Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Apr 25

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake – chocolate cookie crust, yellow chocolate chip cake layers, brown sugar frosting and chocolate chip cookie crumbs.

Cookie Cake: layers of yellow chocolate chip cake, baked on a chocolate cookie crust, with brown sugar frosting #cakebycourtney #cookiecake #easycakerecipe #layeredcake #chocolatechipcookiecake

Cake Inspiration

A few weeks ago, my friend was in Las Vegas and stopped by the Sprinkles Cupcakes store. Because we talk about food all the time (hence why we’re such close friends), she was, of course, texting me the play-by-play of what she was ordering. It wasn’t even five minutes later that I get a text that said, “The new Sprinkles Cookie Cupcake is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. YOU MUST RECREATE IT!”.
Done! Recreating amazing cupcakes or cakes, or taking flavors of some other decadent treat and turning it into a cake is my calling in life!
As soon as she was back in town, we had a detailed conversation about the cupcake. Since I hadn’t tried the cupcake, I made Lisa describe it to me in every detail. Crunchy or soft cookie crust? Tender and light, or rich and dense cake? What about the frosting? Silky like a meringue or a little more dense like a traditional American buttercream?
After I got as many details about the cupcake as I could, I got to work on my version of the cupcake… but in cake form.
Cookie Cake: layers of yellow chocolate chip cake, baked on a chocolate cookie crust, with brown sugar frosting #cakebycourtney #cookiecake #easycakerecipe #layeredcake #chocolatechipcookiecake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Cookie Crust

Sprinkles uses a chocolate chip cookie crust at the bottom of the cupcake. But, from what Lisa told me, it’s not super packed and tight like a crust – definitely more of a crumbly crumb at the bottom of the cupcake. I knew a crumb like that wouldn’t stack well in a cake, and honestly, the first thought that popped into my head for my version was using Milk Bar’s chocolate cookie crumb as a crust in my cake. The Milk Bar chocolate cookie crumbs are quite possibly one of my favorite things in this life. I love dark chocolate and this cookie crumb recipe perfected the dark chocolate flavor without being overly sweet. I love the hint of kosher salt in it as well.

Cake Layers

As I thought about the chocolate cookie crust, I knew I needed to contrast it with a lighter, fluffier and sweeter cake. I had just made my classic yellow a few weeks ago, so with it fresh in my mind, I had no doubt it would be the perfect combination with the dark chocolate cookie crust.
Cookie Cake: layers of yellow chocolate chip cake, baked on a chocolate cookie crust, with brown sugar frosting #cakebycourtney #cookiecake #easycakerecipe #layeredcake #chocolatechipcookiecake


Next was the frosting. I had made a brown sugar frosting before but didn’t love how I could taste the brown sugar granules in my mouth. This time around, I wanted to make sure the frosting was silky smooth. To achieve this, I decided to create a brown sugar syrup by boiling my brown sugar with a little water, which dissolved the granules and turned it into a thick syrup-like consistency.
Once it cooled, I added the mixture to my buttercream base and ended up with the exact consistency I was looking for. More importantly, the flavor is out of this world. There’s a hint of brown sugar and browned butter flavors. It works so perfectly with the cake and cookie layers.
The Sprinkles cupcake is also covered with cookie crumbs, but instead of using more of the Milk Bar chocolate cookie crumbs, which might have then started to overpower the rest of the cake, I decided to grab a bag of store bought chocolate chip cookies (crunchy ones) and blended them up so I could “dust” the cake with them.
Cookie Cake: layers of yellow chocolate chip cake, baked on a chocolate cookie crust, with brown sugar frosting #cakebycourtney #cookiecake #easycakerecipe #layeredcake #chocolatechipcookiecake
I am so excited with the end result, you guys! Like, this cake is one of my new faves! But even more important, Lisa gave it a “10” and said she liked it even more than the cupcake! (Insert my happy dance here.)
While I’ve yet to try the cupcake, I know some of you have and I’m eager to hear your thoughts on my take. So make sure to post your cake on Instagram and tag @cakebycourtney so I can see it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake





Yield 1 3-layer, 8-inch round cake

Inspired by the Sprinkles Cookie Cupcake, I've created my new Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with layers of dark chocolate cookie crust, tender yellow chocolate chip cake, silky brown sugar frosting and dusted in chocolate chip cookie crumbs.


