Your childhood cake dreams have been answered with this delicious chocolate chip cookie dough cake! It has moist chocolate chip vanilla cake layers with a silky smooth cookie dough-style frosting and scoops of edible cookie dough on top. Made gluten-free and paleo-friendly too!
I'm a huge cookie dough gal. I even have my own edible cookie dough recipe! It's been my go-to ice cream flavor since I was a kid. I mean what's not to love - hunks of cookie dough in creamy ice cream with chocolate chips everywhere. A child's dream come true if you ask me!
But guess what else is amazing - CAKE! So why not combine the two and create an epic cookie dough cake?!
Three heavenly components make up this layer cake:
- Chocolate chip vanilla cake layers - this three tier has moist a sweet vanilla cake with sprinkles of chocolate chips throughout.
- Cookie dough icing - using flavors like vanilla and a little nut butter to provide a cookie dough-style flavoring, this icing tastes just like cookie dough!
- Edible vegan cookie dough on top — because every cake deserves to be extra, why not add some edible cookie dough on top?! It's easy to make and safe to eat straight from the bowl.
Cake ingredient notes
Below is a list of everything you need to make this cake and some substitute recommendations:
- Almond and Coconut flour - this combination of flours creates a fluffy and moist cake. If needed, you can substitute the coconut flour for tapioca flour or arrowroot starch.
- Coconut sugar - to add a little sweetness to the cake. The flavor also adds a slight caramel taste that elevates the cookie dough flavor!
- Almond butter - this not only ensures the cake is moist, but also helps provide a cookie dough flavor. Any nut butter will work - cashew butter would be the next best option. Peanut butter is also great but to keep this paleo-friendly, stick to almond or cashew.
- Coconut milk + Apple cider vinegar - this is also known as 'vegan buttermilk' and is what helps the cake rise. No, you won't taste the apple cider vinegar at all. You can also use lemon juice if needed in place of the apple cider vinegar.
Step by step directions for the cake
Here is how to make the chocolate chip vanilla cake.
Step 1 : Mix coconut milk and apple cider vinegar
First, place the full-fat coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Whisk well with a fork to break up the coconut milk. Set aside.
Step 2 : Whisk the coconut sugar and eggs
Next grab a large mixing bowl and add the eggs, coconut sugar, almond butter, and vanilla. Beat well with a whisk or mixer. Mix until it's creamy and thick. This step can take a minute or two.
Step 3 : Add the coconut milk mixture
Add the coconut milk mixture and stir into the batter. The mixture should have a peanut butter color to it and be slightly thick.
Step 4 : Fold in the dry ingredients
Next add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and baking powder to the bowl. Fold into the batter with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated. Be sure not to over mix!
Step 5 : Add the chocolate chips
Finally, pour in the chocolate chips and stir into the batter. I found that mini chocolate chips work best in this recipe.
Step 6 : Bake
Pour the batter into three greased 6-inch cake pans. If you want to make a different sized cake other than a three tiered 6-inch cake, check out these other options.
Bake in the oven until the sides begin to pull away from the sides. It's also a good idea to stick a toothpick in the center of the cake to check its doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, it's done. If there is some residual batter on the toothpick, it needs a few more minutes in the oven.
Let the cakes cool before icing.
Icing ingredients and notes
To make the cookie dough icing, here is what you need:
- Grass-fed butter - this is a buttercream style icing and therefore, we need butter. I prefer to use grass-fed butter but if desired, vegan butter will work as well. When making the icing, your butter should be room temperature.
- Almond butter - the sweet nutty flavor actually makes the icing have a cookie dough taste to it! Like the cake, any nut butter will work (I recommend cashew butter). Just make sure it's "creamy" style and not chunky.
- Coconut sugar and Powdered sugar - we use a little coconut sugar to add a hint of caramel to the icing which actually results in a cookie dough flavor. I prefer high-quality powdered sugar for the icing but, to make this paleo, monk fruit powdered sugar will work as well. Monk fruit is slightly sweeter so I recommend starting with half of what is called for and adding more as needed.
