Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Disclaimer: This is easily THE richest, most decadent thing I’ve ever made, tasted or laid my eyeballs on–figuratively, of course. Though if I could actually lay my eyeballs on it, I probably would. It’d be like laying on a smooth, velvety blanket of happiness.

Everyone loves velvet happiness blankets.

Normally, I really despise making cakes. They’re super hard to frost, mine always turn out lopsided and they just aren’t as photogenic or cute and petite like their younger, hotter sister, the cupcake.

Cakes are bulky and annoying and inconvenient. Cupcakes are cute and sweet and perfectly-sized. You eat a cupcake guilt-free. You eat a cake and suddenly you’re being judged.

But I’m not here to judge you. After all, I’m the one who made the cake. And that meant taking on all responsibility for the bulky and inconvenientness of it all.

I made it mostly because I was kinda sorta in the mood to make anything but a cupcake. Yes, I have those days. Portioning batter? Piping frosting? Ehhhhhhh. Today I was feeling far more lazy and far less fancy. Well, almost.

I mean, I was supposed to save today as a day to catch up on neglected homework and stuff but since I spent the entire day shopping, making a galaxy-print shirt with bleach and acrylic paint and doing virtually everything else except math problems, I decided to make a cake. Lazy on work, fancy on flavor. You hear? Like a mullet, but far more attractive and socially acceptable.

It’s a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake. A French vanilla cake with cookie dough inside, cookie dough frosting and garnished with chocolate chips and freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip overdose? Too much cookie dough? Uh, how else was I going to spend my Sunday? Certainly not doing homework (sorry, Professor Lucero).

It’s just that I work ALL DAY, every day (almost) and go to school full-time now. I just don’t have the free time anymore to shop on a whim or wake up late in the day or I don’t know, bake a decadent cake because I’m feeling mullet-y.

And Sunday will come and go and I definitely don’t want to look back when I’m sixty-seven and be like, I spent my first Sunday as a twenty-one year old doing homework! and not making a decadent cake.

I want to think, I spent my first Sunday as a twenty-one year old eating a chocolate chip cookie dough cake and drinking beer because I’m a classy motherf…yeah.

I’ll declare this from the necessary trailer parked in front of my mansion. Half classy, half trashy… kinda like my favorite Beverly Hills Housewives. And I can assure you they would ALL love this cake, mostly because it tastes amazing but also because if they did anything besides accuse Kim of doing meth, they would want to bake a cake instead of frosting cupcakes and they would bake this one. And then go back to accusing Kim of snorting crystal meth. (she totally does)

So why am I rambling? To take up more not-doing homework time. But also because I get chatty when I’m happy and this cake is just so thrilling.

If you have something to do next Sunday, cancel it. Stay home, get in your yoga pants that have never once been to a yoga class, and bake this freaking dream-come-true cake. Then eat it and feel fancy. It’s just something you have to do. Like read your Brit Lit homework. But you actually really have to make this cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake *inspired by Kelly’s version over at Something Shiny

For the cake:

1 pkg French vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste*

For the cookie dough/cookies:

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
4 T milk
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For cookie dough frosting:

3 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
4- 4.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 T milk, if needed
Additional 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 8 or 9″ baking pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in powdered pudding mix and the vanilla bean paste. Evenly divide the batter among the two pans and bake according to package directions or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with light moist crumbs (about 24-27 mins). Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks.
3. Meanwhile, prepare eggless cookie dough. In a large bowl, beat together butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Lastly, slowly beat in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie dough scoop, portion out cookie dough into small balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Save about 8 cookie dough balls and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 8-10 mins and cool. Freeze the rest of the dough balls for several hours or until firm. Once firmed, cut the dough balls in half.

Cookie Dough Frosting 

1. Once your cake is cooled, about 8 cookies are baked and the other dough balls are chilled and halved, prepare your frosting.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until light and fluffy. Add milk if needed (if frosting becomes too thick or pasty during the process).


1. Put one cake on a cake board or flat serving surface (like a cake stand). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, take out about 3/4 cup of frosting and stir a handful of halved & chilled cookie dough balls into the reserved frosting. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the cake. This is your filling.
2. Top the bottom tier and filling with your second cake. Begin frosting your cake using an offset spatula for smoothing & spreading. Make sure to evenly coat the cake’s top and sides, adding more frosting as needed.
3. Once the cake is frosted to your liking, begin placing the cookies along the edge of the cake, evenly spacing them. Then, top your frosted cake with the remaining miniature chocolate chips. Place the cake in the fridge for several hours to set (uncovered is fine) then serve. Once cut, store covered in the fridge to maximize freshness.
**Note: so this vanilla bean paste? AMAZING. I can never justify spending $15+ on vanilla bean pods at the store since they’re basically a one-time use. However I spotted this paste by LorAnn Oils at my local ROSS and swiped it. It adds an extra layer of richness to the cake and my frosting (I subbed my vanilla extract for it). It’s optional, but worth it for the jar size and quality. You can find it HERE or try your local ROSS, TJ Maxx or HomeGoods store.

