My Dad remarked over beef rendang, which incidentally, I had stirred religiously all afternoon, that my baking on here was a little “over the top”.
This post is not so much as to assure him that that is entirely the point of my baking, but rather to enforce the idea that layer cakes are neither hard nor time consuming. I can assure you I spent more time thinking about making this than I actually did in the preparation.
I’ve learned a few tips with layer cakes – and these are neither novel nor necessary, but they certainly make life easier:
- Read the recipe so you know what you’re getting into before the get go. I don’t mean cast your eye over it – layer cakes take patience and planning in order to be fuss free.
- Have two days to prepare – it’s so much easier to prep cake and topping decorations the day prior to putting it all together.
- Unless you’re using a sponge or light/fluffy textured cake, butter cakes and mud cakes are ideal for wrapping in cling film when cooled and storing in the freezer (for weeks, even!) until ready to decorate. This makes them vastly sturdier and less of a liability re: crumbs, especially in summer heat!
- Don’t skimp on frosting – if anything, make extra. The stress of trying to cover a cake neatly is bad enough without rations being enforced.
- Purchase a proper spatula for smoothing your icing (I found mine at the supermarket, brilliant!) if you like a tidy finish.
- Sprinkles save all things.
After all that is said – this cake had the best effort:aesthetic/taste payoff ratio of any so far. The cake itself is a simple chocolate mud cake with crushed Oreos through, the filling an absolute dupe for the filling of Oreos themselves and the icing I’ve actually modified from what I used myself to be a buttercream with sour cream to offset the sweetness of the entire thing. I don’t think anyone needs a proper reason to eat Oreos, but a celebration or occasion might just be the perfect excuse.
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Makes 1 large layer cake:
Chocolate mud cake:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups cake/high grade flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup full fat sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup hot coffee
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/3 of a box of Oreos, crushed either in a food processor or by hand
Oreo cream filling:
- 60g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 60g shortening (I used Kremelta)
- 2 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate sour cream frosting:
- 100g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 70g sour cream
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup cream
- 7 additional Oreo cookies, crushed to decorate
- Sprinkles/pink sugar pearls/edible glitter/daisies
- Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350F/175C. Grease and line 2 9 inch cake tins with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cocoa powder, sugar, cake flour, baking soda, and salt together on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla and blend to combine.
- Stir in the hot coffee, followed immediately by the milk chocolate chips and crushed Oreos.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Ideally, wrap the cakes in cling film and freeze overnight.
- When the cake is cool (or the following day), make the Oreo Cream Filling. In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening together on high speed until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with the milk/cream and vanilla. The filling will be very thick, but you may add more milk/cream if you prefer. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Make the chocolate butter cream to then have on hand to complete decorating. In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until fluffy. Add the sour cream and beat on high until well combined. Beat in the cocoa powder and vanilla on low speed, then add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with the milk/cream. The buttercream will be thick. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- To assemble the cake, place the bottom cake layer on your serving stand/plate and then top with the Oreo cream filling until evenly covered. Place the second cake layer on top.
- Cover the cake and filling with a thin layer of the chocolate sour cream frosting as a “crumb coat”. Refrigerate to dry this out for 20 minutes or so, before covering with most of the remaining icing, leaving a little under a cup for piping. Do this with an offset spatula for a smooth finish.
- To decorate mine (rather elaborately), I covered the sides of the cake with further Oreo crumbs (around 6 cookies), leaving one from the sleeve whole for the centrepiece. I then covered the border of the top of the cake with sprinkles, sugar pearls, daisies and edible glitter. Using a round edged tip, I piped the border of the cake top for neatness. I finished the cake with a sprinkle of the remaining crumbs in the very centre, topped with a whole Oreo. I think I am more proud of the fact I achieved such an aesthetically pleasing feat in the scorching weather than I am of the cake being very, very edible.