This drippy Vanilla Chocolate Chip Drip Cake is sooo good but also very simple. It’s made with fluffy chocolate chip cake layers, filled with amazing Swiss vanilla buttercream, and topped with a dark chocolate drip. Best vanilla cake ever?
First of all, these photos do NOT do this cake justice. I really have to work on my food photography, because this cake was so much better than it looks in the photos. Seriously, make this cake this weekend, because it is AWESOME!
The Rocking Rebel actually said it was the best cake I ever made. EVER! Say what?! Personally, I’m still obsessed with the Chocolate Espresso Cake, but yes, this one is also VERY good. It’s definitely in my top 5!
But back to food photography for a bit. Let me tell you a secret: I’m a bit jealous of all those food bloggers who seem to be natural food photographers/food stylists. I’m sooo not like that! I don’t like food styling so much. I like food EATING. And I sometimes feel like a bit of an idiot behind the camera. Or maybe not an idiot, maybe just super stressed out? Like I can never take the time to get the shot I want because of the lighting conditions (I always shoot in natural light. Bright sun is the worst!) and because of the simple fact that I’m a mom and thus have to make do with these little windows of food-photography-opportunity when Baby Boy is so absorbed in whatever he’s playing with that he doesn’t notice that I’m doing something way more interesting with a camera and props and cake?
Those windows of opportunity usually don’t last long. Usually Baby Boy figures out what I’m doing long before I finish the shoot. I mean, he actually licked the cake during the shoot, which was actually very cute but also (obviously) a bit distracting. Just check out the drip in the photo of the cut cake (the fourth photo in this post), you can see where he licked it ????
Still, I guess these photos aren’t half bad. But the cake was BETTER!
Anyway, I got the recipe for this cake from one of my favorite baking blogs, Liv for Cake. It’s run by Olivia and you should definitely check out her blog if you have the time! She’s got a ton of great recipes up there, including recipes for the most amazing cakes and, for the cookie lovers out there, cookie cups. Apparently, cookie cups are totally a thing these days. Am I missing an important development in baking land again?
Maybe I should put some cookie cups on my to-bake list, too. Starting with Olivia’s Gooey Caramel Cookie Cups? They look like a delicious introduction to the world of cookie cups.
But enough about cookie cups. Back to the cake. On her blog, Olivia calls this one the Milk & Cookies cake. I call it a bit differently because in my mind a Milk & Cookies Cake is made with brown butter and topped with mini chocolate chip cookies 😉
I didn’t just adjust the title, I also adjusted Olivia’s recipe a bit. Her recipe makes a 15-cm/6-inch cake (which is NEVER enough cake for me!) so I used my trusty Round Cake Pan Conversion Formula to make a 18-cm/7-inch cake.
Worked perfectly. I love this cake recipe, btw. It’s fluffy and vanilla-y and buttery and delicious!
Olivia uses a simple imbibing syrup to moisten the cake layers, but as I’m a fan of the Vanilla Milk Soak, I used that instead. I also used my own recipe for Swiss buttercream, because it’s perfect ????
This is a very easy-going cake in my opinion. Not pretentious or anything. Not difficult to make either!
Just make the chocolate chip cake layers, whip up some Swiss buttercream, throw together that super easy vanilla milk soak and you’re ready to assemble. I’m not sure whether this is the naked cake style or the semi-naked cake style. I’m confused. Some websites call this style of decorating, where you scrape all the buttercream off the sides again, the naked style, but other websites refer to cakes that have only been filled (so no frosting on the sides at all) as naked cakes.
Still, naked or semi-naked, it’s an easy style.
I had hoped for a perfect drip, but the drips turned out a bit too thick and gloopy. I like the drips on my Triple Dark Chocolate Cake and was going for a similar look, but somehow the ganache didn’t drip as willingly this time. Maybe the ganache was too cold?
Still, it was soooo good! You can’t go wrong with vanilla and chocolate 😀
I’m so glad I saved myself a slice 😉
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Back on Friday with more details on the chocolate chip cake layers!
