Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cakes

If I could hop into my DeLorian, go back to two years ago, and pass on a message to myself, it would be this: Don’t make a cake to celebrate Ellie’s half birthday.

Alas, my two year ago self had two things I no longer have. A child who naps, and a little more time on my hands. Half day kindergarden doesn’t leave much time to leave the house and actually do things. Naturally it made sense to just stay home and play in the kitchen.

But it’s become a tradition, this half birthday thing. We’ve celebrated five and a half, six and a half, and today- seven and a half. Wait. What? Seven and a half? What the? How’d that happen? Anyway.

MnM Mini Cookie Cake (Ellie's Bites)

 

Those MnMs are pretty, right? They’re also heavy! They kept sliding down the side of the cake like little downhill skiers on a steep slope.

Mini Cookie Cakes (Ellie's Bites)

 

I made a few more cakes, too. One little mini “I am baker” rose cake because I just love the look.  And one with chocolate sprinkles and a strawberry because adding fruit makes it healthy.

These aren’t just ordinary mini cakes, though. They are tiny, three layer chocolate chip cookie cakes.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cakes (Ellie's Bites)

 

I baked a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and made some yummy buttercream icing.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (Ellie's Bites)

 

Then I assembled the little cakes just like a regular cake. They layers are a bit more slippery so I recommend a good chill in the refrigerator after stacking the cookies before attempting to  frost the sides and tops. After your cakes are decorated, put them back in the fridge for a little while and the cookies will soften up and be a little easier to slice and share. If you even want to slice or share. I make my cookies pretty small.

I needed to share these cakes with you because not only do they make adorable half birthday cakes, but they also make some cute Valentine’s Day treats!

If you like these cakes, you may also enjoy these posts:

 

 

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Birthday Cake

So, you say it’s your birthday? It’s my birthday too! It’s really impossible to say that without thinking of Anthony Michael Hall trying to figure out how to ask Molly Ringwald for her panties, right? Since I’m thinking of it, I might watch Sixteen Candles tonight. I can, because it’s my birthday and I can do whatever I want.

And if I want a coffee cake- loaded with crumbs and filled with sweet sugary buttercream- I can have it because it’s my birthday and I bake the cakes around here.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake (Ellie's Bites)

In the spirit of fall (my favorite season because it’s the season my birthday falls in, NOT because it’s trendy!!) I made this a pumpkin coffee cake. By substituting half of the butter with pumpkin, I made it healthy because pumpkin is a vegetable and it’s filled with fiber. And coffee cake is breakfast, so here is a vegetable that you can eat for breakfast. See? Healthy. But why do I care? It’s my birthday so the calories don’t count anyway!

Pumpkin Coffe Cake (Ellie's Bites)

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Crumb Topping

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 stick butter (10 tablespoons) melted
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the butter
  2. Drizzle the butter over the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine until large crumbs form. Set aside.

Cake:

  • 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (I love this post from Joy The Baker to make my own)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 2 yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and prepare two 8in round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Using a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth, beat in the pumpkin puree.
  4. Add eggs, and yolks, one at a time, mix together, then add the vanilla.
  5. Slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Follow with half of the buttermilk, 1/3 flour mixture, the other 1/2 of the buttermilk, and the last 1/3 of the flour. Mix until everything is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.
  6. Divide the batter between the two pans, and sprinkle the crumb topping onto one of the layers, pressing the crumbs down into the batter.
  7. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (I put a plate on top of the pan, flipped it upside down so the cake fell onto the pan, then put another plate on top to flip it crumb side up, then carefully slid the cake onto the rack.)

Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Heavy whipping cream (enough to reach desired consistency)
  1. Using paddle attachment, beat together the butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. (Add the vanilla after the first 2 cups of sugar)
  3. Drizzle in the cream until the frosting is as thick or thin as you want it.
  4. Mix in the salt.
  5. Spread on top of the layer of cake without the crumbs. Top with the layer with the crumbs.

Pumpkin coffee cake 2 (Ellie's Bites)

Enjoy with your coffee!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Slice (Ellie's Bites)

A “Cookie Monster” Birthday

So much preparation for a little birthday party! The past week has been a blur of icing, frosting, flour, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

At the time that I picked the theme for his party, Ben was into two things. Cookies and Cookie Monster. So I decided to go with “Cookies and Monsters”.

My sister in law, Wendi, made the invitations. At the time, these were the colors I was going with, but as the party evolved, the colors changed. As it turned out, Wendi made a LOT more than just the invitations.

We had the party at My Little Adventures. It is a local kid’s gym that also offers many classes for kids up to age six. We were so happy with the party itself. They really went above and beyond to make the birthday boy, his sister, and every single guest feel special.

Isn’t the shirt cute? Wendi made that, too. I had actually ordered a shirt from an Etsy store back in January, and at the last minute (meaning last Tuesday) I got a email saying she couldn’t complete the order. Oh well, Wendi saved the day and I LOVED it! Here’s the back:

Now, I’ll bet you’d like to see the treats?

Here’s a close up of the cake:

And here’s an even better shot:

The inside was polka dot, but it was cut up and handed out before I could get a good picture.

Can you see the polka dots? I got the idea from this post that I found via Pinterest. I baked up some blue, green, orange, and yellow cake pops in Wendi’s Baby Cake Cake Pop machine (there’s Wendi, saving the day again!) and baked them into   the cake. I used Sweetapolita’s chocolate cake recipe and got so many compliments on it. It’s definitely my new go to chocolate cake recipe! I topped it off with some cake pop eye balls like this cake, also found via Pinterest.

To make things a little less messy for the two-year-olds, I made some monster cupcakes.

So, I’m not kidding. I said before I have been having computer issues, and my lap top just decided to freeze me out of my photos. So I will have to let the computer rest for a little bit and hope I can get in there later to share the cookies and party favors.

Ellie’s 5th Birthday Cakes

So, my husband and I had a little disagreement last night. He can’t understand why I stay up until 2 am making cakes and cupcakes  when it is much easier, and actually a little less expensive to go to a bakery and buy something. He actually could not see the parallel when I asked him why he wants to get up at 4 am to go spend the day on a boat with a fishing rod when I can just go to Whole Foods and get something that has already been cleaned and deboned.

I guess he had a valid point, though, when he asked WHY I needed to make 5 different versions of cakes and cupcakes for Ellie’s birthday.

#1- This was the cake that we had at her party two weeks ago. The theme was Alice in Wonderland.

#2- These were the cupcakes for the party, just in case there wasn’t enough cake (there was).

#3- These were the “Mad Hatter Cake” inspired cookies that were the party favors at her party.

#4- These were the hot pink and yellow cupcakes that the princess Ellie requested to bring into camp the day before her actual birthday (since she would not be there ON her birthday).

This was the cake we had last night to celebrate her ACTUAL birthday. (Sorry about the blurry picture. I forgot to take one before bringing the cake to the table, and I was getting yelled at to cut the cake instead of photographing it!!!)

The second set of cupcakes and the second cake are made from the recipe Glorious Treats posted recently. I loved it. The frosting is my favorite from I am baker (and the rose cake is also inspired by hers).

I don’t care what he thinks, by the way, my peanut is worth every bit of butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla. <3