Chocolate Vanilla Red Velvet Cookie Cake

Clear out your fridge and make way for cake, it’s holiday time!  I’ve been fighting a constant battle in my fridge for the last few days.  Cakes are a commitment… if that stray can of soda gets a little too close, it might bump the cake and cause chaos.  Cake surgery is no fun!  I’m pleased to report that this cake survived the tumultuous battle ground.

Intended to please a large crowd, I designed it as a twist on the Neapolitan flavor combination.  I replaced strawberry with red velvet to add holiday color.  In between each cake layer I piped a thick layer of vanilla buttercream and an equally thick layer of rich semisweet ganache.  The cake is topped with semisweet chocolate sauce.  I added marbled sugar cookies with edible gold leaf to match the red cake.

Once that cake-shaped-space frees up in the fridge, it fills up fast.  Best to fill the void (in the fridge, and in your life) with more cake!

Marbled Christmas Star Cookies

These are perfect cookies to snack on while you’re camping out near the base of your family’s Christmas tree, like you used to as a kid.  Each bite will supply the energy you need to stay up and catch a glimpse of Santa!  The flecks of edible gold leaf on each cookie will reflect the twinkling strands of colored lights.

These sugar cookies are decorated with peppermint glaze and small pieces of edible gold leaf.  Believe me, trying to not eat a constellation of them in one sitting is no easy task.  They were a perfect match for some dainty dessert plates that I recently picked out from Anthropologie.  The painted nutcracker design on this plate (by Quill & Fox) reminded me of some of my family’s oldest and most intricate Christmas ornaments.

I’m not gonna lie, I listened to Starboy by The Weeknd on repeat while decorating these cookies!  If you’ve listened to enough Christmas music already, the song is a much-needed alternative.  What’s your favorite music-to-bake-to?  I need inspiration for my next batch!

Here’s the sugar cookie recipe I used, a good standard that tastes biscuity and not too sweet.  I tested the recipe from a Family Fun magazine that way lying around the house and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Unlike some other recipes I’ve recently tried, the cookies held their shape during baking, making for perfect cut-outs.

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Combine butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large bowl, and cream for several minutes. When light and fluffy, beat in the egg and vanilla.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. After refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes, use cookie cutters to cut shapes, pulling away the scraps to avoid moving and distorting the cookies. If the dough gets too soft to work with, refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cookies start to color on their edges. Let them cool completely before decorating.

You can freeze sugar cookie dough! Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and then another layer of foil, and keep it in your freezer for up to a month. Let the dough thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Do you have a sugar cookie recipe that you revisit every year? I’d love to try it out, feel free to leave a comment and you might be featured in an upcoming post!