Cookie Dough Cake

My mother used to warn me to keep my fingers out of the mixing bowl. There are raw eggs, she'd say while playfully slapping my hand away with a spatula. You'll get sick. Even though she had my best interest at heart, I wasn't very good at listening. When her back was turned, I'd swipe a finger through the brownie batter or pinch off a piece of cookie dough, quickly hiding the evidence between my lips. The taste of the raw dough from my favorite cookies and cake outweighed the warnings my mother gave, each and every time.

(Sorry, mom.)

After eating raw batter for the better part of 25 years (and having yet to get sick), I cannot say my habit of licking the spatula clean has gotten much better. However, I am a bit more careful about the batter I choose to eat. When I'm craving a bit of cookie dough, I'll make a batch without eggs so I can sneak as much as I'd like.

A few years ago, I slipped a little cookie dough into a batch of cupcakes that was headed to the oven. The result was unique, but no less delicious than the sum of its parts. The memory of those long ago cupcakes were the inspiration for this cake. Real cookie dough is cut into small pieces and spread throughout the batter. As the cake itself tastes like cookie batter, the finished product becomes a texture playground, alternating between light cake and dense cookie dough. It's a fun, sweet cake that begs for a glass of milk.

As a side note, I'll be taking a break from blogging for the next month to deal with medical issues, move across state lines, and begin a new job. With so much going on all at once, I need to step away from the kitchen and concentrate on other things for awhile. Even though I'll be gone, I won't let this space go quiet. I have asked a handful of my favorite bloggers to share their own recipes with you. Each week you'll meet a new face and have the opportunity to try out a sweet treat or savory dish.

I have a feeling you'll fall in love with their words and photography as I did.

This Cookie Dough Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream is where chocolate chip cookies meet cake. The cake is made with brown sugar to give it the taste of cookie batter. Small pieces of cookie dough are mixed into the batter, giving the cake a unique texture that's somewhere between a cake and cookie dough. While the cake is more dense than usual from the cookie dough, it has the undeniable taste and texture of sneaking a finger full of batter from the bowl. While the brown sugar frosting is optional, it can work as a nice complement to the cake when spread in a thin layer.

One Year Ago: Blackberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Dark & Stormy with Ginger Ale
Two Years Ago: Pâte Brisée (Pie Crust)
Three Years Ago: Roasted Cherry Coconut Ice Cream

Cookie Dough Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Yields double 9-inch layer cake (or two 3-layer 5-inch cakes)

Cookie Dough
4 tablespoons (56 grams) salted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (85 grams) miniature chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and salt. Gently fold in the miniature chocolate chips. Form dough into a thin rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze until solid, about 30 minutes.

Cookie Dough Cake
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1/3 cup (75 grams) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups (300 grams) cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 9-inch cake pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth.

Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and cut into small 1/4-inch cubes, gently stirring them into the batter.

Divide batter between cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. After about 10 minutes, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Depending on the height of your cake pans, you may have batter leftover—perfect for cupcakes!

Brown Sugar Buttercream (optional)
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups (375 grams) powdered sugar
2 tablespoon milk

In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (the process can be made quicker with use of the refrigerator).

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter/sugar combination until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and salt. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and milk. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add a touch of milk or cream until it reaches a spreadable consistency. If you find the frosting too sweet, add another 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of salt, to taste.

To assemble, place the cooled bottom cake layer on a serving platter. Spread a layer of buttercream on top before placing the second layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting along the top and edges. The frosting is quite sweet, so a thinner layer is better.