Tonight Show Cake

Yield 1 6-inch round cake

Dark chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate cookie crumbs, whipped peanut butter frosting and caramel cake.


For the Caramel Cake

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

For the Chocolate Cookie Crumbs

For the Chocolate Cake

For the Peanut Butter Frosting


For the Caramel Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the butter and sugar are mixed well with the eggs. Add the vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the dulce de leche and mix for a couple minutes. The mixture will get a little lighter in color.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
  7. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan.
  8. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. To check if it's done, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger. The cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes it if doesn't pass this test.

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed for about one minute until it's light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla, flour and salt and continue to mix until combined.
  3. Gradually add the milk and mix until you get a spreadable consistency.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.

For the Chocolate Cookie Crumb

  1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed.
  3. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
  4. Spread the clusters on a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. the crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will dry and harden as they cool.
  5. Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

For the Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix for about 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and whisk for a few seconds.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Once all the wet ingredients are added, continue to mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 15 to 30 seconds. Don't over beat this batter.
  5. Pour the batter into a quarter sheet baking pan. Bake the cake for 16-18 minutes.

For the Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and peanut butter. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 45 seconds.
  2. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix in, slowly at first until incorporated, then increasing the mixer speed to high. Blend in the heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt, and continue to whip on high speed until very fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Can be made a day or two in advance.


  1. Put a piece of parchment on the counter. Invert chocolate cake onto it and peel off the parchment from the bottom side of the cake. Use a 6-inch cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake. 
  2. Repeat step #1 for the caramel cake.
  3. Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment. Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. (This is essential, as it is going to support the cake as you layer all the amazing elements.)
  4. Place one chocolate cake layer inside the ring.
  5. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/3 of the cookie dough over the caramel cake in an even layer, making sure to spread up against the acetate.
  6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the chocolate cookie crumbs evenly over the cookie dough and use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
  7. Use the back of a spoon to spread about 1/2 cup of the peanut butter frosting evenly over the cookie crumb layer.
  8. With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall - high enough to support the height of the finished cake.
  9. Set a caramel cake round on top of the peanut butter frosting and repeat the cookie dough, cookie crumb and peanut butter frosting layers.
  10. Repeat with the second layer of chocolate cake and fillings. 
  11. Place the second caramel cake layer on top and spread remaining buttercream on top. Sprinkle a few cookie crumbs over the buttercream. (My chocolate balls are just the cookie crumbs I cooked as giant cookie crumbs).
  12. Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and the fillings. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  13. At least three hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull the sheet pan out of the freezer. Using your fingers and thumb, pop the cake out of the cake ring and gently peel off the acetate. Let it defrost in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. 

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Cake

Recipe by Cake by Courtney at