For the Chocolate Cookie Crust (recipe from Milk Bar)

  • 1 1/3 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups (157.3 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons (5.6 g) salt
  • 12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, melted 

For the Yellow Chocolate Chip Cake

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (72.6 g) canola oil
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3 cups, plus 3 tablespoons (366.5 g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 cup (240 g) full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) butter extract
  • 1 cup (150 g)  mini chocolate chips 

Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons (44.3 g) water
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt 
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

Filling and Garnish

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies


For the Chocolate Cookie Crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed.
  3. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
  4. Spread 8 ounces of the chocolate crumbs on the parchment in each the three 8-inch cake pans or 6 ounces in each of the 6-inch pans. Using the back of a spoon, push the crumbs together to form a crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Let the crust cool a bit while you make the yellow cake. 

For the Yellow Chocolate Chip Cake

  1. While the chocolate cookie crust is cooling, turn your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, oil, sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
  4. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and baking powder with the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until combined.
  5. Add the butter and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the mini chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of flour. This helps to coat the chocolate chips so they don't sink to the bottom of the cake.
  7. Fold the chocolate chips into the cake batter.
  8. Evenly distribute the cake batter in the pans with the chocolate cookie crust.
  9. Bake the cakes and cookie crust for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with only just a few crumbs on it.
  10. Cool the cakes on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cakes onto cooking racks to cool completely. If you don't plan to stack and decorate the cake right away, wrap each layer in plastic wrap or tin foil and freeze. 

For the Brown Sugar Frosting

  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the brown sugar and water over medium heat. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a soft boil and let cook for about 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. It won't be hot but it won't be room temperature.
  2. When the brown sugar syrup has cooled a little, put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar.
  4. Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, slowly stream the brown sugar syrup into the bowl. Once the syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for about 5 minutes. Don't worry if the buttercream is soft. 
  5. If the mixer gets too soft, refrigerate the frosting for 30 to 60 minutes. Beat the frosting again for a couple minutes. 


  1. Spread a small dollop of frosting on your cake board. Place the first cake layer on the board, with the chocolate cookie crust on the bottom.
  2. Spread about 3/4 cup of the brown sugar frosting on top of the cake layer. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure it is level.
  3. Sprinkle three crushed chocolate chip cookies (big chunks of cookie are ok!) on the frosting and tap them with your fingers to gently set them into the frosting.
  4. Place the second cake layer, chocolate cookie crust on the bottom, on top of the frosting and cookie crumbs. Repeat step 2 and 3.
  5. Place the final cake layer, chocolate cookie crust on the bottom, on top of the second layer of frosting and cookie crumbs.
  6. Spread a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in any crumbs. This is called the crumb coat. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes to ensure the crumbs get locked into this coat of frosting. After the frosting is set, continue to frost the cake. I used about 16 cookies to pulse in my blender to get find crumbs for the outside of my cake.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Cake

59 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

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  1. Hi Courtney! I got some cake decorating supplies for Christmas and just busted them out. Super excited to try this cake this weekend- do you think I could frost it and have it completely done a day in advance? Or does it work better to do it the day of. My plan is to bake the cake layers tomorrow (Friday) and then frost and decorate on Saturday- and then eat on Sunday? Any tips?

    1. With this one, I would assemble on Sunday. You could make everything ahead of time, but the oreos won’t have a crunch in the filling if you do it the day before and refrigerate it overnight.

