Layered vegan cookies and cream cake, just like how you remember it! Three layers of vanilla sponge studded with chocolate cookies, decorated with an American-style buttercream and chocolate ganache.
Cookies and cream was definitely my favourite ice cream flavour growing up! I loved the contrast of the smooth vanilla ice cream with the crunchy sweet and salty cookies! This cake is basically my childhood on a plate haha.
Don’t be intimidated by the long recipe. The cake is basically:
- A vanilla cake with cookies scattered throughout, baked into 3 layers.
- An American-style buttercream mixed with cookie crumbs.
- Decorations I found in my pantry and fridge!
This cake isn’t the most healthy and minimally-processed of my recipes. As ‘cookies and cream’ is usually quite processed, you might as well go the whole way and use more traditional ingredients rather than try to make it healthy.
Ok, let’s do this!
Making the baked vanilla cake
The vanilla cake has a few basic ingredients:
- Self-rising flour and baking powder. I use double baking agents in my sponge cakes because I want them to be fluffy rather than dense
- Organic cane sugar because I needed a light-coloured sugar to keep so the cake stays light in colour and doesn’t blend in with the colour of the chocolate cookies. I always prefer using granulated sugars in sponge cakes as it leads to a lighter crumb.
- Vegan butter and vegetable oil. I used two types of fats because I wanted the classic flavour and texture from vegan butter but also love how oil makes cakes more moist than vegan butter.
- Plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar. Combining these ingredients makes buttermilk. This helps tenderise the flour which creates a more delicate cake crumb. Yum!
- Vanilla because it adds the extra fragrant and homely factor in any cake recipe.
All you need to do is combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Add some cookie crumbs, divide it into 3 tins then bake away!
I bake my layer cakes at 160°C (320°F) because the low temperature prevents the cake from doming too much. Flat layers are needed when you are stacking a cake! However, your cakes might still dome. To make your layers extra flat, look into using cake strips. There are plenty of Youtube tutorials on making your own at home or you can buy some from your local cake shop or online.
Making the American-style buttercream
Unlike conventional butter which is best used at room temperature, vegan butter is best used when it’s chilled. Apart from that, vegan butter can be used in the same way conventional buter! Just pop it into your stand mixer and mix it on high until it’s creamy and dreamy.
Add your powered sugar and mix it to combine. This slow mixing ensures you don’t get a sugar dust storm! Then beat your butter and sugar on high until it turns into a beautiful white frosting.
When you mix the cookie crumbs into the buttercream, make sure the crumbs are super fine otherwise it’ll be difficult to use when decorating your cake.
Decorating the vegan cookies and cream cake
This is my favourite part! I love dripping a ganache on the side of my cake and using leftover frosting to decorate the top of my cake.
I don’t like to enforce rules so I honestly think you should do whatever you want with the decorations. Keep it simple or make it extravagant. Whatever you like!
I hope you enjoy this recipe xo
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Vegan Cookies and Cream Cake
- 200g chocolate biscuits
- 3 cups (450g) self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) organic cane sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of any good-quality salt
- 2 cups (500mL) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut,
- 3/4 cup (165mL) melted vegan butter
- 1/3 cup (85mL) light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 150g chocolate biscuits, of choice
- 1 1/2 cups (340g) vegan butter, chilled
- 3 cups (300g) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Ganache Drip (optional)
- 1/2 cup (50g) roughly chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (60mL) coconut cream
To decorate (optional)
- 50g chocolate biscuits, crumbled
- extra vegan chocolate, optional
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Line 3x20 cm (8 inch) cake pans with with baking paper or brush with oil.
- Break the chocolate biscuits into large crumbs with your hands and set aside.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Mix until there are no lumps. Add all the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix until combined. Add the biscuit crumbs to the cake batter and gently mix until combined.
- Evenly divide the cake batter into the 3 cake tins. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into each cake and it comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 20 minutes then place them on a wire rack.
To make the frosting:
- Add the cookies to a food processor. Process until the cookies form fine crumbs.
- Add the vegan butter to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, add the butter to a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer. Beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the butter has increased in size and turned pale yellow or white.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla to the mixer or bowl. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until the sugar is fully incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
- Add the cookie crumbs to the buttercream and mix gently.
To make the ganache:
- Add both ingredients to a small saucepan over low heat. Heat for 5-10 minutes until the chocolate has melted and combined with the coconut cream. Stir until combined and set aside to cool.
- Using a serrated knife, slice the domes off the cakes, ensuring each is as flat as possible
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate and generously spread a layer of frosting on the top. Gently place the next cake layer on the frosting making sure it is level. Repeat until all layers of the cake have been used up.
- Spread a thin layer of icing on the sides and top of the cake and use a cake scraper to level it out.
- If desired: Fill a piping bag with a small round nozzle with the chocolate ganache. Create a drip on the edges of the cake with the ganache. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the top of the cake. Top the cake with cookie crumbs and vegan chocolate.
- Serve immediately or set aside in the fridge in a large airtight container until ready to serve! Store the cake in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.