Vegan Oreo Cake filled with cookies n’ cream buttercream frosting and topped with crunchy bits of chocolate cookies.
This vegan oreo cake is a dessert that gives you a mix of creamy and crunchy. This three-layer cake includes a combination of black and natural cocoa powder.
They give it the perfect balance of chocolatey flavor and smooth mellow cocoa flavor reminiscent of Oreos.
This nostalgic treat would be great for kids' birthdays or for that Oreo-obsessed person in your life.
- Cake and all-purpose flour - Cake flour gives the cake lightness while all-purpose flour gives it structure. This is great when making eggless cake layers.
You can also use only one type but try not to over-mix the batter, especially when using all-purpose flour. This will make the cake dense.
- Light brown sugar, or granulated sugar - You’ll get a slightly different texture and flavor depending on which you go for. Granulated sugar gives the cake a finer crumb while light brown sugar gives it a richer flavor.
- Natural cocoa powder
- Black Cocoa powder - Also called dark cocoa powder. This type of cocoa powder is used to make Oreos. It gives it that unique but familiar flavor and color.
- Baking Soda
- Soy milk - You could use different plant-based milk, but soy works well thanks to its naturally creamy consistency.
- Unsweetened applesauce or plain vegan yogurt - egg replacer. Also adds moisture to the cake.
- Instant coffee or espresso powder - This helps boost the chocolatey flavor.
- Vinegar - Interacts with the baking soda to raise the cake.
- Vegan Vanilla Frosting - Our own simple recipe.
- Oreo sandwich cookies
To decorate (design inspired by Scran Line):
- Oreo sandwich cookies (whole)
- Dairy-free white candy melts - I used the brand, King David.
- Soy milk or vegetable oil - Use to thin the candy melts if it’s too thick to drip.
How To Make Vegan Oreo Cake
For the cake:
1. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by buttering and lightly dusting the bottom and sides with natural cocoa powder. I recommend cake strips for a more moist, even bake. Soak them in water until ready for use.
2. Preheat the oven to 340˚F/175˚C.
3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and then sift in the remaining dry ingredients.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot soy milk and instant coffee. Add in the remaining wet ingredients and mix everything until fully combined.
5. Mix the dry ingredients at low speed and gradually pour in the wet ingredients.
6. Mix the batter for about thirty seconds, or until most of the flour is just moistened. The batter should be smooth, with a couple of little lumps.
7. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a large spoon to mix in any dry flour - don’t overmix! If you do, gluten will start to develop, and the cake will become dense.
8. Evenly distribute the batter between the three cake pans. If you’re using cake strips, squeeze out the excess water, wrap and secure them around each pan.
9. Place the pans into the oven, and bake for thirty-five to forty minutes (if you’re using cake strips) or about twenty to twenty-five minutes without. A skewer or cake tester should, if inserted, come out clean.
10. Fully cool the cakes in the pans, and then place everything in the freezer for about thirty minutes. This makes the cakes a little easier to slice.
For the buttercream:
1. Make the vegan vanilla frosting recipe, as directed.
2. Scoop out a third of the mixture into a separate, smaller bowl, and set it aside.
3. Remove the cream from the eighteen sandwich cookies that you’re using. Add the cookies to a food processor, and blend until they become quite coarse crumbs, similar to panko breadcrumbs.
4. Mix the leftover cream filling in a small bowl until it’s smooth, then mix into the larger batch of vanilla frosting.
5. Fold the cookie crumbs into the larger batch of frosting until they’re evenly distributed.
To assemble and decorate the cake:
1. Carefully and evenly split each layer of cake in half horizontally.
2. Fill a piping bag with the oreo frosting, or you can fill a zip-top bag and snip the corner off.
3. Dab a little bit of frosting onto your cake board, stand, or plate to stop the cake from sliding around. Place the first layer on the board.
