Can't decide between cookies and cake? This chocolate chip cake brings together the best of both worlds. Two layers of fluffy cake with mini chocolate chips are topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting packed with more chocolate chips. Grab a fork!
I love an elegant layer cake but I also love simple chocolate chip cookies. Recently I was pondering how I could satisfy both cravings at once. Chocolate chip cake was the obvious answer.
As you sink your teeth into this delectable dessert, you first encounter a rich, melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting filled with mini chocolate chips. Next comes a mouthful of light, airy vanilla cake that is absolutely brimming with more mini chocolate chips. This is a two-layer dessert, so you get to experience it all over again as you bite into the second layer. Sounds pretty dreamy right?
What You'll Need
Ready to get baking? Here's a list of ingredients you will need to make this chocolate chip layer cake. Make sure to scroll to the recipe below for detailed measurements.
For the Cake
- Cake flour - While you can use all-purpose flour in a pinch, I highly suggest springing for cake flour. It is more finely ground and lower in gluten content and will produce a lighter, fluffier texture.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Butter - Start with room temperature butter. Cold butter won't mix well with the other ingredients. Melted butter won't incorporate enough air, ending you with a less fluffy cake.
- Granulated sugar
- Neutral oil - Avocado oil and vegetable oil are both great picks.
- Eggs - The eggs should be at room temperature. They will mix into the batter more smoothly and will help the cake rise more effectively than cold eggs.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Buttermilk - Start with room-temperature buttermilk. It will incorporate more easily with the other ingredients.
- Sour cream - Allow the sour cream to come to room temperature. It will mix into the batter more evenly.
- Mini chocolate chips + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour - The flour will help the chocolate chips suspend in the batter as opposed to sinking to the bottom.
Try my chocolate chip pound cake next!
For the Frosting
You can use my cream cheese frosting recipe shared here, or my American Buttercream Frosting recipe.
- Cream cheese - The cream cheese must be at room temperature. Cold cream cheese will not mix properly with the other ingredients and will end you with a clumpy frosting.
- Butter - Just like the cream cheese, the butter should be at room temperature in order to achieve a smooth frosting.
- Confectioners’ sugar - Do not try to use granulated sugar. It will produce a gritty frosting.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Heavy cream
- Mini chocolate chips
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cake
Layer cakes might seem intimidating but so long as you follow these simple instructions, you will end up with a masterpiece. Here's a quick rundown on how to make chocolate chip cake. Don't forget to scroll to the recipe below for more detailed instructions.
Make the Cake
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 4-5 minutes
- Add. Mix. Add. Mix. Add the oil and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and the eggs (one at a time) mixing after each addition until combined.
- Mix together the sour cream and buttermilk in a separate bowl.
- Put it all together. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to combine before doing the same with ½ of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until you are out of ingredients.
- Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Bake. Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese and butter for 2-3 minutes on medium to high speed.
- Sift the powdered sugar.
- Add the powdered sugar. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed to combine. Then beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes before adding the remaining powdered sugar and mixing for another 2 minutes.
- Mix in the rest. Add the salt, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and mix for 2 minutes.
- Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Fill and frost the cake. Spread a generous layer of frosting over one layer of cake. Stack the other layer on top. Spread the remainder of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake and garnish with mini chocolate chips.
Tips for Perfect Layer Cake
Baking is a science, they say. It's true. Cakes can be especially finicky. They require a certain attention to detail if you want to wind up with the proper texture and flavor. Here are some tips and tricks to set you on the right foot.
- Start with room-temperature ingredients. It is crucial to ensure that the eggs and all of the dairy products (including the butter) in this recipe are at room temperature before putting them to work. When compared to their cold counterparts, they will combine more easily with the other ingredients leading to a smoother batter and frosting. In addition, they will incorporate air more effectively, leading to a fluffier cake and frosting.
- Don't overmix. There is a lot of mixing that goes on when making the cake batter in this recipe. Make sure that you are only mixing until the ingredients are just combined. Overmixing will overdevelop the gluten in the flour, ending you with a tough, dry cake.
- Preheat your oven properly. Popping a cake in a not-quite-warm oven can lead to a sunken center, a dry, gritty finished product, and/or an overly dense cake. I find it helpful to use an oven thermometer to double-check the temperature before baking.
- Cool before frosting. It can be tempting to fill and frost your cake before it has cooled all the way. I get it. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labor as soon as possible. But have patience. Frosting a cake that hasn't cooled properly will cause the frosting to run leaving you with a soggy mess.
