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M&M Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake

  It seems conflicting that while I am pushing myself and doing my darnedest I still feel more lost than ever.  It seems like poor timing that I should lose all interest in school during the time when I really need to be studying the most.  It seems unfair that I still have no specific direction and yet everyone keeps asking about how that's going.

  The life of an INFP am I righttttttt

  I had a stellar birthday, you know, last MONTH.  This semester has actually flown by.  I'm tired.  I'm exhausted.  I want to throw all of these useless homework assignments into one huge pile and set it on fire.

  Shawowza are you feeling my positive energy yet?

  Let's talk about cake instead.

  I threw this together in the final hours leading up to my birthday festivities.  I finished a group project and power walked my frustration off on the way to an overpriced downtown grocery store.  After loading up on all the sugary things, I hopped on a bus home and also ran into my Italian professor.  The whole time we spoke I was freaking out about whether or not I should try and use my sad Italian, but she was chill.

  To be honest I'm finding it hard to wax poetic right now.  I'm desperately trying to clear up my hormonal skin, I don't feel like I belong in any of my classes or really on campus at all, and I lose my patience with all the selfish people around me internally like 80 times a day.

  And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sitting in class scrolling through my feedly and pinterest and instagram, tearing up looking at my favorite food blogger's beautiful photos and stories and blog posts.  All while I'm taking notes on psychoanalysis and freaking reflexive Italian verbs.

  It hurts.  I think I need a break.  I hope I just need a break.  I miss you guys.  I miss this so much.  I don't feel like me when my kitchen isn't streaked with flour and I'm not spending too much money on butter.

  Goshdangit there I go again!  Cake, sorry.

  But this cake, it helped.  It was awesome to use my pans and get my hands dirty.

  Let me talk you through this:
  1. Soft chocolate cake layers
  2. Cookie dough ice cream nestled between said layers (courtesy of Babcock Hall ice creams)
  3. Eggless m&m cookie dough pressed onto cake as a frosting.
  It's essentially all of my favorite things in one bite.  Shout out to Yammie for creating this devil of a cake.

  I didn't actually enjoy a slice until the next day, per usual.  It was pretty perfect, I sat in contemplative silence fueling my introvert after a long weekend of socializing.  With my new candle burning, I got to reflect on how much fun I had, especially with my two sisters who drive hours to celebrate the good ol' 21st with me.  I got to show them around downtown, and it was so so great.  There was rum, there was cheese curds, and really dang good chili.

  It was a good birthday with people that really actually matter to me, and I can't ask for much more than that.

M&M Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake
Yield: one 8 or 9-inch cake

Ingredients for the cake:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder 
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cookie dough vanilla ice cream, softened (for between the layers)

Ingredients for the Cookie Dough Frosting:
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Ingredients for the little cookies to garnish (optional):
  • 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/2 cup mini M&Ms and/or mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8-inch pans and dust lightly with cocoa powder or flour.  Combine the butter and cocoa and cook on the stove in a medium saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted.  Add the sugars and then the milk a little at a time, mixing until smooth.  Remove from heat and add the eggs and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.   Divide the batter into the pans and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before moving on to the next step.

To assemble, immediately stack the cooled cake layers together with the softened ice cream in between and place in the freezer until firm before moving on to the next step.  Press plastic wrap around the ice cream to prevent it from dripping, if you like.

To make the frosting, mix the butter and sugars together.  Add the vanilla and salt.  Alternately add the milk and flour until desired consistency is reached.  Immediately frost/press cookie dough onto cake (if you leave it sitting out and try to stir it again, the color on the M&Ms will just run). 

To make the optional little cookies for garnish, preheat oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.   Combine the butter and sugars and mix well. Add the yolk and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Add the flour, soda, and salt and mix just until combined.  Stir in the M&Ms and/or chocolate chips.  Scoop out by about 1/2 tablespoon.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until done. 

Store completed cake in freezer until ready to serve!  Let it sit out for a few minutes to soften before you attempt cutting.

Sources: adapted heavily from Yammie's Noshery