This show-stopping Oreo cake recipe features moist chocolate cake layered with rich Oreo buttercream frosting. Perfect for any special occasion!
Calling all Oreo lovers! This chocolate Oreo cake recipe isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re an Oreo connoisseur I guarantee you’ll love it.
This is an incredibly rich cake. The chocolate cake layers are made with buttermilk for added flavor and moisture.
The Oreo frosting contains 20 Oreos and because I can’t resist making my desserts extra chocolatey, I added a chocolate ganache drip to the top of the cake. The ganache is optional, but highly recommended.
You’ll definitely want to keep this easy but impressive cake recipe tucked up your sleeve for the next time an Oreo craving hits!
Ingredients for This Recipe
The ingredients list for this recipe looks long, but you likely have most of them on hand already. Let’s quickly review some of the key ingredients needed to make the chocolate cake layers and Oreo frosting.
- Buttermilk: Creates a soft and tender crumb, plus it makes for a moister cake. If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute in about five minutes.
- Instant espresso powder: Doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor. If you omit the espresso powder, you’ll still need to add the boiling water to the batter.
- Cocoa powder: I used unsweetened natural cocoa powder for this cake. Avoid using Dutch-processed cocoa powder, otherwise the cake layers won’t rise properly.
- Heavy cream: Makes for an even richer, creamier frosting. Feel free to substitute with whole milk, if desired.
- Oreos: You’ll need 20 regular Oreos to make the frosting. Use the entire cookie, no need to scoop out the filling beforehand!
How to Make an Oreo Cake
This recipe has three components: the chocolate cake layers, the Oreo buttercream frosting, and the optional chocolate ganache drip. Make sure to let the cake layers cool completely before assembling the cake!
- Prep the cake pans: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Grease three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the chocolate cake: First, you’ll whisk together the dry ingredients, followed by the wet. The batter will be quite thick at this point. Then, stir the espresso powder into the boiling water. Add the water to the batter and stir to combine.
- Bake the cake layers: Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely: Once the cake layers are finished baking, wait 20 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack. Let the cake layers cool completely before frosting.
After the cake layers have cooled completely, it’s time to mix together the Oreo frosting:
- Mix the butter and powdered sugar together: Beat the butter until smooth, then add the powdered sugar. The frosting uses quite a bit of sugar, so I recommend adding just 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time.
- Add the remaining ingredients: Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Then, add the crushed Oreos. I like to crush mine using a food processor or blender.
Once the frosting is fully mixed together, you can assemble the cake:
- Before assembling the cake, I recommend leveling the tops of each cake layer. You can do this with a cake leveler or a knife.
- Dollop a spoonful of frosting onto the center of a cardboard cake round or cake stand. This prevents the cake from sliding around while you frost it!
- Place the first cake layer in the center of the cake stand. Spread roughly 1 cup of frosting over top of it. I like to use an angled spatula to do this.
- Place the second cake layer upside down on top of the frosted layer. Add another cup of frosting and spread it over top.
- Repeat the layering process with the third and final cake layer. Make sure it’s also been flipped upside down so that the very top of the layer cake is smooth.
- Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the layer cake. An angled spatula makes this so much easier to do, but a knife works too.
- Chill the cake: This helps the frosting set before piping the chocolate ganache drip on top.
- Make the chocolate ganache drip: This step is optional, but it makes for a lovely presentation. I have a more detailed post on how to make chocolate ganache here.
- Add extra frosting and garnishes: Finish the cake with dollops of any remaining frosting, and nestle a whole Oreo cookie into each swirl of frosting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can This Recipe Be Made as Cupcakes?
If you’d like to make Oreo cupcakes, I recommend following my chocolate Oreo cupcake recipe instead. It’s very similar to this recipe, but scaled down to make 16 to 18 cupcakes.
Can a Different Cake Flavor Be Used?
If you’d rather not make a chocolate Oreo cake, you could use my white cake base instead. You may bake that recipe in three 8-inch round pans for roughly the same amount of time.
What Type of Oreos Should Be Used?
I recommend using regular Oreos. You’ll want to use the entire cookie, filling and all.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Unfrosted cake layers can be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to two days. The frosting may be prepared one to two days in advance and refrigerated as well. Once frosted and assembled, the cake can be refrigerated for up to four days.
Note that the unfrosted cake layers and Oreo frosting can be frozen for up to three months in separate containers. Make sure to store them in airtight containers if freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring the frosting to room temperature before assembling the cake.
- I prefer to refrigerate my cake layers before frosting the cake. This will make the layers firmer and easier to work with.
- You will be using the whole Oreos in the frosting, no need to remove the filling!
- A squeeze bottle works really well for adding the ganache drip, but you can use a piping bag with the end snipped off or a spoon if you prefer.
- After you’ve finished leveling the cake layers, you can save the cake scraps and a little frosting to make cake pops later on!
More Oreo Desserts to Make!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (250 grams)
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (65 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar (200 grams)
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil (120 ml)
- 1 cup buttermilk (240 ml)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water (240 ml)
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder optional but recommended
Oreo Buttercream Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter softened (4 sticks; 450 grams)
- 6 cups powdered sugar (720 grams)
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream or milk (60 ml)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 20 regular Oreos finely crushed (I recommend using a blender or food processor)
Chocolate Ganache Drip
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped (113 grams)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream (120 ml)
- To make the chocolate cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined.
- Add the oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined, the batter should be thick like brownie batter.
- Add the instant espresso powder to the cup of boiling water and mix until fully dissolved. Add to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined and smooth, the batter will be very thin.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pans for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of each cake layer in the pan then carefully remove the cakes from the pans (peel off the parchment paper, if needed) and place on the wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the Oreo buttercream frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth.
- Mix in 2 cups (240 grams) of powdered sugar at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition.
- Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on medium speed until the mixture is well combined and creamy.
- Add the Oreo crumbs and mix on low-medium speed until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- To assemble the cake: Level the tops of each cake layer with a knife or cake leveler.
- Add a tablespoon of buttercream to the center of a cardboard cake round or a cake stand to help the cake stick to the surface.
- Place the first layer of cake onto your work surface. Scoop ¾ cup to 1 cup of frosting onto the first layer of cake and spread it around into one even layer with an angled spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Place the second cake layer upside down on top of the frosted cake layer. Spread another ¾ cup to 1 cup of frosting on top and spread it around into one even layer.
- Place the third cake layer upside down on top of the frosted cake layer. Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. If piping some decorations on top, reserve 1 to 1 ½ cups of frosting for later.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator and let it chill while you prepare the ganache.
- To make the ganache (optional): Add the chopped chocolate to a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to a microwave safe bowl (or a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't bubble over in the microwave.
- Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Start stirring slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue stirring in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture has cooled and thickened slightly.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Add the ganache to a piping bag or a squeeze bottle (or simply use a spoon) and add drips all around the top edge of the cake. Add the remaining ganache on top and spread it around into one even layer.
- Allow the ganache to firm up slightly, then pipe the reserved frosting on top of the cake. Top with additional Oreos, if desired.