Naked Cookie Cake

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I'm updating a post I did a few years back. This cake is one of my favorite desserts to make for a birthday party or just for fun. Layers of thick cookies and buttercream frosting. I mean, what can be better? 

I like to keep it naked and not frost the sides. Mostly because it is easier that way. But also because I really like the natural look! I made the cookie cake pictured here for a photo shoot at my sister's event space, Wild Carrot, here in St. Louis. I love this rustic, large event space... it's pretty much the event space of my dreams. 

If you have a cookie lover who needs a birthday cake, this will be a hit!

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Photo by Sean Funcik

Photo by Sean Funcik

Mini Layered Cookie Cake   

(makes 1 layered cake)

  • 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 cups of good-quality bittersweet chocolate (60%), chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour with the baking soda and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a mixer, beat the cooled butter with the sugars until creamed together. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

  4. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. These dough balls will be large! (A size that is slightly smaller than a tennis ball.) Since these are large cookies that will spread out, only place about 3-4 cookies per baking sheet, depending how large the baking sheet is.

  5. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. If the edges are not yet starting to turn golden by the end of the 10 minutes, bake the cookies for 2-3 minutes longer until golden brown. Take out of the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet. Right when you take them out, you can use a spatula to re-form the cookies in a circle shape in case some are misshapened.

  6. Once cookie layers are cooled, place cookies on a wire rack and freeze until you are ready to frost.

    • NOTE: Depending on the size of your scoop, this recipe will make 5-7 cookies. The cake is 5 layers, so you may have two large cookies left over.

  7. Assemble the cake: Place one cookie on a plate or small cake stand. Place a dollop of the vanilla buttercream (recipe below) on the bottom of the cookie so the cookie stays put on the stand as you frost. Spread a thick layer of buttercream over the top surface of the cookie. Place a second cookie on top of the buttercream layer and repeat the process until you've layered 5 cookies. Frost the very top of the cookie cake, if desired.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 8-9 cups of confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)


  1. In a mixer, beat the butter until smooth.

  2. Add 4 cups of sugar and the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one cup at a time until the frosting appears thick enough to spread.

  3. Frost the cookie cake, as described in #7 above. You will have about 1 cup of buttercream left over, which you can freeze up to 2 months.

Photo by Sean Funcik

Photo by Sean Funcik