Milk + cookies -
Match made in heaven, right? After making a batch of cookies 'n' cream cupcakes for an auction not too long ago, I really wanted to incorporate those flavors into a cake...but I wanted to add a little bit more of a creative element to the top of the cake when I was finished ;)
I had some leftover mirror glaze from another project, and had put it in a clear plastic container in the fridge. Glancing past it one day, I noticed it looked a little bit like milk.
That realization - plus my consistent and notorious propensity for dropping and spilling things - voila! A cake decoration idea was born. ;)
My latest favorite place to shop for baking supplies is Cash N Carry - it's like Costco with no membership fees involved ;) I found a huge bag of broken Oreo pieces there, bought a bag of mini Oreos from my local grocery store, and pulled a disposable plastic cup from my pantry, and had everything I needed to decorate this cake! :)
On to the recipe; sound good?
Full disclosure here; I was super strapped for time when I put the cake in the pictures together. I had one evening to get it done and had to be up for work at 4:45am the next morning for work - soo I cheated and doctored up a chocolate fudge cake mix for the cake layers. I replaced the oil with butter, added an extra egg and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, and replaced the water with milk and vanilla extract. However, when I have more time to work with, my current favorite chocolate cake recipe from How to Cake It with Yolanda Gamp is below :)
2 2/3 all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, or spray thoroughly with baker's cooking spray with flour.
Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring 3 cups water to a boil, then carefully measure exactly 2 cups and pour over the cocoa powder and whisk until completely smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add the eggs, two at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.
Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the warm cocoa mixture in three parts, beating just until each addition is incorporated before adding the next; do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing cakes from pans; then set aside on cooling racks to cool completely. Set in the fridge to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
3/4 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, salt, and cookie crumbs and beat until well combined.
Mirror glaze: (or you can use white chocolate ganache)
One .25-ounce packet unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup good-quality white chocolate discs or chopped white chocolate (at least 30 percent cocoa butter)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
To make the mirror glaze:
Whisk together the gelatin and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and set aside to bloom.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin to dissolve. Add the white chocolate and allow to sit 1 minute to melt. Add the condensed milk and combine with an immersion blender until emulsified and smooth.
This recipe will make *much* more glaze than you need for the cake, but the rest can be saved in the refrigerator and re-melted for other projects! Let cool to 95 degrees F, checking with a candy or instant-read thermometer.
(Mirror glaze recipe from foodnetwork.com)
- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle
- Immersion blender and a candy thermometer (if using mirror glaze for the topping)
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful!
- Oreo cookies - I used broken Oreo pieces and a bag of mini Oreos, but you can use whatever sizes/styles you like!
- small glass - I used a disposable plastic ivory cup from Party City
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 frosting. 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 so that the mirror glaze sets when you pour it on.
Okay - the fun part! Once your glaze has cooled to the right temperature, remove your cake from the freezer and set the glass on its side on top of the cake. Pour or pipe the mirror glaze into the cup and onto the top of the cake, creating a 'milk spill' design on the top. Place your Oreos/Oreo pieces around the cup on top of the cake - I used small amounts of frosting to hold them in place. If desired, pipe some frosting and add Oreo cookies/cookie pieces around the bottom edge of the cake as well.
Annnnnd you're done! Step back, admire your work, and then enjoy your cake! ;) Let me know how it went for you!