Nutella-Filled Cookie Cake

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This cake has everything a person could want…a Nutella filling, thick, chewy cookie layers, and an ice cream cone topper!! It’s definitely an indulgent cake, but sometimes you need to treat yourself ūüôā¬†If you’re a visual learner, ¬†you can watch¬†me make this¬†cake here.

Chewy Cookie Layers:

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks)¬†unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (preferably dark brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg and¬†1 egg yolk
  • 3¬†teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ¬†all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup¬†semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 large jar of Nutella + 1/2 cup heavy cream (filling)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Place a 2 inch metal circle cookie cutter in the center of each of the pans. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, then the egg yolk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly divide the dough between the cake pans, filling the pans around the cookie cutter while leaving the center unfilled. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked through.

If you don’t have metal cookie cutters, you can bake normal cookie layers, and cut out the centers once baked.

Allow both cookie layers to cool fully. While these cool, prepare the frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2¬†cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8¬†cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2¬†tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 waffle cone (decoration)
  • sprinkles (decoration)
  • green and blue gel food coloring (optional)

Beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar, in 4 installments, until it has all been incorporated. Mix in a VERY small amount of the blue and green gel food coloring (I mean a drop at a time), until desired color is reached. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another minute. Once you’ve made the buttercream, you can move onto the last aspect of this cake, the chocolate ganache! We’ve saved the best for last.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Place the cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for about 45 seconds (until its just beginning to bubble). Gently pour chocolate chips into the cream, and let sit for two minutes. After this, stir until the mixture is fully incorporate. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once the cakes are fully cooled, assemble the cake. place a small dab of frosting onto the surface you will be using to serve the cake, to secure the cake. I always use cardboard cake centers, but this can be done on a cake stand or plate as well. Place down one cookie layer, and frost the top with buttercream. Place a cookie layer on top of this, and frost the top of the layer again. Also frost the center cut out of the cake. Cover the exterior of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, and smooth with an offset spatula and/or cake bench. Heat up Nutella and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave. Mix until fully combined, then pour into the center of the cake, filling fully to the top.

Place in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set. While chilling, scoop some buttercream into the ice cream, and shape into large ball. I find doing this in stages, and putting the cone into the freezer between additions of buttercream allows me to get perfect ice cream scoop shape.

Remove from fridge/freezer, and apply a thick coat of frosting (about 1 cm). Smooth, and place in the freezer again. Once fully shaped, use a dab of buttercream to secure the cone to the cake, upside-down.

While the second layer of frosting cools, pour the room temperature ganache into a squirt bottle of some sort (I use a cheap diner-esque clear ketchup bottle from Amazon). Take the cake out of the freezer, and place the ice cream cone upside down in the center of the cake. Squirt ganache over the frosting ‚Äúice cream scoop‚ÄĚ, and allow it run down, until the entire scoop is covered. Then squirt ganache¬†over the entire top of the cake, leaving about an inch of frosting uncovered. Spread the ganache evenly with a smooth utensil (knife, frosting spatula, etc.), and work it out to the edges of the cake, so that the entire top of the cake is covered. Next, gently drop ganache down the edges of the cake. Start slowly, as you can always make bigger/longer drops as you go, but you can‚Äôt take back an epic stream of ganache (trust me, I‚Äôve learned the hard way).

The finishing touch is sprinkling the ice cream cone with sprinkles of your choice.

