350g all purpose flour (roughly 2 ¼ c)
450g 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 buttermilk (about 1 ½ ; buttermilk powder with water is an option if you can’t find liquid buttermilk at your grocery store!)
2 t vanilla extract
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 buttermilk, 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.
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 for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans, and cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
While you’re waiting, make your frosting and ganache!
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
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 (if using unsalted butter)
1 small drop blue gel food color (I used Americolor royal blue)
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add gel color, vanilla, and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
Chocolate ganache (for filling & decorating):
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 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- 1 box Oreo cookies
- Large piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use)
- Squeeze bottle OR piping bag OR spoon – whatever you’d prefer to add your ganache to the cake filling and to ‘smudge’ the outside
- Cake topper of your choice – here’s a link to the cake topper set that I bought!
- Edible glitter, if desired (I bought mine from Heaven’s Sweetness Shop, but their products sometimes sell out. You can order edible glitter from Amazon.com as well!
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, and pipe a rim around the outside. Crush or chop a few oreos cookies, and sprinkle them over the frosting. Add a drizzle of ganache over the top – I found a squeeze bottle was the easiest way to do this! Add your next cake layer on top, and 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. (If your ganache is still liquid, set it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes so that it will firm up enough to spread onto the cake sides!)
Okay - the fun part! Decorating!
When your ganache has cooled to a spreadable temperature, remove your cake from the fridge and ‘smudge’ the sides with ganache with an offset spatula or a spoon. I used my bench scraper to smooth a few of the larger smudges, but kept the uneven texture of most of the smaller ones.
Transfer the rest of your frosting to a large piping bag, fitted with the tip of your choice (I used the smaller star tip from this set)! Alternate swirls of frosting with Oreos cookies around the top edge of the cake.
Crush a few more Oreo cookies, and sprinkle them over the top of the cake.
This part is optional, but I added a rim of small frosting stars with Oreo pieces and crumbs around the base – just sprinkle them around the cake and press into the frosting with the back of a spoon. Or an offset spatula. (Or your fingers, whatever’s handy!)
Add your cake toppers and a sprinkle of edible glitter if desired!
Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!