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 (45g) 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, Pastel 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

151 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness this cake is a real show stopper! Looks amazing!

    1. Thank you so much Natalie!

  2. Can we use frostings other than the ones mentioned here? I love SMbc more than the regular buttercreams..

    1. Absolutely! Use any frosting you love!

  3. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. I can’t wait!!!

    1. Yay!! Happy baking, Bre!

  4. This looks so good. I am going to cut recipe and half as I have 3 6″ pans. Thanks again for a great recipe idea.

    1. Such a great idea – hope you love it and happy baking!!

  5. Oh my goodness this looks both fun and delish, a great reason to have a girls night!! Do you think ice cream would work between the layers? (maybe with 3 – 9 inch pans to make the layers thinner?)

    1. I think ice cream would be delicious, but once frozen, will be very difficult to cut through! Let me know if you try it 🙂

  6. Where did you get those forks done, Sally? I love them! Especially the one that says ‘Sally’s Baking Addiction’ on it! This cookie cake is INSANE in the best of all ways 😉

    1. Hey Hayley! They’re from this awesome etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MilkandHoneyLuxuries
      Most are custom orders 🙂

  7. Cynthia Tucker says:

    Yay! Otw to get choc. chips now. I have to use milk choc. because my husband says semi sweet is too rich.I just ordered your 1st book from Barns & Noble and am so excited! I can’t wait to be able to put the phone down for a change

    1. So sweet, thank you Cynthia! Hope you both enjoy this recipe!

  8. You always come up with such creative and fun recipes!

    1. Thank you so much!

  9. This looks amazing! For the buttercream, when you add a pinch of salt, do you use Kosher salt or just regular table salt? Thanks!

    1. Honestly I use whichever one I grab first. I personally can’t taste a difference in my baking or buttercream, but if you have a favorite– use that!

  10. Perfect timing for me! My daughter’s birthday is this weekend and she prefers your chocolate chip cookie pizza. I was going to make it into layers then I found this. I absolutely love you recipes!!! Thank you!

    1. What perfect timing indeed! Happy birthday to your daughter – I hope you all enjoy!!

  11. Can I make this in a 9 x 13 pan?

    1. Hi Linda! There’s a little too much dough. I would make the dough as is, press about 3/4 of it into the pan, and use the extra dough for cookies. 🙂

  12. What would the cooking times be if you made these into cupcakes or 9×13 pan??

    1. Hi Vanessa! There’s a little too much dough to fit in a 9×13 inch pan. I’m unsure of the bake time if you were to reduce the dough down, sorry! For cookie cups, the bake time depends how much dough you press into each. I recommend using cupcake liners and pressing 2 Tablespoons of dough into each. Using 2 Tbsp of dough each, the bake time will be around 15 minutes.

  13. Thanks for the recipe! I will be using another frosting as well since I am allergic to peanuts. My expat friends LOVE cookies and wanted a tall ” American” cake so this will be such a good surprise!

    1. So much fun! Happy baking Amy 🙂

  14. Can you tell me how thick each of the layers would be if I used 3 9 inch pans? I’m so excited to make this!

    1. Hi Nancy! I didn’t take that measurement, sorry!

    2. Elaine @ FoodParsed says:

      It’ll be about 3/4 the height of the layers pictured. Visually, the layers in the pictures look about 1 inch high, so I imagine it’d be 0.75 inches?

      FYI the calculation I did to find the height ratio is (5*6*6)/(3*9*9) since the picture has 5 layers with 6-inch radius and you’re making 3 layers with 9-inch radius.

      1. Thank you so much!! That is very helpful. I will remember that for future reference because I use an 8 or nine inch pan for most of my cakes.

  15. Basak Dayangac says:

    Hi Sally, I’ll plan to bake this cake for my daughter’s birthday next week. If I wanted to make this double chocolate, which amount of flour should I replace with cocoa?
    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Basak! I didn’t test a chocolate version, so I’m not certain. But I recommend using my chocolate cookie dough. You can double the recipe to guarantee you have enough cookie dough.

