A Cookie Dough Birthday Cake

Of course it would happen that I am completely passionate about cake yet have lived with two roommates who, you know, like cake (because who doesn’t) but truly love…cookies.

Cookie Dough Cake // The Pancake PrincessCookie Dough Cake // The Pancake PrincessCookie Dough Cake // The Pancake PrincessCookie Dough Cake // The Pancake Princess

To honor their penchants for cookies and satisfy my selfish desire to bake cake, I’ve spent much time immersed in the world of cookie-themed cakes. Last last year, I made this tiny cake for my old roommate who nearly shares my birthday (tiny only because we were still living off pounds of cake from my celebration). This year, my current roommate’s birthday is a whopping 5 months after mine, so a full on butter and sugar celebration in the form of a cookie dough cake was had.

Cookie Dough Cake // The Pancake Princess

So this cake: I mean. Anything with pockets of melty cookie dough tucked inside a brown sugary cake batter that bakes up into the puffiest graham cracker-hued cake you ever did see is going to be pretty amazing. But a cake of 4+ components wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, so here’s a review of sorts/what I learned:

  • Next time, I might add more sweetener to the batter because the sweetness was pretty subtle.
  • The suggested frosting wasn’t very successful–did you know boiling butter and brown sugar for 5 minutes will result in a sticky blob of black, hardened caramel? After I determined that a blob of those proportions will not turn into frosting no matter how long you whip it (whack it, really), I went with a basic buttercream that would have been fine except that I accidentally dumped a bunch of salt (“is that one dash of salt…or one dish?” One MILLION points for you if you get that reference) in during a clumsy moment.
  • I learned cake crumbles do an amazing job of hiding a scant/sloppy frosting job (Because I am morally opposed to using more than one stick of butter at a time, I made a tiny amount of frosting that could only cover a very tiny baby), especially if you like a higher cake to frosting ratio.
  • My absolute favorite part was decorating the cake with rice krispie treat “candles” (rice krispie treats squashed into shapes and stuck on the cake with toothpicks) and mini chocolate chip cookies.

In the end, my roommate had a super cute birthday celebration involving friends and beer and cheese and wine and cake and dumplings and no one said anything about the salty frosting or weirdly frosted cake so all was well.

All of that to say: if you have a cookie dough lover in your life, this cake is pretty awesome. Just don’t ever boil butter and sugar together to make frosting and always make extra rice krispies.

To make this cake, I used:

To assemble it, I used the Momofuku technique (pictured instructions here). If you want to assemble this triple layer, 6-inch cake the way I did, here’s what you do:

  • Bake the cake in a 9×13-inch pan.
  • Stamp out 2, 6-inch circles of cake with a 6-inch cake pan.
  • Use some of the leftover cake to form the bottom layer of the cake by squashing the scraps into the 6-inch pan lined with wax paper. (reserve some cake scraps for the outside).
  • Spread with frosting, add another circle of cake, spread more frosting, and add another circle of cake.
  • I was able to unmold the cake right away at this point (the bottom layer held together quite well), but if it seems like it will fall apart, freeze the cake for a few hours or overnight.
  • Frost the entire thing with a thin coat of frosting and use leftover cake scraps to decorate the sides. (Crumble the cake between your fingers and press gently into the sides of the cake.)
  • Bake teaspoon-sized dollops of cookie dough for decoration on top.
  • Prepare a pan of rice krispie treats. Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut your desired shapes out of a thin sheet of rice krispie goodness.
  • Decorate and serve at room temperature to a crowd of adoring fans. Because this colassal effort deserves nothing but the most adoring of adorers!


More cake:

Cupcake Mixology:











Momofuku Apple Pie Cake:











Momofuku Pretzel Cake:

momofuku pretzel cake // The Pancake Princess











Momofuku Chocolate Chip Peach Cake:


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42 thoughts on “A Cookie Dough Birthday Cake

