Look, up in the sky! It’s a cookie! It’s a cake!: NO, it's The Cookie Cake!


Oh Ralphie, it’s been one of those days. There wasn’t anything in the house for a good breakfast, and no leftovers to take for lunch. The dog left presents on the carpet, I forgot to put gas in the car yesterday, so I had to leave early for work to stop to fill up the tank, during which I spilled gas on my foot. Now I’m frazzled and I smell like Petunia Petrol and my day hasn’t even started yet. Add in a crashed computer, 27 people asking “What’s that smell?” and a rainy ride home, and I want dessert NOW!

So, my day might not have been that bad all at once, but each one of those things really happened to me at one time or another. And I’d bet my Snuggie that most of them have happened to you, too. When it’s time for a comforting treat without another ounce of effort, I reach for a King Arthur Flour baking mix. I know I can have something delicious and satisfying – and I know it’s going to be easy, too.

Some of you may remember the blog on MJ’s Mom’s Cheesecake in which our Golden Vanilla Cake mix was used to make a crust for bite-sized cheesecakes. This time, we’re going to use two mixes you may have in your pantry right now to make a super-special two-layered treat that’ll smooth away the cares of the day. You can use it to add pizzazz to brown bag lunches, and if you’re that kind of baker, cheerfully blow the socks off  your co-workers and relatives at the next potluck. Brace yourselves for a whirlwind of praise when you present The Cookie Cake!

Remember this “recipe” is so quick and easy to make you only need a bit of guidance; it’s more the “ah-HA!” of the idea, than any specific recipe.


Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. For the whole recipe you’ll need 18 tablespoons of softened butter (10 for the cookie mix, 8 for the cake); 5 large eggs; 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 3/4 cup milk (both for the cake).

Spritz a 9” x 13” x 2” pan with cooking spray. It’s very important that the pan is at least 2” deep to avoid overflow during the bake.

Prepare the cookie mix according to the package directions. Of course you can use your favorite from-scratch recipe, but today it’s all about the mix. I used my stand mixer, and didn’t even wash the bowl afterwards. I’m going to use the same bowl for the cake soon, so no need to scrub.


Place the cookie dough in the prepared pan and using your fingers, press it out to fill the pan.


There, nice and even.


Check out the chips! We don’t call this mix Triple Chocolate Chip for nothin’.

Place the pan in the oven and bake while you prepare the cake layer. No timer needed, just keep it in there while you make the cake. With a handy dandy mix, that will be less than 10 minutes.


Prepare the Golden Vanilla Cake Mix according to package directions. Again, you can use your favorite 9″ x 13″ vanilla cake recipe here. I didn’t try this with a chocolate cake mix, but it should work fine as well.


Take the cookie layer out of the oven and set the pan on the countertop. The dough will still look  raw and underbaked in the center. Trust me, this is just how you want it. The edges may be starting to brown, but should not look done.


Pour the cake batter right on top of the cookie layer. The pan will be slightly more than half full once the batter is added. If you need to hold back some of the cake batter, it’s better to do that than have a burned mess in the bottom of your oven. I’ll show you later what to do with the leftover batter.


I was curious how deep the cake batter was over the cookie mix so I used my digital tester. I’d say about 5/8” deep. See the edge of the pan in the background? Just over half full.

Place the pan back in the oven* for another 25-28 minutes.

*A word of caution from the voice of singed experience. Use mitts, the pan is still hot!


While the cake is baking, keep an eye on the browning. If it browns too quickly, just add a loose tent of foil over the top of the pan. This allows the cake to bake in the center without over-browning the edges.


The cake is done when a cake tester comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.


Thanks to the foil the cake is lovely. Golden brown and delicious!


How’s about those layers? A warm piece of cake, and a warm cookie, all at once. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!


If you do have a smidgen of cake batter left, you can make a small cake to put in the freezer for another fast dessert when you need it.


Pour the batter into a small cake pan, already spritzed with cooking spray. This pan is 6” round.

Bake the small cake alongside the cookie cake, or on a separate shelf in the same oven.


How weird am I? I even used the big timer for the big cake, and the small timer for the small cake. Little things like that really do float my boat.


