I like to bake. I don’t think I’ve ever told you that. It’s not something I do often, because I don’t think I’m very good at it. I’m a perfectionist and baking tends to bring out the worst in me. I want everything to be just right. If it doesn’t turn out the way I expect or the way I want it to, my attitude turns sour. I get mopey. It’s my fault, really. I watch too many of those flamboyant, idealistic cake videos on the internet and I binge every season of The Great British Bake Off with great regularity. It’s one of my favorite series and definitely the best cooking show ever made. I long to emulate the home bakers superb baking skills, but I need more practice. I need to bake more.
I’ve been trying to expand the kinds of topics I cover on the blog and I’ve had this idea for a while now. I don’t necessarily want to show off my excellent baking expertise. In fact, I know I don’t. I’m not very knowledgeable in the first place. My cakes are always a little shabby and I usually have a melt down when I bake them. But they do taste good and I want to step out of my comfort zone a bit. Baking is just another hobby of mine that I’d like to share with you. Remember, I’m not a professional or a photographer. This is just for fun. So, go easy on me.
My first bake is a Milk & Cookies cake. I made it last Christmas and was asked repeatedly for the recipe. It’s not overly sweet and easy to make. I’m not a huge fan of frosting and I’ve found that this cake doesn’t need a bunch of it. I’ve made a few modifications to the original recipe, but I’m really happy with it. I hope you like it too.
Milk & Cookies Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or baker’s sugar)
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2, 10 oz packages of mini chocolate chips
- 32 oz powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (cold)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest (optional)
- 4-6 tbsp buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease three 6″ cake rounds and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer and paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- Add vanilla.
- Reduce speed and alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk. Make sure each addition is fully incorporated.
- Coat 1 10oz bag of mini chocolate chips in 1 tbsp of flour and then fold into the mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and then flip the cakes onto a wire rack.
- Cool completely. Refrigerate cakes overnight for easier decoration.
- Using a stand mixer and paddle attachment, place powdered sugar and salt in bowl. Mix on low.
- Slowly add the cold butter in small pieces into the mixture. Be patient! Mix well.
- Add the vanilla and orange juice.
- Add 1 tbsp of buttermilk at a time. Look for a thick consistency.
- Beat on high for 5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Trim the bottom and middle layers of the cake, so the tops are flat.
- Poke multiple holes in each cake with a skewer. Brush each layer with a couple tablespoons of buttermilk.
- Fill a large pipping bag with frosting. Pipe a small amount of frosting on the bottom of a serving plate or cardboard cake round, then place the first cake on top.
- Pipe a 1/3 of the frosting on the top of the cake and smooth. Add the middle layer of cake and repeat. Place the final cake on top.
- Coat the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting. Using a bench scraper, smooth the frosting until you have thin coat. Add more frosting if desired.
- Use the reaming bag of mini chocolate chips to coat the bottom of the cake, bringing them slightly up the sides.
- Chill and enjoy!
The Finished Product