Cookies & Cream Surprise Cake

Prep 15 min


Cook 75 min


Ready in 90 min

This cake has it all: cookies, buttercream, and a secret center filled with whipped cream to make your celebration a little more special.


  •  Oil (or butter) for greasing the pans
  • 1 pkg (15.25–16.5-oz. or 432–515-g) devil’s food cake mix, plus eggs and water according to the mix directions
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) sour cream
  • 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups (1 L) powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) milk
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 12), plus additional for decorating
  • 1 cup (250 mL) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour both Secret Center Cake Pans and the large center insert. Place the insert in one of the pans and set aside.
  2. For the cake, combine the cake mix, eggs, water, and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Pour 2 cups (500 mL) of batter into the cake pan with the insert; add the remaining batter into the other cake pan. Bake for 20–24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (The pan without the insert may take an additional 2–3 minutes to bake.)

  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

  5. For the frosting, beat the butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups (500 mL) of powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until combined, 1–2 minutes. Add the milk and continue beating until blended, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining 2 cups (500 mL) of powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cookie crumbs.
  6. For the filling, beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2–3 minutes.
  7. To assemble, trim the rounded tops (crown) off the cake layers, if necessary for easier assembly. Place the layer with the secret center well on a plate or cake board. Frost or pipe a layer of frosting over the first cake layer. Spoon ½ cup (125 mL) of the whipped cream filling into the secret center. Sprinkle additional cookie crumbs in between layers, if desired. Place the second cake layer on top. Cover the cake with the remaining frosting. Pipe the remaining whipped cream into rosettes on top of the cake and decorate with extra cookies, if you’d like.


  • 8  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 710, Total Fat 42 g, Saturated Fat 25 g, Cholesterol 170 mg, Sodium 135 mg, Carbohydrate 80 g, Fiber 0 g, Sugars 70 g (includes 61 g added sugar), Protein 5 g

Cook's Tips:

When making the cake ahead of time, use additional buttercream for the filling and rosettes instead of whipped cream so it holds its shape.

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