my birthday cake

filed under: Surprise Inside Cakes on February 1, 2015

As is the tradition in our home, I make my birthday cake.


5 from 1 vote
Chocolate Laye Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers and Mini Pink Chocolate Curls!
Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

As is the tradition in our home, I make my birthday cake.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
Chocolate Layer Cake
  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c good unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. McCormick® vanilla extract
  • 1 c freshly brewed hot coffee I use decaf
Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 c cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp. McCormick® vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Buttercream
  • 1 1/2 c butter at room temperature
  • 4 c powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. McCormick® vanilla extract
  • pinch table salt
Chocolate Cake
  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared (buttered and floured or non-stick baking spray or Goop) 8-inch round cake pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350, until a cake tester comes out clean.

  4. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  5. (If you cakes are not level, you may want to level them prior to assembling cake)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
  6. Divide dough into two equal parts. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray then laying a piece of parchment in the bottom.

  7. Evenly press 1/2 of your cookie dough mixture into bottom of cake pan. Repeat with other half.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. (I prefer my cookie to be slightly UNDER done for this cake as it makes it easer to cut through the layers.)

  9. Allow cookies to cool in pan.
Chocolate Buttercream
  1. In a the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whisk butter and sugar on mediumhigh speed until very pale and fluffy or about five minutes.
  2. Be sure to stop at least once and scrape the bowl.
  3. With the mixer off, add in cocoa powder, vanilla and salt.
  4. Turn mixer on low and blend for about 30 seconds.
  5. One tablespoon at a time add in heavy cream.
  6. Once all cream has been added and mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  7. Now turn the mixer onto medium-high to high and whisk for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is lighter and fluffier. The frosting will be shiny and seem to have many large air bubbles throughout and this is exactly what we are going for. (You can smooth those out on the cake if so desired.)

To assemble cake:
  1. Place one 8-inch round chocolate chip cookie on cake stand.
  2. Cover with one layer of chocolate cake.
  3. Add no more than one cup of buttercream and smooth out with offset spatula.
  4. Place next layer of chocolate cookie, then chocolate cake on top of that.
  5. Cover cake with remaining chocolate buttercream.



Chocolate Laye Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers and Mini Pink Chocolate Curls!

Not because others won’t, but because baking cakes is my passion as well as my profession. My birthday is one of the few times a year that I throw all good business sense out the window (easy recipes, easy assembly, less time, etc.) and simply make something that moves my soul.

I know, I know, it’s weird to say that cake moves your soul. But I am not talking about just the eating of it, I am talking about the creativity behind it. The thought and the detail and the energy that is lovingly poured into prepared cake pans along with silky chocolate batter.

If you are a baker, you know.

Chocolate Laye Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers and Mini Pink Chocolate Curls!

This cake literally took a day to make. I spent hours on those curls, painstakingly perfecting the method and the design before finally getting the hang of it.

(I will be sharing a separate post this week on how I make mini chocolate curls!)

But while I carefully made curl after curl after curl I watched my favorite show, Murder She Wrote. And I hung out with my kids in the kitchen while they told me about Angry Birds Go-Carts and what they dreamt about the night before.

And I enjoyed every last stinkin second of it.

I tell you in all honestly, even if I never blogged again (which is something I consider on a daily basis, as I never really seem to know for certain if my blog is honoring God or the goals I have for myself and family) I would still bake. I would bake weekly, even on the hottest summer days and even when it would be easier to buy something from the store.

Baking, decorating… creating edible art propels this often mismatched, stain covered, work-at-home mom of five through long chore laden days. It feels like I have purpose.


Chocolate Laye Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers and Mini Pink Chocolate Curls!

And like me, this cake is a bit of a mess. The outside and the inside are totally different.

This cake acts like it has it all figured out. That each curl and each swipe of frosting is exactly where it is meant to be.

But then you cut into it. And nothing matches the outside.

It’s rough and complicated and unique.

