Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake

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Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to the August Baking Challenge! Get your tall glasses of milk ready because this month we’re making layers upon layers of chocolate chip cookies. There are a few reasons I chose chocolate chip cookie layer cake as the August Baking Challenge:

  1. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is August 4th!
  2. August is an easygoing month where most of us are on vacation or just soaking up the last weeks of summer. Chocolate chip cookie layer cake is a fun and simple recipe the whole family can prepare and enjoy together. No confusing steps, hours of preparation, or complicated ingredients.
  3. My husband’s birthday is in August and I needed to test his birthday cake recipe.  😉
  4. Because it’s chocolate chip cookies + cake together!

Easy + stress-free + and chocolate chip cookies = just what we all need in August.

5 layers of chocolate chip cookies cake! Chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

5 layers of chocolate chip cookies cake! Chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What Does It Taste Like?

This chocolate chip cookie layer cake tastes like thick chocolate chip cookies. The edges are crispy, the centers are soft. It does not taste like cake.

What you see is a 6-inch 5 layer chocolate chip cookie cake. Given its height, this is literally a chocolate chip cookie skyscraper. Kevin and I shared a slice because it was so much cookie!! But prepared for a large group of hungry people, it definitely fits the bill and I guarantee it’ll be loved by all. Assuming whoever is eating likes chocolate chip cookies and if you don’t like chocolate chip cookies, what is your life?

Alternate Sizes

Since you may not have 6-inch cake pans nor a special occasion for a mile high dessert, try these alternate sizes:

  • Make the recipe as is and bake in three 9-inch cake pans. Layers will be thinner than pictured.
  • Halve the recipe and bake in two 9-inch cake pans. Layers will be very thin.
  • Halve the recipe and bake in three 6-inch cake pans.

I include instructions for each in the recipe notes below. If you’re in the market, however, I use and love these 6-inch cake pans. Many of you encouraged me to try Fat Daddio cake pans and now I’m hooked! What I love about 6-inch layer cakes is that they aren’t as overwhelming as 9-inch layer cakes. You can still have a lot of fun stacking and decorating, but there won’t be an insane amount of cake leftover. I find that most cupcake recipes yielding 12-16 standard cupcakes fit nicely in three 6-inch cake pans. See my 6-inch funfetti cake as an example.

Chocolate chip cookie dough for chocolate chip cookie layer cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now that you know what this cookie cake tastes like and the alternate sizes you can bake, let’s discuss the chocolate chip cookie dough.

The Cookie Dough

This cookie dough is essentially my soft chocolate chip cookies recipe, but 1.5x each ingredient amount. There are a few exceptions like the egg and sugars, but it’s basically a little more of each ingredient. I also have these chewy chocolate chunk cookies, but that recipe yielded a very dense cake and things got a little wonky with the extra egg yolk. That recipe is best as regular cookies.

I used 2 heaping cups of mini chocolate chips so there’s a million chips in every bite, but you can use regular chocolate chips instead. Or even flavored baking morsels like butterscotch or peanut butter chips. Have fun with it!

Chocolate chip cookie dough for chocolate chip cookie layer cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The dough yields about 3 lbs of dough. For a 6-inch 5 layer cake, each layer will have about 9-10 ounces of dough. I weighed them so I could accurately test the recipe, but if you don’t have a kitchen scale, just eyeball it.

Can I use this recipe to bake regular chocolate chip cookies? Yes! I recommend chilling the dough for 2 hours prior to baking. The bake time and yield depends on how large you roll the cookies. This is a lot of dough so expect a lot of cookies! (Baking regular chocolate chip cookies does not count towards the August Baking Challenge.)

Chocolate chip cookie dough for chocolate chip cookie layer cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The edges of the cake pan prevent the cookie cake layers from over-spreading, so there is no need to chill the cookie dough. Just make the cookie dough, divide between your cake pans, and bake.

My number one tip: line the baking pans with parchment paper. Cut parchment paper circles that fit nicely into your greased cake pans, then grease the parchment paper rounds. The edges and bottom like to stick to the pan, but the parchment paper guarantees the cookie cakes will slide out of the pan seamlessly.

5 layers of chocolate chip cookies cake! Chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Silky chocolate peanut butter frosting! Tastes unbelievable with chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Since it’s Kevin’s birthday next week and his all-time favorite dessert is “anything with chocolate and peanut butter,” I chose a chocolate peanut butter frosting for my cookie cake. I include that frosting recipe below because IT IS SO GOOD!!!!!!! but you have plenty of other frosting choices.

