Cookies’n’Cream Chocolate Cake


It’s that time of year again.

The one time a year I make a layer cake.

Or, if I’m being honest, the one time a year I completely freak out in the kitchen while I’m watching cakes bake in the oven.


Last year, it was Nick’s birthday cake.

This year it happened because I had 5 oreo cookies left in the pantry after making dirt pudding and I couldn’t stop thinking about making cookies’n’cream cream cheese frosting. I mean, what else am I supposed to do with 5 oreos? It’s not enough to make more dirt pudding. It’s definitely not enough to make a bowl of cookie cereal. It had to be frosting.


Is that enough of a reason to bake a cake? I think so.

Maybe I’m getting better at this cake baking thing. Last time I made cakes, they overflowed in the oven, burned to the bottom, and I sloppily evened them out before slathering them with frosting.

This time? No overflows! They did sink a little in the middle, but there was more than enough frosting to cover that up.


Layer cakes still totally freak me out, though.

I’m pretty sure I won’t ever be able to put together a cake with more than 2 layers. I won’t go near fondant or anything else that requires any type of artistic skill or steady hands.

And I need cakes that don’t need to look perfect. Like this flowy ganache topping instead of a normal frosting. Me and crumb coats don’t mix well.


No fancy outside frosting. Just one layer to worry about being even….or mostly even. And 5 oreos that met a super delicious fate.


Cookies’n’Cream Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Makes: 12-16 servings



  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for coating pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fat free buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee


Cookies’n’Cream Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed

Chocolate Ganache for topping:

  • 10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp instant espresso
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread 1 Tbsp of softened butter into each of two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder in each cake pan, turning it around to let the cocoa coat the butter in the pan. Set aside.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until everything is combined.
  4. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs and egg white, and vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients. Pour in the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed together.
  6. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 30 minutes, then flip them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make the cookies’n’cream cream cheese frosting, whip the softened cream cheese with the butter for 2-3 minutes until the two are combined, light, and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat together until all the sugar is incorporated. Add the broken cookie pieces and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  8. To make the ganache, put your chocolate chips and instant espresso in a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small pot on the stovetop until it is beginning to bubble around the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before stirring, letting the chocolate melt. Once the mixture is completely smooth, let the ganache sit and cool for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Carefully put the second cake on top of the frosting.
  10. Pour the ganache over the entire cake, smoothing it out over the top so it flows over the sides of the cake.


  1. I am not sure I have ever wanted cake more than I do in this very moment….

    • if you hurry…you can have the last piece. but you have to beat us home, otherwise, my husband will finish it off.

  2. Layer cakes freak me out too but this one looks just perfect, you did a great job with it! Cookies and cream was always my favourite ice cream flavour so I think I’m going to have to try this cake next time I gather enough courage to tackle a cake…

  3. This cake looks awesome! Gotta love cookies and cream!

  4. I never thought I was a fan of cookies n’ cream but then I had some cookies n’ cream fro yo this past weekend and my mind was transformed. The cake looks fantastic!

  5. Whaaaaaat! I want to dive face first into that!!

  6. Gosh this looks SO good!!! You can never go wrong with the cookies ‘n’ cream combo!!

  7. Cookies and cream in a cake?! Amazing!

  8. I want this entire cake in my face immediately.

  9. This is gorgeous and it looks like the most moist cake. I want a great big slice right now. Love it!

  10. Omigosh this cake looks incredible, I’m literally salivating just staring at my computer. And pinned it IMMEDIATELY so I would remember to make this for my next party!

  11. Layer cakes *are* tough but the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll get at it! Yours looks gorgeous, so I doubt it would take very long before you’re a pro. I’m definitely craving that cake, love the cookies & cream frosting!

  12. Mmm, cookies and cream frosting. it’s funny, the things we get afraid of… layer cakes haven’t done that for me (maybe i just haven’t thought too much about it?), but i definitely have some things that get me anxious in the kitchen :)

  13. I was JUST thinking that I wanted to make a cake with a cookie dough layer! This looks so good, brilliant.

    • If you make a cake with a cookie dough layer AND it involves beer….I’m going to move in and just let you cook for me from now on. Deal?

  14. omg, i’m totally bookmarking this and making it so soon!! i love love it!! cookie dough layer – amazing!!

  15. Layer cakes freak me out too, but you totally rocked this! I love the cookies and cream layer, and the chocolate ganache on top!

  16. I promise more-than-two layer cakes are not that bad! Once you’ve got two, three is really no different. Definite awesome use of those five oreos! You made a rockstar decision. Obviously.

  17. I made cookies n’ cream frosting for the first time a few months ago…it was still absolute bliss! Everyday I have to resist urge to make a batch and eat it all by myself by the spoonful. ;-)

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  19. I’m making this cake tomorrow for my brothers birthday :D!!! It’s perfect!

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  22. Um, Why is this chocolate cake so good?! I have made this cake a few times now and I admit to diverting from the recipe (more cookies! and a dash of vanilla ,for example). I found the recipe a couple years ago on Google image search, searching for an Oreo cake and your photos showed exactly what I was looking for as far as texture and overall aesthetics are concerned. Also, I am a believer that any cake that calls for buttermilk….yup. Always a winner. So often chocolate cakes are too dry or too rich…This cake tastes (and feels) exactly like an Oreo/Nabisco Chocolate wafer cookie would if it were reincarnated as a happy, moist cake.
    Anyway, sorry for the long note. I can’t help it, I’m excited. I just now made the cake itself to freeze–because I don’t have time between today and thanksgiving (besides, it’ll be easier to work with that way)–and will assemble Wednesday night. FYI, I used 9″ rounds @ exactly 30″ and it is gorgeous. I’m ambitious, so I will cut them in half for a 4 layer cake. First Thanksgiving with the future in-laws. Wish me luck ;-)

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