I am officially 9 months pregnant and officially in major freakout nesting mode!!!!! I am of the textbook vibe: please-move-the-crib-there-no-please-move-it-there-or-maybe-this-wall-needs-to-be-painted-a-dark-mustard-color-ohmyguhhhhhh-we-don’t-have-enough-toys!!! *Sits in the gym parking lot and orders the playpen in the most frantic manner* *Can’t decide on any of the nursing bras so buys all of them* *Cries in the Old Navy baby department!!!!*
The good thing is that I’ve had the energy to get worked up about everything. Aside from the average two nights a week when I’m up all night long obsessing about things like rocking chairs versus gliders, I’ve been sleeping like a rock. I was totally bracing myself for the return of first trimester fatigue during my third trimester, as I’ve read is often the case, but I truly do not have the time to be tired right now. I have a list of meals to be prepped (I’ll blog about this soon!), a bunch of furniture to rearrange (or rather, direct Eggboy to rearrange), and a slew of recipes to edit for both Girl Meets Farm and blog posts that I’ll schedule to go live during my maternity leave. And I need to stay current on the Bachelor which is taking up so much time, gosh geez. Luckily I’ve been able to focus a lot of this energy into keeping up with my workouts which have consisted of lifting itty bitty weights and doing resistance stuff and also waddling quickly around the track (while listening to Unorthodox, obviously). Which I think has been key in not driving everyone around me too crazy. I think. They haven’t told me otherwise. But then again what monster calls a 9-month pregnant lady crazy to her face?
Speaking of monsters, I made a monster cookie cake! It was for Eggmom’s birthday! I didn’t know what a monster cookie was until I moved here and kept hearing about the gigantic gooey ones at the UND cafeteria. I’ve never actually had one because I’m afraid of getting caught sneaking onto campus but I’ve had others and they are sooo good: peanut butter, oatmeal, and M&M’s all folded into a soft chewy delicious cookie. It occurred to me that it needed to be turned into a cake when I was brainstorming cakes for Eggmom’s birthday earlier this year. She loves M&M’s. And has oatmeal every morning. And ate peanuts by the handful when she was pregnant with Eggboy. So a monster cookie cake seemed perfect!! The oats and peanut butter in the batter here make it extra dense and moist, and the chocolates (I went with Trader Joe’s naturally colored candy coated chocolates) add good textural excitement. This is a super heavy cake! It’s slathered with peanut butter cream cheese frosting which drives home the peanut flavor and also adds a hint of sourness that’s the perfect balance to the cake. This frosting is sooooo goooood, you might want to make extra so you can just eat it with a spoon. You can totally bake this batter into cupcakes (it’ll make a lot, like 40!) and if you’re really feeling the monster energy, I feel like a few marzipan monsters around the sides would be cute. Or you can just go the normcore rainbow route like I did!
I made this cake using Our Family ingredients, which was especially fitting since I made it for family!! <3
monster cookie cake
makes one 3-layer, 8-inch cake
2 c (472g) boiling water
1 1/3 c (106g) rolled oats
2 c (260g) all-purpose flour
1/2 c (64g) whole wheat flour, or more all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c (200g) granulated sugar
1 c (200g) brown sugar
1/2 c (100g) flavorless oil, like canola
1 c (256g) creamy unsweetened peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 tb vanilla extract
1 c (240g) buttermilk
2 c (320g) candy coated chocolates, plus more for decorating
1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c (226g) our family cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c (64g) creamy unsweetened peanut butter
3 c (360g) powdered sugar
A pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 tb (30g) heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Line the bottoms of three 8” round cake pans with parchment, grease the parchment and sides of the pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the boiling water and oats, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, oil, and peanut butter. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each. Whisk in the vanilla and buttermilk and then stir in the dry ingredients and then the oats. Fold in the candy chocolates (quickly, to prevent the colors from bleeding), and then transfer to the cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes.
Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat to combine. Beat in the heavy cream.
Stack up the cake layers with a layer of frosting between each and then frost all over. Decorate with candy coated chocolates. Enjoy!