Whether it be a birthday party, holiday, or simply a small family gathering, no special occasion is complete without cake. Cake provides a delicious dessert option that brings people together, especially if it happens to be homemade. Cookie cakes, however, present a spin on the typical event dessert, offering the sense of community that the cake provides as well as a delicious cavalcade of chocolaty goodness. In the sections below, we will discuss the difference between cookie cake and regular cake, provide an in-depth recipe for constructing your own, as well as decorating options, and finally, list a few occasions that can be celebrated with cookie cake.
To learn more about strong food options that can be served before the cookie cake, take a look at this awesome course on healthy cooking fundamentals!
Cookie Cake vs. Regular Cake
Though regular cake may have its perks and offer a wide variety of options for special occasion desserts, cookie cake provides the perfect compromise between the deliciously chocolate-filled well-loved treat and the type of dessert that has come to define momentous junctures, such as birthdays and holidays. The cookie cake, typically presented in pizza form, is essentially an oversized cookie, which can be served during a variety of events, such as those listed in the “occasions” section below.
The most noticeable difference in baking a cookie cake versus a regular cake is that the order in which you mix the ingredients matters much more for cookie cakes. When it comes to the typical cake, throwing all of the ingredients together in one bowl is not going to change the final result all that much, because there is typically only one desired outcome. For example, you wouldn’t manipulate the recipe so that your cake would turn out crunchier as you might with cookie cake. All in all, cookie cakes allow for a wide variety of variation and are much more forgiving towards recipe tweaks than are cakes.
For more information on working with items such as cake or pastries, check out this course on how to bake gluten free bread.
In order to create a giant chocolate chip cookie cake, you’ll need:
- Two sticks of unsalted butter, softened
- One cup of packed light brown sugar
- Half a cup of granulated sugar
- Two large eggs
- Two cups and two tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- Half of a teaspoon of salt
- One and a half teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- One and a half cups of bittersweet chocolate chips
- Three-fourths of a cup of white chocolate chips
- Half a cup of chopped macadamia nuts
- Half a cup of chopped toasted walnuts
- Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
- Sweetened cocoa for garnish
- Sweetened whipped cream, accompaniment
Before you begin, preheat the oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit), then remove a fourteen inch, white or off-white, round pizza pan from the pantry and line it with parchment paper. Be sure to spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Once the pan is all set, turn your attention toward a large mixing bowl, which should contain the butter and sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients until soft, adding in the eggs on at a time as you go. When this mix is complete, set it aside and get out a smaller bowl. Gently pour the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and combine with a whisk.
When the mixture is evenly distributed, gradually pour it into the large bowl (adding a fourth in at a time, mixing until even until it is smooth enough to add another fourth), and add in the vanilla extract. Pour the chocolate chips (both the bittersweet and white) and nuts into the mix and stir until items are evenly distributed. Tip the combination into the pan and spread across until even. Bake twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until the cookie us set, the center spongy, and the edges a deep golden-brown. After the cake has been cooked, let cool for a few minutes (ten should suffice) and then set on a wire rack for it to cool fully. Once cooled, drizzle the sugar and cocoa over the top and serve the dish with whipped cream.
Decorating cookie cake can be a fun and entertaining means of exercising creativity. The hardened circular surface of the object allows for more precise means of decoration in the form of layers of frosting, piping around the edges, and letters carefully inked onto the surface. Of course, if desired, cookie cake can also just be served warm with a side of ice cream, but if you’d like to take it a step further, consult these tips on decorating techniques and ideas:
- Line the outside of the cake with minute half-inch wide icing circles, aligning them intermittently around the edge until you’ve reached your staring point. Then, choose a different colored icing and fill in the gaps until the entire outer edge is covered.
- Coat cookie with a layer of fondant, which can then be decorated to fit the occasion being celebrated.
- Spread icing across the entire top of the cookie and use a gel-icing tip to write a special message on top.
- Drizzle melted chocolate across the top of the warmed cake and serve with ice cream and maraschino cherries.
To learn more about creating unique and sentimental designs for baked goods, take a look at this course on cake decorating for fun and profit.
The occasions where a cookie cake would be an appropriate dessert can range from office parties to birthdays and everything in between. While cookie cakes are acceptable for nearly every celebratory occasion, they are mot typically brought to children’s parties due to the adoration many young children have towards cookies. However, many cookie cake designs reflect an inclination towards graduation parties as well by adorning the surface of the cookie with an intricate design of hat and diploma, as well as a message along the lines of “Congrats!” or “You did it!” Other places where a cookie cake would be an appropriate dessert include:
- Wedding Anniversaries
- Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
- Halloween Celebrations (decorated with black and orange icing)
- Thanksgiving (fall colors and optional turkey design placed in the middle)
- Christening (typically baby blue or soft pink icing depending on the infant’s gender)
- St. Patrick’s Day (as predicted, laden with green and four leaf colors; leprechaun and pot of gold also acceptable)
- Baby Showers (optional stork decoration)
- Fourth of July (fireworks and red, white, and blue decorations)
- Christmas (Christmas tree/Santa or religious inclinations such as the manger scene)
- Wedding Reception (Bride and Groom decoration)
Cookie cakes offer an alternative to the typical special occasion dessert, mixing up the monotony by proposing a unique trip for the taste buds. Fast and easy to make, the cake also has a wide variety of decoration options that can range from simple to incredibly intricate, depending on the baker’s dedication to the project. To discover more about dessert embellishment techniques, check out this blog post on cake decorating tips and this course on how to garnish wedding cakes!