Happy Birthday to Us! (Cookies & Cream Cake)
Today is our birthday! Sadly, we’re 500 miles apart and can’t celebrate together. We can, however, drool over the cakes we each made for ourselves. I loved the cake we made together last year so much and wasn’t sure I could beat it, but this one was just as good. How can you go wrong with a dark chocolate cake filled with Oreo buttercream and covered in more buttercream frosting, chocolate ganache, and more Oreos?
Isn’t it pretty? I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
Cookies & Cream Cake
For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
For the Filling and Frosting:
2 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
10 cups powdered sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 T vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
2 T water
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
Gel food (color of your choice)
16 Oreos, crushed for the filling
8 Oreos, cut in half for decorating
1/3 cup jimmies
For the Ganache:
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 T corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Mix in eggs. Whisk in flour, sugar, black cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake 23 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Once cakes are room temperature, wrap and chill (preferably overnight).
4. To make the filling/frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed for approximately 8 minutes. Reduce the speed and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste and water. Increase the speed and beat until very light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese until combined.
5. Transfer half of the frosting to a medium bowl and use the gel paste color to tint it the color of your choice. Set aside. Add all but 1/4 cup of the crushed Oreos to the remaining frosting and stir until incorporated.
6. To make the chocolate ganache,in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in the microwave, about 50 seconds, and stir until smooth. Let cool until it thickens slightly.
7. To assemble your cake, level your chilled cakes and split each layer in half. Spread about 1 cup of the cookies and cream frosting on top of each layer. Cover the cake in a thin coat of colorful frosting. Chill the cake for 30 minutes.
8. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip about one-third full with the colorful frosting and set aside (this is for the top of the cake).
9. Stir the jimmies into the remaining colorful frosting. Remove the cake from the fridge and cover in another thick, smooth layer of colorful sprinkled frosting. Chill the cake for about 15 minutes.
10. Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and gently spread, pushing some over the sides. Return the cake to the refrigerator until the glaze sets, about 10 minutes.
11. Pipe 16 “stars” around the perimeter of the cake top. Place an Oreo half on each star. Press remaining cookie crumbs around the bottom of the cake, if desired.