Oreo Chocolate Cake layers:
I've recently changed 'favorite chocolate cake' recipes - I borrowed, doubled, and slightly modified one from @thescranline, and it's *amazing.* Also a tad less labor-intensive than my prior favorite. Score! Check out Nick's site and his Instagram feed if you haven't already; he does some incredible work!
Of note...you'll need either a kitchen scale to measure ingredients in grams OR - you can use this fancy ‘grams to cups converter’. Or just use the conversions I ballparked for you. You’re welcome!
350g all purpose flour (roughly 2 ¼ c)
450g granulated/caster sugar (roughly 2 ¼ c)
100g cocoa powder (roughly 1 ¼ c)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c /250g /16 T unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
350ml milk (about 1 ½ ; I used a 2c pyrex liquid measuring cup with mL marks on the back)
2 t vanilla extract
¾ c crushed Oreo pieces
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 320 FC (160C) for a fan forced oven. Grease 3 8-inch pans with baker's floured spray and/or line pans with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add in the softened butter until it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients and no lumps of butter are visible.
Next, add milk, eggs, and vanilla together and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds. Fold in the crushed Oreo pieces.
Fill the three pans evenly - I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part, and each of mine weighed out to about 550g. Bake for 30-35 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting. If you insert a skewer or toothpick and it comes out with wet batter, bake for another few minutes at a time until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely – set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
While you’re waiting, make your frosting and ganache for the filling and drip!
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 cups powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
¾ cup Oreo cookie crumbs
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.
Chocolate ganache drip:
6 oz (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz ( ¾ cup ) heavy whipping cream
Meanwhile, make your ganache. Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Place whipping cream in a small saucepan and bring almost to a boil over medium/low heat. Pour over chocolate chips and let rest for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth and silky.
(If desired, this can also be done in the microwave – combine ingredients and microwave on half power in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth).
- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle
- 1 box Oreo cookies – I used Double Stuff (because why not?) and chopped 8 of them to use to fill the cake!
- Piping bag and small round piping tip (Unless you don’t want to add lettering to the cake)
- Piping bag with decorative tip of your choice (I used a star tip that came with this set)
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful!
- Drip bottle OR piping bag OR spoon – whatever you’d prefer to use to add your ganache to the cake
Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with Oreo frosting. I piped a rim of frosting around the outer edge and filled the cake with chopped Oreos and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Optional but recommended! Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like - a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the freezer to set the frosting and to chill the cake in preparation for adding the ganache drip!
Okay - the fun part! Decorating!
When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm but still be fairly liquid – transfer it to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. A spoon will work if you don’t have either of those, I've just found spoons to be a little bit more difficult to work with.
Slowly drizzle ganache around the upper edge of your cake, pausing every inch or so to let more ganache fall in a drip down the side of the cake. Return cake to the fridge or freezer to set the drips.
If you’re piping onto the top of your cake, place the remaining ganache into the fridge to set it to a pipeable consistency for the letters. Once it’s cold enough to hold its shape, transfer it to a small piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe away! I practiced a few times on a paper towel just to get a feel for what size/shape I needed the letters/numbers to be.
Once you’re happy with your lettering, start piling on the Oreos! I used a large pile in the back cascading to a small rim in the front, but you can do whatever you think looks the best! I used whole Oreos as my base layer and used small amounts of frosting and leftover ganache to stick smaller Oreo pieces onto the top and sides. Add until you’re happy with the way it looks!
This part is also optional, but I added a rim of Oreo crumbs around the base – just sprinkle around the base of the cake and press into the frosting with the back of a spoon. Or an offset spatula. Or your fingers. Whatever floats your boat!
Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!