Milk and Cookies Layer Cake

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This Milk and Cookies Layer Cake is made with layers of brown sugar vanilla cake that’s filled with vanilla frosting and crumbled up chocolate chip cookies. It tastes just like milk and cookies and was declared a new favorite cake!

Milk and Cookies Layer Cake
Milk and Cookies Layer Cake recipe

Milk and Cookies Layer Cake Recipe

This post is sponsored by The American Dairy Association Mideast, but all opinions are my own.

June is Diary Month so of course it’s the perfect time to celebrate milk with a fun Milk and Cookies Cake. I grew up drinking milk every day. My dad was a stickler about it and my brother and I drank milk with dinner every night as kids. My nails have always been thick, strong and healthy and I’ve always kind of thought that all that milk as a kid must’ve had something to do with it. 🙂

Of course Diary Month isn’t only about milk. Dairy encompasses another food that I could never live without – cheese! My goodness, life couldn’t go on without my cheese. We have diary farmers to thank for all the tasty milk and cheese and in Ohio and West Virginia, about 2,500 dairy farms with roughly 275,000 diary cows produce 645 million gallons of milk a year. That is some serious milk!

And since there’s milk in this cake and milk provides protein and 9 essential nutrients, including calcium, this cake is totally healthy, right? I’m pretty sure we should just cut a nice slice and pair it with a big, tall glass of milk. 🙂

Glasses of milk with cakeBest Milk and Cookies Layer Cake recipe

Ok, ok, so I’m kidding about the cake being healthy, but it’s totally worth every single bite! I’m not kidding when I say it was declared a new favorite by many.

The cake layers are wonderfully soft layers of vanilla cake that are made more cookie-like with the addition of mini chocolate chips and brown sugar that gives it a rich flavor.

Between the cake layers is vanilla frosting and crumbled chocolate chip cookies. I considered mixing crushed cookies right into the frosting, but I thought they might get lost a little that way. I wanted to be able to really taste the cookies in there. Not to mention that with them separate, it further produces the separate flavor of cookies and milk and it’s SO good! The cookies are also dipped in a little milk before being broken up. It helps the cookies soften up a bit and they form a really nice layer in between the cakes.

The cake is finished off with the remaining vanilla frosting, more cookies and some additional mini chocolate chips.

This is not only a super fun cake to serve, but it tastes amazing! I can’t even fully describe how much I love it other than to tell you the feeling was unanimous! This is going to be your new favorite too. I know it. And it’s the perfect cake for celebrating Dairy Month!

Homemade Milk and Cookies Layer Cake
Milk and Cookies Layer Cake slice

NOTE: The video incorrectly lists baking soda as an ingredient. It should be baking powder, as listed in the written recipe. Please follow the written recipe for ingredients.


Read transcript

SHOP THE RECIPE

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Recipe

Milk and Cookies Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Milk and Cookies Layer Cake is made with layers of brown sugar vanilla cake that’s filled with vanilla frosting and crumbled up chocolate chip cookies. It tastes just like milk and cookies and was declared a new favorite cake!


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE

  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (155g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (108g) brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1 1/4 cups (211g) mini chocolate chips

VANILLA FROSTING

  • 1 1/4 cup (280g) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening*
  • 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 67 tbsp (90-105ml) water or milk

FILLING/ADDITIONAL

  • 1 package chocolate chip cookies**
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies, for on top
  • Mini chocolate chips

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:

9. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
10. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add the vanilla extract and 5-6 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until smooth.
12. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional water or milk, as needed.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

13. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
14. Pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of the cake.
15. Put the milk for filling into a small bowl. Dip several chocolate chip cookies into the milk, then crumble them up and spread them evenly over the cake layer, inside the dam. You want a full layer of cookie crumbles.
16. Add a thin layer of frosting over top of the cookies. I used a piping bag and tip to make it easier to add the frosting and spread it evenly.
17. Add the second layer of cake, then repeat another dam of frosting with the cookie filling and vanilla frosting on top.
18. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
19. Press more mini chocolate chips into the outside of the cake around the bottom. You might need to put a little frosting on the back of the cookies to help them stick.
20. Use the remaining buttercream to pipe swirls around the top of the cake. I used Ateco tip 829.
21. Top the swirls with chocolate chip cookies and add some additional mini chocolate chips, if desired. Store cake in the fridge, but serve at room temperature. Cake is best for 2-3 days.

*The shortening can be replaced with additional butter, if you prefer.
**I used Mini Chips Ahoy cookies

Keywords: layer cake, layer cake recipe, cookie cake recipe, chocolate chip cookie cake recipe, chocolate chip cookie cake, vanilla frosting recipe, homemade vanilla frosting

Enjoy!

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Decorated Milk and Cookies Layer Cake

Milk and Cookies Layer Cake - layers of brown sugar vanilla cake with mini chocolate chips, vanilla frosting and crumbled chocolate chip cookies between the layers!

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Recipe rating

95 Comments
    1. Lindsay

      Would you be leaving the brown sugar the same? You could reduce the sugar and reducing it by a fourth a cup isn’t terrible, but keep in mind that sugar doesn’t just add sweetness, but also moisture. Removing some of it can affect the texture of the cake. As for 6 inch pans, I haven’t made that size so I don’t know exactly how that amount of batter will work out.

      1. Aimen

        No. just want to reduce sweetness a bit. Do you recommend reducing both sugars 1/8 cup each? or just white sugar 1/4 cup?

  1. Patty

    I made this cake and it came out perfect.  I decorated slightly different with a chocolate ganache drip and white chocolate splash.

  2. Lee

    This looks great! I’m planning to make it for my son’s birthday- he’s a real little cookie monster. How would you scale the recipe for two 9″ cake pans?

  3. Uroosa

    This tasted soooo good!! My brother and I love milk and cookies so I made it for his birthday and everyone loved it. So moist and flavorful. I might try it with different icing next time because American Buttercream is sweet for my taste. This recipe was also easy to follow. Thank you! 🙂

  4. Denise

    I made this recipe as cupcakes for a graduation party. Incredibly moist and no issues with rising at all. Yielded 25 with a level scoop and rose even to the top of muffin liner. Perfect!! Baked 12 min at 340 (my oven runs hotttt). Thank you so very much for sharing your recipes❤️

    1. Lindsay

      You wouldn’t be able to use all oil because you wouldn’t be able to cream it properly. You could try 1/2 butter and 1/2 oil.

  5. Aimen Zafar

    Hi. Can I use oil for the recipe?. I personally think oil based cakes stay more moist after refrigeration. Maybe half butter, half oil or 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup butter. Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      This recipe uses the creaming method and you can’t cream oil. If you’d like to try adding some oil, I’d recommend 1/4 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of butter.

  6. Liz

    This has to be one of the BEST cakes I’ve ever had. It was more dense then the traditional fluffy cake, but it gave it more of a feel of a cookie cake. I didn’t have any chocolate chip cookies, so I used Oreos instead. I also used a cream cheese icing to cut down on the sweetness factor. I highly recommend this cake!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Lindsay

      I’d have to go back and look it up to be certain, but I’m guessing it’s relatively accurate. Most likely a good bit of that comes from the frosting. You could certainly cut down the amount of frosting that you use. And that is for if the cake is sliced into 14 servings.

  7. Maria

    I made this cake for my birthday yesterday and it was soooo good. I actually tried to make it 2 years ago for my bday but I didn’t adjust the recipe for my 9inch pans so it came out dry…. this year I adjusted the recipe and it came out perfect! I will probably make this my bday cake almost every year. Thank you for the recipe!!

  8. Addie

    Hi! I made this cake and LOVEd it. Quick question, can you make the layers ahead of time and freeze them?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t tried freezing the cake layers, but it should be OK. Just be sure to wrap them well and thaw them in the fridge.

  9. Heather

    Im thinking of making this for my sons birthday. He doesnt like cake because he thinks its to sweet. I wondered if anyone whose made this could comment on the sweetness? He loves chocolate chip cookies so was hoping this might be a great option.

    Thank you!

  10. Sandy Mestas

    I don”t no what i did wrong when i added the sour cream as i mixed it it started to curdle i then added more flour didn”t look as bad i then baked it and it never got baked kept adding 5 more mins then 10 more just didn”t bake so i tore it up threw it back in the oven where it took another 20 mins to bake! ill be making cake pops didnt want to trash it….

  11. Emma

    Hi Lindsey! I can’t wait to try this cake! In the video it says baking soda and the directions say baking powder. Do you know which one I use? Also, does it matter which type of milk? Whole, skim, ect? Thank you!!!!!

    1. Lindsay

      Definitely follow the written recipe. Sometimes the video editing isn’t perfect. 🙂 And I usually recommend 2% milk, but you could use another. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Rebecca N

    I just made this cake this weekend. I followed the recipe as is (except I used break n’ bake Nestle chocolate chip cookies as I’m not a fan of chips ahoy). And I have to say it was utterly delicious! My family was overjoyed with the results. I would recommend it to anyone. I love your recipes. This isn’t the first one I’ve followed. Thanks for always sharing!

  13. Kasi

    A lot of people seem to say they had trouble with this cake, but it was a total success for me! I followed the recipe exactly as it was written, and it turned out beautifully. The cake was perfectly baked at 21 minutes in my oven. The frosting got rave reviews! The cookies for the filling, although dunked in milk beforehand, were not soggy when the cake was served, and the cookies on the outside were not stale even after sitting in the fridge overnight before serving. (I did wrap the whole cake in cling wrap for the night though.) Lindsay, this cake was wonderful, and I’m sure it will be requested that I make it again in the future! You made me look like a baking genius!

