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Chocolate Birthday Cake with Oreo Buttercream frosting

My youngest recently turned 1 year old, and like his sisters before him, we celebrate this milestone with the introduction to cake!  We’ve never really gone the smash cake route, but I know they are all the rage so we decided to see what all the fun was about.  Of course it would be a tragedy to make a super delicious cake and have it all get smashed into nothingness before any of rest of us got to have any, so we ended up making multiple cakes just to ensure our own consumption requirement.  This recipe will make two 6″ layer cakes, or one 9 inch layer cake.  You could also use this to make about 28 cupcakes, but if you do that, double the frosting so you’ll have enough to pile it on.  I used some left over cream cheese frosting to pipe my little #1.  The recipe for that frosting can be found in a number of places on the blog with a search.  The oreo buttercream was 100% my daughters idea and it was really delicious and easy to use because nobody cares if you pull up cake crumbs while frosting if your cake is full of cookie crumbs to began with.  We all loved it and I’m sure you will too!

Chocolate Cake:
1 box pillsbury devils food cake mix
1 3.4 oz box jello instant chocolate pudding (not the fat/sugar free)
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs lightly beaten (room temp works best)
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

Oreo Buttercream: 
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 12 oreos, divided


  1.  For the cake.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray then cut parchment circles for four 6″ cake pans, or use two, wash then repeat.  You can also bake this cake in two 9 inch pans or 28-30 cupcakes.  Whichever method you use, please check for doneness instead of bake times as bake times will vary quite a bit depending on what pan you use.
  2. Lightly mix together the cake mix and pudding mix then in a separate bowl mix your eggs water, oil (or butter) and vanilla well until all the eggs are incorporated.  Add the wet mixture into the cake mix making sure to mix it thoroughly for a few minutes, and then add the sour cream blending until no white streaks remain.  Last add the chocolate chips and just fold them in with a spatula so they are evenly distributed.  The batter is quite thick, but it bakes up really nice so don’t get scared.  Spread batter into your pans and even out the tops.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (bake times vary for 9″ pans, bundts, cupcakes etc. so check doneness with a toothpick before taking out).  Once done let cool in pans for 5 minutes then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely while you prepare your frosting.
  4. For the frosting: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter until fluffy and creamy. Mix in vanilla, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and milk. In your food processor, finely crush 8 oreos. Stir oreo crumbs into frosting.  If you want your frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick, add milk just a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
  5. Once your cakes have cooled cut off the domes on top for a nice looking cake and start with one layer, cut side down on a plate or a cake board.  Put a generous amount of frosting on top and spread an even layer to the edges then put your next layer on top of that cut side down and use as much frosting as you need to cover your entire cake top and sides.  I like to use an off-set frosting spatula, but you could use a knife too.  To make the swirl I just used my spatula starting from the outside and turned my cake in a circle moving towards the middle.  To make the #1 I used some leftover cream cheese frosting, or you could use the vanilla buttercream from our quintessential cupcake recipe, just half it and save some for your next cake.  I piped it on with a star tip which is very easy and turns out looking clean and nice.  I also used some little crystal sprinkles around the edge just for fun.

Cake recipe adapted from “A Gathering of Friends” cookbook. Oreo Buttercream adapted from Creme de la Crumb blog.