This deliciously decadent chocolate chip cookie dough cake is stuffed with real cookie dough and baked into a chocolate chip speckled vanilla cake. With layers of cookie dough frosting and chocolate buttercream, it’s the best dang cake you’ve ever tasted. And guess what? It’s naturally vegan, eggless, and dairy free!
Why you’ll love this decadent cookie dough cake:
If you love chocolate chip cookie dough and you love vanilla cake, then let me introduce you to this amazing cookie dough cake. It’s the ultimate combination of two favorite desserts. It’s pretty fantastic.
We have deliciously rich cookie dough balls baked into a tender vanilla cake speckled with chocolate chips. It’s decadent, lush, tender, and the ultimate cake recipe. This is not your average cake.
And guess what? This cookie dough cake is naturally vegan, eggless, and dairy free. Yet, I promise, you’d never know. If you’re looking to surprise your non-vegan family and/or friends, then this is your cake recipe!
Now let’s bake it!
What you’ll need:
This cake, while easy in concept, is pretty extensive in terms of the steps and materials. Worth it? Absolutely. If you’re a cookie dough lover, you’ll fall head over heels in love with this cake recipe. But you do need a lot of ingredients, so this is a great cake for special occasions!
The cake is comprised of four main parts. The cookie dough, the actual cake, the cookie dough frosting, and the outer chocolate frosting. Below is a list of ingredients that you’ll need, with the exact measurements found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. All ingredients can be listed as either Metric or US, but I recommend using the Metric measurements. This will give you the most accurate bake.
Vegan Cookie Dough:
- Flour: you don’t need to heat treat the flour here, unless you’re also using the cookie dough to decorate the outside of the cake (which I recommend making that additional cookie dough during the decorating stage!). You can also use gluten free flour here!
- Vegan butter: you can use coconut oil, but the cookie dough will taste best with vegan butter.
- Coconut sugar: this is what helps keep the cookie dough refined sugar free. You can swap in regular granulated sugar as needed.
- Chocolate chips: I used Pascha Organics chocolate throughout. Their stevia sweetened chocolate chips are amazing.
- Flour: again, you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour here!
- Vegan butter: stick with the vegan butter for the cake. It will yield the best results!
- Sugar: you can use coconut sugar here or granulated sugar.
- Leavening agents: this is your baking powder and baking soda.
- Unsweetened applesauce: this is an eggless cake, so we’re using applesauce as the egg replacement!
- Dairy free milk with ACV: mixing the vinegar with the dairy free milk will give you a vegan buttermilk. This is essential for yielding that super fluffy and tender texture!
- Vanilla extract
Cookie Dough Frosting:
- Vegan butter: for frosting, stick with vegan butter please!
- Flour: For the frosting, you will need to heat treat the flour. This is because you’re consuming this part of the recipe “raw” in essence.
- Coconut sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Chocolate chips
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream:
- Vegan butter
- Cocoa powder: you can also use cacao powder- just note that it will be richer in taste!
- Powdered sugar
How to make an eggless cookie dough cake (overview)
For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.
You’ll make this cookie dough cake in 4 stages essentially. First, the cookie dough, followed by the cake layers. Then the cookie dough frosting, and finally the chocolate buttercream.
- The cookie dough: this component is based off of my edible vegan cookie dough, and is similar in process. Just without the applesauce! Simply cream together the vegan butter and coconut sugar. Then add in the flour and fold in the chocolate chips. If your cookie dough is too soft, you can chill it in the fridge as you make the cakes.
- The cake: this next section is based off of my vegan vanilla cake. You’ll make the cake as you would any other cake. Then when you’re about to bake the batter, add in dollops of cookie dough to the batter, and gently spread the batter over the cookie dough. Bake the cakes and allow them to fully cool before making the frosting.
- The cookie dough frosting: this is like cookie dough, but more frosting like! Once you make the buttercream, you’ll add in the flour and coconut sugar, and cream everything together. Then gently fold in the chocolate chips. At this stage, you can assemble the cake. Apply the frosting in between the cake layers and store in the fridge as you make the final component.
- The chocolate buttercream: this is actually my classic vegan chocolate frosting! You’ll make the buttercream and apply it to the outside of the cake. Then decorate the cake with cookie dough balls and serve!
Can I make this cookie dough cake gluten free?
Absolutely! To make this vegan cookie dough cake entirely gluten free as well, swap in gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag.
Can I make the cake layers ahead of time?
You can absolutely make the cake layers ahead of time. I’d aim for making the cookie dough cake layers the afternoon before, and assembling the cake the morning of the next day. Allow the cake layers to fully cool before storing. This will prevent too much warmth and condensation getting into the cake layers, causing a soggy cake.
Then simply wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and either store at room temperature or in the fridge.
Does this have to be a vegan cookie dough cake?
This cookie dough cake in particular was designed to be a vegan option in the array of cookie dough cakes out there! There are plenty of non-vegan cookie dough cakes on the web. So why not try a vegan version?
