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

81 Comments

  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Danielle Andre says:

    Hello Sally
    Will this work work with your giant M&M cookie recipe also?

    1. Hi Danielle! I can’t see why not! Let me know how it goes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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.

    1. Hi Colton, all 5 layers will be too tall for a 6 inch carrier. I’d go for 9 inches if you want to bring it in that!

  13. 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!

  14. Katie Browne says:

    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!

  15. Hi, I’m curious, is the cake more like a cookie (it sounds like it) or is it more cake like in texture?

    1. All cookie 🙂

  16. Tammy Spencer says:

    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.

  17. Graziella Camilleri says:

    Can this cake with the fosting be covered in fondant pls?

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I can’t see why not!

  18. 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. Hi Alison! This is all cookie. 🙂 It’s supposed to be 3 thick cookie layered to make a cake.

  19. I made this for my son’s birthday because he doesn’t like cake, but wanted a cookie cake. I didn’t want to go the traditional pizza shape cookie cake route, so decided to try this. SO glad I did, it was a big hit! Kids and adults loved them! I baked them in three 9 inch pans for about 20 mins, and went with your chocolate buttercream. So delicious! my other son has requested it for his birthday next! Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  20. Alex Cauley says:

    Hi Sally! I just bought the Wilton’s Perfect Layers set of 5 6 inch pans but they are not very deep!! Will these work? I’m panicked. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alex! The layers don’t bake up too thick, so your pans should work just fine!

  21. Might be a silly question, but is this cake difficult to cut into slices, since they are much denser than cake? A friend is asking for a cookie cake wedding cake, and this looks like the best recipe. Thanks!

    1. Hi Amanda! It’s a little more difficult to cut into slices, yes. But a very sharp knife and making slow cuts helps.

  22. Susan Piccinin says:

    I used this recipe to make a 4 tiered wedding cake. One batch of dough makes a 12 inch cookie. My question is when to frost in between the layers with butter cream and stack it?
    The wedding is this saturday, and I have all the cookie layers made and wrapped in the freezer. Should I make the layers ( 3 12″, 3 10″, 3 8″ and 3 6″) box them, and refrigerate overnight< then assemble day of, or ice and stack and assemble day of wedding?
    HELP!!!

    1. What an amazing wedding cake!! You should be able to frost and assemble each tier the day before, and then stack them the day of the wedding if time is tight the actual day. ENJOY!

  23. christine e lee says:

    Great recipe. I made this for my son’s birthday. It was perfect! I would love to send a picture. So happy!

  24. Wow I love this recipe!!! Question: if I use this recipe to make regular cookies, will they spread? I’m trying to make chocolate chip cookies that stay in a ball and don’t spread. Please let me know, thanks!

  25. Anyone use this in a heart shaped pan? Trying to figure out baking time.

    1. I have not used a speciality pan for this but the bake time will depend on the size of your particular pan. Bake until lightly brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

  26. I have made a ton of your recipes and not sure why but this has been my favorite!! I made a two layer cake with chocolate frosting and it was delicious. Can’t wait to send this to my husband’s work when life is back to normal 🙂

  27. Katherine In Atlanta says:

    Oh my, I just found your website and this recipe! I cannot wait to try this! I do not have 6” cake pans but will buy some. If I purchase 2, should I just let the pans cool before I use them for another layer?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Katherine, Welcome to the site! Yes you should let your pans cool completely if baking in batches. Cover any cookie dough that isn’t being used and set aside at room temperature.

  28. Hi Sally,

    First and foremost I love all of the recipes I have tried on your site. My daughter is turning 11 tomorrow and I am going to put my baker hat on and make your cake balls and a chocolate chip cookie cake. I only have 8 or 9 inch rounds, will this recipe convert okay if I make only a 2 layer?

    Thanks,
    Marsha

    1. Hi Marsha, See recipe note #3 for alternate pan sizes. Enjoy!

  29. I made this when it was the baking challenge. So different – never made anything like this before! I opted to use the chocolate buttercream. Was a little challenging to spread the batter (dough?) but doable. I’m wondering if may have slightly overbaked them – they were on the dry side. Very appealing looking cake!

  30. Hello Sally, my daughter made this cookie cake for her dad for Father’s Day. We ended up making 3 9 in layers. Made a 2 layer for her dad and a 1 layer to taste. Made the cake Friday, frosted Saturday and kept it refrigerated. On Sunday, it was kind of hard to cut and eat. We microwaved it.
    The one layer seemed to be fine. Wonder why? Any ideas, tips? Thank you Sally! We so enjoy trying all your recipes. You are our first go to when looking for something yummy to make.

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