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Dark chocolate cake layers with cookies and cream filling, Oreo buttercream and chocolate drip.
This Oreo-inspired Best Ever Cookies and Cream Cake is truly that! BEST EVER!
Before You Begin
This chocolate cake is my go-to chocolate cake. I’m in love with it. I worked on it for years and it’s truly one of my favorite cakes of all time. If you haven’t made this cake before, you’ll notice the recipe calls for “dark” cocoa powder, which will make the cake nearly black and create a beautifully rich flavor.
I typically use Cacao Barry Extra Brute Cocoa Powder, but you can also use Hershey’s Special Extra Dark Cocoa Powder if you’re in a pinch and can’t get Cacao Barry. Just be sure to use dark cocoa powder. It not only creates a rich, dark color in the cake, but the flavor is slightly bitter and pairs so well with sweet, American buttercream.
Cookies and Cream Filling
If you’ve had my Grasshopper Pie Cake and loved it, I’m about to make your day! The filling in my Best Ever Cookies and Cream Cake uses the same base – sans mint emulsion and mint Oreos. Instead, it’s just whipped cream and Oreos folded into a mixture of cream cheese and powdered sugar. It’s super simple and utterly delicious. I’m not sure how I didn’t devour it all before actually making my cake… because I was certainly trying!
The filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Just don’t add the cookie chunks until you’re ready to assemble the cake.
For the buttercream, I’ve started with my classic Vanilla Buttercream and worked in some crushed Oreos. I think it’s really important and helpful for smoothing the sides of your cake to make sure you’ve really crushed the Oreos. I recommend using a blender or food processor to create sand-like crumbs out of the Oreos. That way, you won’t have a ton of chunks in your buttercream.
You’ll top with the chocolate drip, extra frosting and cookies and have the Best Ever Cookies and Cream Cake!
Cookies and Cream Cake
Yield One 3-layer, 8-inch caker
Dark chocolate cake layers with a cookies and cream filling, Oreo buttercream and a chocolate drip.
FOR THE CAKE
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (88.5 g) good quality dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons (8g) baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (236.6 g) hot water
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING
- 3/4 cup (173.25 g) heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups (250 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 8 Oreo cookies, broken into chunks
FOR THE OREO BUTTERCREAM
- 6 Oreo cookies, pulverized into fine crumbs
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 3 tablespoons (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE DRIP
- 1 cup (150 g) semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup (173-231 g) heavy whipping cream
- black food gel (optional)
For the Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of the three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another 10 to 20 seconds. Divide batter equally among the three cake pans (about 16 ounces of batter in each 8-inch pan or 12 ounces in each 6-inch pan).
- Bake the layers for about 18 to 20 minutes (time may vary depending on your oven) or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it. Let the cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto a rack to cool completely. When completely cooled, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour in the freezer. Cakes can be make a week ahead of time and wrapped in plastic wrap. If you'd like to store the cake layers longer than a week, wrap in tin foil, as well, and then place in a zip lock bag.
For the Cookies and Cream Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream on high for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the cream forms stiff peaks. Transfer the cream to another bowl and set aside.
- In the now empty bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for a couple minutes until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat for a couple minutes until smooth.
- Fold in the whipped cream until no streaks of whipping cream remain. Fold in the crushed Oreos.
- Best to make right before you assemble the cake so the cookies don't get soggy. If you want to make this ahead of time, just leave out the Oreos until you're ready to assemble.
For the Oreo Buttercream
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for about two minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sifted powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another minute.
- Add the heavy cream (one tablespoon at a time). Once the cream is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat the frosting for five minutes. It should get lighter in texture and color.
- Stir in the cookie crumbs.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a wooden spoon and mix by hand to stir out the air bubbles.
For the Chocolate Drip:
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for about 1 minute. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 5 minutes. Mix the chocolate and cream until smooth and shiny. If needed, microwave the mixture for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add one drop black food gel (optional). This will make the drip as dark as the cookies.
- Let cool slightly before adding to the cake.
- Best to add the drip when the cake has been chilled.
- Place the first cake layer top side up, in the center of the cake board. Pipe a rim of Oreo buttercream around the edge of the cake and then fill the center with about 1 cup of the cookies and cream filling.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the buttercream and filling. Repeat piping and filling.
- Place final cake layer, top side down.
- Crumb coat the entire cake with a thin layer of the Oreo buttercream and freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes to set this layer of frosting.
- Once the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill the cake again for another 10 minutes before adding the drip.