There is a serious lack of desserts lately! I’m sorry. But, this recipe will make it up to you. I promise. The chocolate cake is dark and moist. The layers of cookies and cream are like the tasty cream filling of an oreo cookies (I used Trader Joe’s Jo Joe’s).
Now after making this, here is what I should have done. 🙂 I think I should have just left it at 3 layers instead of 4. I should have also then left the cookies and cream topping as the top layer which would be the frosting. This cake is so rich and creamy, no frosting is really necessary.
To save time, bake the cake ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap once mostly cooled, but not totally. This keeps it very moist, easier to cut later and easier to apply the filling. It only takes about 3 hours to thaw out – just enough time to make the cake and firm it up in the fridge!
**Update** My friend made this cake dairy free using almond milk and said it tasted very good, too! Just an idea for those on dairy restrictions or have allergies.
Cookies and Cream Cake
yield 12 servings
2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cup AP flour
1 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (or substitute Hershey’s Special Dark that contains Dutch processed)
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee or boiling water (You won’t taste the coffee. It just enhances the chocolate flavor. NObody noticed it.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups heavy cream, cold
15 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed (like Oreos or Jo Joe’s)
Topping (Not needed if making a 3 layer cake!)
1/2 cup of filling
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tb. butter
1 Tb. light corn syrup
To Make the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two – 8″ or 9″ round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or vegetable shortening or butter. Dust with flour if not using Baker’s Joy. To ensure the cake releases properly, I always trace the pan on a piece of parchment and place the circle inside the pan and spray again.
2. Add the dry stuff to the large mixing bowl: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix that up a bit.
3. Add your wet stuff to the dry stuff: eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the coffee or boiling water. Beat until incorporated.
4. Divide the cake batter between the two pans. Bake for about 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan and place on a clean towel-lined wire rack, sprayed rack or cool in the pan. This is because the chocolate cake is extremely moist and has a tendency to stick to the wire rack creating craters in the cake. It was quite sad.
5. Once almost cool, but not necessarily completely cool, wrap in plastic wrap and stash in the freezer.
To make the filling:
1. In a large mixing bowl: beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until creamy. While on low speed, slowly add the cold heavy cream. This may take about a minute.
2. Once the cream has been added, kick the mixer up to medium-high and beat to a stiff peak. (At this point if you want to decorate the top with whipped cream, then reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of the whipped cream mixture.) With the rest: Gently, fold in the crushed oreo cookies.
To make the topping (Optional):
1. Add all the topping ingredients to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until smooth and melted.
To assemble the cake:
1. Split the cake layers in half. Add 1/3 of the Oreo cookie mixture. Spread evenly. Add cake layer #2. Add another 1/3 of the Oreo cookie mixture. Spread evenly. Add cake layer #3. Spread the rest of the Oreo cookie mixture. Top with the final cake layer if you want, or leave the top spread with the Oreo cookie mixture. If adding the final cake top, feel free to decorate with topping, extra Oreos, reserved whipped topping, etc.
2. Place the cake in the fridge (preferable covered to avoid moisture loss). Firm up for 2-3 hours before serving.
Cake recipe is adapted from Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate cake.
The rest of the recipe I whisked together.