Last weekend my college freshman son made his first official visit home since he left for college in August. He is attending a college that is a 9-hour drive from our home. I don’t anticipate his visits to be very frequent during the school year. As it turned out all the stars aligned so that he was able to come home for his birthday weekend! Oh happy day! I was initially expecting that I would have to figure out how to mail him his favorite cookie dough cake.
As birthday parties go, I suppose our celebration was pretty low-key. We spent most of the day hanging out together and visiting. My son pulled up a chair in the kitchen and we discussed his classes and plans for next semester while I baked his cookie dough birthday cake.
For the last 4 years, my son has requested the same cake for his birthday – a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake. This cookie dough cake has become his favorite and I don’t think there will be a cake that will unseat it anytime soon.
This cookie dough cake is relatively simple to make. It is a rich cake and definitely will satisfy your sweet tooth and any cravings you may have for cookie dough.
Before baking the cake, I get started on the cookie dough. This is an eggless cookie dough recipe so you are safe eating the cookie dough raw. The cookie dough only contains butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, flour, milk, and chocolate chips. The reason why I start with the cookie dough is that you will be freezing the cookie dough in small balls for your filling as well as baking some for decorating the cake. You can work on the cookie dough while the cake is baking but I just prefer to give the dough more time to freeze.
You start the cookie dough cake with a box of french vanilla cake mix. The instructions call for adding vanilla bean paste to the cake mix and a box of instant vanilla pudding mix to the cake mix along with the ingredients called for on the box. I never have vanilla bean paste on hand so I usually just add vanilla extract. The pudding mix makes the cake moister and gives it a homemade taste.
For me, the cookie dough icing recipe as written is very sweet. It is a lovely icing recipe unique in its aspect of having a distinct cookie dough flavor. This flavor is due to the addition of brown sugar. Beyond the brown sugar, the recipe is similar to a typical buttercream recipe with butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk. I cut back on the confectioner’s sugar to 3 to 3.5 cups. I also increase the salt to 1 tsp to help cut back on the sweetness.
To assemble the cake you will set a portion of the icing aside. Take the cookie dough that you previously froze and cut the balls into smaller pieces. The recipe calls for halving the cookie dough balls but perhaps my cookie dough balls were huge. I usually find quartering or maybe even smaller works better. First of all, you will be mixing the cookie dough with the icing you set aside. Secondly, this will become your filling between the cake layers. Cookie dough halves would be too big for me as a filling, but your mileage may vary.
After icing the cake to your liking you will place baked cookies on the side of the cake and sprinkle with chocolate chips. I find getting the cookies to stick to require placing some icing on the back of each cookie before pressing the cookie on to the cake.
I hope my tips help. Every year that I have made this cake it has been a hit. I like that its unique in combining cookie dough with a birthday cake. And there is no denying the decadence! Let me know if you try it and what you think!