Penguins On Vacation – Triple Chocolate Oreo Crunch Cake

Penguins on Vacation - fondant penguins at a beach scene, on a triple chocolate oreo crunch cake decorated with white chocolate buttercream to look like sand and ocean waves.

Back in December, I created this Penguin Skating Rink Cake. After that excursion, those little fluffy friends felt a bit adventurous and decided to take a spring break trip to the beach! So, today, I’m going to share with you this Penguins On Vacation creation – featuring my favorite Triple Chocolate Oreo Crunch Cake!

This recipe (featured similarly in my Peggy Porschen palette-knife painted cake) consists of a new and improved moist milk-chocolate sponge. Layered with an Oreo-crunch cookie layer and ultra-creamy dark chocolate ganache, this cake is crave-able.

Then, we top off this chocolate-lover’s dream with luscious white chocolate buttercream. Yum!

Not only will I share with you the recipe to make this delicious cake, but I’ll also give you some of my favorite, most helpful fondant tips! You can choose to get creative with the decorating, or just make this cake and enjoy it in its simple, undecorated goodness. Either way, you’re going to love it!

First, peruse the list of materials you’ll need to create the cake and cute penguin decor! I’ve included some affiliate links for your reference. Then, scroll down for a printable recipe as well as my favorite fondant decorating tips. Happy baking!

Penguins on Vacation Cake – Materials List

Before you begin baking, make sure you have the following kitchen and cake decorating tools.

Kitchen Tools:

Cake Decorating Equipment:

Triple Chocolate Oreo Crunch Cake Recipe

Whether you choose to decorate this cake, or just leave it simple, it is sure to be your new favorite! Feel free to print out this recipe, or save it to Pinterest using any of the images in this post! That way, you can save and reference it later on!

Penguins on Vacation - fondant penguins at a beach scene, on a triple chocolate oreo crunch cake decorated with white chocolate buttercream to look like sand and ocean waves.

Triple Chocolate Oreo Crunch Cake

This triple chocolate Oreo crunch cake consists of a moist, milk-chocolate sponge, Oreo crunch, creamy dark chocolate ganache, and a white chocolate American-style buttercream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, dark chocolate, ganache, milk chocolate, oreo, triple chocolate, white chocolate
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Decorating & Resting Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 16 servings


Chocolate Cake Layers

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder plus more for prep
  • 1 cup boiling hot coffee
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup sour cream room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter for prep

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • ¼ tsp espresso powder optional
  • ¼ tsp salt

Oreo Crunch Layer

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups finely crushed Oreo cookies

White Chocolate American Buttercream Frosting

  • cups butter room temp (3 sticks)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean flecks My vanilla bean was from https://www.etsy.com/shop/AfricanSpices (gifted)
  • 2-4 tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp salt


Chocolate Cake Layers

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter your cake pans. Then, coat them with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess over the sink or garbage can. Add the cocoa powder to the boiling coffee, mix, and let it sit to cool.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs for 3-5 minutes until it reaches the ribbon stage.
  • Then, with the mixer running, slowly stream in the oil, combining the mixture well. Next, add the sour cream and vanilla, combining gently with a spatula. Finally, add the flour mixture and the cooled (room temp) cocoa/coffee mixture in two alternating additions. Again, mix gently with a spatula until everything is just combined.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the three prepared baking pans, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check the cake with a toothpick for doneness – a finished cake will result in a clean toothpick.
  • Let the cakes cool in their pans for 5-10 minutes, then carefully flip them onto a cooling rack to finish. Once the layers have fully cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer until time to stack your cake.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • In a heat-proof bowl or mug, stir the espresso powder (if using) into the cream. You don't really taste the coffee in this ganache, but it helps to enhance the chocolate flavors. Then, scald the heavy cream mixture in the microwave until it just starts to bubble.
  • Pour the cream over the chopped dark chocolate and let it stand for one minute. Then, slowly stir the chocolate, starting from the center, until the cream fully melts the chocolate and combines. This stirring process can take a few minutes, but don’t give up.

Oreo Crunch Layer

  • In a heat-proof bowl, melt the butter. While that heats, chop the Oreos into very fine pieces.
  • Add the Oreo crumbs to the butter and combine.
  • Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a lightly buttered cake pan and bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool to room temperature until you’re ready to layer your cakes.

White Chocolate American Buttercream Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat your softened butter until it’s fluffy. Then, cup by cup, add the powdered sugar, mixing fully and scraping the bowl in between each addition.
  • In a microwave-proof bowl, melt the white chocolate until no clumps remain, using caution not to burn the chocolate. Let it cool to room temperature. You can speed this up in the freezer or refrigerator if need be.
  • Beat the melted and cooled white chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt into the buttercream. Then, if necessary, thin it out with a few tablespoons of heavy cream, mixing again. Let sit covered at room temperature until you’re ready to stack the cakes (or in the refrigerator overnight.)

