This cake is not a cake. It is heaven. Or better yet, it is a salted brown sugar chocolate chip cookie layered with a black cocoa brownie and covered with an espresso buttercream.
This cake is not pretending to be anything other than what it is: the richest, most decadent, gut wrenching dessert you’ve had in a long time.
Note: this recipe makes enough for two, three layer cakes. One for now and one for when you polish off the first cake and wish you had a second :).
Brownie Cookie Cake
adapted from Bake from Scratch and yours truly
397g (2⅓ cups) dark chocolate morsels/chips, divided
227g (1 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
300g (1½ cups) granulated sugar
220g (1 cup, packed) brown sugar
188g (1½ cups) all purpose flour
64g (¾ cup) black cocoa powder
2 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
113g (½ cup) butter, at room temperature
48g (4 tbsp) granulated sugar
184g (¾ cup + 2 tbsp packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking soda
Heaped 1/4 tsp salt
215g (1 ¾ cups) all purpose flour
225g (8 oz) dark chocolate morsels/chips
6 large egg whites
300g (1½ cups) granulated sugar
340g (1½ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp espresso powder, not granules
Make the brownie layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 6” cake pans and line with parchment paper (you can also make bake this in a 13x9 baking pan for traditional brownies).
In the top of a double boiler, add 1⅓ cups (227 grams) of the chocolate morsels and butter. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Turn off heat and whisk in sugars. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add half of beaten eggs to chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Add remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Gently mix in flour mixture with a spatula until just combined. Fold in remaining chocolate chips and spread batter into prepared pans.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs, about 18 minutes.
Make the cookie layers: Heat oven to 360°F. Spray three 6” cake pans and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed.
Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. Fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.
Evenly divide the dough into the three cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until just golden on the outside but still soft inside.
Make the buttercream: Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
Place bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins). Or registers 160F on a candy thermometer.
Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add vanilla bean paste and espresso powder. Whip until smooth.