Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy Cookies & Cream Cake {Recipe}

My boys - and my husband - went away to scout camp for the weekend... I wanted to surprise them with a treat when they got home.
But... as (un)luck would have it, I was also without a car for the weekend while one was in the shop. I needed to make something with what we had at home. And I didn't have the camera, either, so that meant I couldn't take many pictures of the process.

What You Need:
For the Cake:
1 Chocolate Cake Mix* or Chocolate Cake Recipe
1-2 packages Oreo Cookies

For the Icing:
(This recipe is adapted from the Tasty Kitchen blog.)
5 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup butter (unsalted) - at room temperature
1 cup sugar (not powdered sugar)

*Note: You need the cake mix and the ingredients to make the batter. I always "doctor up" the cake batter, using milk and melted butter in the place of the water and oil.

Make the Cakes
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F).
Line two 8-9" round cake pans with parchment paper, and grease the sides.
Arrange a single layer of Oreo (or other chocolate sandwich) cookies on the bottom of the pan.
(Click the link to see more about the "Bake Even Strips" around the outside of my pans to help the cakes bake flat on the top.)

Prepare the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly over the cookies, and bake according to the pan/recipe directions. (Mine baked for 35 minutes.)

Let cool completely.

Make the Icing:
This is the first time I've tried this icing. I'm not 100% in love with it, but I have to say that the response to the cake from my family tells me that I should give it another try.
The icing is very, very fluffy. It's actually very similar to my Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but a little easier to make. 
As mentioned above this recipe is adapted from one on Tasty Kitchen. Also, I didn't take any photos because my camera was away at camp, as well.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, slowly whisk in the flour, one Tablespoon at a time. Place the pan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, allow the mixture to thicken to the consistency of thick pudding. (It took me about 10 minutes.)
Add vanilla, then set aside to cool COMPLETELY. (I'd say at least an hour at room temperature.) Seriously wait for it to cool. Trust me, I tried it before it was totally cool, and the icing turned to soup. I had to then wait another hour before I could mix up the icing.

When the milk/flour mixture is cool, cream together the butter and sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add the cooled milk mixture, and whip on high speed until the icing is fluffy and holds stiff peaks. (I can't tell you how long this should take, since I was impatient and added the milk when it was too warm.)

*Note: You will have 1-2 cups of icing leftover, but a smaller batch (the original recipe) wouldn't have been enough for us.

Decorate the Cake
Level both layers of the cake using a bread knife or cake leveler.
Crush about 1/2 package of Oreos (12 cookies or so).
Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the icing, and add about 1/4 cup of crushed cookies. Mix well.
Place one of the cakes on a cake plate, with the Oreos on the bottom. Spread the mixed icing around the top of the bottom cake layer.
Add the second cake layer upside down on to the bottom layer - with the Oreos on the top.

Spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake. (Click the link to see my How To Cover a Cake with Icing Tutorial.)

Place the iced cake onto a cooling grid, and press the Oreo crumbs on to the sides. (I used a cooling grid so that I could get more of the crumbs that fall off of the cake.)

I added some swirls along the top and bottom borders of the cake, and a rosette of icing for the cookie on top to rest on.

The cake got RAVE reviews from my kids and my husband. One boy even called it "The Best Cake Ever!" (And that's saying something because they pretty much like them all!)

I have a feeling I'll be making this again soon... so I can add some more photos then. But I just had to share this recipe now so that you can try it!! You'll get big hugs!

Click the Link Below to See:
How to Make Cake Mix Taste Homemade
How to Make a Sprinkle-Covered Cake (different technique than I used here)
More Chocolate Recipes and Ideas

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