  14. Jackie

    I am baking this cake right now and will do it all over again to make sure I didn’t do it wrong, but not only did my cake come out overly moist and dense, the chocolate chips all sunk to the bottom. I use the wet level-baking wraps from Wilton to prevent the traditional cake dome, so I cannot say that they didn’t rise, but it definitely does not look right. I followed to a tee, weighed all the ingredients, and will give it one more shot. Fingers crossed.

  15. Sue

    I made this cake twice. The first time did it not rise or bake. The second it did not bake in the middle at all. I do no recommend this recipe unless you like raw cakes. Did not make this recipe.

  16. Jennifer

    Agree with whoever else commented on this that it does not rise the same as in the photos. I creamed for 4+ minutes and used baking powder I had just bought a few days earlier and used fresh eggs and I followed the directions to a T (which I usually don’t do). I’m not sure how you got it to look that tall in the photos. Those cookies you used must’ve been itty bitty because if I put mini cookies around mine they would go halfway up the cake. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t speak for how it tastes (I’m sure it’s fine) but I’m very disappointed in the looks of it. 

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Jennifer, I promise I did nothing to distort the look of the height of the cake in these photos. The cakes do rise. It’s very difficult to say without being there what would cause the issue. The only other thing I could think of would be over mixing the batter once the dry ingredients having been added, which can over work the gluten. I’m sorry you were disappointed.

  17. Lori

    I made this for my nephew’s birthday – it was a HIT ! I plan to make the white choc raspberry this weekend, looks delicious !

  18. Allison Coburn

    Hi! I’m thinking of making your great-looking cake for my son’s birthday party on Saturday.  How many people does your cake serve?  I will have between 28-32 people so think I probably need nine-inch-rounds instead of eight?  Is there a way to convert the directions for this larger cake size?

    Thank you! 

    1. Lindsay

      A 9 inch cake would probably be good. You’d probably want to do two cake layers instead of 3 and would possibly need to adjust the baking time a bit. Maybe a few more minutes baking time.

  19. Leslie Perkins

    Just made this cake last weekend and it was amazing!! The cake is super moist and tastes just like a chocolate chip cookie. I will definitely make this cake again!

  20. Naima

    Hi! In the description water is listed as an ingredient but it’s not used in the video. Is water optional (for consistency etc)? Thanks in advance. Your recipes look delicious! ????

    1. Lindsay

      It is there in the video, just not quite labeled correctly. I combine the milk and water and then add them, so when the milk is added, it’s actually the milk and water together. 🙂

  21. Kandi

    I made this today. I’m not sure what I didn’t wrong but the cake itself didn’t rise and I thought the frosting was too sweet. Maybe I’m just use to store bought. I followed the direction to a T. 

    1. Lindsay

      Did you make sure to cream the butter and sugar together for a full 3-4 minutes? I find it’s a common mistake people make that they don’t do that.

  22. Ivory

    Yum, I know you own a bakery, if not, girl get rocking, because you are so missing out on another calling you have.  

    1. Ondie Held

      I did. My cakes didn’t rise for some reason. I bake all the time so my ingredients are always fresh. I used them anyways and it was still a hit. I did add some heavy whipping cream to the frosting to help with that gritty texture I always find these types of frostings to have with so much powdered sugar.

      1. Khola

        I. Made this today and waiting to frost it but for some reason my cake did not rise as much. This has happened to me the second time in her recipe eventho it tasted amazing. Just not as tall as hers.

  23. Hannah

    I can never get over your beautiful cakes! They are always so pretty and delicious looking! You have used so many different and fun combinations.

  24. Julia

    Hi LIndsay!  I love your recipes ans I have already made a few! The problem is that there is no sour cream here in Greece! Could you please tell me with what I could replace it? Thanks a lot!!

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve had some people say they used yogurt. Another option you could try would be using some additional milk.

  25. Susan

    What is the flavor difference between using the shortening or butter in the frosting?  Which tastes better?

    1. Lindsay

      You can find the answers to that question here. In that post, there’s also a link to just the vanilla buttercream and it talks quite a bit that as well. Definitely a preference thing though.

  26. Alexis

    Hi Lindsay, which chocolate chip cookies do you use? Also, do you have a recipe for a favorite cookie to bake for this cake?
    Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      The mini ones inside the cake and around the bottom are mini chips ahoy and the big ones on top are regular chips ahoy. I didn’t bake the cookies, but used ones that were a little more crunchy that I usually bake.

  27. Karen @ The Food Charlatan

    This cake looks too good to be true Lindsay! I love love how you slice cakes. Is that a weird compliment? No one does it quite like you. I can spot your photos a hundred miles away. 🙂

  28. Susan Coleman

    I am also interested in the answer to Thelma’s question, how much mini chocolate chips are in the cake filling?

  29. Thelma Nuyen

    In reading your tutorial, I find reference to mini chocolate chips added to the cake batter and I see them in the pictures but the amount used is not listed in the ingredients. Adding them to the batter is also not mentioned in the directions.

      1. Cassandra

        I made this at my cafe. It is incredible! One of the best cakes I’ve ever had.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12