Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

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

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Leave a Comment


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

    1. You can use regular milk! Just toss them in flour. They still might sink a little to the bottom of the cake because they are bigger.

  11. 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

    1. There is butter in the crust and then butter in the cake. I specify how much you need for each element.

  12. How far ahead can I assemble this cake? I need it for a party on November 20 and would like to start making it on November 18

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