Disclaimer: This is easily THE richest, most decadent thing I’ve ever made, tasted or laid my eyeballs on–figuratively, of course. Though if I could actually lay my eyeballs on it, I probably would. It’d be like laying on a smooth, velvety blanket of happiness.
Everyone loves velvet happiness blankets.
Normally, I really despise making cakes. They’re super hard to frost, mine always turn out lopsided and they just aren’t as photogenic or cute and petite like their younger, hotter sister, the cupcake.
Cakes are bulky and annoying and inconvenient. Cupcakes are cute and sweet and perfectly-sized. You eat a cupcake guilt-free. You eat a cake and suddenly you’re being judged.
But I’m not here to judge you. After all, I’m the one who made the cake. And that meant taking on all responsibility for the bulky and inconvenientness of it all.
I made it mostly because I was kinda sorta in the mood to make anything but a cupcake. Yes, I have those days. Portioning batter? Piping frosting? Ehhhhhhh. Today I was feeling far more lazy and far less fancy. Well, almost.
I mean, I was supposed to save today as a day to catch up on neglected homework and stuff but since I spent the entire day shopping, making a galaxy-print shirt with bleach and acrylic paint and doing virtually everything else except math problems, I decided to make a cake. Lazy on work, fancy on flavor. You hear? Like a mullet, but far more attractive and socially acceptable.
Chocolate chip overdose? Too much cookie dough? Uh, how else was I going to spend my Sunday? Certainly not doing homework (sorry, Professor Lucero).
It’s just that I work ALL DAY, every day (almost) and go to school full-time now. I just don’t have the free time anymore to shop on a whim or wake up late in the day or I don’t know, bake a decadent cake because I’m feeling mullet-y.
And Sunday will come and go and I definitely don’t want to look back when I’m sixty-seven and be like, I spent my first Sunday as a twenty-one year old doing homework! and not making a decadent cake.
I want to think, I spent my first Sunday as a twenty-one year old eating a chocolate chip cookie dough cake and drinking beer because I’m a classy motherf…yeah.
I’ll declare this from the necessary trailer parked in front of my mansion. Half classy, half trashy… kinda like my favorite Beverly Hills Housewives. And I can assure you they would ALL love this cake, mostly because it tastes amazing but also because if they did anything besides accuse Kim of doing meth, they would want to bake a cake instead of frosting cupcakes and they would bake this one. And then go back to accusing Kim of snorting crystal meth. (she totally does)
So why am I rambling? To take up more not-doing homework time. But also because I get chatty when I’m happy and this cake is just so thrilling.
If you have something to do next Sunday, cancel it. Stay home, get in your yoga pants that have never once been to a yoga class, and bake this freaking dream-come-true cake. Then eat it and feel fancy. It’s just something you have to do. Like read your Brit Lit homework. But you actually really have to make this cake.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake *inspired by Kelly’s version over at Something Shiny
For the cake:
1 pkg French vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste*
For the cookie dough/cookies:
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
4 T milk
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
For cookie dough frosting:
3 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
4- 4.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 T milk, if needed
Additional 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 8 or 9″ baking pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in powdered pudding mix and the vanilla bean paste. Evenly divide the batter among the two pans and bake according to package directions or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with light moist crumbs (about 24-27 mins). Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks.
3. Meanwhile, prepare eggless cookie dough. In a large bowl, beat together butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Lastly, slowly beat in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie dough scoop, portion out cookie dough into small balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Save about 8 cookie dough balls and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 8-10 mins and cool. Freeze the rest of the dough balls for several hours or until firm. Once firmed, cut the dough balls in half.
1. Once your cake is cooled, about 8 cookies are baked and the other dough balls are chilled and halved, prepare your frosting.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until light and fluffy. Add milk if needed (if frosting becomes too thick or pasty during the process).
1. Put one cake on a cake board or flat serving surface (like a cake stand). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, take out about 3/4 cup of frosting and stir a handful of halved & chilled cookie dough balls into the reserved frosting. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the cake. This is your filling.
2. Top the bottom tier and filling with your second cake. Begin frosting your cake using an offset spatula for smoothing & spreading. Make sure to evenly coat the cake’s top and sides, adding more frosting as needed.
3. Once the cake is frosted to your liking, begin placing the cookies along the edge of the cake, evenly spacing them. Then, top your frosted cake with the remaining miniature chocolate chips. Place the cake in the fridge for several hours to set (uncovered is fine) then serve. Once cut, store covered in the fridge to maximize freshness.
**Note: so this vanilla bean paste? AMAZING. I can never justify spending $15+ on vanilla bean pods at the store since they’re basically a one-time use. However I spotted this paste by LorAnn Oils at my local ROSS and swiped it. It adds an extra layer of richness to the cake and my frosting (I subbed my vanilla extract for it). It’s optional, but worth it for the jar size and quality. You can find it HERE or try your local ROSS, TJ Maxx or HomeGoods store.
Cake hater or not, everyone will love this impressive and decadent cake!! My family was shocked when they spotted it on the table after dinner and had no qualms devouring it within seconds. I doubt you will, either.
Have a fancy Tuesday!!