      1. You can definitely make it ahead of time and freeze it right away. If you freeze it, the Oreos will keep their crunch. If you refrigerate it, they’ll lose the crunch. I make everything separately ahead of time and then assemble day of when possible.

  2. hello! sorry for the dumb questions but…would this recipe for the cake batter be enough for all three rounds? or am i making this times three? also would it affect too much if i have 9 inch rounds?

    1. Not a dumb question at all. The recipe is for all three cake rounds. No need to triple it. If you want to use 9-inch rounds, just use two of them and increase the bake time by a couple mintues.

  3. hey! I’m in the process of making this right now. cakes are done (super moist and delicious) but that crumb crust is a little bitter for me personally, I dont know if it’s supposed to be though. I’m going to leave it cause I figured it’ll contract nicely with the sweetness of the cake and frosting. Next time though I’m going to add more sugar and use salted butter and no kosher salt. just a thought 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s supposed to be bitter chocolate to compliment the sweetness of the cake and frosting. Love your ideas for sweetening it if you still think it’s bitter with the other elements.

  4. Pingback: Cookie Cake
  5. Hi there! Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes, can’t wait to try this one😋. Question: I know you had mentioned that you moved to UT so are these recipes already modified for higher altitude or should I modify? I live in CO and have trouble adjusting for the altitude but if this one is already tested, then awesome!:)

  6. This looks amazing. I do have some questions: Can regular vanilla be used, instead of clear? Is the butter extract absolutely necessary or can it be omitted.? If you used regular cocoa powder would it just be a little sweeter?

  7. Do we have to use a stand mixer if we aren’t able to get one soon or when we want to make the cake. Also during the assembly did you have to carve the cakes at all before staking and frosting.

  8. Hi Courtney! This cake is absolutely delicious and my son’s favorite cake so far! My challenge though has been getting the cake layers to bake evenly without over baking the bottom cookie crust. I’ve baked this cake twice and both times have had to throw out most of the third layer as it’s just a gooey mess. When testing the cake layers for doneness, they seem ready to come out of the oven. How can I be sure my layers are completely baked on my third try? Please help! Thank you! 🙂

  9. Making this right now and my cakes have been in the oven for over 30 minutes and they’re still not done! I have an oven thermometer so I know my oven is spot on temperature wise. What am I missing?

  10. Excited to try this for my daughter’s birthday next week! Two questions:
    -Is the Wilton no color butter flavor the same thing as butter extract? If not, where do you find butter extract?
    -If I don’t have dark cocoa powder can I use regular cocoa powder instead?
    Sorry, this is my first cake attempt, so a lot of this is foreign to me! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes 🙂

  11. Made this cake yesterday and it was a huge hit. Thank you for the recipe! I have Celiac so I needed to make a few adjustments to make it gluten free. I followed the rest of the recipe pretty much as written and everyone loved it. People eating it loved the different cookie flavors and couldn’t tell it was gluten free!

  12. Hi. These are the oven right now! I tasted the raw batter and OH YUMMMMY. I didn’t have the butter extract but that’s ok. Can’t wait to frost it tomorrow for my honey for Valentine’s day.

  13. Hi. working on the frosting now. If you leave the brown sugar/water liquid to cool for 15-20 minutes, it turns granulated again and you have to start all over. So I’m doing in again now. I hope it works this time and doesn’t make the rest of the buttercream get granular.Oy.

  14. Do you use store bought cookies for the outside of the cake? I was planning on using my homemade cookies, but they’re pretty soft and chewy- would that work?

  15. Hi! I am confused on the amount of butter for the yellow cake part, could you please verify it for me?
    THANK YOU!!!

  16. Love this cake. There’s a mistake in the cookie crust measurements though. The weight for the 12tbs is listed as 339g but it should be 170g. I had some very sloppy mush the first time around.

