We all need a showstopper occasionally! Whether celebrating a major event or just the passage of time, why not make this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake?
Sometimes we all need to just stop doing our usual daily routine, and do something special. Or as today’s teens would say, “something EXTRA” – as in that cat’s diamond collar and faux fur coat are so EXTRA! And, there’s nothing more “extra” than a showstopper. I mean, the word literally means “something that stops whatever else is going on”.
A showstopper goes with the big events that mark momentous occasions in our lives. It’s that perfect outfit for a special occasion that makes everyone know you are the one being celebrated. Or a special activity, like a parade or a special outing, to mark a special day, like a holiday or an anniversary. Something to make us just stop. And observe. And feel all the feels that come with an occasion. And celebrating those people worth celebrating.
Coming from a big family there were showstopper events just about every month. In our family of 8, each one of us had our birthday in a different month (what are the odds of that?). So many cakes were baked and eaten. And since living in a big family necessarily requires a lot of sharing, there was no sharing of YOUR OWN special day. So each of us was made to feel special on our day.
I like to continue that tradition, and show each of my kids how special they are on their birthdays, too. Because it really is a celebration. Celebrating the years as they pass is important. My late Dad, when asked how he was feeling on birthdays celebrated in his later years, would always say, “Well, it beats the alternative!” He loved celebrating the years as they passed.
So this year, my oldest deliberated over several days what type of cake she wanted for her celebration. (Because cake is important!, am I right?)Eventually, she decided she wanted something chocolate-chip cookie flavored. So we came up with this cake. A chocolate layer cake, with something of a brownie-like texture and flavor. Dense, moist, fudgey. In between the cake layers, a delicious bite of edible chocolate chip cookie dough. And on top? A fluffy blanket of chocolate frosting. Truly a showstopper. I mean, is there anything better than this combo?
So let’s all take a moment, or several moments, and just stop the show. And, make a cake full of joy, love and pride! It’s awesome that it’s EXTRA! Celebrate the day! We all need a bit of EXTRA every day. Enjoy!
Don’t miss some of my other favorite cakes:
Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
German Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Recipe Details ->
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This layer cake may look complicated, but it’s deceptively simple. The cake batter is made by first combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. You really should use a stand mixer, if you have one. (I love my Kitchen Aid!) Otherwise a hand mixer will work. Or you could give it a whirl if you have a nice strong bicep. Slowly mix in the softened butter, followed by the olive oil. The mixture will look like wet sand. Then mix together the liquid ingredients, and add. This forms a pretty thin batter – nothing to be nervous about! After that, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Pour into prepared pans, bake and cool. How easy is that?
You can bake the cake in prepared 9×9 or 8×8 pans. I love my USA Pan cake pans! They are non-stick and quick-release and bake cake rounds so nice and evenly!
While the cake layers bake, it’s a good time to make the frosting and the cookie dough. Both are super-easy.
The edible Cookie Dough recipe I used was adapted slightly from Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats. (And, if you love Ice Cream Cakes, be sure to check out Kelly’s new cookbook!). The recipe is safe to eat, since it has no raw egg and the flour is heat-treated. You’ll make it the same way you make cookie dough for baking. Mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the flour, alternating with Sweetened Condensed Milk. Fold in the chocolate chips. Then shape into a disk to put between the layers.
And the frosting is the same frosting I used for my Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting. The most difficult part of this frosting is the 6-10 minutes it takes to whip the butter and melted chocolate. Once fluffy, just mix in the confectioners’ sugar and some buttermilk. It makes the frosting not overly sweet, which is perfect for this chocolate chip cookie dough cake!
PIN Chocolate Layer Cake for later ->Print
Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake
A super-easy moist, brownie-like cake, filled with edible cookie dough, and then topped with fluffy chocolate frosting! What could be better?
Adapted from King Arthur Flour, this recipe makes a double-layer 9″ cake. If you’d like a triple layer cake, with two filling layers, use 8″ pans, and bake for 23-36 minutes. If you use the 8″ pans, Be sure to use the cookie dough to create 2 filling layers, each with 1/3 the dough, reserving the remainder to decorate, as desired.