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Essential Cake Decorating Tools – A Beginner’s Guide

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I’ve been asked by a few people what tools I use when I’m making cakes, and have decided to share a list of my favorite cake decorating tools! These are the essentials that I wouldn’t be able to survive/decorate without. It’s also important to note that you don’t need expensive tools to get the job done. Some of the tools I use the most are also the cheapest! So here they are,¬†with links to the exact products I use:

  • Kitchen Aid Mixer and Paddle Attachment¬†–¬†I use these to make every recipe other than meringue! It is by far my most utilized tool.
  • Offset Spatula – used on every cake for evenly spreading frosting between cake layers, and applying crumb coats! I also use it for certain decorating techniques.
  • Bench scraper ¬†– This tool is ESSENTIAL to getting smooth sides and sharp edges on your cakes!! I have several, but this one is the one I use the most.
  • Piping Bags – I use different sized bags for different projects, but these bags are great! I love using them for piping buttercream on cupcakes, and for piping frosting stripes on cakes.
  • Basic Frosting Tips – I use a wide variety of frosting tips, but found that it was easiest when I was starting out to buy a pack of a bunch of¬†tips. This bundle has a ton of different types, and is a great deal!
  • Cake Stand – I have had this stand for years, and it has never let me down! It can support very heavy cakes, and is dream to decorate on.
  • Cake Rounds/Cake Circles – I use 10-inch cake rounds because I use 10-inch cake boxes, but you can get whatever size makes the most sense for you! Just make sure that they are grease proof, otherwise the cardboard will show great stains from your frosting!!
  • Gel Food Coloring – This is the BEST gel food coloring out there. It colors both batters and frosting the most vibrant shades, and is the only brand I use.
  • Acetate Sheets¬†– Great for naked cakes, ice cream cakes, and also for smoothing cakes with curved surfaces.
  • Assorted Circle Cutters – I use these for a variety of different things, from fondant polka dots, to making fondant eyes.
  • Plastic Squirt Bottles – I use these for all of my drips and drizzles!! Whether it’s regular chocolate ganache, colored white chocolate ganache, or caramel, these bottles allow you to easily get the perfect drips!!

Hopefully this helps! Happy baking everyone!!

Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

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I’ve tested a lot of chocolate cake recipes over the years, and this chocolate cake recipe is one of my favorites. It is incredibly moist,¬†and turns out perfectly every time!

It is a one bowl recipe that doesn’t require a hand mixer, which means less dishes to clean!! I highly recommend this recipe. It’s been modified from Robyn’s¬†recipe¬†on Add A Pinch.

The cakes do have a tiny bit of a dome, but I usually just level it out with a little extra buttercream. You can also just trim the top of the cake to make it level.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4¬†cup + 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup espresso, or 1 1/2¬†teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease 4 8-inch cake pans.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk together until combined (be sure there aren’t any clumps! If there are, you may want to sift your ingredients).

Pour in the espresso into the dry ingredients, and mix until the espresso is fully absorbed. Mix in the buttermilk, until fully incorporated. Pour in the oil next, and mix until fully incorporated. Then stir in the eggs, one at a time. The last step is to stir in the vanilla, then the vinegar. The batter will be on the thin side, but that’s the correct consistency!

Divide the batter evenly between the four cake pans, and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let the cakes sit for about 5 minutes. Gently run an offset spatula around the rim of the cake pans to loosen them. Place the cake pans in the freezer to speed up the cooling process, and to trap in additional moisture.

Decorate as desired! The photo below shows a snickers cake made with this cake base, before it was crumb coated.

choco-cake

Best Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

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I’ve tried several white cake bases, and have found a few favorites. However, this vanilla cake recipe blows them all out of the water!! It’s delicious, moist, and best of all, it keeps its shape! The layers bake with smooth sides that are perfect for stacking and frosting. I now use this as my go to white¬†cake base recipe, and color or flavor it as needed. I HIGHLY recommend it! Another perk is that it can be made in one bowl! That’s right, ONE BOWL!!! If you want to see a full tutorial on how I make the batter, click here.

The recipe is adapted from Kara’s Couture Cakes, and can be found below:

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup (416 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (226 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. (9 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Grease and line four 7‚ÄĚ (for taller layers) or 8″ round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

I also love to color my cake batter, and used this recipe to make this checkerboard cake. The layers turned out perfectly! Level, delicious, and perfect for stacking!!

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