This Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake recipe is made with an Oreo crust, coconut cake layers, coconut filling and an Oreo buttercream. The Oreo crust brings a nice crunch underneath the moist coconut cake with mini chocolate chips. The coconut filling adds an additional moistness and creamy coconut flavor, and it’s all covered in an Oreo buttercream and a dark chocolate ganache drip!

Not satisfying your Oreo needs? Try my baked Oreo donuts, Crumbl Chocolate Oreo Cookies, and no bake Oreo dessert!

A Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake with a chocolate drip and Oreos on the top.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Doctored cake cuts time off. Since this recipe uses a cake mix, making this Oreo cake is much faster and more approachable. It also ensures the cake will rise.
  • Uses cooking pudding and full fat coconut milk. Instead of using instant pudding and lite coconut milk, we use the cooking pudding and the full fat coconut milk which brings a richer flavor and creamier texture to the cake.
  • A variety of textures makes this cake’s texture profile better. Not only is this cake far from dry (it is SO incredibly moist!) but there are also so many different textures that one bite of this cake is so much more complex than a simple cake. The crunch of the Oreo crust, the moist cake layers and the creamy texture of the filling all come together so beautifully! I promise you’ll love it!

Ingredient Notes

A slice of Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake against a white background with the main cake behind the slice.
  • Oreos: Oreos are in the Oreo crust and Oreo buttercream.
  • White Cake Mix Box: This recipe is a doctored cake, which means we use a box of cake mix and add additional ingredients to make it much more flavorful and moist.
  • Sour Cream: Adding sour cream to the cake is an additional fat ingredient that helps bring moisture to the cake.
  • Buttermilk: Adding buttermilk to cake batter not only brings flavor and moisture, but it also helps the cake rise since the acid in the butter milk reacts with the leavening agent in the cake (usually baking powder/baking soda — in this case, it’s included in the cake mix box).
  • Coconut Emulsion: Emulsions are different than extracts because they are water based so they retain more of their flavor when baked.
  • Cook n’ Serve Vanilla Pudding package: This is a 3 oz. box you can find at the grocery store. You’ll get a better flavor with the cooking vanilla pudding than with the instant pudding so I recommend using this.
  • Coconut Milk: The full fat will provide better flavor and moisture.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the Oreo crust. This is similar to my Oreo pie crust, but adapted for this coconut cookies and cream cake! Follow the detailed instructions in the recipe card. Divide the mixture evenly between three 6-inch round cake pans and press into the bottom of each pan. Bake for 3 minutes at 325 degrees.
  2. Make the coconut chocolate chip cake. Follow the instructions in the recipe card. Be sure to not over mix the batter when adding the dry ingredients (the white cake mix) to the wet ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips to make sure you don’t over mix.
Three coconut cake rounds on a white textured background.
  1. Divide the cake batter among the 3 cake pans. (You’ll add the batter to the top of the Oreo crust). Bake for 30-34 minutes (at 325 degrees) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let cakes cool in cake pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and let them cool completely. 
Coconut cake layers baked on top of an Oreo crust.
  1. Make the coconut pudding filling. Prepare the pudding according to the package instructions, using the coconut milk plus enough additional milk of choice that is needed to make 2 cups (or how much the box calls for). Mix in coconut emulsion and vanilla extract and cool, then refrigerate until completely cool.
A peach colored bowl with a light yellow colored coconut pudding filling.
  1. Make the Oreo buttercream frosting. Be sure to beat the butter until it is smooth and light in color and texture. Add the powdered sugar in, a couple cups at a time, and then mixing well before adding more. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream as needed to keep the frosting smooth and not too stiff. Repeat until all powdered sugar and cream are added.
  2. Mix in Oreo crumbs until they’re evenly incorporated. (NOTE: If you make the frosting in advance, don’t add the Oreo crumbs until you’re ready to frost the cake. If they sit in the frosting for more than an hour, they’ll soften up and blend completely into the frosting, turning it grey when it’s mixed again.)
A cookies and cream buttercream in a metal mixing bowl.
  1. Make the dark chocolate ganache drip. Heat the cream in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave until hot, then pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. 
Cookies and cream buttercream being piped along the edge of cake rounds.
  1. Assemble the cake. Place a cake layer, crust side down, on a cake board or stand. Spread a thin layer of Oreo buttercream evenly over the cake then pipe a rim of buttercream around the top to create a dam, and add 1/3-1/2 cup coconut filling. Repeat with the second layer of cake, placing the second cake layer on top of the first layer.
A spoon spreading coconut pudding filling on top of a Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake layer.
  1. Place the third cake layer on top and crumb coat the entire cake in a thin layer of Oreo buttercream. Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes, until the buttercream is cold and no longer soft. (This is called the crumb coat.)
Overhead photo of a Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake layer that has frosting piped along the edge and a yellow filling in the center.
  1. Add the final layer of frosting around the entire cake. Add the chocolate ganache drip around the outside of the cake and fill in the top with more ganache. Add additional decoration as desired.
A three tiered six inch cake covered in a cookies and cream crumb coat, on a white background.
A cookies and cream frosting coated cake on a white background.
A pair of hands piping ganache down the sides of a Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake.
A Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake topped with chocolate ganache, frosting swirls, and Oreo cookies.

