For the Cake
- 21/4 cups granulated sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 11/3 cups full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
To Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease three 8-inch pans, then line the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating for a full minute before adding the next one.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Divide between the pans, spread the batter out to evenly cover the bottom of the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans, on wire racks, covered loosely with clean kitchen towels.
For the Cookie Dough Filling
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 22/3 cups all-purpose flour, baked on a sheet pan at 350ºf for 5 minutes and cooled
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, or instant coffee powder
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 11/2 cups mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
To Make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars for three minutes. Scrape the bowl down and beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and espresso powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter, mixing on medium low to combine, then add the milk, until the dough is moistened, but still very thick. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Weigh out 8 ounces of the dough, and divide into 1-ounce balls to garnish the top of the cake. Set in the refrigerator in an air-tight container until needed.
Divide remaining dough into two 20-ounce portions. Take an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Press one 20-ounce portion of dough into the pan, using your hands to press it out as evenly as possible. Set another circle of parchment paper on top of the dough, and use the bottom of a glass to smooth the dough out completely. Turn the pan over to remove the disk of cookie dough and set aside. Repeat with the other 20-ounce portion, so you have two cake-sized disks of dough.
For the Buttercream
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder, optional
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3 tablespoons milk, or cream, if needed
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, for garnish
To Make the Buttercream
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and shortening for 1 minute until smooth. With the mixer on low, stir in the powdered sugar and meringue powder until moistened.
Add the vanilla bean paste and the cream/milk, then increase speed to medium high; whip for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
To Assemble the Cake
Place one cooled cake bottom side up on a cake pedestal or cardboard cake circle. Set one of the disks of cookie dough on top of the cake (after removing the parchment paper). Repeat with the rest of the cake and cookie dough so that you have three layers of cake filled with two layers of cookie dough.
Frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat of the buttercream, then chill for about 20 minutes. Finish frosting the cake and smooth the buttercream all over. Garnish the top of the cake with the eight balls of cookie dough, and press the chocolate chips (pointed side in) around the cake for decoration. Finish the cookie dough balls on top with a sprinkling of salt.