When the baby cake is done, allow it to cool, split it, and ice. Wrap it well with freezer wrap, label, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and voilà, a marvelous mini dessert for you and your sweetie.

So, the next time you put your knickers on inside out, or wash your contacts down the sink, the next time the kids decide the cat needed a trim or the boss thinks your ideas are “cute”, pull out a couple of mixes instead of your hair and whip up this Cookie Cake and be the baking superhero you were meant to be!


MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. Erin in PA

    This sounds very decadent! I have made 2 layer brownie/chocolate chip cookies before, but this is something different! I just picked up a 6″ round pan this week at the local craft store, so that I can make mini-cakes for my 3 person family! Add this to my baking queue… :)

  2. KathyD

    MMMMM, these look delicious. Do you think it would work with brownies instead of a yellow cake? I’ve got an idea and think I might just try it out. Too bad I’m at work right now otherwise the oven would be going.

    Thanx for a great idea!

    Kathy, I think brownies would be just fine – and I think brownies would fit in a 9″ x 13″ pan on top of cookie dough, so long as the pan is 2″ deep. I’m thinking PB cookies + brownies… OO-LA-LA! PJH

  3. Erin

    Good gads woman! Here I am trying to start a diet and you come at me with this combined loveliness of my 2 favorite desserts! It’s criminal I tell you, criminal.

    Maybe I could make it to have a small piece, and then bring the rest to work so I won’t be tempted…

    Thanks for another great post!
    I plead guilty Your Honor! I think your idea of sharing with your co-workers is a great way to manage eating sinful treats like this. Besides, then you will be my accomplice in crime! :) ~ MaryJane

  4. Jen

    Move to NJ… then you dont have to pump your own gas! :-)

    This sounds just perfect and so simple!
    HI Jen,
    Better yet, I’ll put on puppy dog eyes and ask my DH to fill the tank in trade for a piece of Cookie Cake. That should do the trick~ ~ MaryJane

  5. Linda Roghaar

    How about a version using your recipes? I’d love the option of making this from scratch!
    Mary Jane does suggest you use your favorite cookie recipe and we have many to choose from on our site! And then you may choose one of our cake recipes. This can be a great chance to be creative! Maybe chocolate cake on a vanilla cookie? Or chocolate cookie with peanut butter butter cake. Just follow the basic hints for baking the cookie and then the depth of the cake batter. Joan @bakershotline.

  6. Angela

    MmmmmYESSSS! I’ve been waiting for this! :) What is the sauce on top? Just a regular chocolate sauce? Maybe a fudge Shell? Looks delicious anyway. Saving. :)
    The sauce on top of the ice cream is our hot fudge sauce mix. Joan @bakershotline

  7. KathyD

    OMG I had not thought of PB cookies but that would work. The possibilities are endless. Thanx for the brilliant idea!!

  8. Liz from Ocean County

    The “take it to work” is my go to solution when I get in the baking mood. Everyone complains about the calories but there’s never any leftovers. ☺

    Love the blogs and the pictures; even when I can’t bake, I can get a foodie fix right here.

  9. Mike T.

    Oh yum! That’s a great idea! And I’m with you on the PB cookie / Brownie… Especially a fudgie brownie! :-)


    Hang in there, Mike – are you allowed a little furlough every now and then? :) PJH

  10. N. Pals

    This is one I am going to try this weekend. But I think I will do a peanutbutter cookie and use the recipe for the Raspberry Truffle Squares. How can one go wrong with a PB&J. I will work on a S’More later.
    I figure if I’m gonna go someday I may as well go happy! By the way thanks to the “wonderful” staff at King Arthur my diet has just gone the way of the dodo bird.
    Man, oh man, a S’mores version? How about a sugar cookie base with choc. cake and broiled marshmallows over the top? Or, chocolate cookie base with a Mud Pie type cake? Let us know if you come up with S’mores, I’d love to try it out!
    ~ MaryJane

  11. LindaDV

    Good thing that the battery died in my bathroom scale! That PB cookie/brownie combo sounds yummy. I have half the mixes for that one.

