Gatherings: A Backyard Birthday with a KitKat Oreo Cake

KitKat Oreo Cake 2

It’s W’s birthday this weekend. 8! How could that be? As always, we’re out in Tofino for the actual day, but this year he wanted to have a few friends over before we left the city. I searched around for cool birthday party locations, thinking he’d want to go to the art studio or the movies or laser tag or something – as older kids tend to want to do – but he asked for a party at home, with a few games to play, and a chocolate cake. Sniff.

And so we played a game my mom invented for us as kids – tape two paper bags at the end of the dining room table, and get the kids to blow through a straw to race cotton balls from one end to the other, to the paper bag goal. My Dad had brought over the box from their new barbecue, and it provided over an hour of entertainment as kids and dogs folded themselves in and begged the bigger kids to roll the box around the yard. Who needs Chuck E. Cheese? Then we made superhero masks.

Willem's 8th birthday Collage 1

We hung doughnuts from strings on the apple and lilac trees in the back yard, a game my friend Jan sets up every Thanksgiving for her kids and the visiting cousins. The goal: for kids to hold their hands behind their backs and try to eat the doughnut. It was a total hit. I’m certain it would be equally hilarious with grownups. Perhaps paired with sangria. Lou managed to get two before we noticed.

KitKat Oreo Cake 3

As for the food, W requested a classic 8 year old boy birthday menu of hot dogs, ketchup chips, chocolate cake and a sundae bar. (This is the same thing I did as a kid – my parents made everything from scratch, and I begged for the packaged stuff we rarely got. I remember asking for Skippy peanut butter-instead of the all-natural stuff my dad would buy-and Wonder Bread one year for my birthday.)

sundae bar 1

We added bowls of berries and slices of watermelon, so that it wasn’t exclusively stuff with long ingredient lists. The night before, he amended his chocolate cake request, making it a KitKat and Oreo cake. (Hey, at least we didn’t have to make another chocolate dinosaur.) I had, luckily, seen a KitKat cake over at Jan’s, and so rather than fill it with M&Ms I filled it with mini Oreos. Easy.

kitkat cake Collage

And as a (huge) bonus, you can slather that frosting on the without worrying about it getting crumby or looking perfect – in the end it will just act as delicious glue to hold the KitKats in place. And if you don’t have enough frosting, which can be disastrous in most layer cake situations, the top could conceivably be naked and you’d never know.

KitKat Oreo Cake 1

Obviously any layer cake would do the trick here – it could be anything inside, cake and frosting-wise, but W requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. That’s my boy. You’ll need 10 KitKats, but you may find yourself with one extra chocolate finger – a little reward for all your hard work.

Double Chocolate KitKat Oreo Cake


July 30, 2013

Note: don't buy the family-sized KitKat bars, which tend to have shorter fingers. The top of the cake could be filled with M&Ms or any other small candy or cookie (try chocolate Teddy Grahams!). Made with a base cake from Add a Pinch.

  • Makes: Serves 16.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp. instant coffee or espresso powder (optional)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup boiling water

10 KitKat bars

1 bag mini Oreos

Chocolate Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter

1 cup cocoa

5 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup milk (plus extra if needed)


1Preheat the oven to 350F and butter two 8" or 9" round cake pans.

2In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, instant coffee, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk or beat until well blended; gently whisk or beat in the boiling water.

3Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4To make the frosting, beat the butter and cocoa until smooth; gradually beat in the icing sugar and milk, adding a little extra milk if needed to achieve a fluffy, spreadable consistency. Spread on top of one layer, then place the second layer on top and spread the entire outside of the cake with frosting. Break the KitKats in half and place in twos around the entire outside of the cake. Fill the top with mini Oreos or other candies.


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18 comments on “Gatherings: A Backyard Birthday with a KitKat Oreo Cake

  1. margo
    July 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Wow! That’s one cool cake. With one teenager left at home, and the grandchildren starting to need cakes, I will have to tuck this idea in the files. How could it not be a hit?

  2. Alicen
    July 31, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Fabulous Cake!!! I want one πŸ™‚

  3. Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony
    July 31, 2013 at 11:11 am

    What a lucky guy~ this looks like such a fun birthday party!

  4. Vivian
    July 31, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Whoa, what a great birthday party for W. Wish that I had had such an inventive Mom. The best I can remember (at 10) is waxed paper wrapped coins baked into the cake…I stuffed in 3 pieces and got nothing$…my “friends” walked away with the loot! Afterwards, I was kinda queasy.

  5. Nikki
    July 31, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Nice! Happy birthday to your little one! Good cake choice, young man! πŸ™‚

  6. Erin
    July 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Interesting…I’ve seen a variation of this cake (link attached) made with marzipan piggies to look like pigs bathing in mud. This version looks much easier (and tastier!).

  7. Fareen
    July 31, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Happy Birthday to W! The cake looks awesome!!

  8. Sue V
    August 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

    How adorable that he wanted such a traditional, fun birthday party! Love the cake. That would be good for kids of any age!
    So 8 years old! Amazing, It was just over 8 years ago then that I sent you an innocent email to thank you for One Smart Cookie and I got the loveliest response from you saying you were very pregnant and my email caught you at just the right time! Wow, how time flies!
    Have a fantastic holiday!

  9. A Canadian Foodie
    August 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Julie – you know how on Rolling Spoon you have the option for someone like me to sign up to get the posts in my mail box. I have asked you to do that here a few times – but now I know you know how. Can you do it for this site? Who wants to miss a post that is this much fun! Thanks Jan – for the heads up!

  10. Jessica S. @ Floptimism
    August 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Umm, this cake looks incredible! I have a similar cake pinned – it has the kitkats all around it, but m&ms in the center instead of oreos. Yours looks like it turned out great!

  11. Avery
    September 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    How did I miss this post??? That cake looks like it sprung right from an 8 year old’s dreams. Well done, Mom. πŸ˜‰

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  13. Anne-Marie
    July 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Wich between 8? or 9? round cake pans wil make the best result? I’m effraid if I take de 8?,the KitKats won’t be longer enough!


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