Say hello to the newest member of my cake collection: this beautiful black and white Oreo Cake! You’ll love this fluffy, made-from-scratch white cake peppered with cookie pieces and covered in a cookies & cream-style frosting (easy decorating tips included!). Notes are included in the recipe to make it as a two-layer or a three-layer cake, and a video is included!
Cookies & Cream Cake
I hope you’re not getting tired of seeing cakes around here! I’ve been on a roll recently… red velvet cake, bundt cake, lemon cake… and now today’s Oreo cake. All recipes with plush, soft, amazingly tender crumbs that are light, springy, fluffy… the adjectives could go on forever.
Cakes have always been such an endeavor for me to develop because a I am a cake perfectionist (OK, I’m a perfectionist with every recipe, my madeleines took about 600 attempts to get right). Cakes are just a little extra tricky because not only are there are so many teeny tiny adjustments that can be made to adjust the crumb, but it’s so important to me that I have a recipe that can be easily replicated in your own kitchen and you’ll get the same (flawless) results that I do every time.
In this instance that means a moist and soft cake that’s stable enough to stack and can be beautifully decorated by even the most novice cake decorator (🙋🏼♀️).
I definitely think I pulled that off with today’s recipe.
Fortunately, developing this cake was easier than usual because I borrowed heavily from my zebra cake. I loved the flavor and texture of that cake so much and its pristine white base was the perfect starting point for today’s Oreo cake.
For those of you who made the zebra cake (I hope you tagged me on Instagram if you did!), many of these tips will be repetitive, but since I know not everyone has seen that recipe I think they’re worth repeating. Starting with the egg whites…
Whipped Egg Whites
Whipping your egg whites separately is key for two reasons:
- Color. By eliminating the egg yolks, we keep the crumb of the Oreo cake a pristine white color, which contrasts nicely against the black cookie crumbs. I first dabbled with egg whites only when I developed my white cake recipe and was so impressed with the results I’ve used it over and over (and over and over).
- Most importantly, Texture. Whipped egg whites = light and fluffy texture. This cake is sturdy enough to be stackable but when you cut into it the crumb is still light and soft.
The photo above shows you what your egg whites should look like once they reach the “stiff peak” stage. This will take several minutes to achieve and I highly recommend using an electric mixer as doing this by hand would take a long time. Once finished, your egg whites will be billowy, opaque, and if you lift the beater directly out of the whites, the peak that forms holds its shape without dissolving back into the bowl or folding over itself.
Easy enough! Whipping to stiff peaks is simpler than many people think and it’s such an important technique to master. You’ll see it done over and over again in recipes like my meringue cookies, angel food cake, and even whipped cream. If you’ve ever felt intimidated by seeing those words in a recipe, now is the time to hone your skill. Watch the Oreo cake video in the recipe card for a detailed visual!
Reverse Creaming (Again)
As with my caramel cake, I make the Oreo cake batter by using the reverse creaming method. I’ve been on a kick with this method recently. It’s much harder to over-mix a cake that’s made using this technique, so it’s nice to be able to mix everything together without stressing about over-doing it.
Once you add your egg whites, though, do so with a gentle hand and use a spatula. Never use an electric mixer for this step.The whites should be thoroughly incorporated and there shouldn’t be any lumps, but mix too much and you deflate those whites you just spent all that time whipping air into!
Storing & Making in Advance
Oreo cake will keep for 1-2 days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator. (with or without frosting). It may also be made and frozen (in individual un-frosted layers or as a whole cake) for several months. Cake should always be stored in an airtight container, whether at room temperature or refrigerator. Wrap very well with plastic wrap if freezing.
The cream cheese frosting can be made up to a week in advance, just refrigerate in an airtight container and then let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes and stir well before using. Don’t add the additional cookie crumbs for the decorative swirls on top until you are ready to decorate.
- Just roughly break your Oreos for the cake batter. I do this by hand, though you can put them in a Ziploc bag and whack ’em with a rolling pin. Don’t make the pieces too small and don’t over-mix or you’ll end up with a cake that’s grey without discernible pops of cookie.
