This big chocolate Oreo drip cake is perfect for birthdays and celebrations. It’s also much easier than it looks! The Oreos do most of the work for you (sadly not literally) and it tastes delicious!
✏️ Recipe creation
I'm such a big Oreo lover (an all-time favorite cookie!), that I jumped at the chance to make an easy cookies n cream birthday cake using Oreo cookies.
I'm also pretty chocolate-obsessed, so having deliciously soft layers of chocolate sponge cake and a chocolate ganache drip was the perfect combination.
The homemade chocolate cake recipe uses vegetable oil (or canola oil) to keep the sponges moist for a long time, just like in my best-ever chocolate orange fudge cake.
It also uses a rich cocoa powder for an intense chocolate flavor, which is enhanced by the use of hot coffee (or instant coffee in hot water) to activate the cocoa powder. This also keeps the moist chocolate cake from drying out and makes the sponges stay super soft and crumbly!
The American style Oreo buttercream frosting is so addictive too. There are little pieces of Oreo cookie to give it texture, whilst the buttercream frosting is extra heavenly with the added heavy cream.
🥘 Ingredients notes
- As with many of my baking recipes, I recommend starting with room temperature ingredients for this homemade chocolate Oreo drip cake. This will improve the consistency and ease at which your ingredients will mix together.
- Using high-quality ingredients for this Oreo cake recipe really makes a difference to your cake's taste. I love using Callebaut dark chocolate in this recipe - such a delicious and intense chocolate flavor and so easy to melt and use.
- I'd always recommend using vanilla extract over vanilla essence where possible, as it has a much purer vanilla flavor.
- Always sieve your flour, confectioners sugar (also called icing sugar or powdered sugar) and cocoa powder. I used to be a bit lazy and skip this part, but it really makes such a difference to get you a lump-free cake batter.
- When measuring your ingredients, I always recommend using weights rather than cups where possible for greater accuracy. This is especially important for the amount of flour.
🔪 Equipment notes
- When I make this chocolate Oreo drip cake as a three-layer cake, I usually use three round 8-inch cake pans. I used fixed cake pans not loose-based or springform as it's quite a liquid cake batter.
- I like to use digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easier and more accurate than other scales. I'm a fan of KitchenAid or Salter ones!
- It’s also good to use measuring spoons for your teaspoon and tablespoon amounts, as your standard teaspoon and tablespoon that you use to eat with won't be the correct volume. When using measuring spoons, make sure the scoops filled with your ingredients are levelled before adding them to your mix.
- If you're planning to use a stand mixer, I would recommend using the paddle attachment to make your chocolate cake batter and Oreo buttercream frosting. You can also get great results using a hand mixer if you don't have a stand mixer.
- I'd recommend that you scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl to ensure a more even mix when using a stand mixer.
- I usually use a low speed on the stand mixer for this cake batter as it's very liquid.
- For the Oreo buttercream frosting, I use a medium speed on the stand mixer.
- If you're looking for smooth tops on your cake layers, you can use cake baking belts, sometimes called cake strips, when baking your cakes.
🍱 Cake storage
Once decorated and finished, it's best to place your Oreo drip cake into an extra-large airtight container. Your chocolate Oreo cake should keep for several days in storage at room temperature.
However, if it's hot where you live (lucky you!), you may want to store your cake in the fridge instead.
If you want to freeze your cake, you can wrap the unfrosted chocolate cake layers in plastic wrap / cling film and then a layer of aluminium foil then freeze them. Your buttercream frosting can also be frozen in an airtight container. Both should keep for 1-2months in the freezer. Defrost and use as normal per recipe. The buttercream may need to be beaten again to whip up to nice and fluffy before use in frosting your Oreo cake.
I’m a pretty busy person, and I’m sure you are too! So, if you’re short on time, I recommend making the chocolate cake sponges in advance. You can bake the chocolate sponges 2-3 days before use and keep them wrapped up in cling film/plastic food wrap in the fridge. This is a pretty moist recipe so your sponges shouldn’t get a chance to dry out.
💭 Top tips
- I find that the best way to mix your ingredients for the cake batter is to slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. This will help to reduce the lumps in your mixture and means you'll be less likely to overbeat your chocolate cake batter.
