Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Oreo Cake

Happy belated birthday, Rachel!  My roommate turned 21+2 last week, so I made her a birthday cake that combines some of her favorite things: chocolate and Oreos.  The result was one scrumptious cake.
A slice of cake.

It's scary how quickly a whole cake can disappear...

Chocolate Oreo Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 cups water

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly oil two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

Next, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a whisk until thoroughly combined.  Create a well in the center of the bowl and add the wet ingredients.  Whisk until just combined and then pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out clean.  Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.  Once the cake is nearly cool, begin making the frosting. 

Chocolate Oreo Frosting
  • 1 cup vegan butter (at room temperature)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup soymilk, plus more as needed
  • 2/3 package double-stuffed Oreos, crushed
In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until smooth.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and beat for two minutes.  Then add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and soymilk and beat on high until combined.  Continue to beat, slowly adding more soymilk as needed, until the frosting becomes very smooth and fluffy (since you'll be adding Oreos, you want the frosting to be less stiff at this point than you'd like it to be at the end).  Finally, mix in the Oreos by hand.  

Once the cake is cool, you're ready to frost and assemble the layer cake.  Run a knife around the inside of each pan to loosen the cake.  Then turn one of the cake pans upside-down onto your cake plate or platter and tap the pan until the cake releases.  Remove the pan and frost the top of this layer of cake.  Then invert the second cake pan on another plate and tap the pan until the cake releases.  Re-invert this cake layer on top of the frosted cake layer and frost the top and sides of the cake. 

Yields one 9-inch layer cake.

We all loved this cake.  It's incredibly rich and chocolatey, and the Oreos add a really nice, subtle crunch to the frosting.  Simon described the frosting as almost fudge-like.  The cake was a little bit crumbly, but I think that's because I left it in the oven just a minute or two too long.    
No fancy ingredients here! 
 Ease of Preparation:         
Making a cake takes a bit of time, but there's no way around that.  The only place I ran into trouble was when I was frosting the cake: my frosting was a bit too thick to spread easily once I added in the Oreos (that's why I stressed making the frosting a bit thinner before adding the Oreos). 
Non-vegan friendliness:         
Seeing as I made this birthday cake for my non-vegan roommate, I'd say it's quite non-vegan friendly.  Plus, it's customizable!  You could use peanut butter Oreos, or birthday cake Oreos, or mint Oreos, or......


  1. Nom sauce! At what temperature is the water supposed to be? I've read that boiling water enhances the flavour of cocoa. Happy Birthday to Rachel!

    1. Interesting! I hadn't heard that about boiling water before, but I'll have to give it a try. I have heard that coffee does the same thing.

  2. a teaspoon of espresso powder deepens the chocolate flavor. According to America's Test Kitchen's Hershey's cocoa is best, beating out all the fancy brands in taste tests.

    1. It looks like I have my work cut out for me next time I make brownies: boiling water and espresso powder.

      And I wonder if taste tests in other countries would yield the same pro-Hershey results.

    2. espresso powder is easy to get, and keeps forever. I'm sure extra-American tastes in eating chocolate are different, but I'm not so sure about cocoa used in baking -- but I could be wrong. BTW, if you haven't seen it yet, you must read the article in the NYT Magazine about Christopher Kimball.

    3. Good point: it makes sense to distinguish between the taste of chocolate and cocoa. And thanks for the NYT suggestion--I haven't yet read it but I definitely plan to do so.