Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake (AKA Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Inspired Cake)

chocolate chip cookie dough brownie cakeThis cake is a beast… When I mentally planned it (over the course of about a month…) I didn’t envision it being quite so tall…I purposefully used my smallest cake tins so that it didn’t turn out too large…I failed. So you know, maybe save this one to make when you have more than just four people to eat it…

cookie dough chocolate brownie cakeI based this cake on one of my favourite ice cream flavours – Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked. Which consists of pieces of brownie and cookie dough swirled through chocolate and vanilla ice creams. So I ended up with three layers of chocolate brownie, sandwiched with vanilla ermine frosting and balls of (eggless) cookie dough, topped with treacle chocolate fudge frosting and more cookie dough…I don’t want to think about the amount of sugar and butter involved…

ben and jerrys half baked cakeThe ermine frosting is also know as cooked flour frosting – because that’s exactly what it is – you cook flour and milk together in a pan until it becomes very thick, then leave it to cool, whisk together some butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then gradually whisk in the flour mixture and some vanilla. You end up with one of the smoothest, velvety-est icings I have ever tried, it almost has the texture of whipped cream and it melts in your mouth, although it is firm enough to pipe well and hold its shape (It is also much easier to make than swiss meringue buttercream!). The treacle chocolate fudge frosting is sort of a variation on the cooked flour one, you whisk together cornflour, cocoa, sugar, treacle and milk in a pan and heat until very thick and pudding-like then whisk in chocolate and butter. The icing is not the easiest to pipe – as you can see my spikes are decidedly wonky (although I quite like the jagged effect)…It more than makes up for this in flavour though…it is incredibly silky and fudgy. It is rich, but as it isn’t a sugar and butter based icing it isn’t overly sweet or sickly, I could happily eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon (there was a lot of spoon licking going on while making this cake…).

ben and jerrys half baked cookie dough brownie cakeThe cookie dough balls are a basic eggless cookie dough mixture, I made the dough quite stiff, so it is easy to shape. Once I had formed the balls I kept them in the freezer until I needed them – that way it was easier to press them into the icing as they were firm. I baked my brownies in three 15cm round tins which resulted in this impressively tall three layer cake, you could bake them in two 23cm round tins instead if you prefer, making a two layer, wider cake (which would be easier to slice!).

Every element of this cake is delicious on it’s own, together they taste amazing! It is very rich, so serve in small slices, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I reckon it serves about 14 people, although you could probably get up to 16 slices out of it.

cookie dough chocolate brownie layer cake

Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake (AKA Ben and Jerry's Half Baked Inspired Cake)
 
Three layers of fudgy brownie filled with vanilla ermine frosting and cookie dough, topped with chocolate fudge frosting and more cookie dough. Serves 14.
Author:
Ingredients
Brownie
  • 245g (1 cup + 1 tsp) butter, cubed
  • 245g (8.5 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 115g (scant 1 cup) plain flour
  • 55g (scant ½ cup) cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 365g (1 + ¾ cups + 1 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
Cookie Dough Balls
  • 75g (scant ⅓ cup) softened butter
  • 80g (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 80g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 225g (1 + ¾ cups + 2 tbsp) plain flour
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 110g (4 oz) chocolate chips
Ermine Frosting
  • 150ml (scant ⅔ cup) full fat milk
  • 2½ tbsp plain flour
  • 125g (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 125g (scant ⅔ cup) caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 2 tbsp treacle
  • 150g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 300ml (1 + ¼ cups) full fat milk
  • 125g (4.5 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g (4.5 oz) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 50g (1/4 cup) butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
To make the brownie
  1. Place the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (don't allow the base of the bowl to touch the water) and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line the bases of three 15cm/6in round cake tins with greaseproof paper.
  3. Mix together the flour and cocoa powder.
  4. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and whisk with an electric mixer until very pale and thick and at least doubled in volume.
  5. Pour the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture and fold in gently until almost combined. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder mixture and continue to fold in gently until there is no longer any dry flour, the mixture will be thick and fudgy.
  6. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until the centre no longer wobbles and a skewer comes out with moist crumbs but not wet batter on it. Keep a close eye on them as they can go from being under to overbaked in a matter of minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins.
To make the cookie dough balls
  1. Whisk together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract then add the flour and milk. Mix until it forms a firm dough then stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Pinch off small pieces of dough (about ½ tsp) and roll into balls, place the balls on a tray. Continue until you have used all of the dough then place the tray in the freezer until needed.
To make the ermine frosting
  1. Whisk together the milk and flour in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over a medium low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes very thick and pudding-like.
  2. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and cover with clingfilm directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cold.
  3. Once the roux is cold, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl/stand mixer and whisk on a high speed for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Whisk in the milk roux, a tablespoon at a time, until you have added it all and the frosting is completely smooth; it should have the consistency of whipped cream.
To make the chocolate fudge frosting
  1. Whisk together the treacle, sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and milk in a medium saucepan. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture has become very thick and pudding-like.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the dark and milk chocolate until smooth, then whisk in the butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Scrape into a bowl and cover with clingfilm directly on the surface, set aside until cooled.
To assemble
  1. Remove the brownies from their tins. Place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread half of the ermine frosting over this layer and the other half over one of the other brownie layers.
  2. Remove the cookie dough balls from the freezer and press some deeply into the frosting on each of the brownie layers (I used about a quarter of the balls per layer, but it will depend on how big your balls are (fnar!)).
  3. Place the other frosted brownie layer on top of the one on the serving platter, then place the final brownie layer upside down on the top. Press down on the top gently to level it, then smooth out the frosting around the edges.
  4. Set aside just under a quarter of the chocolate frosting for decorating the top of the cake, then cover the whole cake with a very thin layer of the chocolate frosting - just enough to seal in the crumbs, you should be able to see the cake through it.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes until the frosting has started to set. Cover the cake with the remaining frosting (apart from the bit you set aside). I used a dough scraper to get it fairly smooth, then evened out any rough patches with a palette knife dipped in boiling water.
  6. Place the bit of frosting that you set aside into a piping bag fitted with a large, plain nozzle (or you can just snip the tip off the piping bag if it is a disposable one).
  7. Pipe dollops of frosting all around the edge of the cake, it is not the easiest frosting to pipe, so it helps if it is not completely cold (you can warm it up very gently by placing the bowl of frosting over a pan of steaming water).
  8. Arrange the remaining cookie dough balls in the centre of the cake and around the bottom.
  9. Serve in very thin slices.
Notes
1. You will need three 15cm/6in round cake tins and a piping bag.
2. Chocolate fudge icing from Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard

