Imagine the softest buttery sugar cookies stacked with fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. That’s this sugar cookie cake! It’s such a fun treat fit for any celebration.

sliced sugar cookie layer cake

It’s my birthday week! And I figured what better way to celebrate than with a pound of butter and a bunch of sprinkles. Birthdays are for overindulging your sweet tooth, after all.

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to birthday cake, so a big layer cake is definitely a must. But I’ve also been craving a soft vanilla sugar cookie piled high with buttercream frosting, and so I decided to combine the two in this ultimate sugar cookie layer cake.

a slice of sugar cookie layer cake

Table of Contents

  • It’s so fun! And a fun twist on traditional layer cakes and sugar cookies.
  • It’s everything you love about frosted sugar cookies, but in a festive cake!
  • This sugar cookie cake is so much easier than making a traditional layer cake.
  • You can bake it either as an 8-inch layered cookie cake, or a single-layer 9-inch cookie cake.

Ingredients you’ll need

sugar cookie cake ingredients
  1. Prepare sugar cookie dough. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and mix well after each. Finally, mix in the flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt to make a thick cookie dough.sugar cookie dough in mixing bowl
  2. Bake giant cookies. Divide the dough evenly between two greased 8-inch round cake pans lined with parchment paper (I use a cookie scoop for this). Then use greased fingers or the butter wrapper to press the dough into an even layer. Bake until the edges are golden and the center is puffed and set, but do not overbake or the cookie layers will be too dry.putting sugar cookie dough into cake pans
  3. Prepare frosting. While the cookie layers cool, make the frosting. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, cream, vanilla and almond extracts and salt for several minutes until smooth and creamy. vanilla frosting in mixing bowl
  4. Frost and decorate as desired. Place one cookie cake layer on a plate or cake stand and cover with about 1/3 of the frosting. Spread into an even layer and then top with the second cookie layer. Cover the whole cake with frosting as desired, using a piping bag and piping tip to decorate if you’d like. Top with sprinkles.baked sugar cookie layers and adding frosting
  5. Enjoy! This sugar cookie layer cake is best enjoyed within 1-2 days of baking, as it does dry out more quickly than a traditional cake. Keep at room temperature and cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container.

baking tip:How to measure flour

Too much flour can cause problems in your baked goods. Baking is a science after all! Since flour has a tendency to compact over time as it sits in the supermarket and in your pantry, if you simply dip your measuring cup into the flour and scoop it out, you’ll end up with more than you should. Instead, follow these steps: 1. Fluff flour a little with a spoon. 2. Spoon flour into measuring cup until it’s overflowing. 3. Drag your finger or a butter knife across the top of the measuring cup, sweeping away the excess. And to get even more precise, use a kitchen scale! More info on how to measure flour can be found here.
assembled sugar cookie layer cake on a cake stand

Variations

  • This sugar cookie cake recipe can be used for all kinds of holidays and celebrations, such as birthdays, Christmas, etc. Feel free to tint the frosting with food coloring and use any kind of sprinkles you’d like.
  • You can also use cream cheese frosting or my easy fudge buttercream frosting.
  • You can bake this cake in a single 9-inch cake pan. The cookie will be thicker, but still delicious, and easier to bake and decorate. See the “notes” section in the recipe below for more info.
a slice of sugar cookie layer cake with full cake in the background

Get this recipe

sliced sugar cookie layer cake
5 from 1 review

Sugar Cookie Layer Cake

Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Assembly Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Layers of giant sugar cookies and vanilla buttercream frosting make a fun dessert!

Ingredients
 

For the cookie layers:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 4 cups (454 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions
 

To make the sugar cookie layers:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium high. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, mixing until just combined.
  • Divide the dough evenly between the two prepared pans (I actually use a cookie scoop for this) and press the dough into an even layer (The butter wrapper actually works great for this, or you can use greased fingers).
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and center is puffed and set. Do not overbake or the cookie layers will be too dry. Let the cookies cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, cream vanilla, almond extract and salt on medium speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until frosting is very light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

To assemble cake:

  • Place one cooled sugar cookie layer on a plate or cake stand. Cover with about ⅓-½ of the frosting. Top with the second cookie layer and cover the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired.
  • The sugar cookie cake is best the day it's baked (it's the softest and most moist), but it will keep at room temperature for a few days.

Notes

  • You can bake this cake in a single 9-inch cake pan instead of two 8-inch pans. The cookie will be thicker, but still delicious, and easier to bake and decorate. Follow recipe above as written, adjusting bake time to 25-37 minutes.
  • Be sure to measure flour correctly for this recipe using the spoon and level method or a digital scale. Measuring incorrectly will result in too much flour in the dough and the baked cookie layers will be very dry and crumbly.
  • Cream of tartar and cornstarch work together to keep the sugar cookies moist, soft and fluffy. Do not skip these ingredients!
  • This recipe was originally published in 2015. I’ve made a lot of changes from the original version to make the ratio of cookie to frosting more favorable and delicious, and to improve the softness and flavor of the sugar cookie layers.
Calories: 689kcal, Carbohydrates: 94g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 160mg, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 65g, Vitamin A: 1058IU, Vitamin C: 0.03mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Annalise Sandberg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.