Stacking and Decorating Your Cake

  • Use your cake leveler to slice off the uneven tops of the cake layers.
  • Pipe a ring of buttercream around the outside of the first layer, to create a dam. Then, fill the inside with the ganache. On top of that, carefully place one of your Oreo discs. Then, carefully smooth a small amount of buttercream on top. Then, add a second layer of cake, and repeat the process. For a visual explanation of stacking and layering a cake, watch the video via the link below.
  • Using an offset spatula or piping bag, coat the outside of the cake in a thick layer of buttercream. Then, hold the cake scraper at a tight angle to the cake and smooth the sides. This first layer doesn’t have to be perfect (and it likely won’t be.) You just want to lock in all of the layers and crumbs. When it is smoothed to your liking, place the cake in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to harden.
  • Once the crumb coat has hardened to the touch, use an offset spatula to add sandy-brown buttercream to one-half of the cake. I didn't smooth this out with a cake scraper because I wanted it to resemble a hilly, sandy beach. Then, on the other side, use your spatula and varying shades of light blue, dark blue, and white to create ocean "waves."
    To do so, place a good amount of buttercream on the back of your spatula, press the spatula down on the cake, then gently push forward slightly, and pull back. Repeat this process to layer "waves" on top of each other. You can create smaller, lighter dabs near the "shoreline," and then make the "waves" larger and higher as you go further back on the cake.
  • Finally, create your fondant characters. Modeling with fondant is very similar to modeling with clay. Here are some of my favorite fondant tips:
    -Knead the fondant until it warms up a bit and becomes pliable. Use caution not to over-knead, or the warmth from your hands could make the fondant sticky. If this happens, let it rest for a minute, uncovered, to dry out just a bit. Otherwise, it's important to keep your fondant covered with plastic wrap at ALL times, or it will start to harden.
    -To color fondant, use a toothpick to add a dab of food coloring GEL to the center, and then twist the fondant over itself to spread the color around. Then, knead that section until the color is evenly dispersed.
    -Think of the objects you're making in terms of simple shapes, to make the modeling process easier. For example, to create the penguins, I rolled out a black sphere, then pulled it at two ends to make more of an egg-shape. Then, I created white circles of varying sizes and flattened them out to make the belly, eyes, and pupils. To make the penguin beaks, I formed a soft cone shape. The penguin's wings were rounded, flat triangles, and the feet were small balls that I "smooshed" down on one side on which the penguin sits.
    -To add small details, like the eyes or beak, first make a small hole with a pointed fondant tool. Then, press the fondant into the hole to secure it.
    -Let the fondant dry on parchment paper, at room temperature, uncovered. Thin pieces will start to dry almost immediately, so you will have to work somewhat quickly. Thick, solid pieces can take over a day to dry fully. You can use small pieces of rolled-up plastic wrap or parchment paper to create "molds" and "crutches" to hold pieces in place while they dry. For example, I used parchment paper under the surfing penguin's wings to ensure they dried in the "flipped out" position. I also used this method, laying the palm tree fronds over some parchment paper, so that they would dry with a curve, instead of flat on the work surface.
    -Whatever you do, don't put your fondant figures in the refrigerator! The moisture can make them gummy and melty. Plus, it is easier to secure the fondant figures in room-temperature buttercream, as a chilled BC is quite hard (crusting.) This cake can sit out at room temperature for two days. However, if/when you do decide to refrigerate it, you should remove the fondant figures, first.
    For a visual explanation of these fondant tips, reference my video tutorial link below!


For more decorating information, including how to layer and stack your cake, adding a crumb coat, and working with fondant, check out my video tutorial in this post.

Enjoy Your Oreo Crunch Cake!

Whether you choose to decorate this Triple Chocolate Oreo Crunch cake with adorable penguin antics or leave it layered and stacked, it’s sure to be a winner. The delicate cake sponge and trifecta of chocolates are perfectly balanced with a variety of textures – thanks to the crunchy Oreos and creamy, dreamy ganache.

For behind-the-scenes fun, including helpful dessert Reels and more, find me on Instagram! We can keep in touch – and I love to see what you’re working on in the kitchen, too! 🙂

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Take care guys! Until next time…



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Addicted to Pinterest, like me? Pin the image below to save this recipe for later or show it to your friends. After all, sharing is caring. 😉

Penguins on Vacation - fondant penguins at a beach scene, on a triple chocolate oreo crunch cake decorated with white chocolate buttercream to look like sand and ocean waves.
Penguins on Vacation - fondant penguins at a beach scene, on a triple chocolate oreo crunch cake decorated with white chocolate buttercream to look like sand and ocean waves.