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This vegan Oreo cake is an absolute dream! The chocolate cake is soft, moist, and layered with an Oreo buttercream frosting that is full of the crushed up cookies. It's dairy free, egg free, and so easy to make!
This chocolate Oreo cake has been my go-to cake since I was a teen. It's so simple, yet so delicious and feels more exciting than a regular chocolate cake (although I never get sick of a good vegan chocolate cake).
This chocolate layer cake is moist (sorry if you hate that word), soft, and fluffy, and it isn't too rich - so it lets the Oreo cookies shine!
I made this for a friend recently and she told me that between two people, they finished the entire thing in a weekend.
When I told her it was vegan, she didn't even believe me! Yep - it's that good! So if you love Oreos and you love cake, this one's for you!
Why This Vegan Oreo Cake Works
- The vegan chocolate cake uses oil instead of butter, which is what makes it super moist and soft!
- The Oreo buttercream frosting uses crushed up cookies with the filling included, so it tastes just like the Oreo cookie in buttercream form.
- This cake makes thick chocolate cake layers in two 8 inch pans, but can also be easily baked as a sheet cake. You can even use this recipe to make vegan Oreo cupcakes!
- The chocolate cake on its own isn't too sweet, which provides a perfect balance to the sweetness of the Oreo buttercream frosting.
- It's so easy to make - you don't even need a mixer for the chocolate cake!
- Vegetable Shortening: The vegan Oreo frosting uses vegetable shortening as well as vegan butter. You can replace the shortening with more vegan butter, but the shortening really helps to create a buttercream that holds it's shape at room temperature and doesn't melt.
- Oreos: Although the Oreos are crushed up before they go into the buttercream, I recommend using actual Oreo cookies instead of store-bought Oreo crumbs. You get more big chunks of Oreo's and the filling makes the buttercream taste just like Oreo cookies!
- Oil: I use vegetable oil in this recipe, but you can use any neutral-tasting oil.
- Milk: I usually bake cakes with unsweetened soy or almond milk, but you can use any vegan milk you have on hand.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare two 8 inch round cake pans. Spray the inside with cooking spray, then cut round pieces of parchment paper so that they fit in the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
STEP TWO: Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Pour in all the wet ingredients and mix until no lumps remain.
STEP THREE: Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, then bake for 16-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans while you make the buttercream.
STEP FOUR: Crush the Oreo cookies up (filling included) using a blender, food processor, or by putting them in a bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. You can crush them up as much as you'd like. I like to use a mix of crumbs with some big chunks as well. Set aside.
STEP SIX: Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. If the buttercream is too thick, you can add 1 teaspoon of milk to thin it out.
STEP SEVEN: Mix the Oreo crumbs and chunks into the buttercream. I like to first mix in the fine crumbs then add the larger chopped up pieces and give it one more quick mix. Cover and refrigerate until the cakes have completely cooled. Assemble the cake layers (tips below) and enjoy!
Assembling the cake
I will be the first to admit that I'm not a cake decorator, but here is how I assemble this vegan Oreo cake:
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, remove them from the pan and use a serrated knife to level out the tops.
- Place the thickest cake on your cake board, cake plate, or cake stand and place a large dollop of frosting on top. Spread it around evenly, stopping around an inch before you get to the edge.
- Place the second cake layer on top, then place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Frost the outside of the cake using the back of an offset spatula. Use a bench scraper to smooth it out (this buttercream has a lot of Oreo cookie crumbs and chunks so it is harder to smooth out and won't be completely smooth unless you've ground the cookies very finely).
- Frost the top of the cake and then decorate with more Oreo crumbs, chopped up Oreos, and/or whole Oreos if desired.
I learned a lot from this cake decorating tutorial. I don't follow every step for all my cakes (for example, I don't usually do a crumb coat for this Oreo chocolate cake, since the end result isn't a smooth frosting, but rather a frosting full of cookie pieces). But the post provides a great visual if you want to learn how to frost cakes in general!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes! You can make the buttercream a few days before if you'd like. Just leave it covered in the fridge and then let it soften a bit at room temperature and give it a quick stir when you're ready to frost the cake.