Your Choice of Frosting

Each frosting recipe is enough for each of your size options: 6-inch 5 layer cake, 6-inch 3 layer cake, 9-inch 3 layer cake, or a 9-inch 2 layer cake. If making either the 3 layer or 2 layer cake, you’ll have plenty of frosting for the filling, top, and sides. If making a 6-inch 5 layer cake, like the one pictured, you’ll have enough frosting for the filling and top but not quite enough for the sides. That’s ok, it’ll be naked cake style!

5 layers of chocolate chip cookies cake! Chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

5 layers of chocolate chip cookies cake! Chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Each bite combines thick and soft chocolate chip cookies with creamy peanut butter chocolate frosting, but when served with coffee ice cream, it’s truly dessert nirvana. The 2018 August Baking Challenge is, by far, the most delicious challenge we’ll ever experience and the recipe is so easy that I didn’t find a need to shoot a video tutorial for you. I’m also going on vacation in a couple weeks and haven’t had time, but I figure you can handle something like this. 😉

5 layers of chocolate chip cookies cake! Chocolate chip cookie layer cake with chocolate frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Join the August Baking Challenge

Make the chocolate chip layer cake as pictured or in the alternate sizes listed in the recipe notes below. Any frosting you love is perfectly acceptable! If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate August Baking Challenge:

After you bake the cookie cake or alternate recipe, share your photos throughout August using #sallysbakingchallenge on your public Instagram or Twitter, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page or Facebook group. Or email it to me. By sharing or sending your photo, you’re automatically entered in the $250 giveaway!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini), plus extra for garnish

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (130g) creamy peanut butter*
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease 6-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the small cookie cakes seamlessly release from the pans.
  2. Make the cookie cake: Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, beat in the chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Divide cookie dough between however many cake pans you're using. Press evenly into each. I only have 3 6-inch cake pans, so I baked in batches. If baking in batches, cover any cookie dough that isn't being used and set aside at room temperature.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cake layers are lightly brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Run a sharp knife around the edges, then carefully invert the pan so the warm cookie cake slides out. (At this point you can clean out pans, grease, line with parchment, grease parchment, then bake remaining cakes if needed.) Set the baked cakes on a wire rack to cool completely. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
  7. Make the frosting:  With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter together on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and 1 Tablespoon milk. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add another Tablespoon or 2 of milk if frosting is too thick. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed. (I always add a pinch!)
  8. Assemble and decorate: Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Continue layering the cake layers and frosting. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides, if there's any leftover for the sides! If desired, top with chocolate chips. Slice and serve.
  9. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Let the frosting sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10 minutes before assembling and frosting. Frosted cake or unfrosted cake layers can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating/serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Alternate sizes: No matter which size cookie cake you make, use the bake time listed as a loose guideline. When the cake layers are lightly brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, they're done. (1) Make the recipe as directed and bake in three 9-inch cake pans for about 22-25 minutes. (2) Halve the recipe and bake in two 9-inch cake pans for about 20 minutes. (3) Halve the recipe and bake in three 6-inch cake pans for about 20-22 minutes.
  2. If desired, use any of the alternate frosting recipes linked in the post above.
  3. I don't suggest using a natural style peanut butter for the chocolate peanut butter frosting as it could produce a thick, greasy, or crumbly frosting.

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SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Pastel Measuring Cups | Heart Spatula | 6-inch Cake Pans | Icing Spatula | “Eat Dessert First” Fork

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94 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi Sally , for the first time your recipe directions are not clear or I didnt understand them. Is this batter enough for 5 layers of 6’pans and the pan in the picture looked a lot deeper than your actual cake layer in your pictures. Do I feel this batter all the way to the top of my pan? Thanks

    1. Hi Alison! This cookie dough is enough for 5 layers baked in 6-inch cake pans. The pan filled with cookie dough in the picture is a 6-inch cake pan and the baked layers you see were from that very day, that same batch. Maybe it’s just the angle or the picture?

      Don’t fill to the top of the pans. Just divide it between 5 6-inch cake pans. It’s about half full.

      1. OHhhhhh that makes sense now ! thts why they are just a little too smaller than the pan, Thank you 🙂

  2. Made it with three layers with 6″ pans. Baked about 15 minutes and iced it with chocolate buttercream. Quite dry and too much icing. Will bake less the next time I try it.

  3. I baked half the recipe yesterday. Used two 7″ cake pans and baked the layers for 22 minutes. I covered the layers with the chocolate pb frosting recipe, also cut in half. The cookie cake tasted amazing and I am very happy with the outcome! I would probably try a chocolate fudge frosting next time.