Cake hater or not, everyone will love this impressive and decadent cake!! My family was shocked when they spotted it on the table after dinner and had no qualms devouring it within seconds. I doubt you will, either.

Have a fancy Tuesday!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays


  1. Love the “vanilla bean paste*”!! Embrace the vanilla bean paste, my friend. I can’t bake without it! Looks great!

  2. To die for! “…cute and petite like their younger, hotter sister, the cupcake.” You’re hilarious! Love it. (What’s funny is that I have a cookie dough cake I’m posting next week.) Oh, and the meth? Totally agree. Totally.

  3. Yum yours looks great, I too fell in love with Kelly’s when I saw it on her blog and have bookmarked it for a rainy day! You can never have too much cookie goodness going on in my opinion!

  4. oh my! I am drooling (at work, too. so I’m getting lots of stares). Okay, not really, but I have never wanted to try a cake as much as I want to try this one.

  5. Thank you all, ladies!! Dorothy, I’m eager to see your version! 🙂

  6. Is it bad that I want to go make this, like right now? Amaaaaazing.

  7. This looks amazing..mmm I love cookie dough! I have so many sweets to make!!!

  8. I love chocolate chip overdose. It looks delicious!

  9. Yummy

  10. seriously? Now you are going to make me not want to do any house work, this looks so good!

  11. Gorgeous!! I’m so glad that you put your own spin on the cake – it looks ah-mazing! And I totally think you made the right decision RE: homework vs making a cake. 😉

  12. Gorgeous!! I love that you put your own spin on the cake – it looks ah-mazing! And I totally think you made the right decision RE: homework vs. making a cake. 😉

  13. bmazzola7 says:

    you are my hero! i know what im doing this summer!

  14. Hi, is the sugar free/fat free pudding mix a must? Or could I use the regular.

    • Hi Melody, yes, you can absolutely use the regular kind. The pudding (sugar free/fat free or regular) just gives the cake a deeper flavor and makes it more moist. Use what you’ve got!

  15. So if I am only throwing a handful of dough balls into the filling and I only baked 8 of the dough balls, what the heck do I do with all the rest of the dough balls? Eat them is obviously the answer, but really? I was supposed to have some left over dough balls right?

    • Hey Kasey, yes, you’ll likely have some leftover dough balls. You could certainly add more to the filling–it’ll be a bit chunkier with more, but that won’t be a bad thing! Or just freeze the leftover dough balls in an airtight container. They’re egg-free, so they’re safe to eat and can be eaten raw or baked up at anytime.

  16. oh. my. god. Do you need a roomate/sampler? Because I would be willing to relocate for this cake alone!

    I know what I am making next weekend!

    • Hi Jessica! I would totally love a taste tester. Can you believe my family gets tired of taste-testing desserts all the time?! (They’re aliens; I already know–*sigh*). Let me know how you like this!

  17. Making a much larger version of this for our annual end of season swim team party!! I know 30 kids and parents who are just gonna LOVE this!!

  18. This cake is AMAZING!! I made it for a meeting at work and there was nothing left! Everyone loved this cake and it wasn’t hard to make at all.

  19. I just fell in love. This will consume my entire Saturday morning! Can’t wait to try it!! 🙂

  20. This cake is SO good! I made it for a friend for his birthday and now I’m making it for another friend! Not to mention I LOVE that the cookie dough is eggless so I can just make that and eat it if I want!!

    • Hey Jenn! Thanks for your comment! I’m glad to know you loved the cake and are making it a second time 🙂 and also glad to know there’s someone else who threatens to ruin the cake by eating ALL of the cookie dough, haha. Have a great weekend!! xo.

  21. Gretchen Dodson says:

    Looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

  22. why did my cake icing turn out brown?

  23. uuuum I totally want this to be my wedding cake…..
    (I can easily ignore the fact that I’ve been married for 9 years!)


  24. Enough pictures of the cake already, I’m drooling! =) It looks sooooooooooooooo good. I am a cookie dough adict. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I am so doing this as one of my Thanksgiving Day desserts! I just texted all my (grown) children and gave them a multiple choice quiz on what dessert (besides the two I’m already doing) they want to eat on Thanksgiving. This one won, hands down (and they haven’t laid eyes on it, either)! Thanks!

  26. Hello i found your cake recipe and i`m doing the cake this weekend for my daughters 3rd birthday but i think i mid add some food coloring so that it looks a little more girly for her what do you think???

