Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake

This chocolate chip cookie layer cake is a chocolate chip cookie skyscraper. Prepared with homemade chocolate chip cookie dough, each thick layer is soft-baked and deliciously chewy. Sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and topped with chocolate peanut butter frosting, this indulgent dessert is certainly a showstopper.

chocolate chip cookie layer cake showing the inside

Get your tall glasses of milk ready because we’re making layers upon layers of chocolate chip cookies. Today’s chocolate chip cookie layer cake is a taller version of our chocolate chip cookies cakeUsing soft chocolate chip cookies as the starting point, we simply increase the recipe to yield 5 ultra-thick and chewy cookie cake layers. (We tested this recipe using chewy chocolate chip cookiesbut it yielded very dense layers. That recipe is best as regular cookies.)

You’ll appreciate this chocolate chip cookie layer cake because it’s:

  • Easy and fuss-free
  • Super chocolatey
  • Fun and simple – no confusing steps, hours of preparation, or complicated ingredients
  • A recipe the whole family can prepare and enjoy together
  • Chocolate chip cookies + cake together

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake Details

  • Texture: This chocolate chip cookie layer cake does NOT taste like cake– it’s more like thick chocolate chip cookies. Each cookie layer has crispy edges and super soft centers.
  • Flavor: Each bite combines thick and soft chocolate chip cookies with creamy peanut butter chocolate frosting. We like to serve it with vanilla or coffee flavored ice cream.
  • Ease: For a towering cake, the process is pretty straightforward. You make the cookie cake batter/dough and divide it between however many pans you have available. After the cakes bake, set them aside to cool while you prepare the frosting. Then you assemble the layers of cake and frosting.
  • Time: This recipe usually takes about 3 hours in total, but this ultimately depends on the number of pans you have. We use three 6-inch pans and had to bake the cookies in a couple batches. If you have more pans, you won’t need as much time or if you have fewer pans, it’ll take longer.

slice of chocolate chip cookie layer cake on a white plate with a scoop of ice cream

Choosing a Frosting for Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake

We pair this cookie cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting (it is so good!), but here are some other popular choices if you want to switch things up:

Each of these frosting recipes makes enough for most cake-size options: a 6-inch 5-layer cake; a 6-inch 3-layer cake; a 9-inch 3-layer cake; or a 9-inch 2-layer cake. If you make a 2- or 3-layer cake, you’ll have plenty of frosting for the filling, top, and sides. If you make a 6-inch 5-layer cake (pictured), you’ll have enough frosting for the filling and top but not quite enough for the sides. It’ll be naked cake style.

5 balls of chocolate chip cookie dough

cookie dough pressed into cake pans before baking

Alternate Pan Sizes

We love 6-inch cakes because they seem less overwhelming than 9-inch layer cakes. You still have a lot of fun stacking and decorating, but there won’t be quite as much cake. If you don’t have 6-inch cake pans or a special occasion requiring a mile-high dessert, consider these alternate-sized options:

  • Prepare 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.

We include instructions for each size in the recipe notes below. If you’re in the market for 6-inch cake pans, we use and love these.


FAQ: Can I Use This Recipe to Bake Regular Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Absolutely. However, you should chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours before scooping/shaping and baking. The bake time and yield depends on the cookie size. This recipe makes a lot of dough, so expect a lot of cookies.

stack of 5 layers of chocolate chip cookie cake

chocolate peanut butter frosting in a glass bowl

chocolate chip cookie layer cake on a white plate

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes

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chocolate chip cookie layer cake showing the inside

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 9-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This chocolate chip cookie layer cake is a chocolate chip cookie skyscraper. Prepared with homemade chocolate chip cookie dough, each thick layer is soft-baked and deliciously chewy. Sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and topped with chocolate peanut butter frosting, this indulgent dessert is certainly a showstopper.


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 (360g) 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 (41g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 Tablespoons milk
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, KitchenAid Hand Mixer, Measuring Cups, 6-inch Cake Pans, and Icing Spatula
  3. 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 one 9-inch cake pan for about 22-25 minutes. (3) Halve the recipe and bake in three 6-inch cake pans for about 20-22 minutes.
  4. Frosting: If desired, use any of the alternate frosting recipes linked in the post above.
  5. Peanut Butter: 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.

chocolate chip cookie layer cake on a white plate

slice of chocolate chip cookie layer cake on a white plate

83 Comments

  1. I made this yesterday for Father’s Day but I didnt layer it.. I put them side by side and spelled out DAD with the frosting and added a border to the 3 cake layers. This cookie cake is seriously AMAZING!! it is the most delicious chewy cookie ever!! I did 1.5 semisweet chocolate chips and the other .5 with peanut butter chips and espress chips. it adds a nice twist to the cookie! Me fell in love! I do have a question though… does it need to be in the fridge because of the frosting?

    1. Hi Jenny! Love how you decorated it. Sounds like such a fun celebratory cake! 1-2 days at room temperature is just fine as long as it’s covered tightly. After that, refrigeration is best.

