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
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
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.
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.
In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs and egg white, and vanilla.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pour the ganache over the entire cake, smoothing it out over the top so it flows over the sides of the cake.