Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep? Happens to me more than I’d like, but often that’s when a lot of brainstorming takes place in my noggin.
Sometimes I’d rather be sleeping, but that’s when an idea pops in my head that makes me want to start baking a massive dessert at 3am. That happens to everyone… Right?
Well, that’s what started this…
The Ultimate Oreo Cake.
As I was laying in bed in the middle of the night desperately trying to fall back asleep, Oreos were dancing in my head. Then came the cheesecake. And the chocolate.
Oh, the chocolate.
The end result was a three layer decadent dessert made for dreams. Two moist layers of chocolate cake surrounding a thick and fluffy Oreo cheesecake, covered with Oreo Cream Cheese Icing, chocolate ganache, and little baby Oreos.
As my husband watched me layering all of this goodness together, he said, “Why would you want to ruin a cheesecake by adding cake to it?” I gawked at him. “That’s it, I’m locking you away in a padded room tied up in a straightjacket.”
It must not have been all that ruined since he ate an entire piece.
For the Chocolate Cake:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong coffee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl and whisk together to combine. Add liquid ingredients and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 1-2 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans, pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and let cakes cool in pans for 12-15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
For the Oreo Cheesecake:
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine 1 package cream cheese, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar. Beat at medium speed until combined. Add each package of cream cheese, beating after each one until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides. Add remaining sugar and continue to beat. Add vanilla and eggs, beat just until combined. Finally, add heavy cream and continue to beat just until the cream is mixed in with the cream cheese.
Spoon mixture into a 9 inch springform pan. Wrap aluminum foil around outside of pan twice, making sure the outside of the pan is fully covered. Place in a larger pan (I typically use a 12 inch round cake pan for this) and fill the larger pan with water, just until the water level comes halfway up the springform pan. Carefully place in oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, just until the middle is a little bit jiggly. Pull pans out of oven, remove springform pan from larger pan and place on a cooling rack for cheesecake to cool completely. When it has cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer overnight.
For the Oreo Cream Cheese Icing:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup Oreo cookies, crushed into crumbs (easiest to use electric food chopper or processor)
Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a medium size mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, continue to mix for another 3-4 minutes. Pour in Oreo cookie crumbs and beat for one more minute.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Dump chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl, set aside. Heat heavy cream in microwave safe dish in microwave for 45-60 seconds, until it just starts to boil. Pour over chocolate chips in bowl and whisk vigorously until chocolate melts.
Putting it all together:
Place one layer of chocolate cake on a cake board/stand. Spread a thin layer of icing on top of cake. Remove cheesecake from freezer and loosen the side. Carefully push the bottom up to remove from the side. Place a piece of wax paper on a hard surface (I typically use another cake pan) and turn top side of cheesecake down, so the bottom of the springform pan is facing up. Using a knife, loosen cheesecake from the pan all the way around. Since the cheesecake is frozen, it’s easier to handle. Once you remove the bottom of the springform pan from the cheesecake, place the cheesecake on top of the chocolate cake layer. Spread another thin layer of icing on top of cheesecake, then place other layer of chocolate cake on top. Cover the entire cake with the icing until smooth. Spread chocolate ganache on top, just pushing over the sides so it drips down. Place cake in refrigerator or freezer for the ganache to set. Pipe remaining icing on top, set baby Oreos on top of icing for added garnish. Store cake in airtight container in refrigerator for 3-5 days.