My dad has a thing for Oreo’s. He always has. I remember them being a special treat when I was a kid because my mom would only buy them when they were on sale. [now that I'm buying my own groceries, I understand why. Oreos are ex-pen-sive] When we finished dinner, my dad would give each of us a stack and a glass of milk for dunking. The perfect dessert.
Somewhere along the lines, my mom tried bringing home a generic brand, Hydrox I think they were called, as a budget friendly substitute. Not ones to usually complain about the food on our table, we were on to her trick immediately. Espcially Dad. ”These cookies don’t absorb any of the milk,” he’d say after dunking. ”Of course they do, it’s all in your head,” my mom would always reply.
It became a running joke in my family, the Oreo v. Hydrox debate, until one day we decided to put the issue to rest with the ultimate taste testing event.
It took place on a Sunday afternoon, following the morning church service. My Dad was blind folded at the kitchen table, a pair of rubber gloves on his hands and a glass of milk in front of him. The deal was that he would be given 5 cookies in no particular order. Some would be Oreo’s. Some would be Hydrox. He was to dunk, taste test, and identify the cookie. If he identified them all correctly, my mom would never purchase a generic cookie again. If he missed one, well, let’s not even consider the consequences. My brother and I waited with baited breath. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. He identified each one correctly. My brother and I cheered with delight. My mom laughed in disbelief.
Why of course. The Oreo’s had won.
This is just one of about a million examples of the family fun we’ve had over the years. As I’ve gotten older, my dad and I have turned into buddies with many of the same interests so there have been concerts, and sporting events, and even mini road trips. Years full of sweet memories to say the least. We continued making those memories this weekend in Pittsburgh, surprising my dad on his 60th birthday. My mom plotted the whole weekend, and with a little help from my brother, his finance, and me, I think we gave my dad just the celebration he deserved.
If there is one person in this world who has been earned the opportunity to be treated like a king for a day, it is my father. No doubt about it. He taught me what a man should be, especially what it looks like for a man to love his wife and children. He raised me to be smart, and tough, and fiercely independent. He showed me how to stand up for myself and and not take BS from anyone, but even more importantly so, how and when to check my pride at the door. He exemplifies character in every aspect of the word.
I made this cake for my Oreo loving dad, and totally recommend it for the Oreo lovers in your life. The cake is rich and chocolatey, but the real surprise is the Oreo cream packed inside. I use dark cocoa powder to replicate the darkness of the cookies, but if you only have regular cocoa powder on hand, that will work too. It keeps well, so don’t be afraid to make it a day ahead of time, and since the frosting is on the inside, it transports like a breeze. Surprise birthday perfection.
- 1 1/4 cups hot coffee
- 1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbs of canola oil [or vegetable oil]
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temp
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbs heavy cream
- 6 crushed Oreo’s
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 Tbs heavy cream
- 4 crushed Oreo’s
- 10 inch bundt pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of a 10 inch bundt pan and dust it with cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the hot coffee and the cocoa powder until smooth. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes, or until they are pale and thick. Add the buttermilk and oil, and mix until combined. Add the flour to the mixer and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed for another 30 seconds – 1 minute, so the batter is smooth. Add the coffee/cocoa mixture and mix on low speed, just until combined and the batter is a consistent shade of brown. Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges of the cake, then invert the pan onto a wire rack. The cake should slide right out. Allow it to finish cooling completely on the wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then crank the speed up to high for 2 minutes. Add the crushed oreos and mix on low speed until they are evenly distributed.
To assemble the cake, use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally. Flip the cake so the inside of each half is facing up. Use a tablespoon to gently dig a small cavity out in each side of the cake. Scoop the oreo filling into the cavity and spread it evenly with a knife. Gently flip the top layer of the cake onto the bottom and realign the edges.
To make the glaze, melt a 1/2 cup of white chocolate and 2 Tbs of cream over low heat in a saucepan on the stove top. Stir constantly until smooth and thin enough to pour. Gently drizzle the chocolate over the cake and top the entire thing immediately with crushed Oreo’s. Allow the chocolate to cool until hardened, then serve away. If making the cake ahead of time, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
And OF course, this recipe is inspired by my DAD!