This Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake has layers of tender chocolate chip cake with edible cookie dough filling and brown sugar cookie dough frosting, all topped with a rich chocolate ganache. It's a show-stopping celebration cake for all chocolate chip cookie lovers who are as likely to eat the dough as they are to ever bake it into cookies!

If you love edible cookie dough desserts like we do, be sure not to miss our Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream!

A chocolate chip cookie dough cake with chocolate ganache on a marble cake stand surrounded by mini chocolate chips.

Back in my undergrad days my roommates and I would make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and rather than bake it we would just pass the bowl around and eat it just like that. I mean, we used spoons so we weren't completely uncivilized, but it's still one of my favorite college memories.

While I'm still completely okay with eating raw cookie dough when I'm making a batch of cookies (I'm apparently a major risk taker), if I really want a serious cookie dough fix I will make a batch of eggless edible cookie dough with heat treated flour, just to be safe.

This chocolate chip cookie dough cake combines my longstanding love of cookie dough with soft, moist cake layers into an over-the-top dessert that is guaranteed to impress. It really does taste just like cookie dough, but in cake form!

And if it's all just a little too much for you, the chocolate chip cake layers themselves are wonderful on their own with a simple chocolate buttercream frosting.

Why this Recipe Works

  • No fancy decorating skills needed! The shiny ganache just pours over the sides without any real technique and does the job without any tricky piping skills.
  • This might seem counterintuitive but the flavors are balanced so this chocolate chip cookie dough cake isn't overly sweet, which is a concern when creating a monster cake like this.
  • Edible cookie dough between light cake layers makes for a perfectly moist, sliceable cake with that dense cookie dough texture.
A piece of chocolate chip cookie dough cake laying flat on its side on a plate.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chocolate chips: Mini chocolate chips mean more dispersion of chocolate throughout the cake. And they don't sink in the cake batter as easily as regular chocolate chips. But regular chocolate chips are perfect for the ganache.
  • Brown sugar: We're swapping out some of the granulated sugar for brown sugar in the chocolate chip cake layers. This helps keep the cake from being too sweet while also boosting that cookie flavor.
  • Sour cream: I love sour cream in cakes. It adds a wonderful richness and helps keep things moist.
  • Butter and oil: I have found that the combination of these two fats gives the best texture and flavor in many cake recipes. Oil keeps cakes moist while butter adds flavor.
Ingredients in separate bowls on a white marble surface for making chocolate chip cookie dough cake.

How to Make This Recipe

Don't get overwhelmed by the length of the recipe or ingredient list. You can always make the cakes a day ahead and then make the filling and frosting and assemble the next day.

To make the chocolate chip cake layers begin by beating the oil, butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes until creamy. This can be done with a hand mixer or stand mixer. It's okay if it looks a little grainy at this point due to the larger brown sugar granules and the oil.

Add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time, beating after each addition. Be sure to stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure everything mixes together evenly.

Mix in the sour cream until combined.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. You could whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl first, but I always just add half of the flour with all of the baking powder and salt sprinkled on top in the first go-around and it gets mixed in evenly.

Mix on low speed just until mostly incorporated, then add half of the milk and mix again. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then repeat with the remaining flour and milk.

Toss the mini chocolate chips in a little flour before gently stirring them in by hand. This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake pans while the layers bake.

Prep three 8-inch cake pans by lining them with circles of parchment paper in the bottom and spraying with baking spray. See the notes below for adapting to other size pans.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. You will get 6 cups of batter, so it's easy to just measure two cups into each pan. Or you could always eyeball it or weigh the batter for each pan, depending on your personality and baking style.

Bake for 22-25 minutes in a 350°F oven until a toothpick or skewer inserted into each cake layer comes out clean with just a few crumbs.

Let the cakes cool in their pans for 5-10 minutes, then flip them out onto cooling racks to cool completely before assembling the cake.

Chocolate chip cake dough batter in an 8-inch pan.

Make the edible cookie dough by heat treating the flour first. I recommend doing this for both the cookie dough part and the frosting part of the recipe at the same time.

You can either zap it in the microwave for 60 seconds, or spread the flour out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and heat it in the oven for 8 minutes. Since the oven is usually hot from making the cakes anyway, I typically do that approach. Let the flour cool completely so it doesn't melt the butter when you add it to the cookie dough.

In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add vanilla and heavy cream or milk, then mix again. Mix in the flour and salt, then stir in the mini chocolate chips.

Divide the cookie dough into thirds and set aside while preparing the ganache and frosting. (It's okay if you sneak a taste at this point. I know I always do.)

A glass bowl with a white spatula mixing mini chocolate chips into cookie dough.

Make the chocolate ganache by heating the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 60 seconds until steaming hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl, then let them sit for 2-3 minutes without stirring.

Once the chocolate has had a chance to melt, stir until the chocolate and cream combine into a smooth, glossy ganache, then set aside to cool slightly while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting, start by beating the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the heat treated flour and salt, then beat again, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until it starts to combine, then add half of the heavy cream or milk. Repeat with the remaining powdered sugar and just enough of the remaining cream or milk until you have a nice, spreadable consistency to your frosting.