Cookie Dough recipe adapted slightly from Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats. You’ll only need half to two-thirds the cookie dough for the filling, but you can use the rest to decorate the top of the cake, if you like. Or save to eat later. It makes a relatively stiff dough, so the cake is best served at room temperature.
- Prep Time: 45 min
- Cook Time: 26-30 min
- Total Time: 75 min + cooling
- Yield: 12–16 servings 1x
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
For the Cake Layers:
- 2 c (240g) Cake Flour
- 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
- 1/2 t Baking Soda
- 1/2 t Salt
- 3/4 c (64g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 3/4 c (348g) Granulated or Baking Sugar
- 1/2 c (114g, 8 T) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1/3 c Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 t Natural Vanilla Extract
- 1 c (240 ml) Buttermilk
- 1/2 c (120 ml) Brewed Strong Coffee, cooled
- 4 Large Eggs, room temperature
For the Frosting:
- 5 oz (150g) Bitttersweet or Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
- 7 T (100g) Softened Butter
- 1 c (120g) Confectioners Sugar
- 6–8 Tbsp (70-100 ml) Buttermilk
- Pinch Kosher Salt
For the Cookie Dough:
- 1/2 c (114 g, 1 stick) Butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 c (149g) Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 2 t (10ml) Natural Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 t Salt
- 2 c (240g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 – 14oz (. g) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 c (10 oz) Mini Chocolate Chips
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F for Standard Oven or 335F for Convection/Fan. Prepare 2-9″ baking pans by buttering/flouring, or by inserting rounds of parchment paper. (I give my parchment a quick spray!)
- Into a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl to use hand-mixer, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and sugar.
- At low speed, add the softened butter. Mix for 1 minute, then add the olive oil. Combine until the mixture has the texture of beach sand.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk, vanilla extract, coffee. Add to the mixing bowl altogether, then mix batter until just incorporated, at low speed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then continue to mix for another 30 seconds. This mixture will be very thin.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well at Medium-High speed between each. Again, batter should be quite thin.
- Pour the batter into your prepared 9″ baking pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 26-30 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans to cool completely before filling and frosting.
Make the Frosting:
- Chop the chocolate. In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally until just melted and smooth. It should not be hot to the touch. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes or so until it has cooled slightly.
- Scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a bowl you can use with a hand-mixer. Add the butter and beat until fluffy. This may take awhile, but after 6-10 minutes at high speed, it should become fluffy. See my photo.
- Beat in the confectioners sugar, buttermilk, and pinch of salt until smooth. Set aside.
Make the Cookie Dough:
- Heat treat the flour. Place the flour in a bowl. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir and fluff the flour. Microwave an additional 30 seconds. Stir and fluff. Set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer at Medium speed, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.Add the vanilla and salt, mixing until just incorporated.
- At low speed, in alternating additions, add 1 cup flour, followed by half the can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, then the second cup of flour, and remainder of Condensed Milk.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Into a parchment-lined and sprayed (or buttered) 8- or 9-inch cake pan, press in half to two-thirds of the cookie dough. The layer should be just under 1/2″ thick. Set aside to use as filling. Refrigerate the rest for later use, or save to decorate top of cake.
Compose the Cake:
- Place completely cooled bottom layer of cake on serving dish.
- Remove the cookie dough layer from its pan. Place atop the bottom cake layer.
- Place the second cooled cake layer on top of the cookie dough layer.
- Frost and decorate as desired.
- Serving Size: 1/12 Recipe
Keywords: Cookie dough cake, Chocolate, Cookie dough, chocolate chip cookie dough, edible cookie dough, layer cakes, birthday cake
Do you have to use cake flour or would all purpose flour be ok? I’m planning to make this this weekend for my son’s birthday and don’t want to mess it up lol. It looks absolutely delicious from your pictures! Can’t wait to try jt!