  12. Linda

    Sounds wonderful but need clarifcation: Do I understand this correctly, you only cook the cookies 10 minutes, So they are not completely done but a crust has formed on top, then put the cake batter on top and finish cooking cookies and cake until done?
    Or are the cookies all the way done and then cake batter goes on top? Thanks Linda
    Yes the cookies are not baked all the way. The edges will just begin to show some color. Then you put your cake batter on top and bake. Joan @bakershotline

  13. Mary - Rocklin, CA

    cake must have frosting, regardless of how moist it is!!! so maybe it’s overkill but I’m thinking at least a chocolate glaze…
    Hi Mary,
    Yes, during on of the tests we frosted half with vanilla and half with chocolate icing, and both were a hit, so frost away!
    ~ MaryJane

  14. Eric

    PJH – I’m on the road at the moment, but isn’t that a recipe from the Bakers Companion, with the PB layer and the brownie layer?

  15. Maggie

    Never thought of this combination, but it sounds fun! Is the cookie pretty soft or chewy? I was wondering if this needs to be cut before it cools completely so that the cookie layer isn’t too hard.

    The brownie variations suggested here sound wonderful, too! I hope anyone who tries them will give us an update on how it works.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    The cookie is just a bit chewy but a little on the soft side. You can cut it when it has cooled. Joan @bakershotline

    HI Maggie,
    Joan’s right, the cookie stays a bit soft and chewy, and the cake is fluffy. Let the cake cool most of the way before cutting. I’ve reheated pieces in the microwave for about 13 seconds to have warm cake and cookies with ice cream. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll do that right now, I still have some on my counter. :) ~ MaryJane

  16. Sarah

    I snickered at the “digital tester”…I know you guys probably sell some good ones, but I’ve actually got a handful of ‘em myself. :)

    HA – aren’t you lucky, to have SO many?! Don’t even need batteries, do they? :) PJH


    I love the idea and reality of your blog. The learning and sharing. I have a question–some years back there was a piece of technology–it was a small computer JUST FOR THE KITCHEN and your recipes–was not able to pursue at the time–my mother was (not knowingly) dying in a nursing home, when I was cognisant enough to research again,when I located the magazine (after her demise) the company had gone out of business. I suppose today you could use a NOTEBOOK computer, but this item was unique, it could be positioned on your countertop. Would any one have any information on the existance of this item? Thank You for your time, Sincerely, Barbara
    This was made by a company called Calculated Industries-I have no idea if they are still in business. Joan @bakershotline

  18. christina

    ooh.. it looks gorgeous! I wish I could find a source of king arthur flours/mixes in the uk. until then, is there a cookie recipe you would recommend for this?
    You may use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Or use one from our site. Joan @bakershotline

  19. Naomi

    I really am not interested in “recipes” made with mixes, but at least this is one that is easily adapted to actual recipes. I’m not sure if I”ll try it, because it seems like a bit over the top, but it is an intriguing idea!

  20. Donna

    Good heavens, the floodgates are opened! How about an oatmeal cookie base with a spice cake top? Or a mint chocolate chip cookie and a brownie or chocolate cake top? The mind boggles, really, when one starts considering the sugar cookie mix, but adding your favorite flavored oils or extracts, then topped by a complimentary cake layer.

    PJH – what about making them in a muffin pan, for individual cakes – do you think that would work, or would the cookie layer burn because it was too small? Thanks!
    This will work-you will need to adjust your baking time. I think they will be worth the trouble just think what a cute shape you will have! Joan @bakershotline

    HI Donna,
    Joan is so right, these would be fine in a muffin tin. Bake the cookie for less time, maybe even as little as 5 minutes. If the cookie gets baked too much, it will be a tad dry as a base. Have fun with all your flavor combos! ~ MaryJane

  21. Samantha

    I read the whole article and saw nothing about the toppings. What are they? I agree the PB w/ brownie sounds yummy. Will definitely give these a go at it, just want to know what’s on top. Thanks for your fabulous recipe suggestions.
    The first picture shows ice cream with some of our hot fudge sauce topping everything. The last picture is a simple ganache. We have a recipe for this on our site. Joan @bakershotline

  22. Heidi Q

    Love the idea! Seems terribly clever an unique. That is what always amazes my family! “Where DO you get these ideas??” (Yes, I admit they come from here, I even push you on my baking blog.)

