Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
It’s a confident 31-year-old who can bake herself a giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake for her own birthday, bring it to a public place to share it, then publish it on the very public interwebs. Or at least that is what this now-31-year-old is telling herself.
Hi, I’m 31 today!
The alternative interpretation to cookie cake birthday confidence is that I’m regressing back to childhood. Every year of elementary school, I begged my mom to buy a double-frosted cookie cake from the Great American Cookie Company at the mall so I could bring it to class as my birthday treat. The kids who brought the Great American chocolate chip cookie cakes were the coolest.
In high school, I matured. Instead of buying my chocolate chip cookie cake, I learned to make “homemade” chocolate chip cookie cake with cake mix. I even demonstrated it for my cooking class (a home-ec type course appropriately titled “Foods”) for extra credit.
Now, we are entering Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Phase III. This is a recipe for real, homemade chocolate chip cookie from scratch, no cake mix or canned frosting to be found. It is hands down the best chocolate chip cookie cake I have ever eaten.
Imagine the best homemade chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever had. Now, make it 10 times bigger, and easier to bake, because you don’t have to individually shape each cookie. Now you have the idea.
This Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake recipe took me a few tries to get right, which means that the week I made it, I had three enormous containers of chocolate chip cookie cake sitting on my kitchen counter, each with a slightly different tweak to the recipe.
In an adult-version of bringing birthday treats to class, I carted all three containers to taco night with my girlfriends. We sipped margaritas, debated the merits of each recipe, and declared today’s version of Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake the winner.
This Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is melt-in-your-mouth soft at the center, lightly crispy at the edges, and beautifully buttery throughout. I added more chocolate chips than you’d dare to call appropriate (it’s totally appropriate), a whopping tablespoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of nutmeg, which gives the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake a subtle warmth and more intense depth of flavor.
This Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake marks my FIFTH year of sharing a cake on my own birthday. While admittedly self-indulgent, I also enjoy seeing the progression from year to year, both in terms of the recipe photography and of my own attitude. On my 30th birthday, I wrote openly about how funky hitting the milestone 3-0 made me feel.
Now, 365 days later, reading that post makes me giggle a little bit because, if anything, I’ve felt like 31 for the past three months. I even filled out a form where I accidentally listed my age as 31! Does this mean I’ve entered the life phase where I have to pause and carefully think about what age I am to get it right? Maybe.
I can tell you that I have definitely not hit the age where I’m too old to bake myself a giant chocolate chip cookie birthday cake, and I hope I never do.
I can’t predict what 31 has in store for me, but if my current blessings—fulfilling relationships, a career I love, my health, and so many more—are any indication, this might be my best year yet.
Birthday cakes of years past:
- 30th birthday: Lemon Layer Cake (one of my all-time most popular recipes!)
- 29th birthday: Mocha Cake
- 28th birthday: Almond Joy Cake
- 27th birthday: Banana Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Ultra soft, chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake from scratch! The BEST recipe. Slice it up for an easy, delicious dessert or decorate for a special birthday.
Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes (plus cooling)
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon whole milk*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Fudge Frosting (optional):
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons whole milk*
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional—it will intensify the chocolate flavor without making the frosting taste like coffee)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt, to taste
- For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, and nutmeg.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and the salt on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the whole egg, beating for 1 minute and stopping to scrape down the bowl before adding the egg yolk. Beat for another minute and scrape down the bowl again. Beat in the milk and vanilla.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, then slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough comes together and the flour has disappeared. Add the chocolate on low speed, finishing with a few stirs by hand as needed. Lay two large sheets of plastic wrap down on counter so that the long sides overlap slightly and you have one large, wide sheet. Scrape the dough into the center, then spread it into a thick disk. Fold the edges of the plastic up and around the dough to wrap it completely. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (if using a clear glass dish, reduce temperature to 325 degrees F). Generously coat a 9-inch springform pan, 9-inch pie dish, or 9-inch cake pan with baking spray. Press the dough into the pan in an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check at the 15-minute mark—if the cookie cake is browning too quickly at the edges, loosely tent it with foil. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the Chocolate Fudge Frosting (optional): Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until light, smooth, and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add half of the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture. Add all of the milk, espresso powder, and vanilla. Beat to combine, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes until well combined. Taste and add a pinch of salt if the frosting seems too sweet.
- Frost and serve: Once the cookie cake has cooled, run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen it, then transfer it to a serving dish (you can also serve it directly from the pan). If desired, decorate with the chocolate frosting.
- *You can use any milk for the frosting and cookie you like. I prefer something with some fat in it (such as whole milk, cream, or half and half) because it’s a small amount and results in a richer, creamier frosting.
- Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Baked cookie cake can be frozen frosted or unfrosted for up to 2 months.
- You may have some frosting leftover, which you can save for another use. Try it dipped with pretzels or spread over graham or Ritz crackers.
Serving Size: 1 (of 12), without frosting
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 340 Calories
- Total Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 10g
- Cholesterol: 56mg
- Sodium: 253mg
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Fiber: 3g
- Sugar: 30g
- Protein: 3g