  4. I am so bad at math, and often have problems with halving or doubling recipes. You said, “The dough yields about 3 lbs of dough. For a 6-inch 5 layer cake, each layer will have about 9-10 ounces of dough.” I am thinking about halving the dough and doing three layers. Does that mean each layer will yield 1.5 lbs of dough and have 4-5 ounces of dough for each pan? How did you convert lbs to ounces?

    1. Hi Jessica! When testing and writing the recipe, I used my kitchen scale to weigh everything, so I didn’t need to convert. You’ll have around or a little over 1.5 lbs of dough and each layer will still be around 9 ounces. If you have EXACTLY 1.5 lbs of dough, each layer will be 8 ounces. But just divide the dough into thirds. Doesn’t have to be exact.

  5. Hi Sally! If I were to make this in two rectangular pans (say a 13×9) would it qualify for the challenge, or does it have to be round? If this is acceptable, would it fit in two of these sized pans, or would two 8×8 (with leftovers) be better? Thinking of making it for a co-worker who recently came back from injury leave.

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Lydia! If you make a layer cake out of the two 9×13-inch pans then YES it would count. 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t test the recipe in a 9×13 inch pan because I was focused on making the round cakes but I know there’s a little too much dough to fit in a 9×13 inch pan. Two 8×8 square pans would be better. There will be leftover dough, yes.

  6. I made this cake today and right now I’m wishing I had 1 hundred friends to share it with!! Wow, is this recipe rich. My husband and I decided it tastes like a Reese’s peanut butter cup using the peanut butter frosting in the recipe. Not a bad thing at all, but I’m hoping my pants will still fit!!!

  7. I have q question – 300g of sugar feels like a whole lot to me. Can I reduce the amount of sugar? If so, do I need to make any other adjustments? Thanks!

    1. Hi Vesna! This yields A LOT of cookie dough so there’s a lot of sugar 🙂 You can reduce it down, but the texture will change along with the taste. Let me know what you try!

      1. Hey Sally, I reduced sugar to 255g as I’m not a big fan of sugary sweets. I don’t know if that was the reason, but texture was creamier than yours (more peanut-buttery, not at all something you could roll into a ball). I spread it into tins as evenly as I could, baked it in 4 8inch layers. It tastes really good, the texture is great. I will post some photos later in your facebook group.

  8. Hello,

    I halved this recipe in order to yield two 9 inch layers and I seriously doubt it is enough. In a previous comment you mentioned that your 6 inch pans were half full before baking, however I am nowhere near that in my 9 inch pans. I’m actually struggling to spread the dough without getting holes in it. It’s so thin. Help?

    1. Hi Alex! Did you change anything about the recipe? I’m sorry you’re running out of dough. Were you able to bake it?

  9. So excited to make this! If I wanted to make it in 9-inch round cake pans, but I wanted to have thicker layers, could I do the full recipe in 2 9-inch rounds instead of 3?

  10. Looking forward to making this this weekend! Do you know how tall the 6 inch, 5 layer cake would be if made as pictured? I’ll be bringing it in to share with my office and want to know if I will be able to fit it in a 6 inch tall cake carrier, or if I should go with the 9 inch, 3 layer cake instead.

  11. Just had to say that I made this cake yesterday, using three 9-inch round pans and the results were AMAZING! Per my son’s request, I used your Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe, which was perfect. The cake looked beautiful, and cut very easily. LOVE this recipe so much that I decided to take the leap and enter the Baking Challenge for the first time! 🙂 Thank you for sharing such a delicious (and easy) recipe!

  12. I tried he recipe with 3 8 inch pans and left it in the oven for 27mins came out perfect with your chocolate icing

  13. I’m in the middle of making this and I am SUPER excited to eat it!!!!
    Pro tip: spray some baking spray on the back of a spoon to make spreading the sticky dough into the pans much easier!

  14. Hi Sally, another winner of a recipe! My older daughter is getting married next weekend, and my younger daughter & I are making a TARDIS groom’s cake. I’m planning on using Rice Krispy treats for the lower part of the cake, and this chocolate chip cookie cake for the upper part (doubling the recipe and using 9″ square pans…we’re planning the cake to be 18″ high!). I like that the texture will be sturdier than a normal cake, and the groom loves chocolate chip cookies. My question is this: I’ve been experimenting with cake strips with success (normal cake batters stay much more level)…do you think it’s necessary to use them for this cookie-textured cake or is the cake dense enough that it doesn’t “dome” up?