4. Pipe a swirl of oreo frosting on top, without gaps. Spread that layer evenly, and then add the second cake layer.
5. Repeat with more frosting and the remaining cake layers, placing the final layer bottom side up.
6. Spread the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting to crumb coat. Place the cake in the fridge for an hour or until the frosting is chilled and set.
7. Spread the sides and the top with the remaining oreo frosting. Smooth the cake off with a cake smoother or palette knife.
8. Place the #4B Open Star piping tip in another piping bag and add the reserved vanilla frosting. Pipe eight double-doughnut swirls on top.
Once assembled, rest the cake in the fridge to chill while you prepare the toppings.
9. Take ten of the eighteen sandwich cookies, and remove the cream. Cut each cookie-half into four pieces.
10. Remove the cake from the fridge, and start to add the cookies halfway up the side of the cake. Add the largest pieces at the bottom, and add progressively smaller pieces as you go up the cake.
11. Place the candy melts and soy milk in a bowl. Microwave everything for about a minute, making sure to pause and stir every fifteen seconds until it’s completely melted.
If it’s still too thick to drip, add a touch more soy milk or vegetable oil.
12. Allow the candy drip that you’ve made to cool slightly, and then use a spoon to pour it on the edge of the top of each doughnut swirl.
13. Top with the remaining cookie pieces and then place the remaining whole sandwich cookies in each swirl.
Key Tips To Follow
- For more accurate results, use a scale to measure the ingredients.
- Chill the cooled cake layers in the freezer to make it easier to slice them in half. This limits crumbs.
- To add more moisture to the cake brush the layers with simple syrup but be careful not to add too much.
Adding too much simple syrup actually caused some of my oreo cake layers to fall apart. I still managed to save the cake and I’ll detail how in another post.
But for now, try not to add more than two tablespoons of syrup to the cake.
- Add the cookies as a topping right before serving the cake. The longer they’re exposed to air, the staler they’ll become.
Other Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Use food coloring if you’d like to change the color of the candy drips.
- Instead of chocolate layers try this recipe with my vegan vanilla cake layers instead.
- Instead of candy melts, use melted dairy-free dark chocolate.
- For a more fudgy flavor, swap the vanilla buttercream for this vegan chocolate frosting.
- Keep your cake in a sealed, Tupperware-style container. Keep it in a cool place or at room temperature for up to five days.
- If you live in a warm environment, keep the cake in the fridge.
- Wrap in cling film to prevent the cake from drying out.
- The cake can be frozen for up to a month. Wrap it with a few layers of cling film, and then use aluminum foil to prevent drying out and freezer burns.
- Defrost and allow it to come to room temperature prior to serving.
- For more tips check out this detailed post on How To Store Cakes.
What’s the difference between black cocoa and natural cocoa powder?
Black cocoa powder, or dark cocoa, is more dutch processed, which means that it is alkalized or made less acidic.
This darkens the color and makes the chocolate flavor more subtle. It’s most often used in making oreo cookies to give it that familiar color and flavor.
Natural cocoa powder isn’t dutch processed. It has a more bitter and chocolatey flavor which is more suitable for cakes and other desserts.
According to Serious Eats, natural cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder cannot be used interchangeably in recipes.
Due to the alkaline nature of black cocoa, it’s more suitable for recipes that use baking powder.
Are Oreos Vegan?
While the ingredients listed are all vegan, the package does state the possibility of cross-contamination of milk-derived products.
If this is not an issue for you, you can also try this cake recipe with other oreo flavors.
More vegan chocolate dessert recipes:
- The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Gluten-free Brownies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Tart
- Vegan Lemon Poundcake
Vegan Oreo Cake
- Stand mixer or mixing bowls
Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, select the Metric option below and use measuring spoons.
