Ombre Sugar Cookie Cake


Hello again my dessert loving friends! My name is Melissa, and I am the owner of The Baked Equation. Can you believe there are people in this world who do not like cake?  Seriously, they are out there. In fact, I have one in my own family. So what do you do when you want to create a cake for someone on a special occasion, and all they want is a dull cookie? Well, the solution is a cookie cake.

Cookie cakes can make the perfect celebration dessert for those who would rather have a cookie. I can’t wait to show you how to take these delectable giant sugar cookies and turn them into the most adorable ombre sugar cookie cake that will be perfect for any celebration.

Ombre Sugar Cookie Cake

Giant Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup organic shortening (Spectrum)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp Lorann’s Butter Vanilla Extract or Pure Vanilla Extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat.

Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening together on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, and butter vanilla emulsion or extract. Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated.

Add in the flour mixture all at once with the mixer on the lowest speed. Mix until well combined. Once done, place dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the cookie cake, I would suggest measuring out the dough. By using a small kitchen scale, it will take the guess work out of getting nice even rounds. For the cake above I used 3 ounces of dough for each layer. After you measure out 3 ounces of dough, roll it into a ball and place on the cookie sheet. Gently use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough. You can fit about 3 or 4 giant cookies on a standard cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes for giant cookies and 8 to 10 minutes for smaller cookies. Let the cookies cool completely before transferring to a cooling rack.

Butter Vanilla Buttercream

You’ll Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp organic shortening
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Lorann’s Butter Vanilla Extract or Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp half and half


In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and salt for about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and half and half. Once the mixture comes together, scrape down the bowl. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.

Divide the frosting evenly among three prep bowls. Then, from two of the bowls, add a tiny spoonful to the third bowl.


You will get approximately a half a cup of frosting for each bowl. I love these prep bowls from Pampered Chef. They have measurement markings on the side of the bowl and lids to match, which make them perfect for working with buttercream and icing. Choose the color of your choice for your frosting. I decided to go with deep pink color gel from Americolor.


How I achieve my ombre coloring may be a tad different and odd. One thing you will learn about baking is that you have to find what works for you. Blog posts and books are wonderful at giving you the directions for the jumping off point. Then, over time, you learn how you like to do it by making little tweaks here and there. It’s almost like baking training wheels. You learn from others at first, but then you make it your own. I like to make my darkest shade first and work backward. Place one large drop of coloring in the first prep bowl with the most icing and mix. Take your second prep bowl and add a small amount of the dark pink frosting and mix. This will become your lightest color.


For me it is easier to find the lightest and darkest color first, and then determine what the middle shade should be. For the middle shade of pink, I took another spoonful of icing from the dark pink bowl and a toothpick with a slight bit of color on it. Since I am using dark pink colored sprinkles in the ombre sugar cookie cake, I wanted that to be the darkest color. Basically, you have four shades of pink. I wanted to achieve a very smooth transition between my colors. Feel free to go bold with your color.


After you finish coloring your buttercream, fill three pastry bags. You can use decorative tips if you like. I decided to keep this simple. Once the pastry bags are filled, snip the bottom of the bag with clean scissors.


Start in the center of the cookie with your piping bag at a 90 degree angle. Pipe in a circular motion until the bottom layer of the cookie is completely filled with the lightest color. Next, take another sugar cookie and place it gently on top. You don’t want to push down to hard. If you do, the buttercream will ooze out of the side. Repeat with the next shade of buttercream until your three layer cookie cake is complete. Top with sprinkles and a candle, and you have the perfect ombre sugar cookie cake.

If you are looking for other cookie cake options for your cookie connoisseur, here are some great flavors to try:

Enjoy! I look forward to seeing you next month!

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