- Conversely, for the frosting, do pulverize the cookie to super-fine crumbs (use a food processor if you have one! I love this multi-tool for quick jobs like this!). Otherwise when you pipe the swirls on top, the cookie pieces will clog the piping tip. There is nothing more frustrating…
- When whipping your egg whites, do so in a completely clean, dry, and grease-free bowl. And don’t even get a tiny bit of yolk in there with the whites. Otherwise your whites may never reach stiff peaks.
- Over-mixing, over-baking (by even a minute or two) and over-measuring your flour will result in a cake that is dense, dry, or even one that tastes like cornbread. Avoid these things!
- My Oreo cake yields just a bit more batter than can fit in two standard 8″ or 9″ pans, which is why I make three layers. If you only want to make a 2 layer cake, don’t change the recipe, just only fill each cake pan 3/4 of the way full (no higher!) and discard the extra batter (or use it to make a couple of cupcakes or mini cupcakes!).
More Recipes to Try:
Oreo Cake (Cookies & Cream Cake!)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour¹ 315g
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400g
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature 85g
- ⅔ cup canola oil or vegetable oil 157ml
- ½ cup sour cream 120g
- 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract²
- ¾ cup whole milk room temperature preferred 175ml
- 6 large or extra large egg whites³, room temperature preferred (see note for suggestions on recipes to try with leftover egg yolks.)
- 20 Oreo cookies broken into pieces
Cream Cheese Frosting ⁴
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened (170g)
- 12 oz cream cheese softened (340g)
- 5 ¼ cup powdered sugar 655g
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream optional
- 10 Oreo cookies pulverized to fine crumbs (if any significant pieces remain they will clog your piping tip)
- Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans (see note 5 to make in two pans) by lining the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper and greasing the sides with baking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer) whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Turn mixer to low-speed and add butter, one tablespoon at a time, not adding the next tablespoon until the first is completely combined. When you’re finished, the mixture should resemble coarse sandy crumbs (see video above for visual).
- Add canola oil and stir until combined, then add sour cream and vanilla extract and stir on low-speed until completely combined. With mixer still on low-speed, add milk until combined.
- In a separate bowl that is completely clean, dry, and grease-free, use clean, dry beaters to beat egg whites to stiff peaks (I show a visual of this in the post above and in the video if it's your first time doing this!).
- Use a spatula to gently fold your whipped egg whites into batter (don’t overmix, but make sure there are no lumps of egg white remaining).
- Carefully fold in broken Oreo pieces. Divide batter evenly into prepared baking pans and transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops spring back if lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If your oven does not bake evenly you may need to rotate pans halfway through baking.
- Allow cakes to cool in pan for 15 minutes then carefully invert onto cooling rack and allow to completely cool before assembling and decorating.
Cream Cheese Frosting (makes enough to decorate cake as seen in photos)
- Prepare frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer or stand mixer until creamy and well-combined.
- Gradually add powdered sugar with mixer on low-speed (or see my video for a tip for adding all the sugar at once without making a mess!), scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and stir in salt and vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, add cream and gradually increase mixer speed to high. Beat for 15-30 seconds until light and smooth.
- Evenly ice cake (you'll only need approximately 2/3 of the icing for this), and once whole cake is covered in icing use your hands to press pulverized Oreo crumbs evenly halfway up the cake. Pour about 3-4 Tablespoons of remaining Oreo cookie crumbs into remaining frosting and stir to combine (you can adjust how many crumbs you'd like to use according to how light or dark you would like your frosting to be). Fit a large piping bag with Ateco 848 piping tip and fill with frosting. Pipe swirls around the top of the cake. Serve and enjoy.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Ermine Frosting ⁵Baking in two pans instead of three: This recipe can be made in two 8” or 9” round pans but only fill each pan ⅔-¾ of the way full and discard any extra batter, otherwise it will overflow in your oven. Two 8” pans will take approximately 35-40 minutes, and two 9” pans will take a bit less time. Keep in mind dark-colored pans typically take less time in the oven and light-colored pans usually require longer.