      1. Basak Dayangac says:

        Great, thanks a lot for the swift reply 🙂

  16. Oh, boy. Can’t wait to make this for my husband’s office! I just made them your chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, so I think this will be a great follow-up! It looks awesome!

    1. Those cookies are one of my all time faves 🙂 Hope they love this cake, too!!

  17. NEED HELP please.
    What can I add or increase or substitute to make a blueberry coffee cake more moist? Sour cream? Egg? More milk? More butter?
    Thank you Sally!

    1. Hi Sue! Are you using one of my coffee cake recipes? Without knowing the ingredients in the cake recipe you are using, it’s difficult for me to make a recommendation. Sour cream always helps though 🙂

      1. 1-I added 2 T sour cream to my circa 1970 Betty Crocker coffee cake recipe. The week’s resulted in a moist cake.
        2- Before I baked, my husband suggested that I should bake your recipe, because your recipes are always perfect the first time. So thankful for your blog!

  18. Emily @ Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt says:

    This looks amazingly delicious! August is my birthday month too! I think I’ll make it next weekend with my best friend when she and her family come in for my birthday. We share a love for all desserts!

  19. Letitia Stanbery says:

    Anniversary cake in a few days! Yes!

  20. Nichole Baker says:

    I have 3 8 in cake pans, how would I scale the recipe in that case?

    1. I would follow the same directions for 3 9-inch pans 🙂

  21. Another fabulous, delicious looking cake Sally! My sisters birthday is this month & I like the idea of TRYING 2-9” & 2-6” rounds, as I’d like to cut one of the 6” layers in a heart shape. I’m wondering if I should TRY and see if it would fit all 4 pans, or if I should stick with 2-9” & 1-6”. Or, if you think I should double the recipe. Your opinion on this would be much appreciated. Thanks again!

    1. You can do 2 9-inch layers, 1 6-inch layer and if you have a bit of dough left just chill it and then bake yourself a few cookies 🙂 Be sure to share a photo when you finished!

  22. I bet a Nutella frosting would be heavenly on this!

    1. YESSS!!! Try this one: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/14/chocolate-cupcakes-with-creamy-nutella-frosting/

  23. My birthday is coming up and I am soooo going to make this cake. Will definitely let you guys know how it turned out, so excited! Thank you Sally, as a cookie monster who actually found your blog googling chocolate chip cookie recipes, it’s like all my fantasies combined in one delicious cake, yay!

  24. Laura Jonckers says:

    Hi Sally! This looks lovely. I don’t own any cake pans (I know! Shocking! Layer cakes just aren’t so very popular here in Belgium) and I was wondering if I could make this in two layers in my 9×9 pan? If so, should I chill the second half of the batter while the first layer is baking?

    1. Yes! You can just halve the recipe and bake in two 9-inch square pans for about 20 minutes. No need to chill the dough if you aren’t letting it sit for a super long time. Enjoy!

  25. This recipe looks so amazing!
    Such a fun and creative idea!
    I was wondering what would happen if you leave out the cornstarch.
    Can I leave it out?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Julie! Yes you can leave out the cornstarch. I find the cookie cake layers are a little softer with its addition, so keep that in mind.

  26. I can’t wait try this recipe sound so fun and creative!
    Do you think raspberry frosting would taste good with it? Or would it taste weird?

    1. Yes! Raspberries and chocolate go together in my book!

  27. Looking forward to baking this, Sally! Do all five layers need to be baked at once or can they be done in separate batches? Trying to make sure I have sufficient pans for this. Thanks!

    1. I baked them in separate batches – I described it above 🙂 Enjoy!

  28. I’d like to try Nutella cream cheese for the frosting but I have no idea how to go about it.

    1. YUM! This is my creamy Nutella frosting: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/14/chocolate-cupcakes-with-creamy-nutella-frosting/

  29. shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- this cake looks amazing!

  30. If I’m baking three 6-inch batches, can I bake them all at once? I saw that you baked two batches at once, but you were making the 5-layer cake, right?

    1. Hi Jessica! Yep, you can bake all 3 pans at once.

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