How to make the icing
You will need a hand or stand mixer to make this cookie dough icing.
Step 1 : Beat the butter
First, beat the room temperature butter with the coconut sugar, almond butter, and vanilla. Mix on medium-high speed until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you do this.
Step 2 : Add the powdered sugar
Next, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to beat the mixture. Mix until the icing is creamy and light. If it's too thick and a little dense, add a tablespoon of nut milk or water and continue to beat.
How to ice the cake
There is an art-form to icing a cake and it's actually a lot easier than you think! For this cake, it's important to do a crumb coat and then then the final layer of icing. I walk you through each step below:
First, place one of the cakes on your cake stand. Layer with a large scoop of icing. The icing in between the cake layers should be quite thick. This layer of icing also doesn't have to be perfectly smooth. Just make sure it's even so once side isn't lopsided.
Repeat this with all three layers of cake. Leave the third cake bare on top as the crumb coat comes next!
The crumb coat
A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing over the cake that is used to "seal" the crumbs. Have you ever tried to ice a cake and find that the icing keeps pulling off bits of the cake (aka crumbs)? It's not pretty. The way you mitigate this is with a crumb coat!
Add a large scoop of icing on top of the cake. Then, using an uneven spatula, brush it over the entire cake - over the top and down the sides. You'll find little pieces of crumb will be picked up in the icing. This is what we want!
The most important thing with the crumb coat is to not put your spatula back in the icing bowl. This will disburse the crumbs into perfectly good icing. As you scrape the icing off the cake, put the excess in a separate bowl.
Once the crumb coat is on, place the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set. This can also be done int he fridge but it may take a few additional minutes. The purpose of this part is to seal the crumbs into that layer of icing.
While the crumb coat is setting, prepare the edible cookie dough.
Edible cookie dough
To make the cookie dough used to decorate the top of your cake, mix the following ingredients together in a bowl.
Then add in the chocolate chips. Again, mini chocolate chips work best for this part. Stir the batter to disburse the chocolate chips. Set aside while you finish icing the cake.
The final layer of icing
Once the crumb coat is set, it's time to put on the top layer of icing.
Like the crumb coat, spoon a large dollop of icing on top of the cookie dough cake. Brush a thick coat of the icing all over the cake with an uneven spatula. As you can see from the image above, this layer should be a lot thicker than the crumb coat.
Decorating the cake
Finally, decorate the cake with scoops of the edible cookie dough on top. You can also crumble up the cookie dough and scatter it on top and along the bottom of the cake. I sprinkled some extra chocolate chips along the bottom.
Once the cake is decorated, cut into slices and enjoy!
Different ways to make this cake
I made this cookie dough cake with three 6-inch layers, however, there are a few other ways you can make this cake:
- 2 layer 8-inch cake - The only thing you'll need to alter for a two-tier cake is the cooking time. Because the layers will be bigger the cake will require a little longer in the oven to bake. Start with 50 minutes and check the done-ness with a toothpick. Your cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean!
- Sheet cake - This recipe will make a 9 x 13 inch sheet cake as well. To make this into a sheet cake, it will need to bake for at least 50 minutes in the oven. Again, insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake to make sure it is done. I also highly suggest using a baking pan for this and not a glass pan as this significantly effects the baking time for the cake.
Frequently Asked Questions
This cake needs to be stored in an airtight container. It will last about 4 days sitting out on the counter and about a week in the fridge. I personally prefer storing it in the fridge as it cools and solidifies the icing, giving it more of a cookie dough feel.
This cake makes 12 large slices and about 18 - 20 standard cake slices.
The only alternative I would recommend using for the almond flour is a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
The coconut flour is used in this recipe to cut some of the density from the almond flour. You can also use tapioca flour or arrow root starch as a substitution.
For more delicious cakes, check out my
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