Dry Ingredients for the cake:
- 1¼ cups cake flour, spooned and levelled
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 1½ cups granulated sugar, or light brown sugar
- ¾ cup natural cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon black cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 cup soy milk, hot
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, or plain vegan yogurt
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee, or espresso powder
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- ¾ cup oil
- 2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 ½ batch Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, adjust the servings in the recipe card to 36
- 18 Oreo sandwich cookies, about 150g/5oz cookies without cream
- 18 Oreo sandwich cookies, whole
- 1 oz dairy-free white candy melts
- ½ teaspoon soy milk or vegetable oil
- Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by buttering and lightly dusting the bottom and sides with natural cocoa powder. I recommend using cake strips for a more moist, even bake. Soak them in water until ready for use then preheat the oven to 340°F/175°C.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar then sift in the remaining dry ingredients.1¼ cups cake flour ,1¼ cups all-purpose flour ,1½ cups granulated sugar ,¾ cup natural cocoa powder ,2 tablespoon black cocoa powder ,2 teaspoon baking soda ,½ teaspoon salt
- In a separate bowl, add the hot soy milk and instant coffee. Whisk until fully dissolved. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.1 cup soy milk ,½ teaspoon instant coffee ,2 tablespoon vinegar ,¾ cup oil ,2 tablespoon vanilla ,¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the stand mixer and while mixing on low, gradually pour in the wet ingredients.
- Mix for about 30 seconds or until most of the flour just moistened. Batter should be smooth with a few tiny lumps.
- Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a large spoon or silicone spatula to mix in any dry flour. Don’t overmix.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the cake pans. If using cake strips, squeeze out excess water, wrap around each pan and secure.
- Place the pans in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes with cake strips or about 20 to 25 minutes without. A skewer or toothpick inserted should come out clean.
- Fully cool in the pans then place the pans in the freezer for about 30 minutes to make the cakes easier to slice.
- Make the Vegan Vanilla Frosting as directed.1 ½ batch Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Scoop out one third of the mixture into a separate smaller bowl and set aside.
- Remove the cream from the 18 sandwich cookies. Add the cookies to a food processor and blend until they become coarse crumbs, similar to panko breadcrumbs.18 Oreo sandwich cookies
- Mix the leftover cream filling in a small bowl until it’s smooth, then mix into the larger batch of vanilla frosting.
- Fold the cookie crumbs into the larger batch of frosting until evenly distributed.
To assemble and decorate:
- Split each cake layer in half horizontally.
- Fill a piping bag, or zip-top bag with the corner snipped, with oreo frosting.
- Dab a bit of frosting on your cake board, stand or plate. Place the first layer on the board.
- Pipe a swirl of oreo frosting on top, without gaps. Spread evenly then add the second cake layer.
- Repeat with more frosting and the remaining cake layers, placing the final layer bottom side up.
- Spread the top and sides with a thin layer of the frosting to crumb coat. Place in the fridge for one hour or until the frosting is chilled and set.
- Spread the sides and top with the remaining oreo frosting. Smooth with a cake smoother or palette knife.
- Place the #4B Open Star piping tip in another piping bag and add the reserved vanilla frosting. Pipe 8 double-donut swirls on top. Rest the cake in the fridge while you prep the toppings.
- Take 10 of the 18 remaining sandwich cookies and remove the cream. Cut each cookie-half into 4 pieces.18 Oreo sandwich cookies
- Remove the cake from the fridge and start adding the cookies halfway up the side of the cake. Add largest pieces at the bottom and smallest ones as you go up the cake.
- Place the candy melts and soy milk in a bowl. Microwave for about a minute, stopping and stirring every 15 seconds until completely melted. If it’s still too thick to drip, add a bit more soy milk or vegetable oil.½ teaspoon soy milk or vegetable oil ,1 oz dairy-free white candy melts
- Allow the candy drip to cool slightly then use a spoon to pour along the edge of the top of each donut swirl.
- Top with the remaining cookie pieces and place the remaining whole sandwich cookies in each swirl.
- Add the cookies as a topping right before serving the cake. The longer they’re exposed to air, the more staler they’ll become.
- Please check the post for more helpful tips and substitutions.