So terribly sorry it took me so long to post…I’ve spent the last two weeks making this cake!! (kidding, but seriously…it felt like it took 2 weeks)
Last weekend my dad turned the big 6-0 (He’d kill me for telling you all that) and my family threw him a huge surprise party. He’s a sneaky guy so we were all worried he’d figure it out before the big day, but alas, we succeeded in the surprise part of the party. We even flew in his sister from Michigan, his mother from Pittsburgh and my sister from San Francisco. The second surprise of the night was my cousins from Madison and Chicago joining the party 5 hours later!
ANYWAY, my contribution to the party was to bake an epic cake. Now, my dad is the king of chocolate. The man puts butter on his Oreos for goodness sake. So I had found Kelly’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cake on her Something Shiny blog about a year ago and had been saving it for a special occasion. What better occasion than the Chocolate King turning sixty!!! (See the recipe here! http://www.somethingshinyblog.com/2011/10/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-cake.html)
The cake may have felt like it took forever to make, and it may not have looked as pretty as Kelly’s, but here was the final creation (candles and all):
Want to learn to make this delicious cookie dough filled and buttercream frosted AMAZINGNESS?! Fortunately for you I documented the 235987876 steps involved!
First, gather up all your ingredients for all the aspects of the cake: the homemade cookies (I just ended up using the tollhouse recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag), the cake itself, the cookie dough balls for the middle of the cake, and the out-of-control-delicious buttercream frosting. It ends up to be a pretty big pile of baking accessories:
So I may or may not have taken my first vacation day of work since July to bake this cake…I was not messing around. I started the night before by baking the cakes (mostly because I was afraid I’d mess them up and I wanted the morning to re-make them if i had to). So let’s start with the cake! Here’s what you’ll need
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 cups self-rising flour*, sifted
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
*An easy substitute for self-rising flour is to add 1-1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt for EACH cup of flour.
First, preheat your oven to 350 F. Then, set up your 9 inch pans (you’ll need two!). I traced around the bottom of each pan onto parchment paper and cut a bit inside the line to make a perfectly fitting circle (which I’d never done before but it helped my cake come out of the pan SO MUCH more than any other tricks I’ve ever tried)
Then, spray those bad boys with some cooking spray. THEN, the best tip, is to sprinkle them with flour while tapping the bottom/edge of the pan with the heel of your hand and rotate the pan to better distribute the flower (so not one little annoying part of the cake sticks and ruins EVERYTHING IN LIFE)
Next, use your electric mixer to beat the cream and butter until they are fluffy (which may take a few minutes, especially if your mixer is dying like mine)
As usual, add your sugar! Cream it well until you’ve been mixing for about 8 minutes. Again, my mixer was dying on me throughout this project and I had to add 2 or 3 minutes until it was mixed and fluffy
Add your eggs, one at a time! Beat it well after you add each egg and keep scrapin’ those edges to incorporate all that buttery sugary goodness.
Next, unless you’re smarter than me, you gotta make up that flour mixture for your fake self rising flour. If you are smarter than me, you did it before you started mixing and had the proper “mise en place” (everything in it’s place, as we said in cooking school) Remember, it’s 1-1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt for EACH cup of flour.
Now, add that flour mixture and milk to your eggy goo and alternate adding them, beginning and ending with that flour. Once you do that, you can add that vanilla and butter flavoring (I didn’t have any because I’m cheap, if I’m being honest with you all)
Once your mixture looks like the above poorly-lit photo, grab those 9 inch pans and scoop half into each. Level the batter (here’s a new trick!) by holding the pans 3 inches from the counter and just DROPPING them flat onto the counter. It’s noisy and my roommates definitely hated me as I popped these into the oven at midnight on a Thursday, but it really leveled my batter. It also eliminates any air bubbles in the batter!
Bake those babies for 30-40 minutes, my oven is not built for gourmet crazy cake baking so mine were in there for more like 45 minutes even at 350 F. Cool them in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen it from the cake (or the other way around, whichever way you see it) Then cover the top of the cake with the cooling rack, hold it tight to the pan, and flip that baby over so it lands right on the cooling rack. If you sprayed and floured the pan, they should come out pretty flawlessly like mine (surprisingly) did!
