Sunday was a day for tears, for long goodbye hugs, runny mascara and tear-stained t-shirts on the east coast. Monday was a day for travel, filled with taxi cabs and airplane food, cramped-up legs and some minor jet lag on the west coast. And today, well, today is a day for celebrating.
Not only is today, March 6th, my first official day as a person who lives in San Francisco, but it’s also the birthday of two of my very favorite things: Katie Gro and Oreo cookies. KGro is my curliest-haired (some say identical) cousin, a lover of high heels, yoga and scotch, and the best, truest, most selfless friend you could have. Happy birthday, KGro!
And then there’s milk’s favorite cookie, the classic and unmatched Oreo. Today, the Oreo turns one hundred years old. One hundred! I’ve been eating Oreos since birth, I’m pretty sure, and they are by far my favorite packaged cookie. Do I consider the Oreo a sweet and special friend, on par with my KGro? No. Do I consider the Oreo a sweet a special friend, always there for me in times of happiness, sadness and excess milk? Absolutely. Happy birthday, Oreos!
California. KGro. Oreos. So many things to celebrate! To help, I thought a cake might be in order, a chocolate one with Oreo-flecked buttercream. Happy happy, everybody.
Cookies & Cream Cake
Adapted from Desserts for Breakfast
- 3 cups (600 grams) sugar
- scant 3 cups (425 grams) AP flour
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (135 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup hot coffee
- 4 egg whites (150 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams)
- 4 sticks butter (450 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sleeves Oreo cookies (roughly 25 cookies), blitzed to fine crumbs in a food processor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter, flour and line two 9″ round cake pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, from sugar through baking soda. In a different bowl, whisk eggs, oil, and milk together until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir incorporate, until batter begins to come together. Add the coffee, stirring gently and sparingly until batter becomes smooth.
Divide cake batter between pans (you will have a bit too much batter — fill cake pans just over halfway, and save the leftover batter for a small loaf cake or chocolate chip muffins/cupcakes), and bake until cakes have risen and pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool in pans, then carefully invert cakes and finish cooling on a rack. Once cool, wrap in plastic and place cakes in the freezer to chill until ready to cut and fill.
To make buttercream, place a small pot of water on the stove to simmer (we’re making Swiss buttercream here). Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a large metal bowl (I used the bowl for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer), and place on top of simmering water, continuing to whisk vigorously, until the mixture is just warm to the touch, and the sugar has virtually dissolved in the egg (the mixture should feel smooth, not grainy on your finger).
Remove the bowl from the water bath, and lock into the bottom of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (alternately, use a handheld mixer with whisk attachments). Beat the mixture until it doubles in size and becomes opaquely white and glossy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla. Continue to beat the meringue while slowly adding the butter, one or two tablespoons at a time, until the buttercream comes together — this is going to take awhile. Don’t worry, just keep whisking. It will come together. Once it does, beat it some more, until it lightens in color, from off-white to white. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the Oreo cookie crumbs. You are ready to frost.
Cut, fill and frost your cake. For a great video tutorial on just how, check this out (thanks, Zoe Francois!)
Enjoy as soon as possible! Keep leftovers wrapped tightly in the refrigerator.
Makes 1 four layer, 8″ round cake.