Chocolate Cookie Dough Layer Cake is the picture of decadence. Layers of homemade chocolate cake are made even more delicious with safe to eat cookie dough and thick chocolate buttercream! This stunning layered cake always steals the show.
What’s in Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake
The chocolate cake, buttercream, and cookie dough are all made from scratch with lots of love and baking essentials! Here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need to get started.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: You’ll need this for both the cake batter and chocolate buttercream.
- Water: It needs to be hot.
- Vegetable Oil: Canola oil will also work in a pinch.
- Vanilla Extract: Use my favorite homemade vanilla extract in all three elements of this layered cake recipe!
- Eggs: I like to use free range organic eggs when I can.
- Sour Cream: This is the best ingredient to use to make sure your cake is super moist and thick! Don’t use a low-fat sour cream.
- White Granulated Sugar: You’ll need this for both the cake batter and cookie dough.
- All-Purpose Flour: You’ll need plain all-purpose flour for your cake batter. For the cookie dough, you’ll be using the same flour, but it needs to be heat treated so it’s safe to eat.
- Baking Powder and Soda: To make sure your cake rises appropriately in the oven, make sure you measure both of these ingredients with care!
- Salt: A little salt goes a long way! You’ll need salt for every element of this cake.
- Unsalted Butter: room temp
- Brown Sugar: You can always make your own brown sugar by combining one cup of white granulated sugar with one tablespoon of molasses.
- Milk: Whole milk works great for the buttercream and cookie dough.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: Feel free to measure with your heart if you’re a chocolate chip lover!
- Powdered Sugar: For the frosting, don’t substitute this with any other sugar.
PRO TIP: To heat treat flour, spread it in an even layer on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 5 minutes.
What type of cocoa powder should I use?
While you can use any unsweetened cocoa powder you prefer, I like to use natural cocoa powder in the cake because the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity of natural cocoa powder, letting its rich flavor shine. In the frosting, however, I like to use Dutch-process because it has a smoother, less acidic flavor.
Stirring cocoa powder with hot or boiling water helps to “bloom” the cocoa, releasing its intense flavor and thickening the liquid.
The cookie dough isn’t cooked. However, it’s a combination of ingredients that are safe to eat raw! You don’t have to worry about dealing with salmonella because you can make the cookie dough without eggs, and we pre-cook the flour to kill off any dangerous bacteria.
Let your cakes cool on a rack before you attempt to remove them from the pans. One of the reasons people have trouble with cake sticking to the pans is that they’re trying to remove them while they’re still hot. Also, make sure you prepare the pans with the liners and a bit of baking spray.
How to Store
In an airtight container in the fridge, this chocolate layered cake will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
More Layered Cake Recipes We Love
- Peanut Butter Cake
- Naked Cake (Vanilla Cake)
- Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Milk and Cookies Cake
- Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Caramel Cake
Cookie Dough Stuffed Chocolate Layer Cake
For the Cake
- 1¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder 105 grams
- 1¼ cups hot water 284
- ¾ cup vegetable oil 150 grams
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
- 3 large eggs 150 grams
- ¾ cup sour cream 170 grams
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400 grams
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 240 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking powder 8 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking soda 6 grams
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
For the Cookie Dough
- ½ cup unsalted butter 113 grams, room temperature (1 stick)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar 142 grams
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 50 grams
- 2 tablespoons milk 28 grams
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
- 2 cups heat-treated all-purpose flour 240 grams, see note
- 1¼ cups mini chocolate chips 213 grams
For the Buttercream
- 6 cups powdered sugar 678 grams
- 1½ cups unsalted butter 339 grams, room temperature (3 sticks)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 84 grams
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup milk 57 grams
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prep 3 8-inch round cake pans by lining them with parchment paper and then spraying them with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water. Add in the vegetable oil and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and then the sour cream. Lastly, add in the sugar and whisk well to dissolve.
- In a separate, small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture into the wet mixture and whisk together just until the flour is incorporated.
- Evenly divide the cake batter into each of the prepared cake pans. Place into the oven to bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the cookie dough filling and the buttercream.
- Make the Cookie Dough: Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until the ingredients are creamed together. Add in the milk, vanilla, and salt and beat together. Add in the flour and mix. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Set aside.
- Make the Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the buttercream ingredients except the milk. Using a paddle or whisk attachment, beat first on low until the powdered sugar has incorporated. After about 3 minutes, turn the mixer up to high and beat for another minute. Add in the milk and beat on high for another 3 minutes.
- Once the cakes are cooled, place one layer onto a cake stand or a plate. Line the used cake pan with parchment paper. Place half of the cookie dough into the cake pan and evenly spread it out to fill the pan. Remove from the pan and place it on top of the bottom layer of cake. Place a second layer of cake on top of the cookie dough. Spread the second half of the cookie dough and place it on top of the second layer of cake. Place the last layer of cake on top.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a piping tip with ¾ cup of buttercream. Spread the remaining buttercream around the sides and the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream over the entire cake to seal any crumbs into place. Let set for 5-10 minutes so that a buttercream sets a little before spreading another layer of frosting on.
- To smooth the frosting, fill the bottom of a cake pan with warm water. Dip the offset spatula into the water and let most of the water drip off. Gently press the offset spatula parallel to the cake at a 45-degree angle and pull the frosting around the cake allowing a sort of wall to form at the top edge. Before wetting the spatula each time, remove any frosting from the back of the spatula and place back into the bowl. Dampen the spatula again and continue smoothing the sides. It may take several times around the cake to smooth it out. Once the sides are smooth, smooth the top by laying the spatula at the edge and gently pulling the frosting edge in towards the center of the cake. Once the frosting “wall” is smoothed out, smooth the rest of the top of the cake by laying the spatula at a 45-degree angle and turning the cake, pulling the frosting around and removing any excess. Remember to remove any frosting from the spatula before dampening it.
- To further decorate the sides, place mini chocolate chips in the palm of your hand and cup them close to the bottom of the cake. Gently press them into the sides. Pipe frosting onto the top of the cake. I like to pipe the frosting swirls in the formation of a clock. First pipe at “6:00” then “12:00” for good starting references. Then pipe at “3:00” and “9:00”. From there, each time you pipe a swirl, pipe another one directly opposite to it. This will help to have a perfect round circle of swirls.
- Slice and serve the cake!
- Flour: To heat treat flour, spread it in an even layer on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 5 minutes.
- Wait for your cakes to cool before adding the cookie dough layer or the frosting.
- Smooth the frosting with a slightly damp spatula after dipping it into warm water. It works really well!
- Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to store the cake for up to 5 days.