So once those guys turned out okay (and my stress level officially decreased), I went to bed and slept like an angel. Little did I know I had 4 more hours of baking to go…
I woke up around 8AM the day of the partay and starting baking my cookies! As I previously mentioned, I just used the toll house recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag because I know how to make them, and I know my dad likes them. Kelly’s recipe called for some AMAZING sounding cookies, which you should check out on her site if you want to make some seriously delicious chocolate chip cookies, but they required some refrigeration, which my procrastinating self didn’t notice until I read the recipe the day I needed the cake to be completed. If you’re better prepared than myself, though, try her recipe! Or use your own favorite cookie recipe. I made about a dozen larger cookies to put on the sides of the cake and about 2 dozen smaller cookies (using the baby chocolate chips) for the top of the cake. Here’s the toll house recipe for you if you want to use that! http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/original-nestl%C3%89-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/detail.aspx
I’ll list the ingredients for you below in case you’re making your grocery list 😉
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
First split the batter so that I could use half for the big cookies and half for the baby cookies! Then I just baked them as instructed and watched that week’s episode of Dexter while they baked 😉
I probably could have made the big cookies bigger and the little cookies smaller, but they were good enough. Onto the cookie dough!
Ingredients needed for the cookie dough filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 7 ounce sweetened condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Let me tell you before we even start. Condensed milk? BEST THING BEFORE AND AFTER SLICED BREAD. I’d never used it before, but I am its new #1 fan.
Okay, so once I got past how amazing condensed milk is, I combined the butter and sugar and creamed it on medium high until light and fluffy (typical)
Then add that flour, the condensed milk and vanilla until it’s smooth. Throw in the little baby Choc. chips, and throw that guy in the refrigerator for an hour:
Then, while you wait for that to chill so you can roll it into balls, start your amazing buttercream frosting because you’ll need to let that guy cool for a while.
Here’s what you’ll need for the most heavenly frosting there is:
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla extract
(I DOUBLED THIS so I had enough to frost the cake! You should, too!)
So this is a bit different from any buttercream I’ve ever made. It’s hot. and then cool. BUT ULTIMATELY DELICIOUS. Measure your flour and sugar and put it in a medium sauce pan. I am silly and used a soup pot so I could use my dying hand mixer to mix right in the soup pot. I obviously don’t have high-class equipment in my kitchen nor do I care what happens to it. #postgradprobz?
Whisk that sugar and flour together so it dissolves better when you add your milk, which is what you do next! Whisk that, too. Then cook it over medium heat, stirring it constantly. Seriously, don’t go to the gym the week before you make this. Your arms will thank you. Well, they’ll still hate you, but they’ll hate you less than if you did pull ups the Tuesday before making it.
It’ll seem like nothing is going to happen. Your arm might think it’s going to fall off, but it will just look like milk for a solid 8 minutes. Then, suddenly, it thickens up…almost to the consistency of that amazing condensed milk! Cook for 2 minutes after it reaches that consistency. Don’t stop stirring! Don’t burn it! Then, take it off the heat, and let it cool completely. c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y. I took a shower, got ready and even rolled all my cookie dough balls before it was completely cool. At least the cookie dough balls are ready!
Here’s those rolled cookie dough balls you can roll while you impatiently wait for the amazing buttercreamyness to cool
Once it’s TOTALLY cooled, throw that butter in and whip like a crazy lady! Beat it for at least 5 minutes (again, I did 10 because my mixer was so dead at this point that it was practically just a whisk). Once it’s fluffy and delicious, immediately start frosting because it will definitely harden. And try not to eat too much of it (although I did and I still had extra)
First, I split some of the batter and put the cookie dough balls in it to put in between the two nummy cakes.
Get your bottom layer of cake ready (you may have to even off the top with a bread knife but my postgrad kitchen doesn’t have that luxury, so I let the tops of the cakes stay lumpy. My dad has to love me no matter what his birthday cake looks like!) Then throw that cookie dough ball/frosting mixture on top like so:
AND SLAP THAT OTHER CAKE ON!
I’m the world’s worst froster, EVER, so I preliminary frosted it and stuck it in the fridge to harden a bit before I completely frosted it.
After a few swears and a reminder that perfection doesn’t exist, this is how the frosting came out:
Fortunately, the cookie adding allows you all to be creative to cover up your frosting job! There is no rules to the decorating, let your little heart decide how to complete this cookie/cake creation! Although just a disclaimer: to get the little chocolate chips to stick to the side of the cake, you do have to throw them at the cake. Literally, throw them. But the chocolate chip clean up is totally worth how awesome the cake looks.
Everyone RAVED over the cake at the party, and it was pretty much gone by the end of the weekend. I wish the inside had turned out better looking, but it was still just absolutely spectacular in taste.
A very happy birthday to my Dad (and also my sister, whose birthday was actually on the day of the surprise party!) I had just an amazing weekend, and all the work that I put into this cake was so worth it to see everyone’s happy faces as they ate.
Please let me know if you try and make this cake and have some more tips for me! I’d love to make it again, but not for a while: so much work for my first vacation day in 5 months 😉
Speaking of work, I’m off to a work party! Happy Saturday to all, and happy baking!