This week is my husband, Dylan’s 26th birthday! Of course, I wanted to make something special for his birthday party this weekend. Well… Dyl is sometimes funny when it comes to desserts. While I like all things fruity, Dylan only really likes the trifecta: donuts, brownies, and cookies. He mentioned really liking Great American Cookie Cakes; however, I was a bit shocked when I saw the cost. Surely I could make one for cheaper, right?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
I did a lot of research on recipes and actually have made several cookie cakes in the last several weeks for Dylan. Honestly, while cookie cakes are easy, I’ve found that they are hard to do really well. There is a balance you have to find with cooking time, thickness of cookie dough, and creaminess of dough. Well I was really impressed with this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction (she always comes through for me).
I will add… I’ve tried to make cookie cakes in my cast iron skillet and have never been happy with how they have turned out – they just taste a bit weird to me. I used a springform cake pan for this one and it worked really well. Here are a couple of other tips….
- I used an entire 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the cookie cake – that was perfect. However, in this recipe she recommends saving 1/4 cup of chips for decoration – up to you! I’ll share more on how I decorated in a minute.
- Baking time is crucial here. I ended up baking mine for about 35 minutes, but I think I should’ve pulled it out about 1-2 minutes earlier. This is the hardest part about cookie cake! I find that one minute, you have a really gooey center and the next it’s over baked. I would recommend setting the timer for 25 minutes, and then testing the middle of the cake with a toothpick every 2 minutes after that. Once the toothpick pulls out clean, quickly pull it out of the oven.
- Make sure you let the cake cool completely before icing. Honestly, I walked a very fine line here and my refrigerator saved me. Using a springform pan makes it easier to transfer to a new surface earlier (so that it can cool faster).
I have to admit, I went down an frosting rabbit hole when doing research prior to making this cake. I’ve never done anything quite like this before, so I really wanted it to be good. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I wanted something stiff enough to hold shape while I decorated, but that tasted a bit creamier. There was even a brief moment that I thought about making a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but thankfully, I decided against that for my first time.
I ended up going with this recipe from Savory Sweet Life – and it was perfect! I will say, this frosting did taste a bit less creamy than I would’ve liked. I’ll probably add more heavy whipping cream next time. I only added 2 tablespoons because I was worried about stiffness, but I think I would’ve been fine if I added a couple more.
For decorating, you will need some tools here – you will need piping tips, piping couplers, and piping bags. You can buy kits like this one on Amazon for pretty reasonably and they have MORE than what you need for this. However, it’s nice to have a lot of options on tip size/ shape. Before I started, I watched this video on Youtube that helped give me some ideas/ techniques for how to decorate a cookie cake. I used a star tip and did little “flowers” along the edges. The longer you push the frosting out, the bigger your “flowers” will be. I did 1 round of smaller ones, followed by a round of bigger ones. My recommendation is – try practicing on a paper towel or paper plate prior to decorating your cookie cake. This helped give me a bit of confidence before I decorated the real thing.
Because my cookie cake was small, I didn’t want to try writing “Happy birthday” on it, so I looked around online for some other ideas. I stumbled across one with just the number and I loved the idea! It was pretty straightforward to draw the numbers as long as I took my time and ended up looking really clean/ pretty. Also, I would definitely recommend adding sprinkles since it covers any mistakes you make along the way.
For Rookie Ratings, the cake is 5/5 and the frosting was 3/5 (since you need some unique tools).