Saturday, March 31, 2012

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie Cake

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie Cake - made March 25, 2012 from Dreaming of White Chocolate blog

I have seen various versions of this around the blogosphere for the past few months, most having rave reviews and leading me to wonder "what am I missing?"  I like vanilla so I wanted to make it too.  And I did attempt it a few times, including my Valentine Sugar Cookie Cake that I made up on the fly.  The most common version was the Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Cake which contains cream cheese and butter.  The first 2 variations of the same recipe that I tried didn't include cream cheese so for my third attempt, I decided to stick to the more common version that had it.

Why was I trying so many (for me) times?  Because I have to admit, I was underwhelmed with the results of the cookie cake.  I liked the flavor but not the texture.  But so many people raved about them, not just liked them but raved about them, that I convinced myself I must've done something wrong on the previous tries.  And if I could just hit on the right recipe and technique, I too would rave.  I went with this version from Dreaming of White Chocolate's blog because her picture showed a fluffy, moist cake and that was what I wanted (click on the title above to go to her recipe).  What I hadn't liked about my previous attempts is they always seemed a little dry to me.  Part of that was my own perception - if it's made in a 9 x 13 pan and looks like a cake, it should be moist like a cake.  But it's meant to be a "cookie cake" and cookies aren't as moist and fluffy as a cake.  But still, I wanted a moist cake.

I followed the directions for the cake but made up my own frosting recipe.  I was a little concerned when I cut the frosted cake because mine didn't look fluffy like the Dreaming of White Chocolate blog picture.  It looked.....dry.  Gads.  Been there, did it again.  Once again, I had made a decent bar cookie but a slightly dry cake.  The only thing that really saved it was the frosting.  And I'm not even a frosting person!  So when the frosting is the best part of the piece, well, as I said, I was underwhelmed.

But wait, you know what you can do with a dry-ish cake?  That's right, pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds.  The frosting gets a little melty on top and the cake softens up to the perfect texture.  So I actually ended up loving these when they're warm to lukewarm.  So that's a good tip to remember: if you like the flavor of something but not the texture, try warming it up just a bit.  For cakes, I wouldn't go more than 15 seconds in the microwave, 10 seconds if it's got frosting.  Same with cookies.  I liked this warm but no, I wouldn't eat it at room temperature.

Vanilla Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2-3 cups confectioners' sugar (depending on the consistency you want the frosting to be)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1-2 tablespoons whole milk, as needed

Beat butter until soft and creamy.  Add 2 cups confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and paste.  Alternately add milk and confectioners' sugar until you have the desired consistency and taste.


  1. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog in your post! I'm sorry to hear that the cake didn't turn out as moist as you wanted, perhaps next time you might try cutting down the baking time just a bit since all ovens vary a little. I noticed that your link goes to my page but not the recipe, so here is the link to the recipe:

    1. Thanks - the title of the recipe in the post links directly to your blog post for this cake. The other links go back directly to your main blog so people can see your latest posts. I may try this again. I didn't bake it as long as your recipe did because I was paranoid about dryness but maybe I need to cut the baking time even further. I'm determined to conquer this cake!