Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Devil's Food Cake Cheesecake

Yield: One 9-inch cake, approximately 15-18 servings                                   

Cake portion:

The cake portion of this recipe is adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Devil's Food Cake. I have reduced the batter quantity to make one 9-inch layer instead of two 9-inch layers.

1 oz. fine quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped evenly

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1/2 cup hot coffee  (can use hot water or decaf coffee if caffeine sensitive)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

8 tbsp (1 US stick) unsalted butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch cake pan with vegetable shortening and line with a circle of parchment paper. Grease paper and set pan aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the chocolate, cocoa and hot coffee (or water) until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, sour cream, half the chocolate mixture and vanilla until just combined.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt on low for 30 seconds. Add the softened butter and the remaining chocolate mixture.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. With the mixer off between additions, add the egg mixture in two parts, starting on medium-low speed and gradually increasing to medium. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. The batter will be slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes (check at 30). Cake is does when a toothpick tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed in the middle.  Let the baked cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a wire rack.  Let cool completely.

Cheesecake portion:

This crustless cheesecake uses half of a 3 oz. packet of cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix. Be sure to add it to your shopping list!

8 tbsp (1 US stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1.5 oz. (or 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp) cook and serve vanilla pudding mix

2 tbsp sorghum molasses (not black strap)

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease one 9-inch springform pan with shortening, line the pan with parchment and then grease the parchment.  Lightly flour the pan and tap out excess over the sink.  Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add cream cheese a little at a time until smooth.  Scrape bowl down and beat again on medium speed, adding eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla pudding mix, molasses, vanilla and baking powder; mix again until well combined. 
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter with offset spatula and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. Cheesecake will puff up during baking, then deflate when taken out.  Allow cheesecake to cool in pan. Place in freezer until needed for assembly.

Chocolate chip cookie dough:

This recipe is adapted from "The Cupcake Project" blog.  It is eggless, so it can safely be eaten in its raw form, but it do recommend refrigeration to maintain freshness.

A word about quantities: I love a lot of cookie dough. My husband would have liked a smaller portion of cookie dough in relation to the other layers of the cake. The table below will allow you to make the amount that is right for you.

I love a little cookie dough.

I love a LOT of cookie dough (shown).

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup +2 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed

1 ¼ cups light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chocolate chips

2 tbsp. whole milk

6 tbsp. whole milk

  1. Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together flour, salt, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Pour in butter and vanilla extract.  Mix until a dry dough forms. Add chocolate chips and mix on lowest speed (this is "Stir" on KitchenAid machines). 
  3. When chocolate chips are evenly dispersed, add whole milk 1 tablespoon at a time with the machine on low speed.  Remove dough from mixer bowl and press into the prepared springform pan.  Place in freezer until ready for cake assembly.

Light chocolate-molasses buttercream:

Chocolate and molasses are used sparingly in this recipe to create a light tasting frosting that doesn't distract from the other elements of the cake.

1 1/2 cups (24 tablespoons or 3 US sticks) unsalted butter, salted

4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

2 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp cocoa powder (I used regular strength, not dark)

1/4 tsp salt

  1. Combine butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low until just combined, then beat on high until mixture is thoroughly incorporated.  Stop mixer and add vanilla, molasses, cocoa powder and salt. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Scrape down bowl and beat again until no streaks of molasses remain.


Chocolate chips - a handful

Optional * 1/2 cup finely ground chocolate cookies (such as famous wafers) or chocolate sprinkles

Wilton  Star Tip #133
  1. Choose a serving plate on which to build and display the cake.  Line the edges of the plate with strips of wax paper to keep the plate edge clean while frosting.
  2. Level the devil's food cake layer with a serrated knife.  Place it in the center of the wax paper lined plate.  Spread a small amount of frosting over the top of the cake - just enough to hold the next layer in place [pic 1]. 
  3. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and level with a serrated knife, if needed. (The cheesecake puffs up while baking, then sinks a bit as it cools.  I usually have a small line of cheesecake around the outer edge that is taller than the rest of the cheesecake, which I remove.)  Carefully place the cheesecake on top of the frosted devil's food cake, supporting it with a spatula on one side and your hand on the other [pic 2].
  4. Remove cookie dough layer from freezer and remove it from springform pan.  Turn layer over and remove parchment round.  Place cookie dough layer on top of the cheesecake. No icing is used between the cheesecake and cookie dough layer [pic3]
  5. Frost the sides of the cake with an off-set spatula; do not frost the top [pic4]. Transfer remaining frosting to piping bag fitted with a large star tip (Wilton #133).  Pipe 2" swirls around the edge of the top of the cake.  Press a chocolate chip turned upside down into the middle of each swirl. 
  6. Optional * Gently press handfuls of ground cookies into the icing on the bottom half of the cake.  This is a messy business no matter how you do it, but having someone hold the cake over your kitchen sink while you manage the task of pressing/ tossing crumbs on the cake will help.  
  7. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.  Wrap uneaten portion of cheesecake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.