  17. I made this yesterday for my son’s birthday and it was fabulous! Thank you. Had one questions though. The chocolate crust was really salty. Is it really 2 tsp of salt in that chocolate crust? Does kosher vs standard table salt make a difference?

  18. Well I made it… or I should say I tried. 🙂 It didn’t quite look like that cake but the taste was amazing. Very moist cake, and the icing really is so beautiful and unique. Thank you so much for sharing this!! Seriously such a lovely feeling making from scratch and comes out this good.

  19. Oh Courtney! I love your website and your amazing cake recipes. You’re site is my go to cake recipe place! This chocolate chip cookie cake is by far one of my favorites. I printed this recipe in March but didn’t get to make it until 6 weeks ago (July). Now, I’ve made this cake 4 times in the last 6 weeks for various events and each time, I’m told this is the best tasting cake I’ve ever made – And I’ve made a lot of different cakes! Funny thing is, when I originally printed the recipe, it had 452 grams of butter for the cake, not the 227 grams as it does now. I just caught it today – after making it again. So curious now to try it with 227 grams – might have to stick to the 452! LOL! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  20. I would like make this cake into cupcakes, what would be the baking temps and time be so the crust and cake doesn’t dry out?

  21. Hi! I made this cake for my birthday! It’s a beautiful cake, but the cake itself was kinda dry. It had really good flavor though regardless that it was dry. I’m not sure what I could’ve done differently as I followed the recipe exactly. I did have to bake the cakes an extra 5 minutes because mine weren’t completely done at 30 minutes. :/ Ah, well.

  22. Hi Courtney! I’ve made this cake two times and both times it’s took 36-37 minutes for the cakes to be done & the tops were pretty browned. I didn’t know it that was normal, maybe the pan I am using is affecting it or that I had my oven on Convection. Love the flavor of this cake it’s AMAZING!

  23. I’m going to make a truck-shaped cake for my son’s birthday, but I’m going to use yellow cake for the layers, so I was wondering about what I could do to make it more interesting. I thought I might do a cookie crumb layer and use the brown sugar icing. Can you color this icing fairly easily? I was planning on making a blue and green truck. This icing sounds yummy but I wondered if it would turn a strange color because I’m guessing the icing is a little brown to begin with?

  24. Hello… Love your cakes and I have baked some of them as a challenge my daughters and friends love them.. Thank you… stupid question, all the eggs on the batter it won’t taste eggy?? thank you…
    And thank you again for all the tips and recipes.

  25. Hi Courtney,
    When I was making the crumble layer I noticed that 2 tsp cornstarch weighed 6 grams, not 16. Did you mean tablespoons?

  26. Hey!! I made this cake today. It was so cute and yummy. I have a few questions because I am going to make it again later this month for a birthday party. The cookie crust crumbled around the edges when I took the cake out of the pan. Not too big of a deal since ultimately covered in icing but made it difficult be messy in my kitchen so didn’t know if you had any suggestions… cooking that layer longer? More melted butter? Pressing harder into pan with back of spoon?
    Second thing was the brown sugar syrup for the buttercream. I tried making it twice and both times when I took it off the heat to cool it turned to dry crumbles instead of staying as a syrup to stream into the buttercream. What am I doing wrong??😂I know you prob won’t see this but just in case!!! Thanks !!!

    1. I would definitely press harder and then actually cook a little less time. You could also add a couple extra tablespoons butter if you’d like too. I’m updating that brown sugar recipe for my book, but in the meantime, you can cook the brown sugar for less time and that should help.

  27. Hey Courtney!

    Did you use semi-sweet mini chocolate chips? I HATE semi-sweet but can only find regular size milk chocolate chips— not mini size. Should I use semisweet because the size of the chip really matters or do regular size milk chocolate chips because I like the flavor more?

    Thanks! Excited to try this cake for my daughters 3rd birthday!

  28. You mentioned the butter twice in the cake and I wanted to know if it was supposed to be split to be mixed in twice or if I’m misunderstanding