Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birthday Cake #3: Cookie Crumb Fudge Layer Cake (aka - the messiest cake ever!)

Now for the final event - the moment you've been waiting for.....  My third and final birthday cake!  Or as I've named it -- the messiest cake ever! 

It was so messy, I even had a casualty from baking it.  That's right I had to throw away a towel because it was so covered in cake and chocolate, I couldn't imagine it ever being clean again.

So Rest.In.Peace my dear kitchen towel - wasn't that a grand way to leave this earth?  Death by chocolate cake! 

And now for the recipe and disaster photos.  Then somehow I turned this MESSY cake into something quite amazing. 

Cookie Crumb Fudge Layer Cake

To make the cake:
(Makes 2 round 9-inch cakes, for a double layer)
3 cups of flour (I used organic, unbleached white)
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter
4 eggs
1/8 cup of vanilla extract
1 cup milk (I used 1%)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, place your flour, baking powder and the pinch of salt.  Mix well and let it sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together.  Then beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat for about two minutes.  Pour in the milk and beat until smooth. 

Pour the batter evenly into the two greased cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven.  The cake should pull away slightly from the sides and be lightly brown, like this:

While the cakes are baking, you can start the prep work for the frosting and filling. 

To make the vanilla butter-cream frosting:

3 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 cup of butter (2 sticks, I used Smart Balance)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 to 4 Tbsp of whipping cream (I used fat-free evaporated milk)

In a large bowl, place the sugar and butter together.  Mix on low speed until blended.  Then increase the speed to medium and continue beating for another 3 minutes.  Add in the vanilla extract and whipping cream (or milk) and beat for another minute.  It should be creamy and smooth like frosting.

Be sure the cakes have cooled for an hour or longer before you begin frosting.  I've made that mistake many times - became hungry and greedy and tried to frost too soon and then pulled off half the cake by frosting it! 
I actually let my cakes cool overnight this time.

After the cakes are well cooled, transfer them to a new container (Tupperware, or other cake holder) and place wax paper beneath it.  Then frost the cakes.  It's fun and pretty, well at least in the beginning anyway....

Since I made a double-layer cake, I now needed to make the filling to put in between the two cakes.  

To make the filling
1 package regular Oreo (or similar sandwich style) cookies, half of them should be pureed into crumbs (about 2 cups).  The other half should be smashed and broken into bits. 

Place your Oreos in a food processor as whole cookies, like this:

Then puree them into bits, like this:

Or you can be totally lazy and buy an already used package of Oreo cookie crumbs.  I think I may do that next time!  Less work, less mess!

Once you've smashed up and broken several Oreo cookies, you'll place them directly on the frosted cake.  So they are part of the cake "filling."  Here is what mine looked like and here is where the problem started:

When you put this much on your cake, it kind of makes the second layer on top of it become lop-sided and awkward, like this:

For some reason, this reminded me of a strange-looking hamburger.  But WAIT, IT GETS WORSE!

After I put the frosting on it, the cake looked like tooth decay, like a dirty mouth beginning to rot.  What do you think?  (see below photo)

I should have stopped here.  I really should have.  But I kept going.  And things just got MESSIER and MESSIER.

After I did my best of frosting the cake, now comes the never-ending trail of topping.

For the cake topping:
1 can of chocolate syrup (fudge topping) - I used Hershey's syrup
2 cups (or a bit less or more) of the Oreo cookie crumbs - the ones you already pureed

Now is the time to put a towel or two or ten under your cake.  After your cakes are frosted, gently and slowly pour the chocolate fudge over the cakes.  Or be a rebel and get it everywhere like I did....

Cover the cakes as best as you can with the fudge.  Curse if you need to as you're wiping up chocolate from the table.  Or down the wall.  Or just wherever.  Once it's black and chocolatey,  place the cakes in your freezer for an hour so it can harden.   This is an important step - don't skip it!  (Be sure ahead of time you have room in your freezer for it!)

You'll still need those towels below it in the freezer.  Check out how MESSY mine was.  You can see chocolate dripping from the sides and even on the door!  Sheesh!

Again, just when you think it's going to be easier, things go DOWNHILL once again.  Because after you have froze the cake and hardened the fudge for an hour, you are now going to sprinkle (or pour or dump) the Oreo cookie crumbs all over it. 

Don't get carried away, like I did.  See unbelievable picture below!

I MEAN HONESTLY - DID YOU EVER SEE SUCH A THING!?   My husband walked in at this point.  His jaw dropped; he shook his head and walked out.  There was no way he was entering my kitchen of shame. 

What could I do?  I had to prevail.  I was DETERMINED to make this cake wreck into cake edible! 

So after some yells, moans, groans and a roll of paper towels, I began wiping away all that excess cookie crumbs and fudge.  Wiping, wiping and cleaning away the edges of the cake. 

This is where I had to throw away my kitchen towel.  I'm going to share the photo once again..... I said a few nice words to it - gave it a proper funeral and all.

Then LO AND BEHOLD - the cake began to look presentable, even kind of beautiful too. 

Just look at it (below)!

I added a bit of the leftover frosting on the top and placed a single Oreo cookie on top.  Nice touch, huh?  I almost made it look professional!
What in the hell would it look like when I cut into it though?  Well, here's what it looked like:

Yeah, not quite as pretty.  The top layer looked heavier and taller than the bottom layer.  When I cut it, it definitely kind of fell apart and was well, crumbly.

But thank goodness, thank the heavens it tasted good.  Great actually.  Want to have a slice?

So yeah, that's what it looked like.  It had a tendency to fall apart. 
It was very delicious and I'm proud of myself for making it and sticking through it even when it was leaving a messy trail all over my kitchen. 

However, with that being said, here's what I would do differently if I were to make it again:

I'd make a single layer cake, not a double layer cake!
- I would skip the fudge.  Or if I were to try fudge I'd get the "Magic Shell" kind that hardens for you. 
- I would make the filling with cookie crumbs and not the smashed, up broken cookies.
- I would make a caramel frosting and/or use flavored Oreo cookies for a variety

So there you have it.  My third and final and crazy cake baking experiences for my 33rd birthday! 

When I first started the process, I thought to myself.... "Hmmm, I should make cakes more often.  Maybe I should challenge myself to make one cake per month.  Something new and different."  But to be honest, by the time the third cake was done, I was sick of it all. 

I don't mind occasionally making a cake but I prefer things like cookies, brownies and bars.  Something easier and bite-size and less time consuming. 

I'm just not a cake decorator either.  My stuff never comes out pretty.  I'm okay with that though.   I still try and it still tastes good. 

So if you've made it through this long post and you've seen all the photos, PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT so I know that my two hours of typing this was worth it!  Let me know that I'm a wacky mom with crazy ideas for putting this whole thing together.  Unleash.  Let me have it.  I'm ready!  :-)  Thank you for reading and thank you for your interest in my site and my cooking adventures!


  1. Sounds like something that would happen to me! I had a strawberry cake melt on the car on the way to a party. That was bad. But it got devoured...with spoons. And the recipe asked for so it was a win there.

  2. Try ganache next time. It's super easy and does harden. You can also chop up the cookies and mix into some buttercream for the layers. And you can even bake oreos inside the cake. I know, crazy!

  3. This looks good, but I would make it with a chocolate cake, the vanilla one seems out of place. I love the combo of chocolate and oreos :)

    RIP dish towel.

  4. Next time put strips on waxed paper between the cake and the plate. Pull them off after you've frosted. Voila! Clean plate.

  5. Heya! I just started a Facebook page for my blog and I can't figure out how to get the little Facebook gadget on my blog. Any tips?