Gooey cake with a chocolate twist? That might sound too good to be true, but I specialize in making dessert dreams realities, and that’s exactly what you get with this cake. The base is chocolate cake mix with chocolate cream cheese filling, just like a traditional gooey cake, but the top is a deliciously light and fluffy whipped cream with sandwich-cookie accents. In a cinch, you can make this and devour it with your friends and family. Just ask my cousin BJ, a cookies and cream fanatic, who went for thirds and fourths of this cake during testing.
For the bottom cake layer
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Liberally prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with the nonstick method of your choice. (I recommend the parchment method described on p. 17.) In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients until well combined. Evenly pat the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.
For the gooey chocolate layer
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar, cream cheese, eggs, cocoa powder, and instant coffee powder on low speed. Once the sugar has blended into the ingredients, turn your mixer speed to high. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt and continue to beat until all the ingredients are well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, on top of the bottom layer, and spread it evenly across the pan using a spatula. Bake for 27 to 33 minutes. The center should still be gooey and will look underbaked.
Let cool to room temperature in the pan. Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out.
For the cookie-whipped cream topping
Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Place them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to get them nice and cold.
Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the refrigerator. Add the heavy cream and sugar and whip on high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Add ½ of the cookie crumbs and beat until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream topping on top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining cookie crumbs. Cut the cake into slices. Place a half cookie in the center of each slice. Serve at room temperature.
Store the cake in the refrigerator. Before serving, bring the cake back to room temperature by removing from the refrigerator and letting it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.