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Brownie Layer Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting

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Hi Bold Bakers! If you love cookies and brownies, I have the ultimate cake for you!  I’ll show you how to make a Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting. It is definitely BIG & BOLD!

If you love brownies, then you’ll have to try these recipes:

3.94 from 44 votes
Brownie Layer Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting
Prep Time
50 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
Course: brownie, cake, cookie dough
Servings: 1
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • Brownie Recipe
  • 1 ¾ cups (9oz/265g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 16 ½ oz (465g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup (12oz/337g) unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ cups (18oz/ 510g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups (6oz/168g) packed light brown sugar
  • 7 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cookie Dough Frosting Recipe
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225g) cream cheese, softened
  • 10 Tbsp (5oz/150g) butter, softened
  • 1 ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp. milk , more if needed to reach desired consistency
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 cups powdered sugar , more if needed to reach desired consistency
  • 1 ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
  • Ganache
  • 8 oz/225g bittersweet chocolate ( 72 %)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. To make the Brownies: Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC). Butter and line a 9” springform or cake tin.
  2. Put the chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water or place in the microwave. Stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
  3. Add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined. The mixture should be room temperature.
  4. Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a jug together. Add a little of the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
  5. Sift the flour, salt and cocoa over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
  6. Pour the batter into your lined and buttered. Bake in the center of the oven on a tray for 1 hour 20 minutes. This is a very heavy brownie and does need quite some time to cook.
  7. There should be still a jiggle in the center of the cake, that says it fudgy in the middle.
  8. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. It can be made up to 2 days in advance or it can be frozen beforehand also.
  9. To make the cookie dough frosting: Cream softened cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl.
  10. Add brown sugar and vanilla and evenly beat together.
  11. Add powdered sugar and whisk to evenly incorporate until smooth. (If you need to add a little milk to thin it, feel free to do so. I prefer my frosting thick so I never needed to)
  12. Next add in the milk, flour and mini chocolate chips.
  13. Wrap the frosting and set it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. It thickens up pretty nicely and make it easier to work with.
  14. You can also make it up to 2 days in advance and lake it out of the fridge 45 minutes before you want to use it to soften.
  15. To make the ganache: Heat the cream in a heavy bottom saucepan. When it reaches a simmer, take it off the heat and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit there for 3-4 minutes on the chocolate and then whisk until the chocolate has melted.
  16. Drizzle the ganache over the chocolate cake. It it drip over the sides. This is an easy way to decorate a cake.



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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Jim on August 2, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    In your video it looks like dark brown sugar and the recipe calls for light brown sugar.?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 3, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Jim,

      It’s light brown sugar I used but if all you have is dark then that will work also.


  2. Angie on July 6, 2019 at 8:36 am

    The frosting really requires 6cups of sugar? I was trying it iut and found it too sweet, and i wasnt even halfway thru with the sugar. First time to bake though so a bit clueless ????

    • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 9:34 am

      You can definitely scale back on the sugar based on your preferences. Gemma ????

      • Angie on September 2, 2019 at 6:12 am

        Made it for a 2nd time and was still a hit ???? i still personally find it too sweet unless straight from the fridge and that’s after cutting the sugar in the fudge by half a cup. How much more sugar can i cut without affecting the consistency of the batter? On both occasions i found that the top of the cake burned but the inside still quite wet, more so with this second batch. Left it for 1hr and 10mins. In general, should i lower the temp and leave it a little longer?

        As for the frosting, used only 1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Taste was good but found it melted much faster when left in room temp. Thinking of adding more flour next time but afraid it might taste too flour-y. If i cut half a cup of the brown sugar and replaced with the same amt of powdered sugar, would that yield the same sweetness and maybe thicker consistency? Or would you suggest less butter instead?
        Thanks for this great recipe! 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2019 at 11:23 am

          I say lower the temperature to avoid burning the top, and just leave it in a bit longer to cook the inside a little more. As for the frosting, yes, adding flour might end up with it having a floury taste. You can try reducing the butter. I’m interested to know how it turns out.

  3. Pamela on May 18, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Gemma, is it ok to use salted butter?
    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2019 at 2:25 am

      Hi Pamela,
      yes, that is generally what I use in all of my baking, it will be good,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Janet King on May 18, 2019 at 11:18 am

    7 eggs = how many ounces please ?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2019 at 2:20 am

      Hi Janet,
      I always say large eggs. here in the US, a large egg will be approximately 56g/2ozs. There will be no great difference in the recipe if the egg is a little larger or smaller, these things tend to be organic, different weights in the same batch. They balance out in a recipe.
      There are other sizes, Jumbo for instance (70g/2.5ozs) which are just too big for this purpose unless you reduce the number in the bake.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Ariene on April 4, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I’d love to try this recipe! I’m just wondering which flour I can use instead of wheat flour (because of the gluten), as the consistency of the dough will probably change quite a bit. Do you have an idea?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Hi you can use any all purpose gluten free flour!