Recipe Tips

Cake Tips: 

  • Bake all cake layer on the middle oven rack.
  • Make sure your oven is completely preheated to 325 degrees before baking. I recommend using an oven thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 325 degrees. Some ovens can be off a few degress.
  • If your cakes are sinking, they aren’t baked all the way. To get a good rise on the cakes, make sure to use room temperature wet ingredients and when you are adding the dry ingredients to the wet, don’t over mix the cake batter! Mix until just incorporated.
  • Make sure your baking powder is up to date.

Assembly: It’s a lot easier to assemble and decorate the cake with cold cake layers.

Make Ahead and Storing

You can make elements of this cake ahead of time. Make the cake layers ahead of time and let cool completely. Wrap each cake layer individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing for longer than 1 week, wrap the plastic wrapped cake layer in aluminum foil as well.

If making the buttercream ahead of time, don’t add the Oreo crumbs. Store the buttercream frosting covered in the fridge for 1-2 days. Remove from the fridge when ready to use and beat until light and fluffy. Then add the crushed Oreos.

Storing: Store the completed cake covered in the fridge for 3-4 days (due to the dairy in the frosting and filling). To freeze completed cakes, flash freeze the completed cake in the fridge until the frosting is completed set (about 30 minutes). Remove from the freezer and double wrap the cake in plastic wrap. If freezing for longer than 1 week, add a layer of aluminum foil. Return to the freezer and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and store (still covered) in the fridge overnight. The morning of, remove from the fridge and remove the wrappings. When the cake comes to room temperature, serve or return to the fridge, covered, until serving.

A Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake on a white plate resting on a black and white striped napkin.

FAQs

What can I substitute for coconut emulsion?

You can use coconut extract, but you may want to 1.5x the amount since alcohol-based extracts can lose a bit of flavor when subjected to high heat. Imitation coconut extract (without the alcohol) is also a possible substitute. The coconut emulsion will give you the best and strongest coconut flavor.

What’s the difference between extracts and emulsions?

Extracts are alcohol based and emulsions are water based. Emulsions are better for baking because when subjected to high heat, alcohol-based ingredients will have the flavor baked out a bit. Emulsions will retain their flavor much more strongly.

Does cookies and cream cake have to be refrigerated?

Yes. This cake should be refrigerated due to the dairy in the filling and buttercream.

A slice of Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake on a white plate with a fork next to it.

