One of my favorite go-to things to bake are actually the simplest things ever: chocolate chip cookies. I don’t have a fancy recipe (I literally just use the one on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip package), but in my opinion, a warm chocolate chip cookie dipped in milk at the end of a long day is like heaven. So as I was whipping up a batch the other day, I had an epiphany: why not translate the deliciousness of chocolate chip cookies and milk into cake form? It didn’t take me long after that to start testing recipes for the best milk & cookies cake ever. Here’s what happened:
It’s a chocolate chip cookie flavored cake with vanilla buttercream, chocolate ganache, and plenty of homemade chocolate chip cookies on top! I’m calling it a Milk & Cookies Cake as a nod to its inspiration.
Let’s talk about this cake. I based the ingredients off of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, so there are both brown and white sugars involved in the creaming process. The brown sugar gives such a deep, rich flavor and adds a little bit of moisture. I wanted it to be extra moist though, so I added a some sour cream to the batter as well.
You can use regular sized chocolate chips in this recipe, but I opted for mini chocolate chips instead! Either way, be sure to coat them in a few Tbsp of flour before folding them into your batter at the end. That will make it less likely for them to sink to the bottom of your cake layers in the baking process.
Vanilla buttercream is the milk to this chocolate chip cookie cake, and it provides a nice subtle flavor to wrap it all up in. Just like milk to a cookie, it’s a great complementary flavor that doesn’t try to steal the spotlight. Not too sweet, just right.
I used Wilton Tip 1M to pipe a buttercream rope border on top, then topped it with some homemade chocolate chip cookies to really go the extra mile! Here’s a quick video to show you the entire decorating process, from filling and frosting the cake layers to garnishing with cookies and chocolate ganache:
Like I said before, I’m all about the basic recipe on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip bag (although sometimes I get a little crazy and substitute the vanilla extract for almond extract – so tasty!), but if you’ve got a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and want to make them your cake toppers, my hat’s off to you. If you want to use store bought cookies like Chips Ahoy instead, you totally have my blessing. However you decorate it, you can be sure that this cake will satisfy all the cookies and milk loving people in your life!
Milk & Cookie Cake
A decadent chocolate chip cookie flavored cake topped with vanilla buttercream and extra chocolate chip cookies for good measure.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- 3 3/4 Cups (400g) cake flour, sifted before measuring
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/8 Cup (254g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 Cup (220g) granulated white sugar
- 3/4 Cup (140g) packed brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 Cup (112g) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Cups (355ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 1/2 Cups (283g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, coated in 1.5 Tbsp flour
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 2 Cups (452g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 Cups (840g) powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp (45ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For Garnish (optional)
- chocolate chip cookies
- chocolate ganache drip (see link below)
Make The Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch or four 6-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with a cooking spray (Baker's Joy is my favorite) and a wax paper circle fitted to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can grease and lightly flour the pans.
Sift the cake flour and then measure by spooning and leveling it in your measuring cup. Add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer (a handheld mixer works fine too!), cream the butter for on high for two minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Add in white and brown sugars and continue to mix on medium-high for another two minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed. Turn the mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and sour cream, turn the mixer to high, and mix for one minute, scraping down the bowl and paddle once more.
With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the whole milk and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and give it a few stirs to make sure there are no lumps, then fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips. Batter will be slightly thick, but pourable.
Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans (about 2/3 of the way full) and bake for 35-40 minutes. The cakes are done when they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for five minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack for an additional few hours of cooling. Make sure they’re entirely room temperature before applying any frosting.
Make The Vanilla Buttercream
With a hand mixer or paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high until it’s creamy and light (almost white) in color. About 7 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down after each addition and making sure each cup is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add vanilla, milk, and salt and mix on medium-low for another two minutes until fully incorporated.
Fill and frost the cake layers with vanilla buttercream. Crumble the chocolate chip cookies (either homemade or store-bought) and garnish the cake by adding them to the bottom third of the frosted cake, pressing the crumbles in to the sides.
Make Ahead Tips: the cake layers can be made ahead and stored (wrapped in plastic) at room temperature for up to one day. Alternatively, you can wrap the cake layers in plastic and store them in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to use them, thaw them to room temperature before continuing with the frosting and decorating process.
The vanilla buttercream can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day. Alternatively, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature and re-whip with your stand mixer on medium for one minute to bring it back to frosting consistency.