The cake layers can be made up to 2 days ahead of time as well, although they cake is fluffier and much moister in the first 1-2 days. Once the cakes have cooled, remove them from the pans and wrap them tightly in ceran/plastic wrap and then place them in a large ziploc bag. You can then freeze them to keep them fresh and thaw for 8 hours in the fridge before frosting.
It is best to wait until the day you are going to serve the cake to assemble and frost it.
You sure can! This recipe will make around 20-24 cupcakes. Fill the liners ⅔ of the way full and bake around 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
You might end up with some leftover frosting, but it can be frozen (instructions below).
Yes. To make this into an Oreo sheet cake, pour the batter into the prepared 9x13 pan. Check on it after around 20 minutes. It's ready when a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
You will only need around half of the amount of Oreo buttercream if making this recipe as a sheet cake.
Yep! These cake layers are pretty thick, so an easy way to make this cake into a three tiered cake is to just divide the batter between 3 pans. Note that the layers will be thinner than the ones in these pictures, since the batter is being divided between 3 pans instead of 2.
Alternatively, you can also times the recipe by half.
You can, but Oreo cookies work way better in my opinion. Oreo crumbs can be a bit too fine, and I think this cake tastes best with some chunks of cookie left in the buttercream. The crumbs also don't have the filling part of the Oreo, which is the best part!
- Don't skip the parchment on the bottom! This is the only way I've ever been able to get my cakes easily out of the cake pans. Just place the cake pan on a piece of parchment and then trace it out and cut a perfect circle of parchment out. Here is a quick tutorial for a similar method.
- Please properly measure your flour and cocoa powder using either a kitchen scale or using the scoop and level method. If you want to ensure a moist cake, you have to measure your flour the right way!
- Let the cakes cool completely on a cooling rack before attempting to remove them from the pan. I also recommend running a butter knife around the outside of the cake before removing it from the pan.
- To remove the cakes from the pan, flip the pan upside down onto the cooling rack. This helps to flatten the top of the cake.
- If you are like me and you want Oreo cookie chunks in your frosting, then the cake isn't going to be completely smooth. If you're going for a smooth look, grind the Oreos up really fine.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Cakes tend to dry out in the fridge, so I recommend this cake be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days. Just make sure it's covered (I use a cake carrier).
If you didn't use vegetable shortening in the buttercream, it might get meltey depending on the vegan butter you use. It's best to wait to frost the cake until close to when you will be serving it.
Freeze any leftover buttercream in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the fridge then mix it up using a handheld or standing mixer before using it.
More Cookie Recipes You'll Love
Vegan Oreo Cake
- 2½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 cup vegan milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil like canola oil)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup water
Oreo Buttercream Frosting
- 1¼ cup vegan butter, softened
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp vegetable shortening* SEE NOTES
- 2½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3¾-4¼ cup powdered sugar
- 20 Oreo cookies + more for decorating
Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by spraying the insides with cooking spray and cutting round pieces of parchment paper to line the bottoms of the pans.*(SEE NOTES) Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk together until most clumps are gone.
- Add in the milk, water, oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar and mix until lumps are gone.
- Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 18-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Place the cake pans on a cooling rack and leave the cakes in the pans until they've cooled completely. When removing the cakes from the pans, run a knife around the edges and turn them upside down onto the cooling rack. While they cool, make the buttercream.
Oreo Buttercream Frosting
- Add in the vanilla extract and salt, then slowly add in the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it seems too thick, add in about 1-2 teaspoon of milk to thin it out.
- Mix in the crushed Oreos and chill covered in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the cakes.
Assembling the Cake
- Remove the (completely cooled) cakes from the pans. Run a butterknife around the edges of the cake to make this easier.
- Use a serrated knife to flatten the top of the cakes if they have domed. This will create a more even, upright cake.
- Place the thickest cake on the cake plate, cake stand, or cake board and top it will buttercream. Spread the frosting towards the edges of the cake, leaving about and inch of space before it reaches the edges.
- Place the second layer of cake on top, then freeze the cake for 15 minutes (this is optional). Use the back of an offset spatula to frost the outside of the cake, then smooth it out with a bench scraper. Unless you ground the Oreos up really fine, the frosting won't be completely smooth because of the cookie chunks.
- Frost the top of the cake and then top with more Oreo crumbs, big pieces of Oreo cookie, and/or whole Oreos if desired.
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.