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  2. The Wimpy Vegetarian
    OMG this cake looks fabulous. I mean really, really fabulous. I'm trying to lose a few pounds (again) but I really, really want this cake. You are so creative in your approach to food - I so enjoy seeing what you create! I just wish I lived next door and could be a 'taster' for you :-)
    1. erika Post author
      Oh man, aren't we all...I've been less good about resisting temptation lately, though :/ Remember when I was trying not to eat refined sugar? Psh! Thank you so much! That means a lot coming from such a talented recipe developer--I saw your winning bread recipe on Food52 and it looked so amazing! I wish you could live next door and taste test my food too--we had SO much cake!
  3. Shauna
    The one dash/one dish of salt quote was driving me crazy because I knew it but couldn't quite place it, so I had to Google it--Winnie the Pooh! Rabbit's party! It's all coming back. Anyway, this cake looks amazing. Recently I've been thinking about making a chocolate chip cookie-flavored cake, so I'll keep this one in mind. Thanks for including those tips and modifications!
    1. erika Post author
      SHAUNA YOU WIN!!!! I didn't think anyone was going to get that! (You still get bonus points for googling it.) Hmm this is making me want to host a giveaway for naming random quotes. Awesome! I hope you get to make a fantastic cake soon--cookie-flavored cakes are so much fun! PS. These are two other cakes I was also considering for my roommate's birthday: - A cookie cake: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2013/04/overloaded-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip.html - A rice krispies treat cake: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2013/09/rice-krispie-treat-sprinkle-cake.html
  4. cynthia
    I thought I commented on this but I didn't! I DIED at frosting a very tiny baby. Hahaha. But I totally agree that using more than one stick of butter in anything just seems really, really gross. I have no scientific basis for this. Stunning cake, Erika :) And I'll have to remember that crumb trick for my (many) frosting debacles.
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  6. laurasmess
    You are so amazingly inventive Erika! Wow. A cookie dough birthday cake? Sounds absolutely, positive divine (I think I'd be in a happy little food bubble if this appeared in front of me on my birthday!). Sorry to hear about the baking/frosting issues... I am sure that no one would've been able to tell, your cover-up strategies were so darn good! I am opposite to you when it comes to frosting. I always make way too much and end up with a whole bowl left in the fridge. We'd probably do well as neighbours... I could deliver my leftover frosting to you and you'd always be baking multi-layer cakes that would require it, haha! Well, as long as I got a sliver of cake in exchange ;) xxx
    1. erika Post author
      Laura, that would be TOO PERFECT!!! I am always reluctant to make butter/sugar-filled frosting myself, but if it just appears in front of me...no issues whatsoever :) Let's do it!!
  7. Natasha @ The Cake Merchant
    I love cake, love cookies, and loooooove cookie dough! This cake sounds awesome, and totally worth every calorie. I always cut down on the sugar in my frostings since there's always an unnecessarily high amount, but can't believe you managed to frost this entire cake with one stick of butter!
    1. erika Post author
      Thanks Natasha! Your frosted cakes always look SO beautiful. My ultimate goal is to come up with a butter-free frosting that tastes as good as butterlicious frosting...might be awhile!
  8. The vegan 8
    Oh my gosh! So tall and beautiful and soooo decadent! I would definitely have to only reserve this for a special occasion, because it would be so hard to control myself! I think I actually prefer cookie dough over baked sometimes...it's just so delish. I love the Krispy treats on top....more and more sugar....lol....so yummy! I bet your roommate was super thrilled!! I'm super jealous personally ;)
    1. erika Post author
      Aw thanks Brandi :) Yup so we had a little more than half the cake leftover after her party and we ate the last slice exactly a week from the party...not sure if that's impressive or just sad. But it was definitely delish! :)
  9. Mary Frances
    My friend had to add 3x the amount of sugar to a muffin recipe, not because of a clumsy moment, but because she didn't want to measure :) You know, salty frosting doesn't sound that bad, especially when it is on this cake! The layers and flavors are incredible. So so creative and special!
    1. erika Post author
      Haha oops! I'm sure it turned out well, right? And thanks Mary Frances :) Luckily it wasn't like, sea-water salty!
  10. Lianna
    Omg!!! I love cake, I love cookies, I think I would love this so much. The rice krispie candles are brilliant, I think if I make this cake I will definitely make the the candles or at least rice krispie blobs of some sort to have an excuse to add those to the cake as well. Also don't you love when you roommates have birthdays? I always loved an excuse to bake a cake, especially when their birthdays aren't close to yours :P
    1. erika Post author
      Yes yes they are so fun!! And yes, roommate birthdays are definitely the best because you pretty much guarantee the fun of making the cake AND eating it!
  11. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal
    Ohh lala. I'm one of those weirdos that does not actually like cookie dough but I would totally be down with this cake - it's different and as long as it's not a blob of cookie dough I do like cookie dough in things. So yeah. This is awesome.
  12. Nancy @ gottagetbaked
    Sooo....my birthday's in July so that gives you plenty of time to plan, bake and ship something to me! What a fabulous cake, Erika, despite the salty scant frosting ;) I always end up making too little frosting for my giant cakes which sends me scrambling to try and make more at the last minute (cause you know I procrastinate in everything I do). Good call on melding together cookies and cake. This looks incredibly decadent - exactly what a birthday celebration calls for!
    1. erika Post author
      Perfect indeed! :) That's funny--totally a move I would do too. I was about to make another batch of frosting but just couldn't open another stick of butter...calorie-conscious cake to the rescue! (Not). Thanks lady!
  13. Lynette
    We return to the US from New Zealand in July just in time for my daughter's 12th birthday. This cake is going to haunt me for the next 5 months until I can get back into my own kitchen and give it a try. Thanks for posting and adding your lessons learned. The ideas are spinning in my head! :)
    1. erika Post author
      Aw thanks for the comment Lynette! This cake has literally been on my pinboard for over a year so I know the feeling! I've just been waiting for the right occasion and I'm pretty sure it was worth the wait :)
    1. erika Post author
      I WISH YOU LIVED NEXT DOOR. We weren't even halfway through this cake when I decided to bake another ENTIRE layer cake. Ridiculous. smh

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