Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, Inktober, and other shiny things

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, Inktober, and other shiny things

If you’re just here for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Recipe – you can jump to it – otherwise …keep reading.

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Where have I been???

Ok – so it has been quite a long time since I posted. And if you’re an old friend to this blog, you’ll notice that this post might be just a little bit different. If you’re new – welcome!! – and, hopefully I don’t scare you away.

Not to worry, for those who love cake and all things sweet, I have a great new recipe to share – a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with ermine (no, not fur) frosting. But I want to also share some ideas I have for the direction I want to head with this blog.

Shiny Ball Syndrome

I have shiny ball syndrome – I don’t know for sure that this is an actual scientific term – but it accurately describes what I go through on a fairly regular basis.

That’s not to say I can’t spend a lot of time concentrating on something, or that I flit from thing to thing in a moment’s notice. In fact, my focused commitment to cake art lasted almost five years – probably a record! I just mean that I have creative juices in my soul and they constantly appear to need to be reinvigorated with newness. Before cake there was intensive savory cooking, Zentangle tangling and other artistic endeavors.

But in January this year, I closed my cake business and took a long time away from baking and decorating. It was not filling my creative tank like it had – and it was creating a frustration in me that I did not enjoy. Creating is supposed to make you happy, not angry or sad. So I spent some time re-discovering my love of the 2 dimensional arts – pen and ink drawing, color pencil drawing and digital art. In fact, my daughter (an artist in her own right) and I often make trips to the art store (Blick and Michaels are our favorites) and ooh and ahh over all the things. This month we have been obsessed with Inktober – it’s an online art challenge for the month of October – it’s pretty cool, check it out here.

Why are you telling us this?

Well, because I want to start taking my blog in a new direction. I called this page Shiny Ball Creations originally because a friend suggested that I could be flexible with it – knowing my tendency to switch gears (she’s so smart!). So – in the spirit of that, I’m going to start doing something that perhaps won’t win me a lot of traffic, but will satisfy my soul more.

I’ll still do some cake/baking stuff, but I’m going to also start incorporating other creative outlets that are catching my eye or sucking me in at the moment. I feel like life is one creative journey and if you’re so inclined, please join me. I’ll try to incorporate something that you can learn in each blog – perhaps something that I learned in trying something new, or passing on a tool or technique that I have been enamored by. If you have something I should try – I hope you will let me know that too – you can send me any suggestions via the comments below or via email at

Finally – the recipe

Closeup of chocolate chip cookie cake with swirls of white vanilla frosting and cut cookies

A year or so ago, I attempted to make a cake that tasted like a chocolate chip cookie. I had medium results and feedback from friends that ranged from “awesome” to “eww”. Recently I found a soon-to-expire box mix on my pantry shelf so I decided to use it – but I needed to doctor it up. After years of baking, I no longer appreciate a plain boxed cake. (If you want to learn more about doctoring cake mix, I actually have a post here about it!)

Close of up chocolate chip cookies

I thought about a chocolate chip cookie and what it contained – butter, brown and white sugars, chocolate chips – seemed like that would work to add to a cake mix, so that’s what I did. The cake mix asked for oil, so I determined to use butter instead. In my first try, I just melted the butter in the microwave – but I found that the cake was missing something. When I browned it instead, it gave me that caramelly taste I was looking for. The cake mix also already had white sugar in it, so I added brown. I added an additional cup of flour to add body and an additional egg. A dollop of sour cream to ensure moistness was my final addition.

Closeup of chocolate cookie cake slice with frosting

My first attempt used regular sized chocolate chips. This was a mistake, because even though I coated them in flour first, they clumped together, sunk and basically made the cake hard to cut. Mini chocolate chips solved this problem and the distribution of chocolate was much more even.

I wanted to pair this cake with a frosting that wasn’t crazy sweet like American Buttercream, but I didn’t want the effort of Swiss Meringue or even it’s easy cousin (the one made with powdered sugar and pasteurized eggwhites). I did some searching and found ermine buttercream – one that is based on flour and sugar and milk, cooked together into a paste and then mixed with butter. It sounds WEIRD I know…but wow, it’s delicious. It even provides just enough tang to provide a depth to the cake. I’m not including a recipe here because there are so many – but here is the link to the one I used, from the Sugar Geek Show.

Close up of cookies and swirl of white buttercream frosting

I hope you give this cake a try – It’s yummy and homey – perfect for a family occasion or a kids birthday. Happy caking!

Full size picture of Shiny Ball Creations Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
ShinyBallCreations | Chocolate Chip Cake Slice on a plate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Rose – Shiny Ball Creations
This doctored box cake recipe tastes just like a tollhouse chocolate chip cookie!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Good slices


  • 2 7" cake pans (optional)
  • Sauce Pan
  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment


  • 1 Box Yellow or White Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup Self-Rising FLour Reserve 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 oz mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup water room temp
  • 4 ea whole eggs room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract you can also use vanilla paste here
  • 1 heaping spoonful full fat sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Line cake pans with parchment circles (see the notes page for a link on how to make these circles easy!)
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook slowly – swirling occasionally – until golden brown bits sink to the bottom and the color changes. Don't let it get black. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients together, including the cooled browned butter and whisk for 2 minutes. Mixture will appear thick and creamy.
  • In a medium bowl, pour in the chocolate chips and mix the remaining 1 Tablespoon of flour with the chips until they are all coated in the flour. Fold in chocolate chips and flour into the batter until just combined.
  • Divide batter between cake pans and bake until done. (my oven takes about 45 minutes) Cakes are done when they spring back after being pressed lightly in the center, or a cake tester comes out almost clean, or just with a few moist crumbs.
  • Allow cakes to cool on racks for 10 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely before icing.


I have made this cake with both white and yellow box mixes and there was not a huge difference.  You can skip browning the butter if you don’t have time,but the cake will not have those toffee notes that are so reminiscent of a traditional Tollhouse cookie.
I tend to use 7″ pans because I like the height that comes from this size, but you can do whatever size you like.  I would not go larger than two 9″ pans, otherwise it will get too thin.
I also have a blog post on how to easily make parchment cones – you can find that here
Keyword box mix, buttercream, chocolate cake, chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie, cookie cake, doctored box cake, ermine frosting

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