This festive Christmas sugar cookie cake features moist and fluffy vanilla cake with pieces of sugar cookie dough baked into it, then decorated with creamy vanilla frosting, mini cookie dough balls, and lots of sprinkles on top!

Sugar cookie cake slice on its side to show the cookie dough texture.

This sugar cookie cake is a mashup of our sugar cookie bars and Oreo cookie cake– it features a tender vanilla cake loaded with classic sugar cookie dough baked inside!

It’s a perfect dessert for Christmas, but can easily be customized with colored frosting and sprinkles for the 4th of July, Valentine’s Day, or as a celebratory birthday cookie cake!

Try our ding dong cake or cinnamon roll cake for more holiday-ready cakes!

Why We Love Sugar Cookie Cake

  • All of the flavor of sugar cookies in cake form.
  • Stuffed with sugar cookie dough balls.
  • It is an elegant and fun Christmas cookie cake.
  • Perfect for serving a crowd.
  • It’s easier to make than scooping and decorating dozens of individual sprinkle cookies!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Ingredients needed to make frosted sugar cookie cake in bowls with labels.

White sugar: For moisture, tenderness, and sweetness! This ingredient should not be adjusted or substituted for the best results!

All-purpose flour: This recipe was tested with cake flour and all-purpose flour. We decided on all-purpose flour because the cake needs structure to support the cookie dough balls in the batter! 

Sprinkles: We used red and green jimmies for the holiday season for the cookie dough and a festive mix for decorating. Do not use nonpareil sprinkles or the colors will bleed into the cookie dough!

Vanilla extract: We tested this recipe with imitation and real vanilla. We found that imitation vanilla extract gives the cake more of a true sugar cookie flavor, but either one can be used!

Almond extract: For a traditional sugar cookie flavor! You can leave it out if you don’t have it on hand or don’t care for almond flavor.

Sour cream: For a rich and moist texture like our Biscoff cake, we added a bit of sour cream to the batter. Substitute with plain full-fat Greek yogurt.

Recipe Instructions

Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!

A baking sheet with sugar cookie dough balls.

Step 1: Make the sugar cookie dough. Scoop the sugar cookie dough into 2 tablespoon balls, flatten the tops, then chill them in the fridge until ready to use.

A mixing bowl with creamed butter, sugar, and oil.

Step 2: Cream the butter, oil, and sugar for the cake batter. In a stand mixing bowl or with a hand mixer, cream the butter, oil, and sugar until super light and fluffy, 5 minutes.

A mixing bowl with the cake batter after adding the sour cream and eggs.

Step 3: Mix in the wet ingredients. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract one at a time, then mix in the sour cream.

A mixing bowl with the vanilla cake batter.

Step 4: Alternate wet and dry ingredients. Alternate mixing in the flour and milk, starting with 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then half the milk, alternating both, ending with the last of the dry ingredients. Then mix in the hot water.

A baking pan full of vanilla cake batter with sugar cookie dough balls pressed into the top.

Step 5: Bake the cake. Spread the batter into a 9×13 pan, press 11 sugar cookie dough balls into it, and spread the batter to cover them. Bake the sugar cookie cake until golden brown, then cool on a wire rack before frosting.

The top of the sugar cookie cake decorated with vanilla frosting, cookie dough balls, and sprinkles.

Step 6: Decorate the sugar cookie cake! Spread the vanilla frosting on top of the cake. Decorate the top with sugar cookies, extra cookie dough balls, or festive sprinkles.

Customizing the Decorations

Feel free to substitute the sprinkles, frosting, colors, and extracts of this sugar cookie cake. It was made to be customized!!

  • Mini cookie dough balls: Heat-treat the flour before mixing it into the cookie dough. This can be done in a bowl in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The cookie dough is now edible and can be used for decorating the top of the cake!
  • Sprinkles: You can use rainbow sprinkles (like Funfetti cake), shades of pink for Valentine’s Day, red white, and blue for Independence Day, pink or blue for a baby shower, or other colorful sprinkles for different holidays!
  • Extracts: Substitute the vanilla extract for coconut, lime, lemon, etc.
  • Frosting: Try cream cheese frosting, coconut frosting, or milk chocolate frosting.

Tips for the Best Cookie Cake

  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. This creates a smooth, fully blended batter, resulting in a uniform texture and even baking.
  • Cover the cookie dough with the cake batter before baking. This will keep it from browning or melting on top of the batter.
  • Don’t frost the cake too soon or the frosting will melt off the cake!

FAQs

How should sugar cookie cake be stored?

Store any cake slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can be stored at room temperature as well but will not stay fresh as long.

Can this sugar cookie cake be frozen?

