Milk and Cookies Cake

If you've never had the Ben and Jerry's flavor Milk and Cookies, stop reading this right now, get in your car, and go buy a pint. It is THE BEST. Vanilla ice cream with chocolate cookie swirl, chocolate chip, and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. If that's not asking to be made into a cake, I don't know what is. Both the cake and frosting recipes I got from one of my favorite cake blogs, Cake by Courtney (www.cakebycourtney.com). The first time I made it, I did only chocolate ganache in between the layers. I decided it needed the vanilla buttercream in between layers as well or it got a little too dense. Of course then I decided it just didn't have quite enough going on, and needed some actual cookie dough. And if it was going to have cookie dough it might as well have chocolate cookie pieces too. Because everyone knows more is better, at least when it comes to cake!

Chocolate Chip Cake

Makes 2 thick 9" layers (which I cut into 4 layers)

Ingredients:

6 cups cake flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

12 ounces chocolate chips (preferably mini)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Spray and flour your pans.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, I would suggest the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil, and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

4. Alternating, beat in flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour.

5. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake until the centers spring back when gently touched. If you use two 9" pans this should be around 40-45 minutes.

7. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack. Once they are cool you can use a cake leveler or bread knife to cut them in half to create 4 thin layers.

Side note: I've also made this cake with only butter, with yogurt instead of oil, with milk and yogurt instead of buttermilk, and with regular white flour instead of cake flour, and it has always turned out amazing!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

8 cups confectioners sugar

4 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Cream the butter, then add the confectioners sugar about a cup at a time, beating until combined.

2. Add vanilla, heavy cream, and salt. Beat until combined.

3. Here's the important part: continue to beat on high speed until the frosting turns fluffy and white. It will take about 5 minutes, but you will be able to see the change in color especially!

Chocolate Ganache

Combine 1 cup of heavy cream with 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate chips and fully melted. Remove from heat and let cool.

To Build the Cake

Put your first layer down and spread a thin, even layer of the vanilla buttercream over it. Generously spread pieces of cookie dough and chocolate cookies on top of the frosting. Then spoon chocolate ganache over the top of the cookie pieces. Place the second layer on top. At this point I like to fill the crack between the two layers with frosting. This helps me make sure my layers are centered on each other and will keep any ganache or cookie pieces from leaking out. Repeat this will all of your layers, until you get to the top. Before you do any ganache or cookie pieces on top you want to frost the top and sides of the cake. After that I like to add a chocolate ganache drip using a squirt bottle. The chocolate ganache will drip best when it is slightly warmer than room temperature, so you may have to warm it back up a little. Then you can decorate the top with leftover cookie dough, chocolate cookies, and/or chocolate chips!