- When making cakes with raising agents (i.e. using self-raising flour, baking powder, baking soda, etc.) such as this chocolate Oreo drip cake, try to not over-mix your cake batter. The texture of your cake will be dense rather than a light and airy sponge.
- Don’t open the oven mid-bake. You’ll have probably heard this advice before, but it’s such an important factor that it bears repeating. I’ve been there before and nobody likes a cake with a sinkhole!
- Once your cake layers have baked, it's best to leave them in the cake tin to cool for 10mins before removing them from the cake pan onto a wire rack to cool. This speeds up the cooling process and stops your cake from baking further trapped in the hot tin.
- The sponges may look a little like a brownie-cake hybrid when they're done. They'll probably crack a little on top, look a little moist and be firm to touch rather than super springy. This is normal for this type of chocolate fudgy moist cake!
- If you get any peaked/cracked tops to your cakes, you'll need to cut these off to get a nice flat and smooth cake layer.
Oreo buttercream tips:
- When making your american buttercream, make sure to use room temperature butter. Beat this by hand, stand mixer or electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy. It could just be me, but this always seems to take longer than I think. It should be several minutes of beating the butter if using an electric handheld mixer or stand mixer. This will give you creamy and light Oreo buttercream frosting.
- To crush your Oreos for the buttercream, and the Oreo cookie border if using, I usually use a food processor. However, if you don't have one you can always crush them using a pestle and mortar or even putting them in a plastic bag and bashing them with a rolling pin.
- In order to decorate your Oreo cake, it's much easier if you have a cake turntable, tall cake scraper and an offset spatula. That way you can create smooth sides to your cake much easier.
Chocolate ganache drip tips:
- One of my top tips for this Oreo drip cake is not to let the chocolate ganache cool too much. If it’s too cold, it won’t drip properly, but will more likely just sludge about. This is important as your cake should be cold when you come to add the ganache drip, and this would cool your ganache even further. Depending on how hot it is that day, you should leave your ganache to set at room temperature for 10-20mins.
- If your ganache is too cold, heat it in the microwave for 10secs at a time until it’s runny enough to drip smoothly from your spoon.
- To create a beautiful drip effect, use a regular teaspoon (not a measuring spoon) to create little blobs of ganache around the edge of the top of your cake first. Be sure to do a test drip to see if the temperature/consistency is good first. Your test drip should run down the sides but not hit the bottom. After doing the drip edges, then you can fill in the top. You’ll need less ganache than you think for this!
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
For this tasty celebration cake, I usually use regular Oreos. However, you can try this cake with different flavors and types - check out the Oreo range. Double-stuffed Oreos would make your buttercream even more creamy for example. Or the birthday cake variety would add some cute colors and sprinkles!
For extra Oreo joy, you can also add some Oreo cookies between the layers of sponge cake. Or how about adding chocolate chips into your cake batter! Yum!!
I usually use plain all-purpose flour in this cake recipe, but alternatively, you can swap plain all-purpose flour for self-raising flour of the same quantity (340g for a standard-sized birthday cake) and swap the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder for only 3 teaspoon of baking powder.
When I make this chocolate Oreo drip cake as a three layer cake, I usually use three round 8 inch cake pans. However, if you only own two 8 inch cake pans, you can split your cake batter evenly between these two and cake for an extra 5-10mins. Cut each of your sponges in half to give you four layers to your celebration cake instead. You may need to increase the amount of buttercream frosting you use, or make sure to use it a bit more sparingly between the layers.
I usually use a teaspoon to make the ganache drip on this cake. However, you can also use a squeeze bottle, like the ones they use for sauces and condiments, or a piping bag with a small round piping tip.
Cake decorating ideas:
I usually decorate my chocolate Oreo drip cake with big fluffy swirls of Oreo buttercream frosting in a ring on top of the cake and whole Oreos pressed into each swirl. I also like making a border at the bottom of the cake with Oreo crumbs.
Instead, you can decorate your cake simply, by sprinkling crushed Oreos over the top of your ganache topping. I sometimes do this if I needed more Oreo frosting for the outside of the cake than I realised. It is a pretty big layer cake after all!
Another cake decorating idea is to use melted chocolate to drizzle over the top of the cake, either over the buttercream swirls or just over the ganache. I reckon white chocolate would look great for this.
🧁 Other goodies
If you're as obsessed with a delicious drip-effect cake as I am, then take a look at my recipe for a banana walnut drip cake.
