Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

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The taste of chocolate chip cookie dough in cake form! Indulge in a brown butter chocolate chip cake, with layers of vanilla chocolate chip cake and iced with cookie dough frosting.

I’m not sure where the last week or so has gone, but it’s disappeared somewhere into the ether of life. But forget the last week… where has the last year gone? I can’t believe that we’re into December already.

I’d say I didn’t see it coming but it was inevitable, it’s the same every year of course, but it’s just here too quickly! Gone are the carefree days of long school holidays that took an age to get through and Christmas was always too far away and never came soon enough.

Now we’re all trying to pack as much in our days as possible, as time just flies by and we’re worried we won’t get chance to do everything we want too.

There are times though when time flies and there’s no clock watching, that I just love – getting together with friends! I had a great coffee and cake catch up with the lovely Chris Fordham a couple of weeks ago, then I finally got to catch up with my fabulous friend, Sara, who also happens to be one of the most amazing florists that you’ll ever meet.

A ‘quick’ catch up turns from a morning, over lunchtime, and into the afternoon. It can be getting dark before you know it… but I absolutely love it! It’s only because we both peel ourselves out of chairs or Sara’s dogs are patiently waiting for a run that we have to stop.

Crumbs and Corkscrews Sara Tuckey Aqua Flowers copyright Caroline Alexander Photography

Like Chris, I met Sara through the wedding industry and we’ve become friends. When we were married last year, I knew that Sara’s Aqua Flowers and Adorning Angels, where perfect for us. I have no clue when it comes to flowers and I knew that I could give Sara complete free reign to create something spectacular that fitted with our day.

The only thing I knew I liked was tulips… yes, tulips in October. I knew it wasn’t the right time of year and was nigh on impossible and impractical; but Sara worked her magic and found the most fantastic parrot tulips for my bouquet. I loved them!

Crumbs and Corkscrews Sara Tuckey Aqua Flowers copyright Caroline Alexander Photography

Knowing we’d be chatting for ages and we’d need a little something to keep us going, I couldn’t go empty handed, so there had to be cake!

I’d had my eye on making something with brown butter for a while, and there’d been a languishing packet of chocolate chip cookies in the cupboard that caught my eye. I decided to have a little experimentation with a cookie dough style cake. Ideas whirling, I settled on a vanilla cake made with the brown butter and full of chocolate chips, finished with a cookie dough frosting.

You might be thinking that it’s just a faff to brown butter to for a vanilla cake recipe, and yes you could make this with a regular sponge cake recipe if you prefer. However, you’ll love it even more if you take the time with the butter. With it’s nutty richness, the brown butter adds an extra depth to the cake complimenting the frosting and the whole cookie dough experience.

Crumbs and Corkscrews Sara Tuckey Aqua Flowers

Having not previously created a cookie dough frosting, there was plenty of hunting around for ideas and recipes. Most recipes were similar to my regular frosting, with a few tweaks on quantities and whether to add liquid or not, so I decided to stick with my frosting recipe as a base and have a play. I’d also come across frostings with crushed cookies added into the mix, like I do with my Cookies n Creme version, but I wanted more the of raw cookie dough flavour. The answer was to substitute a little of the icing sugar with brown sugar and… flour! Now before you go ‘urgh’ and ‘it will just taste.. well floury’, I thought exactly the same but it makes all the difference and the frosting tastes just like cookie dough. Trust me!

Looking for more layer cake recipes

If you’re looking for cake inspiration, that’s not ‘just vanilla’ then head on over and check these out…

Brown Butter Choc Chip Cake

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

5 from 1 vote
Serves : 16 slices
The taste of chocolate chip cookie dough in cake form! Indugle in a brown butter chocolate chip cake, with layers of vanilla chocolate chip cake and iced with cookie dough frosting.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


For the Cake

For the Frosting


  • To make the brown butter: In a medium saucepan, melt half of the butter, over medium heat. When completely melted the butter will being to froth and foam will form on the top.
  • Keep watch on the melted butter and occasionally, gently swirl the hot butter in the pan. The butter will begin to smell quite nutty and rich, and small brown bits will form on the bottom of the saucepan.
  • When the bits are a golden brown, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the brown butter into a small bowl. Make sure to scrape out the brown bits too. Allow the butter to cool for 15-20 minutes. Remove any settled foam from the top of the butter before using.
  • To make the cake: Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F. Line a 6-inch cake tin with baking parchment, or three individual 6-inch sandwich tins.
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining butter until softened. Alternatively, use a hand whisk with a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the cooled brown butter and beat until smooth. Then add the soft light brown sugar and vanilla bean paste and beat until well mixed.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, to the mixture. Beat well between adding each egg, until the mixture is thick. Don’t worry if it starts to curdle.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together, and add half to the mixture. Gently mix together. Add half of the milk and mix well.
  • Repeat with the remaining milk and flour, and gently mix together until the cake batter is soft and smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the cake batter into the lined cake tin/s and bake until golden brown or a skewer inserted comes out clean. If using 1 tin, about 45-50 minutes, or 20 minutes if baking as individual layers.
  • Once baked, allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  • To make the frosting: In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the soft light brown sugar and beat until creamed and smooth.
  • Add half the icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Beat until smooth. Add the half the flour and half the milk. Beat until smooth.
  • Add the remaining icing sugar, flour and milk. Beat until smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add a tbsp of whole milk and beat again.
  • To assemble the cake: Split the cake into 3 equal layers if baked as one, or level off the individual layers.
  • Using a palette knife, spread about 3-4 tablespoons of the frosting evenly across the bottom layer, place the middle layer on top, and repeat.
  • Top the cake with the final layer, and spread the frosting on the top an the sides of the cake. Use a palette knife or cake side scraper to take off the excess buttercream and give a smooth finish.
  • Chill the frosted cake for 30 minutes in the fridge, to allow the layer of frosting to firm up. Add another layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake, and remove the excess.
  • Scatter the chocolate chips across the top of the cake. Pipe small swirls of the remaining frosting on top, and decorate with cookie pieces.


  • If you don’t want to use brown butter, then switch for a regular vanilla cake recipe.
  • The cake can be kept in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days, or can be frozen, for 1 month.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 558kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 4gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 46mgPotassium: 120mgFiber: 1gSugar: 54gVitamin A: 862IUCalcium: 70mgIron: 1mg


The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

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Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

9 thoughts on “Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cake”

  1. Such a classy finish! Sounds delicious too and photos are gorgeous as usual. Thanks for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. I’ve Pinned, Stumbled and am about to Tweet this post and there’s a new linky live at 8pm tonight as usual. Would love you to join in 🙂

  2. Do you know measurements for this cake instead of grams?:-/ I really want to make this it looks amazing!!!

  3. Your cake look gorgeous #recipeoftheweek

    • Thank you Julie 🙂

  4. This cake is absolutely stunning, Louise!

    • Thank you Kailley 🙂 Sometimes I definitely think less is more. Wish I’d taken a photo when we cut into it.

  5. This cake and of course the company was second to none!!!…..we didn’t scoff all of it in one sitting and I was able to give one of my brides and her family some with their coffee at a consultation at my workshop the following day! They were so impressed that Lou is now creating their perfect wedding cake too!!!!

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