Be still my heart and cut me the largest slice of this homemade Cookie Cake! This chewy chocolate chip cookie cake is inspired by the mall favorite (shout out, Great American Cookie Co.!), but tastes so much better than store bought.
This iconic dessert has held a dear place in my heart since childhood, when I begged my mom to buy me a cookie cake I could bring to school on my birthday.
Is cookie cake better than cake for a birthday? I certainly thought so!
(And considering how many times my friends have requested this beloved giant homemade cookie cake for their own birthdays, I’d say there’s agreement.)
Plus, the kids who brought the Great American chocolate chip cookie cakes to school were the coolest.
5 Star Review
“Made this cake for a friend and she loved it! There was just enough chocolate frosting and all of the flavors came together nicely.”
— Ana —
Everything You Need to Know About Cookie Cake
My inspiration for this homemade cookie cake is the original Great American Cookie Company recipe.
I still adore cookie cake as much as ever, but now I prefer to make it myself for a few reasons:
- Simple Ingredients. This is a recipe for real, homemade chocolate chip cookie cake from scratch, no cake mix or canned frosting to be found.
- THICK. I wanted this to be a cookie cake. Whereas store bought cookie cakes are thin, which does not feel very celebratory, this one stands tall and proud.
- Sturdy AND Chewy. You can pick up a slice to snarf with your fingers, but it is still tender and melts in your mouth.
- Less Expensive. A store-bought cookie cake from Great American starts at $37. Make it from scratch for a fraction of the cost, with ingredients you already have.
- Customizable. Why be limited to a premade Great American Cookie cake, or your typical grocery store cookie cake? With this homemade giant cookie, you can add your own mix-ins and decorate anyway you like.
- Way Better Frosting. Forget that sickeningly sweet store frosting. This fudgy frosting is creamy and rich, but won’t give you a toothache.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake from Scratch
This giant cookie is melt-in-your-mouth soft at the center, lightly crispy at the edges, and beautifully buttery throughout.
Making this giant cookie cake recipe will feel similar to making regular cookie dough, but you bake it in a single pan instead.
- Flour. I used part all-purpose flour and part white whole wheat flour in this recipe. If you don’t have white whole wheat flour in your pantry, feel free to use only all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Nutmeg. A pinch of nutmeg is my secret ingredient to this cake’s extra special flavor.
- Egg + Egg Yolk. The binding agent that holds our giant cookie together. I added one extra yolk to give the cookie just the right amount of richness.
- Milk. You can use any milk you have on hand, but the higher the fat content, the creamier the results. I used whole milk, and it was perfect.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. A MUST in cookie cake recipes.
- Chocolate Chips. If you’re a fan of chocolate, this chocolate chip cookie cake recipe is perfect for you. This cake has more chips than you’d dare call appropriate, and you’ll love every single bite. A cookie cake is a cookie after all.
- Frosting. While it’s optional, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with a frosted cookie cake. You can pipe the frosting or spread it with an offset spatula.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Next, beat in the egg and egg YOLK. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
- Press the cookie cake batter into the pan. Bake homemade cookie cake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Place frosting in a piping bag and frost as desired. ENJOY!
It’s your birthday. Do it your way! While I enjoy a classic chocolate chip cookie cake, add or swap in other sweet mix-ins of your choice.
- Chopped Peanut Butter Cups or Peanut Butter Chips
- Diced Snickers Bars
- Mini M&M’s
- Chopped Nuts
- Butterscotch Chips
- Sprinkles (perfect for a funfetti or sugar cookie cake)
- To Store. Cover and store leftover cookie cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze. Store the baked cookie (frosted or unfrosted) in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Meal Prep Tip
Prepare your cookie dough ahead of time, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
What to Serve with Cookie Cake
- Baking Spray. This is essential for a cookie that doesn’t stick.
- Stand Mixer. One of my most beloved and useful kitchen appliances.
- Springform Pan. Perfect for making this giant cookie.
I can tell you that I have definitely not hit the age where I’m too old to bake myself a giant chocolate chip birthday cookie cake, and I hope I never do!
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or are simply in the mood for a giant chocolate chip cookie (I don’t blame you), this scrumptious recipe will make any day feel a little more special.
It never fails to wow the crowd and leaves everyone with a smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both cookie cake and regular cake are desserts meant to be enjoyed, and one is not necessarily healthier than the other. All things in moderation! Because this chewy cookie is rich, you can enjoy a small slice and feel satisfied.
I’m partial to the chocolate fudge frosting in this recipe, but you could swap buttercream or any frosting you prefer.
I think the strawberry cream cheese frosting from this Strawberry Cake recipe would be tasty. For a fun, boozy cookie cake, try the Guinness frosting from my Guinness Brownies recipe. Note: If you use either of these frosting recipes, leftovers will need to be refrigerated.
The mall cookie cake was the idea of Michael Coles and Arthur Karp, two business men who were inspired by a popular cookie store in San Diego. They founded Great American Cookies, using Coles’ grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, and opened their first store in an Atlanta mall in 1977.
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake:
Chocolate Fudge Frosting (optional):
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar plus 2 tablespoons
- 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 chips on low speed, finishing with a few stirs by hand as needed.
- Lay two large sheets of plastic wrap down on the 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°F (if using a clear glass dish, reduce temperature to 325°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.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare your cookie dough ahead of time, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
- TO STORE: Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- TO FREEZE: Store the baked cookie (frosted or unfrosted) in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Serving: 1(of 12), without frostingCalories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgPotassium: 181mgFiber: 3gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 324IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg