By unanimous consent, we are having…….
(wait for it)
PIZZA on Christmas.
Homemade pizza, but still. Pizza. Do I sense a new tradition? I think YES.
Not only does pizza happen to be my child’s favorite (and, let’s face it, ONLY) food group, but it just makes us happy in our souls.
And we all need a little more of that this year.
We’ll probably do one traditional pizza (to appease the 4 year old’s taste buds) and one that’s a little bit more out there are fun. I am very excited.
The other bonus is that pizza is easy and low stress, so I can focus all of my energy on dessert!
This cake is a million layers of glorious and probably the ultimate holiday cake if ever there was one, at least if you’re a mint chocolate lover.
It does take some time, but don’t be scared by the multiple components or the long ingredient lists. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Milk Bar-style cakes it’s that they seem really daunting but are actually quite doable. No one component is actually complicated to make and you can put together most of them while the cake is baking (so, in 30 minutes).
The base of this masterpiece is a chocolate chip sheet cake is filled with alternating layers of cookies and cream filling (seriously, tastes JUST LIKE OREO FILLING), chocolate cookie crumbs (again, OREO TWINSIES), and mint cheesecake.
It is a perfect storm of layer and completely worth the effort (and the calories).
- 115 g (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g (1¼ cups) sugar
- 60 g (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 110 g (1/2 cup) buttermilk
- 75 g (1/2 cup grapeseed oil)
- 12 g (1 tbsp) vanilla extract
- 185 g (1.5 cups) cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 150 g (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips
- 250 g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) confectioners' sugar
- 95 g (1/2 cup) vegetable shortening
- 70 g (1/4 cup) light corn syrup
- 25 g (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) cornstarch
- 12 g (1 tbsp) clear vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 70 g (1/2 cup) chocolate crumbs (recipe below)
- 200 g (1 cup) sugar
- 200 g (1.5 cups) all purpose flour
- 120 g (1.3 cups) cocoa powder
- 10 g (2 tsp) cornstarch
- 8 g (2 tsp) kosher salt
- 170 g (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
- 320 g (11 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 200 g (1 cup) sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 35 g (2 tbsp + 2 tsp) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 1 drop green food color
- 65 g (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) whole milk
- 175 g (1.25 cups) chocolate crumbs
- Heat oven to 350F. Grease a quarter-sheet pan and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating on medium-high speed for 1 minute in between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
- In medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium speed and slowly stream in the oil mixture with the mixer still running. It should take approximately 3 minutes to add all of these liquids. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes, or until completely combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the batter and mix on low speed for 45-60 seconds or until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix on low speed for another 45 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the batter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until it bounces back slightly when pressed and the center is completely set. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the confectioners' sugar, shortening, corn syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Cream together on medium-low speed for 1-2 minutes. Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate crumbs. Use immediately.
- Heat oven to 300F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Mix on low until combined.
- Add in the melted butter and mix on low speed until the mixture begins to form small clusters. Spread the clusters on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring to break them up occasionally.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before using. They can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- Heat oven to 300F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the sugar and mix for another 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and salt. Add the milk slowly to the cornstarch mixture, whisking it in slowly. Whisk in the whole egg and egg yolk until it is completely combined.
- Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and slowly stream in the egg mixture. Mix for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth. Add in the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Mix again until combined. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until set on the outside but still a bit jiggly in the center. Allow to cool completely.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a clean work surface. Invert the cake onto the parchment paper and peel off the layer of parchment that was on the bottom of the cake. Use a 6-inch cake ring to stamp out 2 rounds from the cake. These will be the top 2 cake layers. The rest of the cake scraps will be the bottom layer of the cake.
- Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Line the inside of the cake ring with a strip of acetate. Put the cake scraps inside the acetate in the cake ring and use the back of your hand to push them into a flat layer.
- Brush the top of the cake with about half of the milk.
- Take ⅓ of the cookies and cream frosting and flatten it into a pancake shape. Place it on top of the cake and press it to the edges with your fingers. Top with ⅓ of the chocolate crumbs and push them lightly into the frosting. Spread half of the mint liquid cheesecake over the crumbs as evenly as possible.
- Cut a second strip of acetate and gently tuck it between the cake ring and the first strip of acetate to make the acetate layer about 6 inches tall.
- Place one of the cake rounds on top of the cheesecake layer. Brush with the rest of the milk, then top with half of the remaining cookies and cream frosting, half of the remaining chocolate crumbs, and all of the remaining mint cheesecake.
- Top with the remaining cake round. Cover the top with the remaining cookies and cream frosting, spreading into an even layer. Top with the remaining chocolate crumbs.
- Place the sheet pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 12 hours.
- Remove from the freezer at least 3 hours before you are ready to serve the cake to defrost. Pop the cake out of the cake ring and peel off the acetate.
- Once defrosted, slice the cake into wedges and serve.