Peppermint Oreo Cake Layers:
Note - this is a slightly-simplified layer cake recipe from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!!
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (or buttermilk powder with water is an option if you can’t find liquid buttermilk at your grocery store!)
1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mix becomes crumbly.
Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Stir in crushed oreos and sprinkles – the I stirred as little as possible after this point, to keep the Oreo crumbs from turning my cake layers brown and the peppermint from turning them pink!
Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7-inch cake pans (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans – it helps to run an offset spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan first. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.
This is a great time to make your frosting!
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
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
Stir in at the end – 6-8 crushed Oreos
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
You’ll see in the video my crumb-coat layers was much darker brown than the outer frosting layer – I over-stirred some frosting and turned the color too brown, so I had to make more for the outer layer. Stir as little as possible if you want your frosting to stay light in color!
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- 1 cup chocolate chips + ¾ cup whipping cream (for ganache drip – recipe below)
- Squeeze bottle OR piping bag OR spoon – whatever you’d prefer to add your ganache drip to the cake
- 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)
- Additional 8-12 Oreo cookies, whole – for decorating
- Additional - 6-8 crushed Oreos & about ¼ cup of crushed peppermint candy + sprinkles of your choice (optional, but I loved FancySprinkles’ Silver Bells mix), for decorating
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. Feel free to sprinkle on some crushed Oreos if you’d like!
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 – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer. I usually do this with my large offset spatula.
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. As I worked through this part I had to pull out a few larger Oreo chunks that were getting in the way of smoothing my frosting. Fill in the holes with a bit of extra frosting and keep smoothing.
Once your sides are smooth, set the cake in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes to set the frosting and chill the cake so your ganache drip will set.
Chocolate ganache drip:
6 oz (1 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz (¾ cups) 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).
When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and 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. Add enough to the cake top to cover the cake, and smooth with an offset spatula.
This last step is time-consuming and completely optional, but I used a bit of vegetable shortening to ‘sticky-ify’ one of my fingers to add some sprinkles and crushed peppermint candy to my ganache drip. Up to you! Super cute, but it does take some time to stick on all those sprinkles.
Return cake to the fridge or freezer to set the drips.
Add several large swirls to the top rim of the cake – I used my largest most-open star for this, so the Oreo chunks wouldn’t clog the piping tip.
Space Oreo cookies in between the frosting swirls, add some crushed Oreos and sprinkles to the tip and base rim of the cake – and you’re done! Enjoy!
Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!