Yes, store baked cake slices in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Can I use a different-sized pan?

While I haven’t tested it yet, it should be fine baked in two 8-inch round cake pans!

Are the mini cookie dough balls safe to eat?

As long as you microwave the flour for 1-2 minutes before mixing it into the cookie dough, they are completely safe to eat as they do not contain eggs or raw flour.

The frosted sugar cookie cake on a wire rack with a few slices cut out of it.

More Cakes for Celebrating

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

A slice of sugar cookie cake on its side to show the sugar cookie dough layer.

Sugar Cookie Cake

5 from 5 votes

This festive Christmas sugar cookie cake features moist and fluffy vanilla cake with pieces of sugar cookie dough baked into it, then decorated with creamy vanilla frosting, mini cookie dough balls, and lots of sprinkles on top!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 servings
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter, cool room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, heat treated *see notes*
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 5 tbsp jimmies sprinkles

Vanilla Cake Batter

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, *See notes below for measuring*
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 11 sugar cookie dough balls, from recipe above

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream, or whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Make the sugar cookie dough. Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Mix in the milk. Then mix in the flour, salt, and sprinkles. If too dry, add 1/2 tbsp more milk until the dough feels soft. Scoop the dough into 2 tbsp-sized portions, pressing down the tops slightly, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
    9 tbsp (126 g) unsalted butter, 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, 1 1/2-2 tbsp (18 g) whole milk, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups (188 g) all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, 5 tbsp jimmies sprinkles
  • Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Line a metal 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugar. Cream the butter, sugar, and oil until light and fluffy, 5 minutes.
    3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar, 1/4 cup (50 g) vegetable oil
  • Mix in the wet ingredients. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until completely incorporated before adding the next. Then mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
    3 (150 g) large eggs, 2 tbsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup (56 g) sour cream
  • Alternate wet and dry ingredients. Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then half the milk, alternating ingredients, ending on dry.
    2 1/4 cups (290 g) all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp fine sea salt, 1/3 cup (85 g) whole milk
  • Mix in the water. With the mixer running on low speed, stream in the hot water and mix until just combined.
    1/4 cup (56 g) hot water
  • Press the cookie dough into the pan. Spread the cake batter evenly into the baking pan. Gently press 11 sugar cookie dough discs into the cake batter, then use an offset spatula to spread the batter to cover the dough completely. You can roll the rest of the cookie dough into bite-sized balls to decorate the top!
    11 sugar cookie dough balls
  • Bake the cookie cake. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out covered in a few moist crumbs. Let the pan cool completely on a wire rack before decorating. Try not to stick the toothpick into the spots where there are cookie dough balls.
  • Make the buttercream. Cream the butter with the paddle attachment until smooth. Then mix in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
    1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, 3 cups (360 g) powdered sugar, 4 tbsp heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp almond extract, 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • Decorate the cake. Once the sugar cookie cake is completely cool, spread the frosting on top, creating swoops and swirls with the back of a spoon. Decorate with the cookie dough balls, sugar cookies, sprinkles, etc. Enjoy!
  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them come to room temperature before serving! Cake slices can also be frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight container.

Video

Notes

*Measure your dry ingredients properly. This is my #1 baking tip! Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour as this always leads to using too much flour. Instead, use the spoon-level method. This means fluffing the flour first, then spooning it into your measuring cup/spoon. For the BEST results, use a kitchen scale!*
I HIGHLY recommend using a metal baking pan. Glass or ceramic pans retain heat differently. A pan with rounded edges will need to bake longer than the bake time.
Cover the cookie dough with the cake batter before baking. This will keep it from browning or melting on top of the batter.
Mini cookie dough balls: Heat-treat the flour before mixing it into the cookie dough. This can be done in a bowl in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The cookie dough is now edible and can be used for decorating the top of the cake!
Sprinkles: You can use rainbow sprinkles (like Funfetti cake), shades of pink for Valentine’s Dayred white, and blue for Independence Day, pink or blue for a baby shower, or other colorful sprinkles for different holidays!
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 624IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Made this for a Christmas dessert! It was a hit! I colored the buttercream blue and decorated with holiday sprinkles. Cut it into bite size almost brownie pieces so everyone could grab a taste. I was a little skeptical with the two parts, making cookies and cake. But as always the recipe is so easy to follow and came out perfectly! Thanks for another great recipe for our family cookbook!5 stars

  2. The flavor was great. It took my cake a bit longer to cook. I’m wondering if my cookie dough is the right texture. It’s a bit softer than I thought it would be.5 stars

    1. Hi Jackie, did you use a metal pan? Glass or ceramic pans will take longer to bake because of the way they conduct heat.