Amber, you CAN substitute all purpose flour for cake flour, but you will need to do it in a particular way. According to Epicurious, you’ll need to remove 2 Tablespoons of flour from each cup of All Purpose Flour, and replace those with Cornstarch. This will soften the flour to a similar protein content as Cake flour, making it similarly tender as cake flour. Hope this helps and hope your son loves this cake like we did!
The cookie dough turned out like caramel. Even with a extra cup of flour, it was still not dough like.
So sorry to hear you did not like the cookie dough, Adam. I felt like the cookie dough turned out a bit firmer than the dough I would use to bake with, so it was easy to shape and use as a layer in the cake. I’m not sure if this is what you’re referring to. If you would like it to be less firm, I might guess that adding between 1 1/4 cups and 1 1/2 cups flour instead of 2 cups the recipe calls for might achieve that goal. I hope this helps.
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
this looks so decadent and chocolate-y! i’m back to eating my feelings after the turmoil of the past few weeks, so this sounds perfect 💕
Oh, Heather, I so get that! This cake is just what you need! 😘😉
This cake truly is a show stopper, Laura! Adding cookie dough frosting, such a fun idea.
Thanks, Balvinder! I love a cookie dough cake! I mean, it’s chocolate chip, so nothing bad there, right? I have a feeling I might be making this again for the next birthday, too!
Ben | Havocinthekitchen says
A guaranteed birthday cake 8 out of 12 months? That’s cool. Lucky you! My childhood wasn’t outstanding from this point of view, but I remember my student years. Starting the mid of November and till almost the end of December, there were around 15 birthdays of my family members and college friends. In fact, most of them were scattered over first two weeks of December. Plus the winter holidays. Plus the end of the term and exams. That was a lot of fun – but I am not sad those days are over 🙂 These cake looks delicious and inviting; awesome idea with the cookie dough layer. Perfection!
Thanks so much, Ben! And, yes, we did eat a lot of cake. But fortunately, among the 8 of us, it didn’t seem like cake-overload. However, we all have something of a sweet-tooth, so it worked out just perfectly. And, interestingly, no one had a December birthday, so we didn’t have Birthday+ winter holiday overload! Thanks for visiting and for your kind words!
Just noticed this beauty on Instagram ! So glad to finally read someone heat treat the flour for cookie dough ! Thank you Laura for this amazing cake. 🙂
Thanks, Davorka! I’ve seen heat treatment in a few of the recipes I looked at for edible cookie dough. I feel like safe is always better than sorry. So I included Kelly Lynn’s method of heat treating. So glad I did! Thanks or visiting!
A showstopper indeed Laura. I’ve just forwarded this to my daughter as she is famous for snitching cookie dough. A beautiful and thoughtful birthday cake.
I had to chuckle when I read what your father said regarding his birthdays as my father said the same thing during his later years.
Thanks, Ron! Hmmm. I wonder if we will be saying the same thing when asked how it is to be aging. I actually feel like I will, because I think that response relatively often as it is. ha! Hope your daughter will love this cookie dough cake as much as we did! It’s a bit over the top, but in every way that is delicious!
My oh my oh my oh my! I would love to be the birthday girl in your family right now! Just make this for me, Laura, and I will be happy. Totally extra special and your photos are making my mouth water! Bookmarking now.
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
What an absolutely decadent cake!!!! Laura, I’ve come close to making edible cookie dough a few times and still haven’t done it, because I think I’d eat it all. Now I MUST make some so I can stick it into a cake like you! Yum!
Kim Lange says
How stunning! Cookie dough is the bomb! Love how you incorporated it in!
David @ Spiced says
Oh, we all need something extra right about now! I think we’re entering Week 4298 of quarantine, and this cake sounds like what I need right now – and it’s only 8 am here. I love the concept of letting everyone pick their own cake. I hope your oldest got super spoiled – happy belated birthday to her! This cake looks and sounds delicious, my friend!
Thanks so much, David! Yes it’s been many weeks. Glad you like the look of this cake. It’s pretty much Bomb!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats says
I’m not a huge cake fan, but this is a cake I would DEVOUR!! Love the cookie dough in it of course!