Celebrate a birthday, holiday, or special occasion by serving a festively decorated sugar cookie cake. These giant sugar cookies are a delicious alternative to a birthday cake.
Baking and decorating cookie cakes is easy and fun and they make a wonderful party dessert or gift for any occasion.
My family and friends love it when I bring a delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake to celebrate a birthday. They also love my cut-out sugar cookies so for a friend's birthday, I thought it would be fun to bake her a sugar cookie cake.
A giant sugar cookie is a perfect canvas to decorate for any special occasion. The birthday cookie cake pictured above is decorated with a frosting border that's topped with colorful sprinkles and modeling chocolate cut-outs.
The design possibilities are limitless. You can make birthday cakes, holiday cakes, get-well cakes, and more.
Our exchange student graduates from high school this year and I decorated the cookie cake pictured above to celebrate. Once again, I used modeling chocolate to create my designs.
If you prefer, you can simply pipe a design onto the cookie using frosting.
I made this get-well cookie cake for a friend who just had surgery. She loves sprinkles (she even has a license plate that says "sprinkles!) so I added some rainbow jimmies to the cookie dough and sprinkled more on top. She went nuts over this Funfetti cookie cake.
No matter the occasion, a sugar cookie cake will make a wonderful treat. So, let's get baking!
sugar cookie ingredients
- all-purpose flour
- salt - Table salt works best.
- baking powder
- butter - Use unsalted butter that has been slightly softened. When you press your finger into the butter, it should give slightly. I find that cutting the butter into slices and letting them sit in the mixing bowl for 15 minutes works great. If you prefer to use salted butter, just eliminate the salt from the recipe.
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- almond extract (or other extracts)
I enjoy flavoring my sugar cookie dough with almond extract but you can use peppermint, lemon, cake batter, maple, strawberry, and even coconut extract if you prefer. Or simply use vanilla.
You can simply use a tub of Duncan Hines Whipped White Frosting to decorate your cookie (which is what I did this time) or you can make a batch of homemade buttercream frosting using the ingredients listed below.
- butter - You can use unsalted butter or salted butter to make this filling. Just be sure to allow it to soften so that it's similar in texture to the shortening.
- shortening - Use shortening to give the filling a whiter appearance and a flavor that is more similar to an OREO Cookie filling.
- vanilla extract - Pure vanilla extract will give you the best flavor.
- confectioners powdered sugar - I recommend sifting the powdered sugar to remove any lumps before mixing the filling.
- heavy whipping cream or milk - You'll need to thin out your frosting using cream or milk. Either work fine.
See the recipe card for quantities.
- mixing bowls
- hand-held mixer or stand mixer - This dough can be made using a hand-held mixer or even a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
- 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom or a 9-inch or 8-inch cake pan
- parchment paper - For ease of removal, you'll want to line the bottom of your cake pan with a parchment paper circle.
Cut the softened butter into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Pour the granulated sugar on top.
Beat on medium speed until creamy about 3 minutes if using a hand mixer or 2 minutes if using a stand mixer.
Crack open an egg into a small bowl.
Lightly beat the egg.
Add the egg to the sugar and butter and beat until well blended 30-45 seconds.
Pour the vanilla and almond extract into the bowl.
Beat until creamy and smooth about 30 seconds.
Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt using a fork or whisk.
Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.
Beat on low speed until the dough comes together.
Use your hands to mix the dough until it comes together in a ball. Do not overmix the dough.
Place the dough in a 9-inch round tart pan (or cake pan) that's been greased and lined with parchment paper.
Press the dough into an even layer in the cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 24-28 minutes until the edges are browned and the top of the cookie is no longer shiny.
If you use a dark non-stick pan, you'll want to lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Allow the sugar cookie cake to cool completely for at least one hour before decorating. Remove the cookie from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.
Pipe frosting around the edge of the cookie cake.
I used a large 1M open star tip to pipe large stars on my cake.
If you want to add sprinkles to the frosting border, add them immediately after you pipe the frosting. The frosting will crust over and the sprinkles won't stick if you wait too long.
Cut out your modeling chocolate or fondant decorations.
Decorate the cookie cake using the cut-outs.
To decorate the birthday cookie as I did, roll out some brown (milk chocolate) and pink (white chocolate) modeling chocolate or fondant to 1/16-inch thickness. You can find my easy 2-ingredient modeling chocolate recipe on my Hungry Happenings blog.
Cut out "Happy Birthday" using alphabet plunger cutters and a teddy bear using a bear-shaped plunger cutter.
Brush the backside of the cut-outs with corn syrup or a thin layer of frosting and press them onto the center of the cookie.
To make a graduation cookie cake, cut the letters using alphabet plunger cutters then cut out a grad cap and diploma using graduation plunger cutters.
To make a Funfetti cookie cake, use cake batter extract to flavor the dough and add ¼ cup of sprinkles.
Bake the cookie cake in a 9-inch tart pan. Allow it to cool completely before decorating.
Pipe a border of frosting using a large 1M open star tip,
Toss rainbow jimmies over the border and then pipe "get well soon" using a #18 star tip and sprinkle rainbow nonpareils on top.
Store your cookie cakes at room temperature for up to 3 days preferably in an airtight container or cake carrier.
You can wrap an undecorated cookie cake in plastic wrap and tin foil and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before decorating.
Do not refrigerate a cookie cake that has been decorated with modeling chocolate. Modeling chocolate gets sticky when refrigerated.
Cookie cakes make great gifts too. They look festive and fun when packaged in a 10-inch white pizza box. Get creative and decorate the top of the box and your gift is ready to go.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Sugar Cookie Cups - May 17, 2023
- Peanut Butter Cookie Cups - May 9, 2023
- PB&J Cookie Cups - May 3, 2023
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