This black velvet cookies ’n cream cheesecake cake is packed with chocolate and full of Halloween spirit–perfect for any and all parties this time of year!
Hello hello! I wrote you a little Monday poem:
Once upon a weekend steamy, while I pondered something dreamy
That I could do to dress up plain old chocolate cake—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my kitchen door
“’Tis my Cookie’s tail,” I muttered, “tapping at my kitchen door—
And that’s as far as I got because The Raven’s rhyme scheme is a lot more complicated than I remembered. I’m a little disappointed in my lack of poetry skills because I SO wanted to get to “quoth the Cookie”. . .
I’ll stick to baking from now on.
You knew this cake was coming right? That I’d cheesecake-ify something for Halloween? I must have made a dozen different versions of Halloween cheesecake cakes before I finally settled on this black velvet cookies ’n cream cheesecake cake.
This is what we have going on: chocolate cake dyed black, surrounding a layer of cookies ’n cream cheesecake, topped with vanilla frosting dyed orange, with a spooky (maybe?) chocolate ganache drip.
My attempt to pack as many Halloween cliches as possible into one dessert worked out perfectly. At one point over the summer my freezer was positively bursting with orange and black, and I was concerned I’d drop dead suddenly and everyone would wonder why I was obsessively baking for fall during berry season.
But I’m still alive and kickin’, with a delicious fall cake to show for it.
Trust me when I tell you to run, don’t walk, to the kitchen and make this. It takes a little planning because the cheesecake needs to chill overnight before you assemble the cake. And after you frost the cake, it needs to chill so the drip drips down the sides properly—if you don’t chill your cake enough, the ganache will run down the sides instead of dripping.
However! None of the components is difficult. We’re using a box cake mix for ease here. And in a pinch you can totally eliminate the ganache drip, or just embrace a more-runny-than-drippy cake. Either way, the end result will be delicious.
Black velvet cookies ’n cream cheesecake cake. It’s what Halloween dreams are made of!
PS, here is Cookie in her Halloween costume. She’s supposed to be a black cat but my costuming skills are as lacking as my poetry skills. Poor little puppy.
Black velvet cookies and cream cheesecake cake is a delicious dessert for a Halloween party!
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 Oreos chopped
- 1 15.25-ounce box chocolate cake mix + ingredients to make the cake
- black gel food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- orange gel food coloring
- 7.5 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then generously spray the pan with cooking spray again. Set pan aside.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together with an electric mixer set to medium speed. Beat in eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing until eggs are just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn mixer to low and beat in the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Set pan in a roasting pan (or any large baking pan) and carry over to the oven. Pour a couple inches of water into the pan, then carefully transfer to the oven. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the center of the cheesecake barely wobbles. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife between the cake and the edge of the pan. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Once cooled, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
After the cheesecake has refrigerated, dip the pan in a bowl of hot water for about 15 seconds. Run a knife around the edge of the cake again, then set a large plate or a cake circle on top of the pan. Invert the cake onto the plate. Keep refrigerated until you assemble the cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or whatever temperature your cake mix specifies.) Spray 2 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, and spray the paper with more spray. Lightly dust the pans with flour and tap out the excess. Set pans aside.
Mix your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Add black food coloring to achieve desired color and mix well. Divide the batter evenly between prepared pans and bake according to the directions on the box.
Cool cake layers in pans for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the cake from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until very smooth, about 1 minute. With mixer set to low, gradually beat in 6 cups of the powdered sugar. Add 4 tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla and salt. Turn mixer to high speed and beat until mixture is very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. If frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar; it it’s too thick add additional milk. Add orange gel food coloring and mix to combine.
Place one of the layers on a cake circle or cake stand and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top. Carefully top with the cheesecake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the cheesecake and top with remaining cake layer. Frost the cake with the remaining orange frosting.
Refrigerate cake for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat and warm the cream until it just begins to steam. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer the ganache to a reusable plastic piping bag and snip off the tip (or a large zip-top plastic bag and snip off one of the corners, or a plastic squeeze bottle).
Take cake out of the fridge and gently squeeze a circle of ganache around the top edge of the cake, applying a little extra pressure at certain points to create drips. Carefully spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the ganache, then slice the cake and serve.
*This was exactly the right amount of heavy cream for my ganache drip—I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate. Depending on the brand of chocolate you use, you made need a little more or less heavy cream; you want the ganache to be thin enough to drip nicely down the cake but not so thin that it runs.
Cheesecake layer adapted from The Baker’s Manual