My wife recently turned 30, and I wanted to make sure she got a birthday cake that was completely over the top, but also a little bit grown up. Thus, one of the layers of this triple layer birthday cake is a giant cookie, and pretty much every part of the cake is soaked in bourbon caramel. It's a triple layer bourbon caramel chocolate chip vegan cookie cake garnished with chocolate chip cookies, and Oreos!
The two chocolate cake layers of this cake are made from my simple, but delicious chocolate cake recipe. The third, middle layer is a giant cookie made from the Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe in The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. Each layer is soaked with homemade bourbon caramel, coated in a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting, then frosted and decorated with two types of cookies. I almost considered adding a cookie dough element to this cake, but it is already a chocolate and sugar bomb, so I put that idea on the back burner.
*Please note that in the photos, I used HALF of the amount of buttercream that this recipe makes. So if you follow the recipe to a T, you will have enough buttercream frosting for the sides of the cake, and more decorative piping. If you'd like to keep the sides of the cake naked, then cut the frosting recipe in half.*
Bourbon Chocolate Caramel Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookies
Triple layer chocolate caramel cake and vegan cookie cake infused with bourbon caramel and topped with chocolate chip cookies and Oreos.
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 2 ⅓ cups non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup soy milk
- ¼ cup bourbon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vegan butter
Frosting and garnish:
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Chocolate Chip Cookies and/or Oreos
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a 9-inch cake pan, and line a cookie tray with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Combine canola oil, sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Stir until mixed.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir until almost combined, then add the chocolate chips and mix until the chips are evenly distributed.
- Press about a ½ inch of cookie dough in the cake pan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Using the leftover dough, take 2-3 tablespoon-sized portions of cookie dough and drop on the cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
- Press down slightly and bake for 12-14 minutes, then let cool.
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar and salt, then mix until combined.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then add the olive oil, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients well.
- Pour batter into 2 prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool before proceeding.
For the bourbon caramel:
- Combine sugar, brown sugar, water, and soy milk in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
- Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium low.
- Cook 5-6 mins until deep amber color.
- Let cool slightly, then add the bourbon and butter.
For the frosting:
- Combine the shortening and margarine in a large bowl or stand mixer.
- Whip with a paddle attachment, an electric hand mixer, or by hand.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing after each addition.
- Add the non-dairy milk and vanilla extract.
- Continue whipping until fluffy, 5-6 minutes.
- Place one of the chocolate cake layers on a plate or cardboard cake circle.
- Using a fork or skewer, poke some holes in the cake, then drizzle with some of the bourbon caramel.
- Spread a thin layer of buttercream atop the layer, then top with the cookie cake.
- Spread a thin layer of buttercream atop the cookie cake layer, then top with the other chocolate cake layer.
- Poke some holes in this layer, and drizzle more bourbon caramel on top.
- Using the remaining frosting, frost and top and sides of the cake.
- Decorate with cookies, and drizzle on some bourbon caramel. Drizzle with more bourbon caramel after slicing, if you'd like.
• I halved the recipe for the frosting for the cake in the photos, opting not to frost the sides of the cake (it's plenty sweet without). If you make the recipe as written, you will have enough frosting for the sides, so don't double the recipe!
• I added some cocoa powder to leftover frosting to make the chocolate frosting for the lettering on the cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 700Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Assembling the cake...
Soaking the first chocolate cake layer in bourbon caramel:
A thin layer of buttercream for the cake, and a good look at the vegan cookie cake that will be the middle layer of this cake:
Two layers stacked:
Side view of the assembled cake and cookie cake layers:
All frosted, assembled, and decorated with chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, and writing. I added a bit of cocoa powder to the leftover buttercream to make the chocolate frosting for lettering.
Since this cake was gigantic, we made sure to send sizable slices home with friends, then enjoyed the rest of the cake over the following days. Happy Birthday, Alicia!
Ummm, yum! That looks stunning and delicious which is just what I'd want from a birthday cake.
Is it necessary to use bourbon?
You can leave out the bourbon. I would add a bit more soy milk (maybe 2 TB) and increase the vanilla to 1 teaspoon to make up for omitting the liquid content and flavor of the bourbon.
I made this cake on a whim for a birthday party my friends were hosting for me (I'm the only one of my friends who can bake, so yes, I made my own cake 🙂 and OMG, it was a HUUUGE hit! Not only were they freaking out because it was 100% vegan, they all said it was one of the best cakes they've ever had! So thank you so much for the great recipe!
Hey could I replace the soy milk with oat milk, as I am soy free?
Hi Tanya! Yes, you can replace the soy milk with oat milk, or any non-dairy milk. This is generally true for any dessert recipe unless it's a recipe where the flavor of a milk would overpower the flavors (such as a dessert with subtle flavors) or if a specific consistency is needed.