  6. Leslie Aguilar on March 25, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Hello Gemma! Can I use Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate in place of Dark Chocolate?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 26, 2019 at 11:03 am

      Hi, yes that will work in this recipe.

  7. Foram Kotak on September 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    With what ingredient can we replace eggs in any baking recepie and by what quantity? And would it be effective? Since I have many vegetarian friends who prefers eggless bakes.

    Thank you! Have a great day!

  8. Ella on June 1, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Hi 🙂

    Can You tell me the measurements for the frosting in grams?
    Thank you very much

    • Gemma Stafford on June 2, 2018 at 4:01 am

      Hi 🙂 Ella,
      Cookie Dough Frosting Recipe
      1 cup (8 oz/225g) cream cheese, softened
      10 Tbsp (5oz/150g) butter, softened
      1 ⅓ cup brown sugar
      2 tsp. vanilla
      4 Tbsp. milk, more if needed to reach desired consistency
      1 cup flour
      6 cups powdered sugar, more if needed to reach desired consistency. A cup of sugar will be about 125g in weight, but it depends on how you load the cup.
      1 ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Anna on June 1, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Hi Gemma,

    i have 2 questions 🙂

    1.) How can i figure the grams for the frosting out, because most of the ingrediens are measured in Cups
    2.) Can i use a 9 Inch tin for the cake?

    Yours Anna

    • Gemma Stafford on June 2, 2018 at 4:57 am

      Hi Anna,
      your questions are answered in the instructions for this recipe. I used a 9 inch pan.
      It is easy to convert from imperial measurements to grams. There are great tools for this online. I usually include these too in the recipes. A cup of powdered sugar is about 125g/40zs. This depends on how you load your cup.
      Go back to the recipe and read it through,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Kim on May 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    HI Gemma,
    If i make the cake 2 days in advance, should i store it in the fridge in those 2 days? and do you think it will it be as good as it would be fresh?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Yes Kim, that will be totally fine to do. This cake gets better as it sits.


  11. Kesia on January 30, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Thank you so much. Best cake ever.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Yay!!! delighted to hear that 🙂


  12. Kesia on January 29, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Mine is 3 inches high, so it will yield about 1 inch high for each layer of cake. Is that enough?

  13. Kesia on January 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    hey gemma,
    can you pls tell me how much my cake is supposed to rise. because i want to make sure that mine has risen properly. i find it a little short.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2018 at 4:28 am

      Hi Keisa,
      I will answer all of the issues here re this recipe.
      Brownies do not rise, they are not designed to rise, so they come out of the oven mush as you put them in, it is the nature of them. They do not have a raising agent, depending on the air in the batter for any rise.
      I used a 9 inch pan for this, and cut it in three layers, they may look deeper in the photo than what they were. This cake is about 3 inches high when frosted.
      I hope you have resolved this now, lightly mixing gives the best results,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Jessica on January 27, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Hey Gemma!

    I’m making your cake for some friends’ birthdays that are coming up soon.
    If I make two 6-inch cakes instead of one 9-inch how would the baking time change?

    Thank you,

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Jessica,

      yes it will take a little longer to cook because it will be thicker. Maybe give it another 10 minutes and then check it.
      It might need a little more time even.


      • Jessica on January 27, 2018 at 10:58 pm

        Thank you!

  15. SmritiJhamb on September 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Hi Gemma
    One more thing, In this cookie dough buttercream frosting, you added flour.
    So eating raw flour isn’t a problem?
    I am not sure that the flour I get where I live is edible or not.
    So, Do I add flour in the frosting?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 16, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Hi there Smitri,
      In any recipe, if you ad up the ingredient amounts, and subtract about 20% for evaporation in a baked item, you will get an approximate end weight.
      eating raw flour is a problem in some places, but not all. Where I grew up, in Ireland, I never heard of an issue with raw flour, but it does happen. you need to find out what the rule is in your country. Occasionally there are warnings here in the US, usually specific to one mill, but be careful. better safe than sorry,
      Gemma 🙂

      • SmritiJhamb on September 17, 2017 at 1:23 am

        Hi Gemma
        So I did a research on internet.
        And I found that some people claims that eating raw flour is a problem. And some say that eating raw flour is a very low risk. Some say that eating raw flour is a problem while some say it isn’t.
        As you said, ‘better safe than sorry’, I read on internet how to heat treat flour at home to make sure it is safe to eat raw.
        And I found that you can microwave flour for 1 minute 15 seconds at high, stirring after every 15 seconds or you can take flour in a pan or skillet and cook it till it is slightly brown by continuously stirring it.

