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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake! Everyone’s favorite cookie turned into a show stopping layer cake made with rum syrup, dark chocolate ganache and brown sugar buttercream.

A slice of chocolate chip cookie cake on a white plate with a fork

So, now that I’ve closed my cake business I’m finally ready to start posting some of my cake recipes. Year after year, this Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake was one of my most popular flavors. I guess it’s not surprising since everyone loves chocolate chip cookies.

I can’t count how many customers said “I’m not really into cake, but I love this cake”. If you’re one of those people who like cookie dough as much or more than the actual cookie, this is a cake for you.

Brown Sugar Buttercream – where have you been all my life?

First of all, there’s a giant cookie layer at the base of the cake. That alone would be enough to make me love this cake. But I think the best part is the brown sugar buttercream. The butterscotch/cookie dough flavor is completely irresistible.

I spent hours playing with recipes, with varying results, until I finally realized that it wasn’t necessary to create a new recipe.

Can you guess what the difference between granulated and brown sugar is? A little molasses! Granulated sugar is just sugar that’s had all the molasses removed. Dark brown sugar has a little more molasses than light brown sugar.

So (light bulb!) to make brown sugar buttercream I just had to add molasses to my regular Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe.

This was the perfect solution for me since I made buttercream in large batches for my cake business. I didn’t want to stop and make a separate batch of buttercream for the Chocolate Chip Cookie cakes.
a chocolate chip cookie cake iced with Italian Meringue brown sugar buttercream on a glass cake stand

Tips for making Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake:

  • Make the cake the day ahead and refrigerate it over night. It’s much easier to trim the edges and stack the cake when it’s chilled.
  • I use mini chips because they disperse better in the batter.
  • Once the cake is assembled it can stay at room temperature for a couple of days. It’s best served at room temperature.
  • If you don’t like to use alcohol in your cake flavor the syrup with vanilla instead.
  • All the component recipes are included at the end of this post.

top view of a chocolate chip cookie cake iced with shell border on a glass cake stand

Watch the recipe video to see how-to put together and perfectly ice a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake.


If you love great cake recipes like this, you’ll love my new book: Easy Baking From Scratch: Quick Tutorials, Time-Saving Tips, Extraordinary Sweet and Savory Classics. The book contains over 100 recipes that have been well-tested and are presented in simple, clear language. It’s available now on Amazon.


chocolate chip cookie cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Yield: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake! Everyone's favorite cookie turned into a show stopping layer cake made with rum syrup, dark chocolate ganache and brown sugar buttercream.

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 113g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 57g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 114g) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (5 oz, 150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 oz, 170g) mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups (8 oz, 215g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
  • 1 Recipe Vanilla Butter Cake

Brown Sugar Butterceam

  • 1 Recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

Assembly

  • 1 recipe Simple Syrup flavored with 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 cup chocolate ganache at room temperature

Instructions

Make the cookie layer

  1. Line an 8" or 9" cake pan with a parchment round. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the chips all at once and mix until combined
  3. Spread the dough into the cake pan. The dough should be about 1/2" thick (if you have excess dough use it to make cookies).
  4. Bake until the middle of the cookie puffs up a little and then collapses, about 20 minutes.
  5. Cool completely in the pan. Flip the pan over and bang one edge of the pan a couple of times. The cookie should loosen and fall out. Set aside at room temperature until ready to assemble the cake

Bake the Cake

  1. Line two 8" or 9" cake pans with parchment rounds. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Toss the chocolate chips with the tablespoon of water until moistened. Sprinkle the all purpose flour over the chips and toss to distribute the flour. Set the chips aside while you make the cake batter
  3. Mix the Vanilla Butter Cake according to the recipe, folding the chocolate chips into the batter just before the whipped egg whites. Pour 1/3 of the batter into one pan and 2/3 of the batter into the other pan. Spread the batter evenly and bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes depending on pan size.
  4. Bake the cakes according to the recipe. Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes. Run a small spatula around the cakes and remove them from the pans. Cool the cakes completely. Wrap each cake in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight (see note 1)

Make the Brown Sugar Buttercream

  1. Make the Italian Meringue Buttercream according to the recipe. Mix the molasses into the finished buttercream. Divide the buttercream in 1/2, reserve one 1/2 for icing the cake, use the remaining for filling.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Make the rum syrup according to the recipe. Trim the sides and top of both cake layers to remove excess brown edges. Split the larger cake in two, horizontally, you will now have a total of three cake layers.
  2. Place the chocolate chip cookie layer on a serving platter or cardboard cake circle. Spread the ganache evenly over the cookie. Place one of the cake layers on the cookie. Brush the layer generously with rum syrup. Spread 1/2 of the buttercream reserved for the filling onto the cake layer.
  3. Place another cake layer, sprinkle with syrup and spread with remaining filling. Top with the last cake layer and sprinkle that layer with syrup.
  4. If the cookie base is bigger than the cake layers you can trim the cookie so its even with the cake layers. You may just have to nibble on those crumbs while you finish the cake.
  5. Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and chill until the crumb coat is set. Ice with a final coating of buttercream, reserving a little buttercream for decoration. Pipe a border around the top edge of the cake and decorate with mini chocolate chips.
  6. The cake will keep at room temperature for several days

Notes

1-You can use the cake as soon as it cools to room temperature, but it's easier to trim and split when it's cold.

2-To make an alcohol-free cake flavor the syrup with vanilla extract to taste.

3-All the components of the cake can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to assemble.

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 a slice of chocolate chip cookie cake on a white plate
A four layer Vanilla cake on a white cake stand.

Vanilla Butter Cake

Yield: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Perfectly tender and buttery vanilla cake layers. Super soft, yet strong enough for sculpted or wedding cakes.

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) sour cream at room temperature, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (9 oz, 255g) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 340g) granulated sugar, 1/4 cup separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks + 2 tablespoons (9 oz, 255g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 8" round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper or butter and flour the bottom of the pans only, not the sides.
  2. Combine the yolks, 1/2 the sour cream and the vanilla in a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
  3. Into a mixer bowl put 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, sift in the flour, leavening and salt. Mix on low speed for 10 seconds to distribute the leavening. Add the butter to the flour mixture. Mix on low until the butter is incorporated and the batter looks like a paste. Add the other 1/2 of the sour cream to the flour and butter mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix about 3 minutes until the batter lightens in texture. If you're using a hand mixer add another minute or two to the total time.
  4. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add 1/2 the egg yolk mixture. Mix until mostly incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the rest of the egg yolk mixture. Scrape the bowl and mix until incorporated.
  5. In another bowl, whip the egg whites on medium high until they form soft peaks. Turn the mixer to medium low and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Turn the mixer to medium high and whip the whites to full peak. Fold the whites into the base in 2 parts, folding just until there are no streaks of egg whites.
  6. Divide the batter between the 2 pans and spread so it's level.
  7. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack. When fully cooled, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before filling and assembling the cake.

Notes

The cake is very soft the day that it's baked. If you'd like to trim the crust and split the layers allow it to chill in the refrigerator until it's firm enough to handle without breaking. The filled cake can be kept at room temperature for several days (unless it has a perishable filling). The cake cake be frozen for several months.

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Italian Meringue Buttercream

Italian Meringue Buttercream

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Light, fluffy and not too sweet, Italian Meringue Buttercream is a dream to work with. It takes on almost any flavor and is strong enough to pipe roses and other decorations.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 226g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 5 large (6 oz, 170g) egg whites, at room temperature (see note 1)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound unsalted butter (453g) room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • Other flavorings to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the water with 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Cook the sugar syrup on medium high heat, stirring until the sugar is melted. Once the syrup begins to boil do not stir the syrup. Allow it to cook to 235°-240°F (soft ball stage).
  2. While the syrup is boiling, whip the whites on medium high speed. When the whites are at soft peak reduce the mixer to medium low and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Increase the speed to medium high and whip to full peak.
  3. As soon as the syrup is at the correct temperature, remove the pan from the heat. With the mixer running on medium low, pour the hot syrup in a steady stream between the edge of the bowl and the whisk. Increase the speed to medium high and continue whisking until the whites are cooled to about 80°F.
  4. When the whites have cooled, with the mixer running on medium, add the butter one piece at a time. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium high and whip until the buttercream comes together.
  5. Store at room temperature until ready to use.

Notes

Note 1: I always use fresh egg whites. If you use pasteurized egg whites from a carton make sure the package says they can be used for meringue. Some markets sell pasteurized eggs still in the shell, those can also be used for this recipe.

