Cookie dough cake for a special birthday week, and a list of things for which I am grateful.
Hey! It’s my birthday week! And I made my own birthday cake! It’s a chocolate chip cookie dough cake!
Well, not exactly. I definitely made this cookie dough cake and ate it during my birthday week, but there were no candles or singing. We actually finished the last piece of the cake the day before my birthday.
My Mom technically made my birthday cake; she made me a mandarin orange cake. It’s a Southern style cake you might not have heard of. The cake uses mandarin orange in the batter, and the frosting is crushed pineapple, Cool Whip (gasp!), and a box of vanilla pudding (double gasp!). Christy Jordan makes a great version of it, and it’s the one time a year that I eat such processed, boxed food. It’s my birthday, and I deserve it!
Overall, I enjoyed two types of cake this week, and it’s been the sweetest birthday yet. I’m surprised I didn’t have time to make my birthday cake cupcakes, too!
How to make cookie dough cake:
I made this cookie dough cake because I wanted to bake something fun that is a little out of the ordinary for me. Elaborate, over-the-top desserts that are super sweet aren’t normally my thing. I would definitely never combine my cookie dough with cake and buttercream on a regular Tuesday. It’s mildly excessive, but it’s very birthday. I adore it.
This cookie dough cake is actually a double batch of my mini vanilla cake with my cookie dough dip sandwiched between the layers. I tripled the recipe for the frosting from the vanilla cake but used vanilla bean paste instead of extract.
This is a small layer cake made of two six-inch cake layers. I use a special 6″ cake pan for this. It’s the cake pan that I use for all of my small cake recipes here on this site. Here is the exact one I use. I love it because it has 2″ sides, not 3″ tall sides.
Since I’m turning one year older, I want to share some things for which I am grateful.
- I’m thankful for every single friend and family member in my life. I’m an introvert, and I’m hard to get to know because I tend to agree with everyone in a conversation to ‘keep the peace.’ I like to find common ground in a conversation to make the other person feel comfortable. In essence, it’s a lot of fluff. It’s hard for me to actually open and talk. If you’re my friend, you make me feel comfortable and accepted. Thank you. I love you.
- I’m thankful for my two dogs, even though they are literally more work than a child. I’m glad my slightly insane husband decided we need two fur balls in our house. The silliness of their personalities grounds me multiple times a day.
- I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to write four cookbooks. It feels like something Divine has completely controlled that part of my life. I love the whole process of creating the table of contents, imagining the lay-out, and seeing it come to life. Fun secret: I love writing books slightly more than blogging.
4. I’m thankful that God gave me a passion in life—a passion so big that it pushes me out of bed in the morning and keeps me up late at night, too.
5. I’m thankful for every woman who has spoken up about how hard it is to be a Mom. Especially the Moms that also work full time, chase dreams, and find the balance. I’m forever in awe of Moms who devote their entire lives to their kids and are completely fulfilled by them. I strive to be more like you everyday.
6. I’m thankful to live in an age of openness and sharing. I feel like it’s completely okay to talk about things that were once considered topics of conversations to be avoided. Things like: miscarriages, money, sex, dating, period cups, hormones, career struggles, how annoying kids can be, self care, the need for therapy, dating your husband, and how hard it is to juggle everything good & bad in life.
7. I’m thankful that the Universe speaks to us, and gives us the power to chase our dreams merely by focusing on them and staying open to receive. If I sound like an Abraham Hicks fan, it’s because I am. I’m forever thankful for the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I re-read it nearly constantly, and f I could hand out party favors for my online birthday, I would give everyone a copy! After a slice of cookie dough cake, of course!
8. I’m thankful for my Church and the community that it creates. I love being a Catholic. I’m a convert, and therefore, I took all the Church history courses required to convert and learned a ton of really cool things about it.
9. I’m thankful to have a job that lets me work at home. While I never imagined this job (and was quite happy in the corporate world before this), I feel like all of this was Divinely pre-arranged. To be honest, I always imagined myself as a woman who worked outside the house with her kid(s) in daycare. I can’t believe I get to be home with my daughter. I don’t know if it will be like this forever, but it’s been great so far.
10. I’m thankful for my husband who quite literally asks me to be the best person possible in all situations. It’s so very hard, but he’s right. I can’t believe he puts up with me daily.
11. I’m thankful for my beautiful daughter who teaches me so much everyday. I don’t know what I did to get so lucky to have such a smart kid who loves people and is genuinely curious about life.
12. I’m thankful to my parents for raising me to have so much confidence in myself that it’s almost a downfall. Like, if I had a third arm growing out of my forehead, I’m pretty sure my parents could have convinced me that I was still beautiful and capable of anything.
13. I’m thankful to be a Texan. I love my home state, but I also love the opportunities that I’ve had to live all over the country. California has a special place in my heart. I met my husband there, and we fell in love there. He left his heart in California to come live with me in Texas.
14. On that note, I’m thankful to be settled back in Texas, and living in a home that could be our forever home. It’s a feeling Brian and I have never known–we’ve moved 3 times in 6 years!
15. I’m thankful for my IKEA sectional couch and the TV in front of it. I know that sounds silly, but I am a workaholic, and so I need a cozy place that forces me to relax.
16. I’m thankful for YOU. Thanks for showing up here, thanks for messaging me and emailing me. Thanks for making my recipes, and thanks for buying my cookbooks. You’re my people, and I love you so.
I hope you enjoy this mini cookie dough cake for two, and thank you for being here!
Yields 1 small 2-layer cake
A double layer cookie dough cake for two!
60 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 45 Total Time
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar*
- 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon mini chocolate chips, plus more for decorating
- First, make the cakes. Preheat the oven to 350, and spray 2 6" round cake pans with 2" sides with cooking spray. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.
- In a medium-size bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat very well, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the eggs and vanilla paste, and beat until well-combined, about 15 seconds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add half of the this to the batter and beat for just a few seconds before stirring in half of the milk and vinegar (or buttermilk, if using). Continue beating. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat, and then stir in the remaining milk mixture.
- Finally, stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (I use a scale to do this), smooth out the tops, and bake on a sheet pan for 37-39 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool on a wire rack in the pan. Carefully remove them from the pan, pulling away the parchment paper once it has cooled.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla paste and heavy cream, and beat until light and fluffy. If the mixture seems too stiff, add a splash more heavy cream.
- Next, make the cookie dough filling: In a small bowl, beat together with an electric mixer all ingredients (except the chocolate chips), until creamy and light.
- Stir in the mini chocolate chips by hand.
- Place one vanilla cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Pile the cookie dough filling on top, and spread it almost to the edge. Place the other vanilla cake layer on top.
- Frost the cake using an offset spatula. Decorate with mini chocolate chips.
- The cake will keep in the fridge covered for up to 5 days, if it's frosting--the frosting seals in the cake and keeps it fresh. When ready to serve, let the cake come to room temperature.
*Instead of milk and vinegar, you may use buttermilk for this recipe.