        • Gemma Stafford on September 17, 2017 at 2:53 am

          Good research Smriti, thank you for sharing this with other bold bakers.
          In western countries, when there is an issue with any food, it is notified to the public, through TV, Radio and the press.
          I never heard of this being an issue in Ireland or the UK, when I lived there. I do know that there were warnings here in the US, in particular places from time to time. So, good idea to heat treat the flour, better safe than sorry!
          Gemma 🙂

      • SmritiJhamb on September 17, 2017 at 1:25 am

        How much cookie dough frosting will be made from this?
        I want to use it on your cookie dough cupcakes

        • Gemma Stafford on September 17, 2017 at 3:13 am

          1 cup (8 oz/225g) cream cheese, softened
          10 Tbsp (5oz/150g) butter, softened
          1 ⅓ cup brown sugar
          2 tsp. vanilla
          4 Tbsp. milk, more if needed to reach desired consistency
          1 cup flour
          6 cups powdered sugar, more if needed to reach desired consistency
          1 ⅓ cup mini chocolate chip
          When you add all of these ingredients you arrive at about 3lbs (1785g) of finished frosting. This is a big mix, for a big cake.
          You can reduce this, but measure on a digital scales if you can, it it easier. There are also many great conversion tools online.
          Adding up the ingredients in a recipe, will give you the finished weight of ingredients.
          In a baked recipe, if you want a finished weight, you need to subtract 20% or so for evaporation.
          Next time, you can do this, you know how now!!
          Gemma 🙂

  16. SmritiJhamb on September 15, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Hi Gemma
    How much cookie dough buttercream frosting will be made from this?
    I want to use this in your small batch cookie dough cupcake.

  17. Bakermano on August 15, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Hi gemma,
    Does the cookie dough frosting turns out to be grainy?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2017 at 2:15 am

      Hi there,
      Cookie dough is uncooked, it is what it is! I do not find it grainy. If the flour where you live is safe to eat raw do try this, you can make a sample recipe to taste it. I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Veena on May 21, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Any substitute for cream cheese in the frosting.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 21, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      hummm, only more butter so it is more of a butter cream frosting. You can sub butter instead.

      • Veena on May 22, 2017 at 12:30 am

        Thanks,will try.

  19. Bush on May 17, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Hi gemma,
    Can I bake it in a microwave.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm


      Unfortunately no. Check out my microwave recipe section for a mug brownie if thats what you are looking for.


  20. kashish harjani on January 26, 2017 at 2:05 am

    hie ma’am…..i just wantd to knw whtr i shld substitute egg wd yogurt in mah brownie layered cake wd cookie dough frosting?do rply asap…..

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2017 at 1:28 am

      Hi there,
      There are a couple of substitutes you could use. Applesauce, Greek style yogurt, milled flaxseed. I like the flaxseed with chocolate, but the Greek (thick) yogurt should give a good result. These recipes are designed to be made with eggs, changing an ingredient will change the result, however these are the suggested substitutes,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Sonali on December 31, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I really wanted to like this recipe. The frosting was great, but I made the cake the day before like Gemma suggested to another commenter but my cake fell apart. Also it was practically burnt on the outside while still almost raw on the inside. I doubt it’s my oven because I’ve successfully made other baked goods in it without such problems. Such a shame 🙁

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2017 at 4:35 am

      Hi Sonali,
      This does sound like a temperature problem in your oven, if the cake is overbaked in one part, and under in another there is an issue with the distribution of heat, or temperature fluctuations in your oven. It is worth checking this out. I know what I would do to check it is to make a cake I am familiar with, and it sounds like you are not having trouble with your usual bakes. An oven thermometer is a handy thing to have, and not an expensive item to buy, but you may not find one so easily where you live. This is my best guess!
      I am sorry that you were disappointed with this recipe, it is usually a consistently good bake,
      Gemma 🙂

      • sbishnoi88 on January 26, 2017 at 9:41 pm

        Thank you for the reply, Gemma! I will try the oven thermometer 🙂 fingers crossed, I really want this to work!

  22. Ann on December 4, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Thank you Gemma! The idea of truffles is amazing! I’m guessing they’ll have to be refrigerated to be preserved. as far as my little research goes, most people suggest applesauce.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 5, 2016 at 1:49 am

      Hi Ann,
      Yes, applesauce seems to be the number one choice for cake batters, it is really worth experimenting with this, to find the one which suits your type of baking too. good luck with this!
      Gemma 🙂

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