      1. great!!! thank you for the info Sally!! and thanks again for your amazing recipes!!

  2. Brittany W. says:

    Looking to try this for my husband’s birthday coming up! I don’t have 6-inch pans, but I do have 8-inch. You note that this could be three thinner tiers using 9-inch pans, if I make three tiers in 8-inch pans, do you have any advice for baking time?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brittany, 8-inch pans would work wonderfully for this recipe! Bake time will be a little longer than for 9-inch layers- I’m unsure of exact bake time, but I recommend starting with 24 or 25 minutes. I hope this is a hit for your husband’s birthday!

  3. Cant wait to try. Would love to see a video on this one!!!!!

  4. This cake is so fun and special! I made it for my cookie-loving husband’s birthday and he declared it his “official cake for future birthdays.” I made the recipe exactly as written and divided it into 3 layers in 8″ round cake pans (15 oz of dough in each pan). Bake for 18 minutes – perfection!! Thank You Sally, you’re a genius!! <3

  5. This recipe looks so good. I’ll be trying it soon. I plan to make a 3 tier cake with 2 layers on each tier and I’ll use different size cake pans. Do you think I can use 1.5 cups of cake flour and 1.5 cups of AP flour instead of 3 cups of AP flour?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Heather, we don’t recommend cake flour here as it has a much finer texture.

  6. Could I bake this on a sheet pan and then cut out the numbers 3 and 0 for a 30th birthday cake, or will it crumble?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brittany, We haven’t tested it but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Just make sure that you take it out of the oven while it’s still a little soft and use a sharp knife after it’s cooled. Let us know if you try it!

  7. Hi sally it was my daughters birthday yesterday she said she wanted it on every birthday.But my dad can’t have chocolate so is there another recipe that does not have chocolate.

  8. Can you ice this cake as you would do a regular? I want to make a cookie birthday cake, but needs to be yellow and red icing.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  9. I noticed that this recipe doesn’t require any refrigerating of the dough before baking. Is it, though, okay to refrigerate overnight and bake the following day?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, we don’t see why not! Let the dough sit at room temp for about half an hour before baking. Baking time may be slightly longer.

  10. Hi! I just baked 3 9-inch of these and they look amazing! I have the chocolate peanut butter frosting ready to go as well. The cake is for tomorrow. I’m just wondering whether it would be best to assemble just before it’s needed tomorrow or if it would be okay to assemble tonight and if so, how should I store it? Does it affect the taste or texture much of the cake if I were to refrigerate it, for example?

    1. Hi Aleiza, I’m just seeing your comment/question now. You can assemble the cake the night before. For best taste on the next day, I would keep it at room temperature until ready to serve.

  11. What kind of cake pans would you use for 3 layers?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, you could either (1) Make the recipe as directed and bake in three 9-inch cake pans for about 22-25 minutes, or (2) Halve the recipe and bake in three 6-inch cake pans for about 20-22 minutes. Happy baking!

  12. Can I use cake flour?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy! Cake flour will be too delicate for this cookie cake, we recommend sticking with all purpose in this recipe.

  13. Ellen Gary says:

    Would like to make the icing without the peanut butter. What icing would you suggest?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ellen, You can make regular chocolate buttercream instead. Enjoy!

  14. Robin Moye says:

    Can you make just two or three of these as alternating layers with ice cream for an ice cream cake? Would they freeze well?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robin, an ice cream cake would be delicious, but once frozen, these cookie layers will be very difficult to cut through! Let us know if you try it

  15. Dana Austin says:

    Would I do better shaping the cookies dough for a number cake, chilling it for a couple hours and then baking it. Or should I bake it first, let it cool and then cut it into numbers?

    I really enjoy your tutorials and recipes. I use your sugar cookie recipe and always get compliments on decorated sugar cookies. Thank you!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dana, just to be safe, we’d recommend baking the cookie cake and then cutting it into numbers. Sounds like a fun cake! Let us know how it turns out for you 🙂

  16. Hi I really want to make this for my son’s 12th birthday.

    can I use cornflour instead of cornstarch? Will it make a difference?
    Thanks for your advice.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vrinda, we don’t recommend that swap, but you can simply omit the cornstarch if you are unable to find any.

  17. Sarah Callender says:

    This is a magical cake that I plan to make at least one million more times. While I’m not a great baker, I went with the 6-inch cake pans/five layers design, and I had enough butter cream to frost the sides. This cake was delish–an absolute hit at a family birthday party AND it looked like it had been purchased at a fancy bakery. Usually my cakes have a crater, a slope, or some other weird cosmetic characteristic, but not this one. If Beyonce were a cake, she’d be this one.

  18. Tried this cake and it’s turned out beautifully. Thank you Sally, for always coming through with fool proof recipes. I followed the recipe to the t – including baking time and it was a big hit with my family x

  19. I made this as a wedding cake. The layers bake well and tasted delicious. My issue is that the cookies sank in the middle once I took them out of the oven. Do you know what the problem could have been?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tammy, 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.)

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