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A Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake on a white plate against a white background.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake

A delicious coconut cake baked on top of an Oreo crust. Each cake layer has a coconut filling on top and then a cookies and cream frosting goes around the entire cake. It's a delicious combo of flavors!
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 1 hr
Assembly Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
 

Oreo Crust

  • 2 1/3 cup crushed Oreo crumbs - (I used 25 Oreos)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix - (I used a Duncan Hines 15.25 oz box mix)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil - or canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sour cream - full fat or light is fine
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons coconut emulsion
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Coconut Pudding Filling

  • 1 small package Cook n' serve vanilla pudding - (should be a 3 oz box)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk - (I used a 13.5 oz can)
  • 1/3 cup milk - can be any milk variety (you just need enough milk and coconut milk to equal the amount of liquid called for on the cook n'serve pudding package… as we will be making according to the package instructions.)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut emulsion
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oreo Buttercream

  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted butter - set at room temperature for about 15 minutes, the butter should be semi-soft but still cold.
  • 8 cups powdered sugar - measured, then sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 10 Oreos - pulverized into a fine powder in a food processor

Dark Chocolate Ganache Drip

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips - or dark chocolate chips. I used regular sized chocolate chips (not the larger ones).
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream - you may need 2-2 tablespoons more heavy cream to reach a flowable consistency

Instructions
 

Oreo Crust

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare three 6-inch round cake pans by lightly coating with nonstick spray, lining the bottom with parchment paper, and spraying again.
  • Place the Oreo cookies (do not remove the cream filling) in a food processor and pulverize until fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a medium sized bowl. 
  • Add the sugar and melted butter to the Oreo crumbs, stir to combine.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between three 6-inch round cake pans and press into the bottom of each pan.
  • Bake for 3 minutes.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake Instruction

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the oil, sour cream, buttermilk, egg whites, coconut emulsion and vanilla extract until well-combined. Sift in the white cake mix, then add the chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. 
  • Divide the cake batter amongst the 3 cake pans. (You’ll add the batter to the top of the Oreo crust).
  • Bake for 30-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let cakes cool in cake pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and let them cool completely. 

Coconut Pudding Filling

  • Prepare pudding according to package instructions, using the coconut milk plus enough additional milk of choice is needed to make 2 cups (or how much the box calls for).
  • Mix in coconut emulsion and vanilla extract and cool, then refrigerate until completely cool.

Oreo Buttercream

  • Beat butter and a pinch of salt until it’s smooth and light in texture and color.
  • Add the powdered sugar in, a couple cups at a time and then mixing well before adding more. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream as needed to keep the frosting smooth and not too stiff. Repeat until all powdered sugar and cream are added.
  • Mix in Oreo crumbs until they’re evenly incorporated. NOTE: If you make the frosting in advance, don’t add the Oreo crumbs until you’re ready to frost the cake. If they sit in the frosting for more than an hour they’ll soften up and blend completely into the frosting, turning it grey when it’s mixed again.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Drip

  • Heat the cream in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave until hot, then pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. 

Assembly

  • Place a cake layer, crust side down, on a cake board or stand. Spread a thin layer of Oreo buttercream evenly over the cake. 
  • Pipe a rim of buttercream around the top to create a dam, and add 1/3-1/2 cup coconut filling.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the second layer of cake, placing the second cake layer on top of the first layer.
  • Place the third cake layer on top and crumb coat the entire cake in a thin layer of Oreo buttercream. Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes, until the buttercream is cold and no longer soft.
  • Add the final layer of frosting around the entire cake. Add the chocolate ganache drip around the outside of the cake and fill in the top with more ganache. Add additional decoration as desired.

Notes

Coconut Pudding: Use full-fat coconut milk. I experimented with full-fat and lite coconut milk and the full-fat was much creamier and produced better results. 
Oreo Buttercream Frosting can be made in advance! However, do NOT add the Oreos until right before frosting the cake. If the Oreos sit in the frosting for more than an hour they’ll soften up and blend completely into the frosting, turning it grey when it’s mixed again. 
Refer to the blog post to see step-by-step photos of the cake assembly. 

Nutrition

Calories: 1289kcal (64%)Carbohydrates: 159g (53%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 72g (111%)Saturated Fat: 44g (220%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 140mg (47%)Sodium: 557mg (23%)Potassium: 315mg (9%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 125g (139%)Vitamin A: 1635IU (33%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 186mg (19%)Iron: 6mg (33%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?snap a photo and tag @saltandbaker in your posts and stories so I can see what you’re making!

This cake was made and assembled with help from Jessica @_bakers_cakes_. Check out the Biscoff Caramel Cake — another one of Jessica’s decorating masterpieces!