One of my favorite birthday traditions that we have in our family is that I always make the birthday kid (or adult :)) a homemade birthday cake on their big day. While I have no problem outsourcing a cake or cupcakes for school or their birthday party, I like to keep their actual cake on their actual birthday an in-house creation. And the kids love it. I’ve made several strawberry cakes with strawberry frosting (for the girls, and PS- Paula Deen’s recipe is REALLY good), a few chocolate cakes with chocolate frosting (for Ben, and added plastic dinosaurs on top, per his request), and also a few quirky ones (vanilla cake with strawberry icing and blueberries on top from Brantley one year). They are always so excited to have their personalized cake, and they can either choose to help me make it or let me make it for them (they almost always want to help!).
This year, Brantley strayed from her favorite strawberry cake from the past few years and requested a cookie cake. I am a BIG FAN of those good ole All-American Cookie Company as-big-as-a-pizza chocolate chip cookie cakes, and ordering one of those bad boys would have been totally fine with Brantley. But I really wanted to make it myself (I won’t say “from scratch” for reasons you’ll see in minute), but definitely wanted to make it easy on myself. And when I found this recipe, I knew I had it! I could make it quickly and without 2000 ingredients, and my girl would be really happy.
Like I said, it’s not made from scratch, but it was made in my home so it’s still homemade as far as I’m concerned! For this recipe, all you need are three of these packages of break and bake cookie dough and two tubs of frosting! You could also use the logs of cookie dough. Also, don’t feel like you HAVE to use chocolate chip! Oatmeal, or Turtle, or Double Chocolate Chip (OMG, with chocolate frosting!!) would be so good. So, what you do is leave these bad boys out on the counter top for a few minutes until they get a bit soft.
So, what you do first is just leave these bad boys out on the counter top for a few minutes until they get a bit soft.
Split each of the cookie dough packages in half, and roll into balls. Smash them flat, and roll them into circles all about the same size. They don’t have to be perfect! Just close.
I was able to fit two cookie dough rounds onto my baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This is not the time to have gooey-in-the-middle or soft cookies, you want these suckers BAKED so they hold their shape once they’re cooled. 20 minutes was perfect for me.
Once they’re out of the oven, carefully remove from the baking sheet, and place on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Do this for each cookie dough round. Once all cookies are cooled, grab a cake stand or cake plate and drop a dollop of frosting on it. Then lay one of your cookie layers right on top. The frosting will keep the cookie cake from slipping all around the cake stand/plate. Add a layer of frosting on top of the cookie (and sprinkles, if you like!!).
And then you just do that same thing four more times! And I’m sure you’re thinking, “wait. We have 6 cookie rounds?!” YES- and feel free to make a 6 layer cake instead of 5! ORRRRRR- you can split a big cookie with your kids while you’re frosting the cake. Just saying. 🙂 Plus, if one of the layers ends up being a bit crumbly or too soft, just know that 5 layers is PLENTY and makes a great cake!
You can definitely frost the top layer, but I left mine bare except for a little candle patch for my birthday girl! And another helpful hint, if you plan on sticking candles into your top layer, grab a skewer to help out. You’ll need to poke holes through your cookie with your skewer, and THEN stick the candles in. Works much better than trying to prop them up in frosting! Also, relighting candles are HILARIOUS with kids who have never experienced them before.
It’s imperfect and rustic, and so, so delicious! Make homemade frosting if you like, or change up the cookie recipe, but traditional Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies and vanilla frosting made the perfect combination for us. And I have to admit, it looks beautiful when you cut it for a plate!
My birthday girl was happy, and that’s all that matters! Let me know if you try out this super-easy 5-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake! Now here’s to hoping the other kids request cookie cakes on their next birthdays!!