Ashley Sears

If you’re obsessed with yummy Instagram-worthy sweets like we are, you’ve probably heard of Baked by Melissa’s signature colorful bite-size cupcakes. And if you’re lucky enough to have tasted these mini delights, you’ll understand how excited we are for Cakes by Melissa ($19, amazon.com), from the mastermind behind those unique tie-dye cupcakes, Melissa Ben-Ishay (yes, the Melissa). In her first ever cookbook, Ben-Ishay not only features over 120 tasty (and beautiful) dessert recipes, but she also divulges her best-kept baking secrets that brought her here today. After getting fired from her job, Ben-Ishay built the brand from the ground up by baking cupcakes from her cramped Murray Hill kitchen with zero funding, before launching a thriving e-commerce business with 13 locations in N.Y.C. 

RELATED: How To Make A Chocolate Cake Without Any Measuring Cups

Ben-Ishay’s distinct take on traditional cakes and love for crafting encourages home bakers and professional chefs alike to get inventive in the kitchen, whether it’s with colors, flavors, or decorations—and her slutty cake recipe does just that. The pretty, vibrant cake reflects the fun Baked by Melissa aesthetic, with a drippy pink vanilla glaze, cookies and cream filling, and tons of sprinkles. “If I’m going to eat something, I want to know what it’s going to taste like just by looking at it,” Ben-Ishay writes.

Read on to find out how to make this creative yet delicious slutty cake. And don’t forget to Instagram a picture when you’re done!

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 18-inch half- sheet pan, or line it with wax paper or parchment and butter the paper. Butter or line two 13 x 9-inch pans for one box of brownies.
Mix the vanilla cake batter according to the recipe directions. Mix one box of the brownie batter according to the instructions on the box. Spread the brownie batter over the half-sheet pan. Pour half of the cake batter directly on top and spread it evenly over the brownie layer.
Press one package of the cookie dough into one 13 x 9-inch prepared pan. Pour the remaining vanilla cake batter directly on top.
Mix the second box of brownie batter according to the directions. Pour the batter into the other 13 x 9-inch pan.
Bake the slutty cakes until the middle of the cake feels springy when you gently press your finger against it (see page 30), about 40 minutes. Bake the brownies according to the package directions.
Set the cakes and the brownies aside to cool completely. Once cooled, cut the cake into 8½-inch rounds.
Meanwhile, make the cookies and cream and chocolate icings according to the recipe directions. Frost the top of the cookie- cake layer with cookies and cream icing. Set the brownie- cake layer on top, then frost the entire cake with the chocolate icing.
Make the vanilla glaze right before you’re ready to finish the cake. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Top with a ring of alternating chunks of the cookie dough topping, baked brownies pieces, and Oreo cookies and decorate with the sprinkle mix.
For the Classic Vanilla Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the pan of your choice or line the pan with wax paper or parchment and butter the paper. This will make the edges less crispy. (I’m not an edge girl; I like the middle of the cake.)
With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 1 minute on high speed, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
Add the vanilla extract. While mixing at medium- low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the edges of the bowl midway through.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a separate bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture. When it’s mostly incorporated, add half the milk. Add the remainder of the dry and wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stop mixing as soon as you have a smooth batter.
Take the paddle attachment off the mixer and lick the batter—it should be delicious!
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the middle of the cake feels springy when you gently press your finger against it.
Let the cake cool completely before icing.
For the Cookies and Cream Icing: With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and whip just to incorporate.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
Add the salt and Oreo crumble and whip on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low speed, add the cream a little at a time, stopping when you reach the preferred consistency.
For the Chocolate Icing: Have all your ingredients at room temperature.
With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and whip just to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt. With the mixer on low speed (otherwise you’ll be covered in confectioners’ sugar), add the sugar- cocoa mixture 1 cup at a time, until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Whip on high speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the cream and whip on high speed for 2 minutes more.
For the Vanilla Glaze: With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it to the desired consistency.
If not using within 10 minutes of mixing, cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep the glaze from drying out. Store at room temperature.
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Topping: With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and whip just to incorporate. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour, brown sugar, and salt and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Increase the speed to high and whip for 1 minute. With a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.

Cookbook Source

Recipe from CAKES BY MELISSA by Melissa Ben-Ishay. Copyright © 2017 by Baked by Melissa. Used with permission by William Morrow. All rights reserved.

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