Beat for 3-5 minutes until the frosting is nice and light, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once about halfway through. You could refrigerate the frosting for a few days at this point or freeze for 2 months if you wanted to. Let it sit out on the counter until it comes back up to room temperature, then beat again so it is creamy before using.

Set aside about 2 ½ cups of the frosting plain for spreading between layers and doing a crumb coat on the cake. Add the mini chocolate chips to the rest of the frosting and stir them in for frosting the outside of the cake.

To assemble the chocolate chip cookie dough cake, flatten ⅔ of the cookie dough into two 8-inch circles on a piece of parchment paper. I just reuse the parchment paper I use to line my cake pans.

Level you cake layers, if needed, then place 1 cake layer on your cake plate or cake stand. I usually do bottom side down for my first two layers, then top side down on my last layer so I have a smooth top surface to frost.

Spread about ¾ cup of frosting in an even layer on you bottom cake layer, then transfer the circle of cookie dough onto the frosting. It's easiest to just flip the parchment paper with the cookie dough over onto the frosting, then peel it off.

Repeat the process with the next layer of cake, more frosting, and the other disc of cookie dough.

Top with your last remaining cake layer, then frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin crumb coat using the remaining plain frosting. Freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes to help lock in the crumbs.

Pile the chocolate chip cookie dough frosting on top of the cake and use a thin spatula to spread it evenly over the top and around the sides of the cake. For smooth-ish sides, I used a bench scraper that I dragged around the edges of the cake at a 45° angle, but it's hard to get perfectly smooth sides with this type of frosting.

A cake frosted with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting on a white marble cake stand.

Once the top and sides of the cake are more of less smooth, freeze the whole cake for another 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes to help set up the frosting before pouring the warm chocolate ganache over the top.

If the ganache is too hot or the frosting isn't cold, the ganache won't set up as quickly and more of the ganache will drip off the cake. You want the ganache to still be pourable and warm, but not super hot. If it has set up too much, you can always rewarm the ganache for a few seconds in the microwave.

Crumble the remaining ⅓ of the edible chocolate chip cookie dough around the top edges of the cake for a border to decorate. Or you could roll the cookie dough into small balls or pipe swirls of frosting (you might need to make 1.5x the frosting) on top for a more finished look.

And that's it! The ganache will set up more if you refrigerate the cake for another 30 minutes, or if you are impatient like me you can pretty much slice right into the cake right away.

Slices of chocolate chip coookie dough cake on plates next to the rest of the cake on a cake stand.

Recipe FAQ's

Why do my cakes always turn out dry?

If this is a common occurrence in your baking, chances are it's one of three things. Overmeasuring, underbaking, or incorrect oven temperature. I have a whole guide on how to measure baking ingredients that should help with the first one.

The second one often happens because people forget to check their cakes soon enough or wait for a toothpick to come out completely, totally clean. I don't want it to look wet from batter, but crumbs are good! I think it's misleading to say the toothpick should be "clean" because in my experience that usually means I baked the cake a little too long.

And the last one is more common than most people think! Many ovens don't heat to temperature as accurately as you might think. Get an inexpensive oven thermometer that just stays in there so you can find out if your oven cooks on the cool side or the warm side, then adjust your knobs to get the temperature where it should be.

Could I make this with chocolate cake layers?

Sure! If you want to use the frosting and cookie dough filling techniques paired with a chocolate cake, I recommend my favorite chocolate cake recipe.

Why do my chocolate chips always sink to the bottom of the cake?

If you are having problems with your chocolate chips sinking, make sure to toss them with flour before adding them to the cake batter. This helps suspend them in the cake batter better so they don't sink as much while baking. Then only barely fold or stir them in to the cake batter. They will distribute even more when you pour the batter into the cake pans.

A three-layer chocolate chip cookie dough cake that has been sliced into showing the layers on a cake stand.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: Even though there is cookie dough in this cake, you can keep the cake on the counter for a day or two because there are no eggs and there is enough sugar to preserve the milk or cream in the dough. But the cake will keep for about 5 days in the fridge. Be sure to let it sit out until the whole cake comes to room temperature before serving though or the cake itself might taste dry.
  • Freezing: Chocolate chip cookie dough cake freezes really well! Freeze the whole cake or slices for 30-60 minutes to set the outside frosting and ganache first before covering with a couple layers of plastic wrap. You can freeze the entire, assembled cake, if needed, then thaw overnight in the fridge, followed by at least 2-3 hours on the counter until the cake comes up to room temperature. Or freeze individual slices wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap to protect them.
  • Room temperature ingredients: I say this a lot with cake and cupcake recipes because it's where I feel like it makes the biggest difference, but you will have much more level cakes and better results if you pull your sour cream, eggs, milk, and butter out about an hour before you begin baking. You can cheat by putting the eggs in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes and softening the butter for 10 seconds in the microwave if you really need to, but using room temperature ingredients really does improve your cake baking.
  • Substitutions: I have not tried making this cake with gluten-free flour substitutes. But you could definitely sub the milk or cream with dairy-free versions like coconut milk or almond milk.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

5 from 1 vote
Amy Nash
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 22 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 52 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
This Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake has layers of tender chocolate chip cake with edible cookie dough filling and brown sugar cookie dough frosting, all topped with a rich chocolate ganache. It's a show-stopping celebration cake for all chocolate chip cookie lovers who are as likely to eat the dough as they are to ever bake it into cookies! You can make the whole cake in one day or spread it out over two days by making the cakes first, then the frosting and filling the next day.