cookie dough brownie layer cakechocolate chip cookie dough brownie layer cakeI am sharing this with Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire, Foodie Fridiy, Fiesta Friday and Foodie Friends Friday
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56 Comments on Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake (AKA Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Inspired Cake)

  1. Jess
    April 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm (3 years ago)

    What a rich, decadent cake. Yum 😀

    Reply
  2. GFLife247
    April 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm (3 years ago)

    I love every inch of this cake. Cookie dough is my absolute weakness. While it may be large, it also came out beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing! Happy FF, and have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Amanda
    April 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my… that looks like heaven!! And more cake, is never a bad thing 😉 Happy FF!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:19 am (3 years ago)

      Quite right! No such thing as too much cake :p

      Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:51 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Michelle 🙂

      Reply
  4. Julie is Hostess At Heart
    April 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow, what a stately cake! I can’t believe that you were able to cut the perfect slices since they are tall. I’ve never made this frosting, but it sounds perfect!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:21 am (3 years ago)

      I had to use a hot knife to do it, and I took my time! The frosting is VERY good 🙂

      Reply
  5. Giramuk's Kitchen
    April 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm (3 years ago)

    What a BEAUTIFUL cake! 🙂 It has all my favourite flavours too!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:21 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Charlotte Oates
    April 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow! You definately failed in you objective of keeping it small 🙂

    It looks fantastic. I’ve not tried the ermine frosting before but after reading what you’ve written I’ll definitely have to give it a go.

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:23 am (3 years ago)

      It is definitely worth a try, smoother and more velvety than standard buttercream, and quicker and easier than swiss meringue buttercream 🙂

      Reply
  7. Maya @ Treats and Eats
    April 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow, this is a seriously amazing cake! The flavor combo sounds delicious and I love the photos!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:23 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  8. chefjulianna
    April 4, 2015 at 5:34 am (3 years ago)

    Seriously? This is an insanely gorgeous cake!! Just stunning! 😀

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:23 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Julianna!

      Reply
  9. Natalie Browne
    April 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve never tried ermine frosting before, but it sounds delicious. This cake looks amazing 🙂

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:24 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 ermine frosting is well worth a try, it’s very good!

      Reply
  10. Jhuls
    April 6, 2015 at 11:08 am (3 years ago)

    Wow! This cake is stunning, Hannah! I love Ben and Jerry’s Half-baked. May I ask the size of the pan you used? Happy FF! xx

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Jhuls! I try not to buy it too often or I end up eating the whole tub… I used a 15cm/6in round tin (three of them) xx

      Reply
  11. Janine
    April 6, 2015 at 4:50 pm (3 years ago)

    Amazing, this looks so good! I’m curious about ermine frosting, I’ve read about it but haven’t tried it yet. With your description of the velvety smoothness, I may have to try it for my next cake!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 7, 2015 at 9:28 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 Ermine frosting is definitely worth a try, you wont be disappointed!