    I’d also do it from scratch, but as you said, it’s the ah- ha! part. That and the digital tester. Never heard that line– excellent, I may need to steal that phrase… I’ve been hanging onto a few of those myself.
    Hi Heidi,
    Yes, do feel free to use the digital tester line, it’s not original to me and I’m not sure where I heard it first. My brother always used to refer to it as “nature’s swizzle stick”! Happy Baking and Blogging ~ MaryJane

  23. Lea Ann

    Well at least nobody threw a lit match on your foot! :/

    This looks beautiful! I’m saving the recipe and will make it soon.
    Too true Lea Ann! Thanks for lookin’ on the bright side ~ MaryJane

  24. Linda

    Sugar cookie and chocolate cake, and hot fudge sauce would be good, also.

    That does sound good Linda. The “recipe” can really be adapted to your tastes, that’s what makes it so great! ~ MaryJane

  25. AJ

    Okay, I vote for Fall-type flavors. Oatmeal-date cookie with a good
    spice cake drizzled with a caramel glaze. We keep a variety of cake
    mizes on hand and just for the heck of it I added a generous teaspoonful
    of my best vanilla extract to a white cake–yummy! Of course we add expresso powder to chocolate!
    Okay AJ, just let us know when you put the oatmeal spice version in the mail so we can buy a big gallon of milk! Thanks for sharing. ~ MaryJane

  26. Stephanie

    I have some refrigerated cookie dough on the counter softening to make this. It’s a large package with a yield of ~32 cookies. What is the yield on the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie mix? I looked at the product page and couldn’t find it. Alternatively, about how deep is the cookie crust before baking? I’m assuming I’ll only need about half of this dough roll.

    And I’ll be placing an order for the TCC mix and the Golden Vanilla cake mix b/c this post is an ad that worked on me ;)

    The TCCC mix yield is 30 cookies portioned in 1 T. size that makes 2 to 2 1/2 inch cookies…..This is probably similar to the cookie roll you have, so use the whole thing for this recipe. Since we don’t have the cookie roll size here to reference, if you are timid about this – bake off 6 to 12 of the cookies and use the rest for the cookie/cake. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  27. Valerie

    to Barbara Smiddy: Yes, Calculated Industries is still around….http://www.calculated.com
    I see various kitchen calculators, but didn’t see one with recipes in it. (Maybe that’s not what you meant, though.) Anyhow, take a look – maybe you’ll find what you need.

    Greenville, SC

  28. Cher

    Ok. There is now a walnut chocolate chip cookie with a fudge chocolate cake top sitting in my kitchen. I couldn’t wait for it to cool out of the oven, so I instantly snatched a piece, topped it with caramel ice cream and took a bite (I am now sporting a burnt tongue – but it wasn’t enough to “learn me” a lesson in patience). A perfect ending to a cold, rainy fall day in the North Country!

    What a great way to use up those mixes sitting in the recesses of the pantry. Thank you for the inspiration.

  29. KathyD

    Okay I finaly had time to pull these together. My version was peanut butter cookies with brownies on top. The timing was a tad bit different but they worked out well. I made 2 pans of them one for work and the other for DH to take to work. It is now 8:30am and half the pan is gone….they are a big hit.

    Thanx for a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing your delicious variation on this theme! Irene @ KAF

  30. Bonnie Hopkins

    How about for Christmas using sugar cookie dough tinted red and then use white cake mix and do a marble effect with red and green. Add a little extra almond flavor to the batter, (yum ) to give it an even richer taste. The cake would be very festive looking.

    WHOA, I didn’t think of colors – fabulous! You could do the same idea on the 4th of July – just different colors. Thanks, Bonnie – PJH

  31. Stephanie

    I did use the entire roll of chilled dough I referenced in my earlier comment & it worked beautifully, exactly as the instructions here showed. My husband wants me to make this cake again with a chocolate cake mix. I’m going to do it for my son’s birthday party next month. Thanks for the great recipe!


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