There are plenty of amazing dairy-free substitutes out there that taste just like the real deal, so if you’re dairy free, then this is the cake for you. I recommend using Flora Plant Butter for the best tasting vegan butter in baking.
In terms of eggless baking, unsweetened applesauce is fairly easy to find in the U.S., but I know for overseas readers, especially in the U.K., it can be a bit harder. Plus, homemade applesauce is not always a great substitute if you’re making it for the first time (the consistency can be a bit off for what we’re using it for!). You can replace the applesauce with dairy free yogurt here if needed, but the best recommendation is using the applesauce.
Tips for success
Use room temperature ingredients: I cannot stress this enough, especially to my first time bakers. Room temperature really does matter. And it doesn’t mean 72F for vegan butter either! For more on room temperature, check out this post.
Don’t over-mix the batter: this is for both the cake and cookie dough! Mix until the dry is just incorporated into the batter or dough.
Please make sure that you heat-treat the flour for the cookie dough frosting: again, you won’t need to for the cookie dough that’s baked into the cake. But any flour that will be consumed not-baked, including cake decorations and frosting, please heat-treat the flour.
Don’t over-bake the cakes: these cakes will take a bit longer to bake than normal, but it’s still crucial that you don’t over-bake the cake. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Make sure that the cakes are fully cooled before frosting: because these are denser cakes, they will take a bit longer to come to room temperature and cool. It’s essential that you give the layers that time, as you don’t want the frosting to melt!
Love vegan cakes? Check out these amazing vegan cake recipes!
Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
This deliciously decadent chocolate chip cookie dough cake is stuffed with real cookie dough and baked into a chocolate chip speckled vanilla cake. With layers of cookie dough frosting and chocolate buttercream, it’s the best damn cake you’ve ever tasted. And guess what? It’s naturally vegan, eggless, and dairy free!
- 100 grams vegan butter, room temperature
- 50 grams coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 3/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 125 grams gluten free 1-to-1 flour or oat flour
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips*
Cookie Dough Cake:
- 300 grams unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
- 460 grams all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 230 grams granulated sugar
- 170 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Flora Plant butter), room temperature
- 190 grams unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, 2 tablespoons!!)
- Optional (but recommended): 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/2 batch of cookie dough (see above)
Cookie Dough Frosting:
- 115 grams vegan butter, room temperature
- 125 grams flour, heat treated and COOLED
- 150 grams coconut sugar
- 390 grams powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2–3 tbsp dairy free milk
- 3/4 cup vegan-friendly chocolate chips
- 115 grams vegan butter, room temperature
- 390 grams powdered sugar, sifted
- 100 grams cocoa powder, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease three 8″ cake pans with cooking oil, and line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prep ingredients: Prepare the vegan buttermilk. Combine the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar, and set aside to sit for 5-6 minutes. You can weigh and measure the remaining ingredients during this time.
- Make the cookie dough: There’s no need to heat treat the flour here, as we’re baking the cookie dough. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the vegan butter, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the flour into the cookie dough. Add a tablespoon of dairy-free milk here if needed, and mix until the dough is sticky, combined, and thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Then scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon sized cookie dough balls. You should yield about 9 cookie dough balls. You can make more for the decoration of the cake!
- Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Then add in the applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix again on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides and at the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in about half of the dry mixture, along with half of the vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until just combined. Add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until there are just no more dry streaks. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well as the sides. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake the cakes: Divide the batter between the three cake pans evenly. Drop 3 cookie dough balls into each cake layer. Bake for 35 minutes in 8″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely (there is absolutely no warmth to the touch!), then you can prepare your buttercream.
- Vegan Cookie Dough Frosting: Cream the vegan butter in a stand mixer for about 3 minutes. Sift in the powdered sugar, flour, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract and continue beating until it becomes a fluffy buttercream. Use the dairy-free milk if needed to help incorporate the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Assemble the cake: place the first cake layer onto a cake plate or stand. Spread 1/2 of the vegan cookie dough frosting onto the cake layer, then top with the second layer and repeat. Place the cake into the fridge to chill while you make the vegan chocolate buttercream.
- Vegan Chocolate Buttercream: add vegan butter to a large bowl or stand mixer and cream for 2-3 minutes. Add in the cocoa powder and 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream. Add in vanilla and 2-4 tablespoons of coconut/almond milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
- Finish decorating the cake: Frost cake the outside of the cake with the chocolate buttercream. Top with extra cookie dough balls and serve!
Vegan chocolate chips: I recommend Pascha Organics chocolate. They’re 100% vegan, Fair Trade, and have many options, including 100% dark chocolate, vegan milk chocolate, and even stevia sweetened chocolate.
Heat Treating the flour: you’ll only need to heat treat the flour of the cookie dough frosting, as that will be the only cookie dough part we consume raw (unless you top with additional cookie dough balls on top!). To heat treat flour, check out this article.
Gluten free: you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag for the entirety of this cake recipe if needed. Please still heat treat the flour where necessary.