If the buttercream becomes "spongy" while standing re-whisk to correct the texture. The buttercream can be refrigerated 3-4 days or frozen for several weeks.

Return to room temperature and re-whisk before using.

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Chocolate Ganache

Dark Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Silky chocolate ganache can be used to make truffles, fill a cake or tart and glaze any number of pastries.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (225g) Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 235 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 oz (1 Tablespoon, 15g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces, none larger than 1/2" or chop roughly and finish chopping in a food processor. Place the butter in the bowl (or food processor bowl) with the chocolate.
  2. Pour the cream into a microwave safe bowl and heat until just below the boiling point. You want to get the cream as hot as you can without it boiling over. The time will depend on your microwave. Mine takes about 2-3 minutes for a cup of cream
  3. Pour the cream all at once over the chocolate
  4. Do not stir for 1-2 minutes to allow the chocolate to begin melting
  5. Gently stir with a wooden spoon, trying not to incorporate any air, until all the chocolate bits are melted or, if using the food processor, run the processor for 20-30 seconds until the chocolate is melted.
  6. Stir in the corn syrup if using.

Notes

Using the food processor is easy but it will incorporate some air bubbles into the ganache. The finished product won't be quite as glossy.

Store at room temperature 1-2 days, in the refrigerator for a week or freeze for 2-3 months.

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Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup

Yield: 3/4 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Simple syrup is a pastry kitchen staple. Use it to add a layer of flavor to your favorite cake or stir it into iced tea or a cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 125 ml) water
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz, 85g) granulated sugar
  • liquor of choice to taste (I would use about 2 tablespoons)

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan
  2. Heat over medium high heat just until all the sugar is melted
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before adding the liquor/flavoring.

Notes

The simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Without the added liquor, this syrup is also great for sweetening iced tea or lemonade.

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Mobasir hassan

Thursday 24th of December 2020

Truly appreciate the way you made this beautiful cake. Everything is so nicely described that really helped me. I am sure to make it. Thanks for the lovely treat for this Christmas.

Jb

Thursday 31st of October 2019

Trying the cake layer today and will do the icing tomorrow. Have already done the cookie layer which came out great. However I think I had cake pans from my Mom (70s version, 8 in) and so they weren’t quite tall enough to completely contain 2/3 of the cake batter, as it spilled over. The 1/3 pan is fine. I’ll trim it of course and see how the whole thing turns out but you might want to give folks a heads up. Also, how can a 2/3 pan possibly bake in the same time? My 2/3 pan is still liquid while the 1/3 is cooked. I guess I’m a disaster of a baker, or at least I need better pans. The 2/3 layer still going at 33 mins....anyway, I love the idea of this cake, just hope it all works out.

Eileen Gray

Friday 1st of November 2019

Yes, the exact baking time will probably be faster for the 1/3 cake pan. That's why I say in the recipe "about" 25 minutes. I always prefer not to be exact with baking times since they always vary based on oven temp, batter temp, type of pan, etc. Go more by the look of the cake than the exact time. Good luck with the rest of the recipe.

Susan LaCroix

Monday 25th of February 2019

I’m not a fan of rum, but I love Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua. How do you think these would work? Do you think one of these would be better than the other? Also, I have a slew of regular chocolate chips. I think I read above that it would be fine to use them. Is that correct? Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Eileen

Monday 25th of February 2019

HI Susan, either Kuhlua or Baileys would work. I'm particularly a fan of Baileys with anything chocolate. You can use regular chips, they may sink a little more in the cake batter so make sure you toss them in the water and flour before adding them to the batter.

vanessa

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Et j'ai oublié de vous demander: qu'est-ce que la sour cream? Je le trouve sous quelle forme en France. Merci

Eileen

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Creme Fraiche is similar in texture but is not as acidic. I think the closest would be a thick yogurt, like Greek yogurt if you can get that.

vanessa

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Encore merci pour me donner de votre temps. Je vais utiliser votre recette de gâteau au beurre à la vanille. Votre recette est prévue pour un moule de combien? Et les quantités données permettent-elles de faire les 3 couches ? Bonne journée

Eileen

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

This recipe is sized for two 8" cake pan. I put 2/3 of the batter in one pan and 1/3 in the other pan. I split the larger cake into 2 layers for a total of 3 layers.