Or how about my favourite birthday cake recipe - Biscoff drip cake with Biscoff buttercream.
Or if you’d like to hear about our latest recipes, why not subscribe to our newsletter?
Oreo Drip Cake
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- 75 g (½ cups) dark chocolate
- 190 ml (¾ cups) vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower oil)
- 3 eggs
- 375 ml (1 ⅔ cups) milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 500 g (2 ¼ cups) caster sugar (golden or white)
- 75 g (1 cups) cocoa powder
- 340 g (2 ¾ cups) plain / all-purpose flour (see notes for self-raising flour swap)
- 2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 260 ml (1 cups) hot coffee (or 3tsp instant coffee dissolved into 260ml / 1 cup hot water)
- 175 g (1 cups) Oreos (2 packs/310g Oreos total if using extra for optional decorations)
- 360 g (1 ⅓ cups) unsalted butter (room temp.)
- 635 g (5 ⅓ cups) confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
- 65 g (⅓ cups) heavy cream (e.g. double cream)
- 1-2 tablespoon milk (optional, depending on consistency)
Chocolate Ganache Drip:
- 60 g (⅓ cups) dark chocolate
- 90 g (⅓ cups) heavy cream (e.g. double cream)
- Pre-heat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave (15-30 secs at a time) and stir until smooth.
- Add the oil into the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla together, then pour the chocolate-oil mixture into this, mixing until fully combined.
- In a different bowl, sieve the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and baking powder, whisking together until fully mixed.
- Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring together as you pour until just combined. There may be a few small lumps left, but that’s ok.
- Slowly add the hot coffee to the mixture, stirring as you pour until only just combined. The cake mix will be very liquid.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between three lined cake tins and bake for 30-35mins, until the sponges no longer wobble, are firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the sponges to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.
- In a food processor or blender, blitz up the 175g Oreos (plus an optional extra 5 Oreos if using for a crumb border), for 1-2mins until you get small crumbs. Set aside 5 tablespoons for the crumb border if using.
- Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
- Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined, then repeat this with the remaining half of icing sugar.
- Once fully combined, add the cream and crushed Oreos and beat until just smooth.
- Set aside for later roughly ⅕ of the buttercream into a piping bag for the swirls on top.
- Once the sponges have cooled completely, cut off any peaks to give smooth flat tops on your layers.
- Spread a thick layer of the buttercream onto one sponge and sandwich a second sponge layer on top.
- Add another thick even layer of buttercream on top of the second sponge, and then place the third sponge upside-down on top of this.
- Smooth a thick layer of buttercream on top of the cake and around the edges, smoothing and scraping until your cake has a relatively thin and neat outside coating. Refrigerate for 30mins.
- Add the remaining buttercream to the top and outside of the cake, smooth using a spatula and scraper.
- Add the set-aside Oreo crumbs around the bottom of the cake and press in gently with the back of a spoon. Put the cake back into the fridge while you make the ganache.
Chocolate Ganache and Decorations:
- Heat the cream over a double-boiler or in the microwave (15-30 secs at a time), until hot but not boiling.
- Break the chocolate up into pieces and pour the hot cream over it. Let it sit for 5mins and then stir until smooth.
- Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature for 10-20mins, until the ganache is still runny but has cooled and thickened slightly.
- Remove your cake from the fridge. Dip a teaspoon in your ganache and test a drip at the top edge of your cake. If this creates a thick line and only runs partway down the side, you’re good to go. If it hits the bottom, refrigerate your ganache for 5mins and try another test drip. Repeat until your test drips are to your liking.
- Drip ganache from your spoon at the edges of your cake until you have enough drips. Then fill in the middle of your cake top, smoothing gently with an offset spatula until you get an even layer.
- Using the buttercream set aside previously, and your 1M tip and piping bag, pipe big swirls onto the top of the cake in a ring and place an Oreo on top of each swirl.
- If you only have 2 cake tins, split the cake mix evenly across these and cook for 35-40mins instead. Cut these cakes in half to give 4 layers instead of the 3.
- When cutting the tops of your cake, keep the offcuts for use in other recipes, such as cake pops or for decorating.
- You can swap the plain flour in this recipe for self-raising flour of the same quantity, and replace the baking soda and baking powder with only 3 teaspoon of baking powder instead.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
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