Like me. Like you.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Chocolate Laye Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Layers and Mini Pink Chocolate Curls!

Tips for success:

If you are making this cake, you rock. #justsayin

I would start with the cookie dough first, as there is some chilling time.

Having all the layers (cake and cookie) cooled to room temperature is important. Trying to work with them while warm would be difficult and may result in breaking.

All of the layers for this cake can be prepared a day in advance and assembled before you are ready to serve.

If you do not want to make pink chocolate curls, you can cover the cake in sprinkles or simply do a rustic swoop. (one of my favorite decorating techniques)

Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Layers and Chocolate Buttercream!

Or you could cover your cake in chocolate sauce, mini chocolate chips, jimmies, whipped cream and a cherry.

Cause it’s my birthday, ok?

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  • Traci says:

    Best post ever as I can relate and make my bday cakes! I enjoy it too!! A very happy birthday to you!! This cake. Oh my. This cake. I’m going to have to make it. Even if it’s not my birthday!!

  • Melissa says:

    I love the idea of this cake! My husband loves cookies and I love chocolate cake! But what if I’m a weirdo and don’t really like chocolate/coffee combination? What could I substitute the coffee with? Can’t wait to make this!!

    • Amanda says:

      I would just TRY IT!! You may be surprised. But! If you really don’t want to, use hot water. 🙂

  • Marianne says:


    We what exactly is cake flour. I am in Australia and want to try this recipe but I have never seen cake flour on the shelves. It is either plain flour or self raising flour.

    Is there a substitute that I could use for the cake flour?

    • Nina Stiles says:

      You can use the self-rising flour but won’t need to add the baking powder. It is in the flour already.

  • Danielle says:

    I just stared following you on facebook. And everyday I want to bake something new. BUT I unfortunately have yet to try any of your creations. BUT! This cake..well I’m going to attempt to make it for my birthday at the end of the month. My passion is cookies and adding that to a cake..well thats just marvelous. Have a wonderful b day!

  • Robin says:

    Such a great post. Hope you never stop sharing your God-given humor with us. :). Or your life changing recipes. You have inspired me over the years to make some of the best desserts EVER. I have an unreasonable sweet tooth and when your Instagram pops up or I delve further into your blog to snag a recipe, my heart (and my stomach lol) never fail to smile. Much thanks Amanda.

    • Amanda says:

      <3 You bless me with your kindness. Thank you and Happy Baking!

  • David says:

    Looks good, I will try this chocolate cake recipe for my daughter birthday as soon as I get home.

  • . says:

    The cookies didn’t cook they just burnt and was liquid in the middle. Do you think it was my oven? I followed it 100%

  • Pearl says:

    Awesome awesome awesome!!!!!!!!

  • MaryAlice Grinder says:

    Oh, oh OWEEE, I am so excited to find this recipe! My birthday is less than a month away and NOW i know what to make for myself! so happy i found your site! i have been baking more than 50 years and it delights me each and every time! cheers!

  • Sela N Fotu says:

    Looks Yummy, but I Love to try.

  • diana bryant says:

    Your cakes are lovely, thanks for sharing.


    This cake was the best cake that I have ever made. Everyone loved loved it. I would frost between the bottom cookie and first layer of cake next time….but it was a huge hit!

  • DunnMathews says:

    You “birthday cake” is the best cake that I have ever made!!!

  • Jean Willard says:

    I am now retired from work and would like to make and decorate a few cakes for family and friends, is there a book of yours I can buy ,many thanks

  • Sofy says:

    The center fell. Please what could I have done wrong?

  • Caroline says:

    on the cookie part I’m confused with the butter amount. could you please explain. Is it 1 1/4 stick or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of butter? I’m thinking that the 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons should have been in parentheses.
    This looks sooooo good. want to make for a bbq I’m invited to.

  • Shawn says:

    I have made this 3 times and it is always a BIG hit. Everyone loves it! Would love for you to have filter on recipes by stars!