      Reply
  12. June Burns
    April 7, 2015 at 9:41 am (3 years ago)

    Holy cow that looks amazing! So much cookie dough, mmm 🙂

    Reply
  13. Angie
    April 7, 2015 at 11:46 am (3 years ago)

    That’s an amazing cake! I’ll have to try that ermine frosting. Sounds too interesting not to!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Angie 🙂 Ermine frosting is delicious!

      Reply
  14. kerrycooks
    April 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm (3 years ago)

    This is genius! I love that you’ve based a cake on a Ben and Jerry’s flavour – a girl after my own heart!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:00 am (3 years ago)

      LOL! They are a source of great inspiration (and deliciousness :))

      Reply
  15. dishofdailylife
    April 9, 2015 at 10:02 pm (3 years ago)

    WOW! I don’t know what else to say. You are such a dessert genius…I’m in awe of all of your desserts! Sending some foodie love your way! I can’t wait to see what you link up with #FoodieFriDIY this week!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:09 am (3 years ago)

      Aww thanks Michelle, that’s very kind of you 🙂

      Reply
  16. jennypaulin
    April 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm (3 years ago)

    wow thats amazing!!! and yummy looking x

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:09 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  17. Lucy @ BakingQueen74
    April 10, 2015 at 9:16 pm (3 years ago)

    This looks gorgeous! I love that it is small but very very tall. Those cookie dough balls, oh my!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:19 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 I’m surprised that that many cookie dough balls made it as far as the cake at all, considering the number I ate while decorating it…

      Reply
  18. skd
    April 11, 2015 at 11:57 am (3 years ago)

    That looks so stately and royal. it resembles a fort. Excellent work!!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:25 am (3 years ago)

      Haha! I love the comparison to a fort! 🙂

      Reply
  19. Helen at Casa Costello
    April 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm (3 years ago)

    What a tremendous cake! I am really into 3 layer cakes at the moment – so impressive. I have bookmarked your cookie dough to use very soon – Thanks for sharing. #bakeoftheweek

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 I really like 3 or 4 layer cakes as well, they look more impressive!

      Reply
  20. Rachael A
    April 14, 2015 at 10:32 am (3 years ago)

    I can’t get over how beautiful this cake looks – it’s screaming at me to make it and eat all the cake!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:33 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  21. Dragons And Fairy Dust
    April 14, 2015 at 10:51 am (3 years ago)

    This looks amazing, it would be a fabulous centre piece at a party

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 It would be great for a party! I need to start throwing some…

      Reply
  22. laurababykicks
    April 14, 2015 at 11:47 am (3 years ago)

    Amazing cake! I don’t think I have enough people to eat it,but I might just make the cookie dough and eat that myself! #tastytuesdays

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:33 pm (3 years ago)

      The cookie dough alone is worth it…maybe with some ice cream 🙂

      Reply
  23. thereadingresidence
    April 14, 2015 at 5:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh wow! As a fan of the ice cream, I already know that I would want to devour this huge cake! #tastytuesdays

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm (3 years ago)

      I devoured far more than my fair share of it…!

      Reply
  24. Alice Megan
    April 14, 2015 at 5:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Just wow! Words don’t come close I want it all right now!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol! Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  25. jennypaulin
    April 14, 2015 at 8:37 pm (3 years ago)

    oh my word !!!! love the use of cookie dough ! it is proper lush x

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm (3 years ago)

      I think I almost prefer the raw dough to baked cookies… 🙂

      Reply
  26. Fionnuala
    April 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow! Speechless!

    Reply
  27. polianthus
    April 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm (3 years ago)

    It’s a cake castle for a princess! wow – what a good idea, use the smallest tins and tower it high. never heard of ermine frosting either, we learn something new every day!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 21, 2015 at 9:06 am (3 years ago)

      I like tall cakes, they look impressive! They’re a bit awkward to slice though…

      Reply
  28. lucyparissi
    April 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm (3 years ago)

    I love ermine frosting (as you probably know). This is quite a beast of a cake indeed… smaller tins usually mean taller cakes! Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 22, 2015 at 9:50 am (3 years ago)

      It’s one of my favourite frostings 🙂 I don’t use it nearly often enough though…

      Reply
  29. Becky Clayton
    May 2, 2015 at 10:31 am (2 years ago)

    Made this as a 2 layer for my son’s 13th yesterday! OMG what a cake! Every part of it was wonderful

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      May 5, 2015 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

      Fantastic! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 and it is definitely more manageable and easier to slice as a two layer!

      Reply

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