My son, who just turned seven, was very specific about the cake he wanted for his birthday this year. Two days prior to his birthday, he informed me that he wanted a cookies and cream cake, frosted with whipped cream (which he had been bugging me about for weeks), and with Oreos and macarons on top (macarons because he is my son, after all). It was amusing because he was so sure about it. I told him that the macarons were probably not going to happen, but that I would think about the rest. The request came as a huge relief because I had been scratching my head for days about what sort of cake to make. Once I knew what the flavors had to be, I went back and forth about what type of cake to make and how to go about icing an entire cake with whipped cream. In the end, I settled on a chiffon cake and stabilized whipped cream, which turned out to be a deliciously light and airy combination for a summer cake that is just sweet enough but not cloying like buttercream can be sometimes.
I will say this though, icing a cake with whipped cream is not fun. While it tasted great, I just couldn’t get it to look as good as my other cakes, although this isn’t really a problem most of the time. It didn’t help that it is quite warm in my kitchen. Despite all that, the cake was loved by all, and by all I mean us and my in laws as we did not have a party.
This is really two recipes in one. One for a chiffon cake and the other for stabilized whipped cream, which you can use like any other whipped cream but will not break like the un-stabilized kind. The recipe makes one four-layer 6inch cake. It’s small in diameter but it is tall and feeds quite a few people.
Cookies and Cream Cake
for the chiffon cake:
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup canola oil, or other neutral tasting vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz cake flour
7 oz granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line the bottom of two 6 inch pans that are 2 inches high with parchment paper. Do not oil the sides of the pan.
Carefully, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the yolks in a mixer bowl and set the egg whites aside. To the yolks, add the canola oil, and with the whip attachment, mix just until combined. Mix in the water and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the egg yolk and oil mixture. Whip on high for one minute and set aside.
Whip the egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Take care not to overmix or the meringue will break. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in three batches.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched and a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
When the cakes are cool, level the tops by slicing the domes off with a serrated knife. Slice each cake in half to form four layers.
for the filling and frosting:
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
15 chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreo, plus more for decorating
In a small sauce pan, combine the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and half a cup of the cream; whisk well until there are no lumps. Refrigerate the rest of the cream until needed. Place the saucepan over medium heat and, whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap and allow it to cool completely at room temperature. It is important that the entire surface be covered with the film to avoid thickening of the surface and lumps in the whipped cream.
Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Slowly add the cooled cornstarch mixture, and whip to stiff peaks.
Crush or process the chocolate sandwich cookies until no big chunks remain. Place in a large bowl and fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream.
To assemble the cake:
Place one of the cake layers on your serving plate or cake circle and cover with 1/3 of the chocolate cookie whipped cream. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat until there are three layers of filling and four layers of cake.
Ice the cake with the remaining whipped cream, reserving some for piping. Scatter the sprinkles on top of the cake and pipe a few rosettes. Cut the decorating cookies in half and push one half into each rosette.
The cake can be left out for a couple of hours but should be refrigerated otherwise.
It sounds like a tedious process, but it is not! One thing that certainly helps here is having two mixer bowls. If you don’t, just make sure to wash the bowl well between whipping the egg yolks and whipping the egg whites.
My son loved the cake, and although it is homely looking, I love it too. Things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and delicious!