Cookie dough cake

This cookie dough cake recipe by Sarah Mark is a real showstopper, decorated with homemade cookies, buttercream, chocolate ganache and of course... cookie dough!

Cookie dough cake Image credit: Sarah Mark
Brought to you by Sarah Mark from A Spoonful of Vanilla

It's showstopper time! This cookie dough cake requires a little time but is totally worth the effort – perfect for birthdays, family celebrations and beyond! Question is – who's the lucky recipient?!

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Ingredients

For the cake

  • 350g (12oz) unsalted butter
  • 350g (12oz) light brown sugar
  • 350g (12oz) self-raising flour
  • 8 medium free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) chocolate chips

For the cookies

  • 150g (5½oz) light brown sugar
  • 75g (2¾oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 150g (5½oz) self-raising fl our
  • 1-3 tbsp whole milk
  • 100g (3½oz) white chocolate chips
  • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate chips

For the cookie dough

  • 100g (3½oz) light brown sugar
  • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 100g (3½oz) self-raising flour
  • 100g (3½oz) chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tbsp whole milk

For the buttercream

  • 1kg (2lb 2oz) icing sugar
  • 500g (1lb 1oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk, if needed

For the chocolate ganache

  • 200g (7oz) milk chocolate
  • 200g (7oz) double cream

To decorate

  • 200g (7oz) chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

For the cake

1
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Line three 20cm (8in) cake tins with greaseproof paper and set aside.
2
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the flour, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract and chocolate chips, whisking until combined.
3
Split the mixture evenly between the three cake tins, then bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. You will know they are ready when they are golden brown and springy to touch.
4
Allow to cool in the cake tin for 15-20 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookies

1
Line enough baking trays to make 12 cookies; I used four small baking trays to make sure the cookies didn’t touch when they spread. Set aside.
2
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar and butter until combined. Add the vanilla, cornflour and flour and mix until combined. With the mixer on a slow speed add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until combined.
3
Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed; you should have one large ball of mixture in the middle of your bowl – you can add all the chocolate chips if you want, or leave some chocolate chips out of the mixture and roll the dough balls in the remaining chocolate chips before you bake. Alternatively, sprinkle them over the top of the cookies once baked.
4
Roll the mixture into ping pong-sized balls and put them on a baking tray, spaced apart to avoid them touching when they spread in the oven. Put the cookie dough balls in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
5
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
6
Once the dough has chilled, bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. If you are sprinkling chocolate chips over the top, do this once you take them out the oven, but be careful as the cookies will be hot. Leave them to cool completely before trying to remove them from the baking trays; if they are still warm, they might fall apart or stick to the greaseproof paper.

To make the cookie dough balls

1
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar and butter until combined. Add the vanilla, cornflour and flour and mix until combined. With the mixer on a slow speed add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until combined.
2
Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed; it should become one large ball of mixture in the middle of the bowl. Wrap the mixture in clingfilm and place in the fridge until you need it.

To make the buttercream

1
In a bowl, mix together the butter and icing sugar until combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix again. If the buttercream is quite thick, add 1 tsp milk at a time, mixing in between until it reaches the desired consistency.
2
Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.

To make the chocolate ganache

1
Place the cream and chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave in 20-second bursts until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir the mixture, then put it into your piping bag or squeezy bottle ready to use.

To decorate

1
Place the first cake on a board or serving plate, then pipe the buttercream on top. Smooth the buttercream, then drizzle some chocolate ganache over the top.
2
Break the cookie dough into chunks, setting some aside for the decoration, then place some on top of your buttercream and chocolate ganache.
3
Repeat this process until your cake is completely stacked. Don’t worry if the buttercream splodges out the sides a little, just use a cake smoother to smooth around the side of the cake.
4
Crumb-coat the cake by piping a thin layer of the buttercream around the sides and top of the cake, then smooth using a cake smoother. Don’t worry if you can still see the cake through the buttercream, you will cover it completely soon. Pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the buttercream is hard.
5
Pipe the remaining buttercream around the sides and top of the cake; it doesn’t need to be completely covered as the gaps will be covered when you use the cake smoother.
6
Smooth the buttercream on top first, then go around the sides of the cake. Some of the buttercream will likely come off, but just pop this into your bowl and use it later to decorate the top of the cake. If there are any bumps or gaps, fill them in using the excess buttercream. Keep smoothing until the cake is completely smooth.
7
Cut the cookies in half and place them around the bottom of the cake; I used six cookies.
8
Using the remaining chocolate ganache, go around the edge of the cake and encourage it to drip by holding the piping bag or squeezy bottle ever so slightly away from the cake. If you have any leftover ganache, pour it onto the top of the cake and smooth over.
9
Pop the cake into the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set; if you don’t, the buttercream swirls on top will just slide off!
10
Put the leftover buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls on top of the cake, then roll the chilled cookie dough into balls and place on top. Decorate with chocolate chips, if you like.

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