Don't get me wrong, this cake is absolutely divine all on its own. That being said, there's nothing stopping you from dolling it up with a topping or two or even serving it alongside a warming beverage. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve chocolate chip layer cake.
- With a scoop of ice cream. There's nothing quite like cake and ice cream. Serve this with a scoop of good old-fashioned french vanilla, chocolate, or even coffee ice cream. Feeling adventurous? Try making your own. My Cake Batter Golden Oreo Ice Cream is to die for.
- A swirl of whipped cream. Take chocolate chip cake to the next level by swirling some whipped cream on top. Storebought is fine but, if you have time, try making my Stabilized Whipped Cream or this decadent Chocolate Whipped Cream.
- A drizzle of sauce. Add a little extra oomph with a rich drizzle of Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce or your favorite hot fudge sauce.
- With a warm beverage. I am a big proponent of serving dessert with a nice, warm beverage. I have been loving this cake with a shot of espresso or a mug of my Baileys Hot Chocolate.
Can I Make This Cake in Advance?
Yes! When stored properly (see my notes below) this cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. So feel free to make the whole thing a couple of days before you intend to serve it.
You can also make the cake layers and the frosting and store the components separately until you are ready to assemble and serve. Seal the cooled cake layers in Ziploc bags and the frosting in an airtight container. Both components can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing, allow the cake and the frosting to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before assembling.
How to Store Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
After frosting the cake, place it in an airtight cake carrier and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you opt to make an American buttercream frosting instead of a cream cheese frosting, the cake can be stored at room temperature instead.
If you do not have a cake carrier, place the cake in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to firm up before wrapping the whole thing in a double layer of saran wrap. I recommend using toothpicks to prop the saran wrap away from the frosting.
More Chocolate Chip Desserts Ideas
Chocolate chips are a baker's best friend. They go so nicely in a variety of desserts ranging from cakes to cookies to quick breads and more. Here are some of my favorite chocolate chip centric desserts.
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
- Andes Chocolate Chip Cookies
- My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Chocolate Chip Cake
- 170 grams (1 Cup) Mini Chocolate Chips + 1 Tablespoon All Purpose Flour
- 300 grams (2 ½ Cups) Cake Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 6oz (¾ Cup) Butter, softened to room temperature
- 300 grams (1 ½ Cups) Granulated Sugar
- 2oz (¼ Cup) Neutral Oil, I prefer Avocado Oil or Vegetable Oil
- 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 4oz (½ Cup) Buttermilk, at room temperature
- 4oz (½ Cup) Sour Cream, at room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8oz Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4oz (½ Cup) Butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 480 grams (4 Cups) Confectioners’ Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
- 170 grams (1 Cup) Mini Chocolate Chips
You can also make my Vanilla Buttercream Recipe with mini chocolate chips added
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and heavily grease two 8-inch cake pans or two 9-inch cake pans, and set them aside. Your oven must be properly preheated for your cake to bake properly
- In a medium bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed combine the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes, so it's nice and fluffy. Mix in the oil until fully combined. Add in the vanilla extract and one egg and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the other egg.
- In a small bowl mix sour cream and buttermilk.
- To the butter mixture add ⅓ of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined, then ½ of the wet ingredients, then repeat with the remaining ingredients ending with the dry ingredients. Then gently fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and spread it into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, the 8-inch cake pans will take a bit longer to cook than the 9-inch cake pans. You can insert a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake to check for any wet batter OR gently press the top of the cake and it should bounce back immediately. Transfer the cake pans to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes then invert out of the pan to cool completely before frosting,
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer beat the softened cream cheese and butter for 2 to 3 minutes on medium to high speed. You can also do this in a large bowl with a handheld mixer. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
- While the cream cheese is beating sift the powdered sugar into another clean bowl. This helps prevent a lumpy frosting.
- When the butter and cream cheese mixture is ready ½ of the powdered sugar. Mix low at first to prevent a powdered sugar storm in your kitchen, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and add the remaining powdered sugar mixing again for another two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the salt, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Mix again for 2 minutes.
- Gently fold in the mini chocolate chips. Then add two large scoops to the top of one of the cake layers and spread into an even layer. Then place the second cake on top and spread the remaining frosting to cover the cake. Garnish with more mini chocolate chips if desired. Store the cake in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days, I suggest letting the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. If making an American buttercream frosting the cake can be stored at room temperature.
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cool Time: 1 Hour
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate chip layer cake, layer cake recipe, chocolate chip desserts