325°F. Prep two 8-in round cake pans with shortening spray (nonstick baking spray), parchment paper, and wet cake straps.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and sugar (all the dry ingredients). Add coffee, oil, and buttermilk and mix until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed.
Pour 2 ½ cups of batter into each prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is lightly springy. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the Vanilla Layer: Preheat oven to 325°F. Prep one 8-inch round cake pan with shortening spray, parchment paper, and wet cake strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the melted butter and sugar until there are no lumps. Add the egg. Add the yogurt. Add the milk and vanilla. After each addition, whisk mixture until completely incorporated and smooth before adding the next ingredient.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet (in about 3 parts), scraping sides as needed, until there are no lumps. Be careful not to overmix!
Pour 2 ½ cups of batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is lightly springy. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the Frosting (per batch, you will need two): Beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and beat for another minute. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on high for two minutes until fluffy. See below for each batch’s variation:
- For the first batch, add an additional 2-3 tbsp of heavy cream to lighten up the consistency. This is for your crumb coat and cake filling.
- For the second batch, separate out 1/3 of the frosting. You can use this for decorating. In the remaining 2/3 portion, add 10 Oreo cookies that were crushed in a food processor. This is your outside cake frosting.
Assemble the Cake: On a cardboard cake circle, place one chocolate layer.Crush a handful of Oreo cookies. Sprinkle the crushed cookies over the cake. Cover the top vanilla layer with a medium thickness layer of frosting from the first batch. Turn over onto the cookies of the chocolate layer, frosting side down. Cover the new top of the vanilla layer with a medium thickness of frosting from the first batch. Sprinkle more crushed cookies over the frosting. Top with the final chocolate cake layer.
Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting from the first batch. This is your crumb coat. Set aside until the frosting hardens a little bit (this can be quickened by placing the coated cake in the fridge).
Cover the entire cake with a thicker layer of frosting from the second batch of frosting. Use this cookies n’ cream frosting and the set aside 1/3 of the frosting to decorate. Devour.
*If measuring in grams, the cake flour measurement is the same. If measuring with cups, add 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of extra flour.