Thursday, May 16, 2024

Chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Early summer is filled with celebrations--graduation parties, end of school year celebrations, Indy 500, etc. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with cookie cake. Cookie cakes are incredibly easy to make. In fact, they're easier to make than actual cookies. So under no circumstances should you actually buy a cookie cake when you can make one that tastes 100 times better.

My favorite recipe includes instant vanilla pudding powder. I have tried and tried to make cookie cake without pudding mix, and it is just not the same. The pudding mix makes helps the cookie cake retain moisture and makes it extremely soft and chewy. Also, I think the vanilla in the pudding gives the cookie a deeper flavor.

Cookie Cake FAQ

What type of pan do I use?

My preferred cookie cake pan is 12 inches in diameter. I actually like to use a deep-dish pizza pan. When I make a cookie this large, I do not remove it from the pan, primarily because I don't have a big enough serving dish to put it on. And I think it looks just fine. But if I make smaller 9-inch or 6-inch cookie cakes, I line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Then once the cookies cool, I go around the edge with a butter knife to loosen it, and the cookie cake pops right out. Regardless of what size pan you use, the dough should be about 1/2-inch thick in the pan.

Why use melted butter?

The best part about cookie cakes is you don’t have to use a mixer for the dough. You can just melt the butter and stir everything together because we aren’t worried about individual cookies spreading too much. I always use Challenge unsalted butter. It melts really well, and I think it tastes better than other brands.

What type of chocolate chips?

I actually like to use a mini chocolate chips for a more even distribution of chocolate. Also, it makes it easier to cut into the cookie cake.

How do I decorate it?

I like to decorate the cookie cake with buttercream frosting. I included my frosting recipe in this post. You can color the frosting with food coloring or just leave it. I use a piping bag fitted with a star tip for the border, and I leave the center open to write a message. Writing with frosting takes a lot of practice, so don't get discouraged if you mess up. You can always scrape off the frosting and try it again. And always top it off with sprinkles!

Chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Yield: 1 (12-inch) cookie cake or 2 (9-inch) cookie cakes or 4 (6-inch) cookie cakes

Time: About 90 minutes


For the cookie cake

  • 12 tablespoons (170 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar 
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (168 grams)  mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup (226 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (450 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) heavy cream


For the cookie cake

  1. Move oven rack to lowest setting and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pan or pans with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again.
  2. In large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide cookie dough evenly among pans and press down until evenly distributed. Dough should be about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes for 12-inch and 9-inch cookies and about 15 minutes for 6-inch cookies. Edges should be golden brown and center should be just barely set.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
  8. Once cool, use knife to loosen edges. Remove cookies from pans and transfer to serving dishes.

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  1. Beat butter on high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down bowl with spatula.
  2. With mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl after addition of every cup. 
  3. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Mix in heavy cream 1 Tablespoon at a time until frosting is desired consistency for piping. Frosting should be medium stiffness. You should be able to pipe easily without putting too much pressure on bag.
  5. Use food coloring to color frosting if desired.
  6. Decorate cookie cake and serve.
  7. Cover leftover cookie cake and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.



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