For several years, I’ve made some sort of dessert for our United Way Dessert Auction at work (see here and here, for example).  It’s fun for me to get to try out a new recipe and have a reason to set aside time to bake which is challenging with two little ones and a full time job.  The person who ultimately ended up winning this one was so sweet! She emailed me to say she’s a self-proclaimed cake connoisseur, and this was one of the best cakes she’s ever had! Then, I saw her another time and she told me her husband said he’d pay for another one HA! So now, I definitely need to make this cake again and get to eat it this time. 🙂



  • 1 box white cake mix or yellow
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips (for the filling)


  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • 8 chocolate chip cookies + 1/3 cup crushed cookies (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 3, 8-inch pans.  I decided to do 2, 9-inch pans since I was short on time and it worked out great as well!

If you’re feeling super ambitious, sift cake mix into a small bowl and set aside. I was not, so I skipped this step.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in cake mix and chocolate chips.

Divide evenly in the pans and spread the batter level. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.  For two layers, 20-25 minutes.

For the frosting – Beat butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add vanilla, flour, and salt and beat again. Slowly add in powdered sugar until reach desired consistency.

For the frosting to go between the cake layers, remove about 2 cups of frosting and mix with the chocolate chips.  I forgot to do this and chips kept getting stuck in my icing tip, so I will definitely do this next time.

To assemble: Spread 1/2 the frosting mixed with chocolate chips (or all of it if you’re only using two layers, on your bottom cake layer, then put the other layer on top and frost.  Then cover the sides of the cake with the mini chocolate chips.  If you’re using the crushed/chocolate chip cookies, put those on top.

Recipe source: