I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If I was forced to choose only one sweet treat to eat for the rest of my days, it would be a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie. So you can imagine my excitement about the prospect of an entire stack of chocolate chip cookies crafted into a stunning cake!
I found the recipe for this chocolate chip cookie cake on the Butternut Bakery Blog, and I knew I had to make it right away. It called to me in a way that no cake has called to me before. Yeah I know, it’s technically not a “cake”, but still…I had to make it. I needed to make it. And I’m oh so glad I did.
The process is super straight forward. Bake a bunch of cookies, mix up some buttercream, then stack it all up, alternating a cookie layer with a buttercream layer. Boom! Done! Cookie cake!
The simplicity is what makes it so beautiful. The cookies are sturdy, so the cake is easy to move and store. They also don’t dry out the same way a regular cake would. You can even bake the cookies and freeze them ahead of time, then just assemble them on the day you want cake! Brilliance!
This recipe yields ten cookies that are about 6-7 inches in diameter. When making this cookie cake, you’ll want to ensure that your cookies are as similar in size as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with uneven looking layers. You could eyeball the amount of dough needed for each cookie, but a much more accurate approach would be to measure the dough by weight.
A simple method for weighing the dough is to start by weighing the bowl which you’ll be using to mix your cookie dough in. Then, once you’ve mixed your dough, weigh the bowl again. Subtract the weight of the empty bowl from the full bowl. This will give you the weight of the dough on its own. Divide that number by 10 to get the weight you need for each individual cookie. Pretty straight forward (as long as you have a scale to weigh the dough with).
Now, onto the actual recipe. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set the bowl aside.
Next, weigh the bowl that you’re going to be mixing the cookie dough in. Add the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar to this bowl.
Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
Add the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Avoid over-mixing the dough as much as possible.
Stir in the chocolate chips. If I was making this dough for the purposes of just baking cookies, I would use milk chocolate chips, because that’s my general preference when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. However, for this recipe I used semi-sweet. The combination of the cookies with the buttercream ends up making for a very sweet dessert, so you really don’t need much added sweetness from the chocolate.
Once you’ve mixed up your dough, weigh the bowl again. As I mentioned previously, you can now subtract the weight of your empty bowl from the full bowl to get the weight of the dough on its own. Divide this weight by 10. That will be the amount of dough to use for each cookie. In my case it ended up being about 130 grams.
Weigh out all your balls of dough, and then let them chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Once they’ve chilled a bit, take a ball of dough and place it on a parchment lined baking tray. Take a second sheet of parchment and lay it on top of the dough.
Take a heavy, flat object, like a plate or frying pan, and press down on the cookie to spread it super flat. You won’t be able to press the cookie any thinner than the height of the chocolate chips, so ultimately your cookies will end up being as thick as a chocolate chip (about 1/8 inch).
Remove the top layer of parchment paper. You should now have a very flat and round cookie. If they aren’t quite round, you can re-shape the edges a bit until you get a more circular shape.
You should be able to fit two cookies on a baking sheet, but make sure they have 2-3 inches of room on all sides, as they will spread during baking. Keep the remaining balls of dough chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to flatten them out and put them in the oven.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. If you’re baking two cookies at a time, you’ll end up having to bake five trays of cookies, which will take about an hour. It helps if you have two baking trays that you can use in rotation, that way one is always ready to go in the oven.
Let the cookies cool on the tray for a few minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. You’ll want to use quite a large spatula to move them so that they are well supported, otherwise they might crack.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, you can start on the buttercream. In the bowl of a large mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
Add the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add some vanilla and 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream, and beat well. If the frosting is too thick, beat in a little more cream. If it’s too soft, add a little more icing sugar, until you reach your desired consistency.
Now you can start assembling the cake! Place a little blob of frosting on a plate, then set your first cookie down. This will help glue the cookie in place and stop it from sliding around on the plate.
Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cookie, then place your next cookie on top. Repeat this process, until you’ve stacked up all your cookies, with a layer of buttercream in between each.
I had a little bit of extra frosting leftover, so I piped a few decorative shapes on top of the cake, and along the edges between the cookie layers.
Assembling this cake takes no time at all. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the layers pile up so quickly!
I thought this cake would be hard to cut through, but it cut beautifully. Just look at all those layers!
I really enjoyed this cookie cake, and would like to make it again. The cookie recipe on its own is very good. The cookies turn out thin, and chewy, and crispy all at the same time. I’m sure they would make excellent ice cream sandwich cookies!
In combination with the buttercream, this whole dessert ends up being very sweet, so you really only need a thin slice of it. I’d like to try playing with a combination of flavours, like adding alternate layers of peanut butter or chocolate frosting, instead of just the vanilla. The possibilities are endless!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
For the Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
Prepare the Cookies
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Weigh the bowl that you'll be using to mix the cookie dough in.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Using a stand mixer or electric hand beater, beat together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Weigh the bowl again with the cookie dough still in it. Subtract the weight of the empty bowl from the now full bowl to determine the weight of the dough. Divide this number by 10. This is how much each ball of cookie dough should weigh.
- Weigh the dough into 10 equal portions, roll into balls, then chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Place a ball of dough onto your prepared baking sheet. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough ball and use something flat and heavy (like a plate or the bottom of a frying pan) to press it down as much as you can. The height of the chocolate chips will prevent you from pressing them too far. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. (Try to fit two cookies per baking sheet, spaced 2-3 inches apart.)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the centre is set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat this process with the remaining cookie dough until all the cookies are baked. Keep the unbaked cookie dough balls in the fridge until you a ready to flatten them and put them in the oven.
Prepare the Buttercream
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
- Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla and heavy cream.
- If your buttercream is too thick, beat in another tablespoon of cream. If it's too soft, beat in another 1/2 cup of icing sugar.
Assemble the Cake
- Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before you start assembling the cake. Place a small dollop of icing on the centre of your cake plate to keep the bottom cookie from sliding around.
- Place a cookie on your cake plate, then spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top of it. Stack another cookie on top, followed by more buttercream. Repeat this process until all the cookies are stacked with a buttercream layer between each one.