- 400g (or 3 cups + 3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 226g (or 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 400g (or 2 cups) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs (about 225g, or 8 oz. total)
- 320g (or 1⅓ cup) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150g (or 1 scant cup) dark mini chocolate chips
- 4 large egg whites (about 140g, or 5 oz. total)
- 240g (or 1 cup + 3 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon) granulated sugar
- 226g (or 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120ml (or ½ cup) milk
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 90g (or 3 oz.) bittersweet chocolate, 63% cocoa solids
- 90g (or ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoons) whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F (standard oven setting) and line the bottom of three 18-cm/7-inch round cake pans with baking parchment. If you’re using non-stick pans, there’s no need to grease the pans.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until lightened in color and creamy, about 5 minutes on high speed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl every now and then.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (2-3 minutes on high speed). Once all the eggs have been added, beat for another minute, or until the mixture looks smooth and fluffy, like buttercream frosting.
- Add half the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Combine buttermilk and vanilla and add half of it to the batter, mixing until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk mixtures, ending with the buttermilk mixture.
- Add chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly over the prepared pans. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature before loosening the cakes from the pan by running a knife along the edges of the cakes.
- Cakes can be made ahead: once cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place on the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze up to 2 months.
- Combine egg whites and sugar in a medium-sized heatproof bowl (or the bowl of a double boiler) and stir with a rubber spatula until incorporated. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, and gently heat the egg mixture, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved. You can check whether the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers; you should no longer feel any sugar crystals. At this point, you can either pasteurize the mixture, or use the mixture as it is.
- If you want to pasteurize the egg white mixture, continue to heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until a digital sugar thermometer registers 71°C/160°F.
- Remove the egg white mixture from the heat and transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer or another (cooler) mixing bowl. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture until the meringue holds stiff peaks and both meringue and bowl have cooled completely to room temperature (you can turn the mixer off once the meringue holds stiff peaks to allow the meringue to cool).
- Transfer the meringue to another bowl and add the butter in the bowl of the mixer. Beat on high fora bout 5 minutes, or until creamy and fluffy.
- Add the cooled meringue and mix until completely incorporated, 5 minutes on high speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl every now and then with a rubber spatula. Once the buttercream is smooth and fluffy, add the vanilla and mix for another 2 minutes.
- Buttercream is best made right before you need it, but you can make it in advance (though it may separate when you want to use it). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Allow to come to room temperature before use and beat well with a mixer to make it smooth and spreadable again. If the butterceam separates, just keep mixing and it should come together again.
- In a glass, combine milk and vanilla. Stir.
- Place first cake layer onto a serving plate. Poke holes into the top of it with a wooden skewer and drizzle with one third of the vanilla milk soak. Top with 200g (or 1 cup + 3 tablespoons) of buttercream, spreading it evenly over the cake layer using an offset spatula.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the layer of buttercream and press down lightly to make sure it sticks. Drizzle with half the remaining milk soak and frost with another 200g (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) of buttercream.
- Place the last cake layer on top, pressing it down a bit again. Drizzle with the remaining milk soak and frost with a thin layer of buttercream. Use the remaining buttercream to frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, scraping the sides of the cake with a bench scraper so that the cake layers show through the frosting. Place the cake in the fridge to chill thoroughly for at least 1 hour.
- Combine chocolate and cream in a small saucepan. Place over low heat and stir with a rubber spatula until all of the chocolate has melted. You don't want the mixture to get too hot, or it will seize, so pay attention. The ganache should be runny.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and use a teaspoon to apply ganache near the edges of the cake so that it drips down the sides of the cake. Pour some ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Place the cake in the fridge to allow the ganache to set.
- Cake keeps for a couple of days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Love the photos, they are beautiful, despite what you say!
The Tough Cookie says
Haha thanks Holly 😀
olivia @ livforcake says
For what it’s worth, I think these photos are fabulous and the cake looks amazing! I am so glad you liked the recipe :). I totally should have done a milk soak instead (duh), will try that next time 🙂
The Tough Cookie says
Thanks Olivia! So nice of you to stop by. Loved the recipe! ????
I’m going to make this for my sons birthday next weekend!! Thank you so much for the recipe and pictures! Beautiful! ????????????
The Tough Cookie says
You’re welcome Marti! Hope your son loved the cake 😉