  27. Found this on Pinterest, my roommate love chocolate chip cookies, I am totally going to make this for her birthday! It looks awesome!

  28. Question for your delicious looking cake, does the cake taste like cookie dough AND the frosting tastes like cookie dough, each by themselves?


    • Hey Elle! The cake is a plain butter cake, so by itself, it doesn’t taste like cookie dough. However, the frosting tastes identical to cookie dough and when combined with the cake, tastes like a cookie dough cake! 🙂

  29. okay so I broke down and made this delicious looking cake…. I cant find vanilla paste so I just used some vanilla bean I found at the store…. What an amazing flavor…..

  30. So I made this today we waiting for dessert to try it!!! Very hard to do btw, but the look on my kids faces when i handed them all a spoon full of the left over dough and told them to eat up was priceless!! Thanks for making my familys sunday with this amazing recipe

  31. Made this tonight- it was amazing!!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  32. so does the filling have chunks of cookie dough in it, or does it combine with the icing to be smooth?

    • Hi Kim! Yes, the filling has chunks of cookie dough inside. However, the outer icing which covers the cake is smooth and does not have cookie dough chunks in it. I wanted to go for the texture-effect 🙂

  33. I am totally making this later. Thanks for the recipe!

  34. This is one of those recipes that causes me to whisper dirty things to the computer screen… “Oooh you naughty little cake recipe. Mommy likes!” It’s shameful.

  35. Do you refrigerate ?

    • Hi Kaitlyn! Yes, I’d recommend covering the cake airtight and refrigerating any leftovers. Technically, there are no eggs in the cookie dough itself but with the milk I’d still be cautious. Thanks!

  36. This looks so amazingly good. It combines two of my favorite things cake and cookie dough!

  37. Too much chocolate or cookie dough?! Never!! 😉 I’m like you, I don’t gravitate towards cake baking because they feel more high maintenance to me. But I have got to find an excuse to make this cake!

  38. I just prepared the eggless cookie dough part and it came out VERY crumbly, like I can barely even shape it into balls. Any suggestions on what I can add to help it stay together better?

  39. Malenda says:

    Did you use salted or unsalted sticks of butter?
    I never seem to pick the right kind each time I make something.

    • Hi Malenda! I always use unsalted butter just because it’s cheaper! Haha, if you use salted, just reduce the amount of salt in the frosting/filling to a small pinch, if anything. Or add salt to taste.

  40. Drooling over this right now!! I’m planning on making this for a Relay for Life bake sale, so I was thinking of tinting it pink. Also, I live in a small town (go Luray Caverns!) and my only option for groceries is Walmart. Not likely to have vanilla bean OR vanilla paste. I have many extracts, though. Suggestions?

  41. I made this cake today and the frosting was really grainy tasting from the brown sugar. I made a different frosting to frost the cake with after tasting that. Love the cake but not the frosting. Thanks for the recipe.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hey Baker! Sorry the frosting turned out grainy for ya. The brown sugar can make it a little more gritty, but it’s all about personal preference I think! Glad you found another recipe you enjoyed with the cake better, and thanks for the helpful comment! xo.

  42. Rebecca says:

    I’m a little disappointed that this recipe called for a box cake mix….but then used a lovely ingredient such as vanilla bean paste. If you’re going to be authentic and fancy with the paste, make the cake from scratch!!!!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Rebecca, you’re welcome to make the cake from scratch! However, I’d challenge anyone to taste test the difference between the cake mix and the from-scratch one 🙂

  43. Sandy_of_WV says:

    Might want to change recipe and add ” regular” pudding [may be used], “unsalted” butter, and “light” brown sugar.

    Love getting new recipes BUT hate having to read all the comments to find out info.

  44. Is it awkward if I just fell in love with you and simultaneously fell in hate with you? Love your cheeky writing, pretty photos, and soon your recipe. The hate part comes in when I am fully aware that this week I will have to make your cake, and eat it all myself, and then feel guilty when me and my yoga-virgin-yoga-pants don’t go to yoga. So thanks for that. But seriously, looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hahaha thank you so much!! Oh my gosh, hate me all you want for the cake but PLEASE save me a slice! 🙂

  45. Krista Riester says:

    My husband is military, and we live overseas, loosely translated VERY LIMITED grocery selection. If I can’t find French vanilla cake mix or vanilla bean paste, what if anything can I use to substitute?

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Krista! Regular vanilla/white cake mix should do the trick, and instead of vanilla bean paste, just amp up the vanilla by using a little extra extract. I always “OD” on vanilla extract in my baking–I love adding an additional teaspoon or two because I love the rich flavor it gives to baked goods!

  46. I just finished making it and put in the fridge to set. Should I leave refrigerated overnight?

  47. Making this for my birthday:) thanks!


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