Creating "Inspired Cakes" has become one of my favorite aspects of running Sprinkles for Breakfast. I absolutely love taking inspiration from an outside source and making it come to life in the form of my favorite food...cake. And as much as I love the Taylor Swift Inspired Cakes, this Gray Malin Inspired Triple Chocolate Dirt Cake is by far my new favorite.

It could be due to the fact that I have a slight obsession with Gray Malin's work, or that Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places on earth - or it could just be the fact that I am really into this dirt cake. But more likely, it is a combination of all three.

First, let's talk about Gray Malin. If you don't know him by name, you probably know his work. He does these amazing, brilliantly colorful, ariel shots around the world - and they are stunning.

He is most known for his beach shots, but because we are closing in on December, I decided to make a cake inspired by something with a little more of a wintery feel - his Lake Tahoe Skiers.

You have probably heard the saying "everything is better with butter" - and to be honest, it's kind of true. Butter is amazing. But what most people don't know is that butter is at its best when its browned.

There is just something about browning the butter that takes things to the next level. And, it's not even very hard to do. All you do is put the butter in a pot over medium/high heat. Once the butter is melted and begins to foam, start whisking. The butter at the bottom of the pan will begin to brown and let off some sort of nutty aroma. And that's it. That's all you have to do.

And then you can put it in a mixing bowl and make these delicious cookies. The combination of the brown butter and the brown sugar give this cookie a melt in your mouth kind of effect. They are prefect for any holiday cookie swap you have coming up, or if you are like me, you can just use them for personal consumption.


  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 3/4 sticks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a skillet melt 10 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until butter starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Pour into bowl, add remaining butter to same bowl and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  5. Add remaining brown sugar and salt to butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  6. Combine butter mixture with dry ingredients, stirring until a dough forms.
  7. Either roll dough out to 1/2-inch thick and use a cookie cutter, or roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies begin to set.

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