Tuesday, July 24, 2012

chocolate chip cookie dough-filled devil's food cake with buttercream frosting

There are so many things 'right' about this dessert. Three layers of moist chocolate cake? Yes. Rich, creamy buttercream? Uh-huh. Two layers of fluffy filling reminiscent of chocolate chip cookie dough? Ohhh yeah.

In my family, we have the philosophy that if it's worth celebrating, it's worth making a three (or more) layer cake for. As such, we take our celebratory cakes very, very seriously. Mixing this cake with that frosting and these fillings - my mom and I love to explore endless varieties of flavor combination goodness. And this, my friends, is a winning combination. Seriously, it's hard to go wrong with the chocolate cake recipe that has been a staple in my parents' kitchen for several years - it's the perfect blend of rich-but-not-too-rich chocolate flavor and  super-moist-but-still-sturdy texture. Add to that this buttercream frosting that shows off just how delicious vanilla extract really is. And if that's not enough, throw in a filling that confirms once and for all that cookie dough really does have addictive properties.

In other words, find something - anything - worth celebrating and make this today. And let the party begin.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Filled Devil's Food Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

For the cake:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 coup plain cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:
5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 cups Confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper or waxed paper.

Combine the chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over, whisking until smooth. Set aside. Sift together the flours, baking soda, and salt in a second medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat at high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a spatula. On medium-high speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Reducing the speed to medium, add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, about 10 seconds. On low speed, add about a third of the flour mixture, followed by about half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, about 15 seconds, making sure to not overbeat. 

Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and smooth the batter to the edge of each pan with a spatula.  Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-30 minutes. Cool the cakes on wire racks for 15-20 minutes. Run a knife around each pan perimeter to loosen. Invert each cake onto a large plate, peeling off the parchment paper and then reinverting onto a rack. Cool completely.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

To make the frosting:

In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Add the vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

To assemble the cake:

Place one layer of cake on a cake board, platter, or stand. Spread 1/2 of the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the perimeter. Place a second layer of cake on top and repeat with the remaining filling. Top with the final layer of cake. Cover the entire cake in a very thin layer of frosting and then refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. This will create a 'crumb coat' and minimize the amount of chocolate crumbs showing through the white frosting. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, use the remainder of the frosting to cover the cake, decorating as desired.

Cake from The New Best Recipe. Filling adapted from Annie's Eats. Filling adapted from Cooks Illustrated April 2007 via The Way the Cookie Crumbles.


  1. Man this sounds AMAZING ... can I just come over and celebrate something w/ you? :)

    1. Leslie, if you come over, I'll make ANY cake you want! :) I've thought so many times about how I wish I could have baked you something special for a baby shower! If only Vienna were a little closer... :(

    2. Aw how sweet that you thought that. {I just now saw this}

      I'm thinking about making this for my aunt's bday ... how long will I need to make it?

  2. My 12 year old daughter requested a chocolate cake with cookie dough frosting for her birthday. I searched Pinterest and came across your recipe and just made the cookie dough filling...so delicious!! I spread it between and on top of two swiss chocolate layer cakes and think she'll be thrilled with the result! Can't wait to see her reaction...thanks for the scrumptious recipe!

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