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. Hi Tammy! That cake sounds REALLY fun! The cookie cake won’t dome up in the center– it will actually slightly sink in the center as it cools. (Smaller 6-inch size doesn’t tend to sink as much, but larger will.) You can level off the edges after the cake has cooled.

  15. This is a delicious recipe, but I am confused about weather this is supposed to be a giant chocolate chip cookie, or a chocolate chip cake. Mine didn’t rise and looked like a cookie while I was thinking it would rise.

1 2

Reviews

  1. I baked half the recipe yesterday. Used two 7″ cake pans and baked the layers for 22 minutes. I covered the layers with the chocolate pb frosting recipe, also cut in half. The cookie cake tasted amazing and I am very happy with the outcome! I would probably try a chocolate fudge frosting next time.

Questions

  1. I am so bad at math, and often have problems with halving or doubling recipes. You said, “The dough yields about 3 lbs of dough. For a 6-inch 5 layer cake, each layer will have about 9-10 ounces of dough.” I am thinking about halving the dough and doing three layers. Does that mean each layer will yield 1.5 lbs of dough and have 4-5 ounces of dough for each pan? How did you convert lbs to ounces?

    1. Hi Jessica! When testing and writing the recipe, I used my kitchen scale to weigh everything, so I didn’t need to convert. You’ll have around or a little over 1.5 lbs of dough and each layer will still be around 9 ounces. If you have EXACTLY 1.5 lbs of dough, each layer will be 8 ounces. But just divide the dough into thirds. Doesn’t have to be exact.

  2. Hi Sally! If I were to make this in two rectangular pans (say a 13×9) would it qualify for the challenge, or does it have to be round? If this is acceptable, would it fit in two of these sized pans, or would two 8×8 (with leftovers) be better? Thinking of making it for a co-worker who recently came back from injury leave.

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Lydia! If you make a layer cake out of the two 9×13-inch pans then YES it would count. 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t test the recipe in a 9×13 inch pan because I was focused on making the round cakes but I know there’s a little too much dough to fit in a 9×13 inch pan. Two 8×8 square pans would be better. There will be leftover dough, yes.

  3. I have q question – 300g of sugar feels like a whole lot to me. Can I reduce the amount of sugar? If so, do I need to make any other adjustments? Thanks!

    1. Hi Vesna! This yields A LOT of cookie dough so there’s a lot of sugar 🙂 You can reduce it down, but the texture will change along with the taste. Let me know what you try!

      1. Hey Sally, I reduced sugar to 255g as I’m not a big fan of sugary sweets. I don’t know if that was the reason, but texture was creamier than yours (more peanut-buttery, not at all something you could roll into a ball). I spread it into tins as evenly as I could, baked it in 4 8inch layers. It tastes really good, the texture is great. I will post some photos later in your facebook group.

  4. Hello,

    I halved this recipe in order to yield two 9 inch layers and I seriously doubt it is enough. In a previous comment you mentioned that your 6 inch pans were half full before baking, however I am nowhere near that in my 9 inch pans. I’m actually struggling to spread the dough without getting holes in it. It’s so thin. Help?

    1. Hi Alex! Did you change anything about the recipe? I’m sorry you’re running out of dough. Were you able to bake it?

  5. So excited to make this! If I wanted to make it in 9-inch round cake pans, but I wanted to have thicker layers, could I do the full recipe in 2 9-inch rounds instead of 3?

  6. Hi Sally, another winner of a recipe! My older daughter is getting married next weekend, and my younger daughter & I are making a TARDIS groom’s cake. I’m planning on using Rice Krispy treats for the lower part of the cake, and this chocolate chip cookie cake for the upper part (doubling the recipe and using 9″ square pans…we’re planning the cake to be 18″ high!). I like that the texture will be sturdier than a normal cake, and the groom loves chocolate chip cookies. My question is this: I’ve been experimenting with cake strips with success (normal cake batters stay much more level)…do you think it’s necessary to use them for this cookie-textured cake or is the cake dense enough that it doesn’t “dome” up?

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. Hi Tammy! That cake sounds REALLY fun! The cookie cake won’t dome up in the center– it will actually slightly sink in the center as it cools. (Smaller 6-inch size doesn’t tend to sink as much, but larger will.) You can level off the edges after the cake has cooled.

  7. This is a delicious recipe, but I am confused about weather this is supposed to be a giant chocolate chip cookie, or a chocolate chip cake. Mine didn’t rise and looked like a cookie while I was thinking it would rise.

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