Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cake

I’ve been excited about cheesecake cakes ever since I baked my first and favorite one, the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake, many years ago. I love the flavors in this Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cake.  It’s all about Oreo’s.  The white cake layers are combined with Oreo’s to create cookies and cream cake layers. There’s a layer of creamy cheesecake plopped right in the middle of those two cake layers.  And the whole cake is covered in cream cheese frosting.  Plenty of Oreo’s are used for garnish.

First, you’ll follow instructions for baking the cake and the cheesecake.  Then you can proceed with assembly.

Place one cake layer on your serving platter or cake stand.  Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake layer. This will act as the “glue” to adhere to the cheesecake layer.  The cheesecake is then placed on top of the first cake layer. Then you’ll frost a tiny bit on top of the cheesecake layer.  And the second layer of cake is placed on top of the cheesecake.

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 15.25-ounce box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 large egg whites
1 cup (about 8) coarsely crushed OREO cookies
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
extra OREOS for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans. It's easiest to get the cake out of the pans if you line them with rounds of parchment paper too. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites. Add the crushed OREOS, and stir into the batter until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Be sure to fill them 3/4 to 1-inch below the top of the pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Watch closely- check after 35 minutes and then every 5 minutes until they test done. Let cool for about 20 minutes, and then turn the cake layers out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not over beat).
Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter, and spread a thin amount of frosting on top. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer, and spread a thin amount of frosting on top. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
Use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is applied, add more to cover bare spots. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. You can use a piping bag to add a decorative edge.  Add whole OREOS decoratively on the top and sides of the cake. Keep this cake refrigerated until ready to serve.  Keep leftovers refrigerated too.

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