The Best Thing I Ever Made: Oreo Birthday Cake

Posted by & filed under buttercream, cake, chocolate, Ghirardelli, Oreo.

Have you ever watched that Food Network show featuring celebrity chefs who recount some of the best things they ever made? You definitely have. I bet you sat there and thought to yourself, “How obnoxious. They’re trained culinary wizards. Everything they make is the BEST!” Right?

Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s only obnoxious if you don’t share. And, since we’re sharing…

I love, love, love my Dad. I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I have a really long commute to and from work. Put all three of these together, and you have the inspiration for the best thing I ever made. 

You see, my Dad had a big birthday this year, and I wanted to do something special. (If you’re reading this, Dad, you don’t look a day over 45!) Given that his favorite dessert is cookies and cream ice cream, I knew it had to be an Oreo-inspired masterpiece. That, plus access to Pinterest — along with plenty of time to kill — led me to Beantown Baker’s Triple Layer Oreo Cake.

So, I plotted my plan of attack: I would make the chocolate cake layers two days ahead and the vanilla cake layer, Oreo filling and frosting the night before. I gathered all of the necessary ingredients and went to work putting together this mountain of completely awesome decadence. 

In the end, I changed up a few things. (By now you know it’s not in TRB’s nature to follow any recipe to the letter!) I left the Oreo pieces out of the chocolate cake, as I really wanted to keep it simple and pure — sort of like the chocolate cookie of an Oreo. I also ditched the cup of hot coffee in favor of instant coffee granules, which led me to add some water to the batter to compensate for the lack of liquid. I used a whole egg instead of egg whites in the vanilla cake. I substituted reduced fat (Neufchatel) cream cheese for the full-fat version in the Oreo cream filling. And, at the very last minute, I subbed out the frosting for Ghirardelli’s chocolate buttercream. (A great call!)

I’m thrilled to report that Dad thoroughly enjoyed his birthday cake, as did the entire family. (Even my brother-in-law-to-be went back for seconds — and he doesn’t usually eat cake!) My sister has already made a request to celebrate her birthday in November with this cake. Who knows? By then, something else may rank as the best thing I ever made, but for now, I’m happy for it to take top honors. 

Oreo Birthday Cake
(Original recipe from Beantown Baker and modified by TRB)

Yields approx. 20 generous servings

Chocolate Layers
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup reduced fat buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
3/4 cup to 1 cup water (depending on consistency)

1. Prepare two 8-inch round pans: Grease, line with parchment paper, grease and flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. 

3. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee granules.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until well incorporated. Add water to gradually loosen the dough until it has consistency of cake batter. 

5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely.  (*Note: At this point, I allowed my cakes to cool, wrapped them up in parchment and aluminum foil, and stored them in plastic bags to assemble the cake the next day). 

Vanilla Oreo Layer
1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 package of Oreos, chopped into quarters

1. Prepare an 8-inch round cake pan: Grease, line with parchment paper, grease and flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and combine.

2. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until all ingredients are incorporated. Carefully fold in the Oreos. 

3. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before assembling.  

Oreo Cream Filling
(*Note: I doubled this recipe because I sliced the chocolate cakes in half to create a total of five layers. If you want to just stack the three cakes, the regular amount of this filling as seen in Beantown Baker’s post should do). 

8 oz. softened reduced fat cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 package of Oreos, chopped into quarters

Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipping cream until smooth. Gradually add the rest and beat until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream. Gently fold in Oreos. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake. 

Ghirardelli Chocolate Buttercream
(*Note: I doubled this recipe too because I wanted a massive amount of chocolate buttercream piled atop this cake!)

1 and 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the butter in a bowl with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar, cocoa and vanilla, alternating with milk, and beat until well incorporated. 

To assemble the cake:

1. Slice chocolate layers in half. Stack one chocolate layer on a cake plate. Top with 1/4 of the Oreo filling. Stack next chocolate layer. Repeat with another 1/4 of Oreo filling. 

2. Stack vanilla cake layer next. Top with 1/4 Oreo filling. 

3. Repeat with remaining chocolate halves and Oreo filling. 

4. Top with chocolate buttercream. Decorate with Oreos or candy, as desired.

This labor of love was soooo worth it. Will you give it a try? Post a comment below.

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