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (150g)
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup salted butter, room temperature (57g)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature (184g)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled (313g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature (255g)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (tossed with 3 teaspoons of additional flour)

Edible Cookie Dough

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (188g)
  • ½ cup salted butter, softened (114g)
  • cup brown sugar (133g)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (38g)
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Cookie Dough Frosting

  • 2 cups salted butter, room temperature (454g)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (225g)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (125g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (690g)
  • 3-6 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles and spray with baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, and butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the sour cream and mix well to combine.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt alternately with the milk, mixing on low speed between each addition until combined.
  • Toss the mini chocolate chips with 3 teaspoons of flour, then add to the cake batter. Stir just until evenly dispersed, then divide the batter evenly between the cake pans (about 2 cups of batter per pan).
  • Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the layers comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning the cake layers out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Edible Cookie Dough

  • Heat treat the flour by spreading it on a baking sheet and baking for 8 minutes in a 300°F oven or microwaving for 1 minute. Let cool completely. *You may want to heat treat the flour for the frosting at the same time to save doing it again later.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cream or milk, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add flour and mix until combined. Add mini chocolate chips and mix until dispersed throughout the dough. Set aside.

Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the heat-treated flour and salt, beating well to combine and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar and beat well. Add 3 tablespoons of the heavy cream or milk and beat again. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar until creamy, along with enough of the remaining cream or milk to get a nice consistency. Beat for 2-3 minutes until light, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally.
  • Set aside about 2 ½ cups of the plain frosting for using between cake layers and to do a crumb coat. Stir the mini chocolate chips into the rest of the frosting, then set aside.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a separate, microwave-safe bowl for 60 seconds until steaming and hot.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, then let them sit for 2-3 minutes without stirring.
  • Once the chocolate chips have had a chance to melt, whisk or stir until you have a smooth, glossy ganache. Set aside to cool slightly.

Assembly

  • Level the cake layers, if needed. Place the bottom layer bottom side down on a cake stand or serving plate.
  • Spread about ¾ to 1 cup of the plain frosting over the bottom cake layer. Divide the edible cookie dough into thirds, then flatten ⅓ of the dough into a circle on parchment paper and place on top of the frosted bottom cake layer. Repeat with the next layer of cake, remaining cup of plain frosting and another ⅓ of the edible cookie dough.
  • Place the last cake layer bottom side up onto the cake. Frosting the cake with the cookie dough frosting. You may want to do a thin layer first to seal in the crumbs and freeze the cake for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat before frosting the whole thing.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake, gently nudging it off the sides to drip down the edges of the cake. Smooth the ganache on the top of the cake with an offset spatula. Crumble the remaining edible cookie dough on top of the cake and sprinkle with a few extra mini chocolate chips.

Notes

  • Measuring flour: It's important to spoon & level the flour if you aren't using a kitchen scale so you don't add too much flour, which can make for a dry cake.
  • Room temperature ingredients: Letting the sour cream, milk, butter, and eggs come to room temperature helps them mix together more evenly and results in cake layers that bake up flat instead of rounded in the center.
  • Storage: Even though there is cookie dough in this cake, you can keep the cake on the counter for a day or two because there are no eggs and there is enough sugar to preserve the milk or cream in the dough. But the cake will keep for about 5 days in the fridge. Be sure to let it sit out until the whole cake comes to room temperature before serving though or the cake itself might taste dry.
  • Freezing: Cake freezes really well! Freeze the whole cake or slices for 30-60 minutes to set the outside frosting and ganache first before covering with a couple layers of plastic wrap. You can freeze the entire, assembled cake, if needed, then thaw overnight in the fridge, followed by at least 2-3 hours on the counter until the cake comes up to room temperature. Or freeze individual slices wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap to protect them.
  • Substitutions: I have not tried making this cake with gluten-free flour substitutes. But you could definitely sub the milk or cream with dairy-free versions like coconut milk or almond milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 1193kcal | Carbohydrates: 153g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 654mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 117g | Vitamin A: 1446IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Hi there! I made this for my sons 6th birthday party and it was a big hit. For his actual birthday I was hoping to make it again because I have a lot of leftover frosting. Wanted to try it with a chocolate cake base. Do you have a recommendation for a chocolate cake to use?