The Type Of Pan You Need For A Photo-Worthy Cookie Cake

The cookie cake is a prime example of making a virtue out of ... well, not necessity, but simplicity. The idea of just taking one big cookie, topping it with frosting, and calling it a cake started in a 1970s shopping mall, but home cooks soon caught on to just how easy it was to bake this "cakie." While the easiest way to make a cookie cake might be to start with a tube of refrigerated dough, MegaMenu developer Molly Allen likes to make hers from scratch.

Allen sticks with a standard chocolate chip flavor, although sugar cookie, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, or pretty much any other kind of cookie dough would work. Allen's dough can also be used as a template with the chocolate chips swapped out for a different mix-in, such as chopped nuts, dried cherries, craisins, or M&Ms. If you like to have your cake and photograph it, too, you can make cosmetic changes, as well. Allen supplements her chips with colored sprinkles for some extra color — these don't really taste of anything but sugar. If you omit the chips, she says the sprinkles alone "will make more of a funfetti-themed cookie cake."

Whatever direction you go with the dough, you'll need to bake the cookie in a round pan to provide the proper cake-like shape. Allen uses an 8-inch one but says a 9-inch pan or two 6-inchers would also work. You could also double the recipe and make an extra-large cookie in a pizza pan.

The right toppings will also make your cake look pretty

Molly Allen likes to keep the decorations fairly minimal with her cookie cake. Her recipe includes the directions for making a basic buttercream frosting, although she tells us, "Certainly, you could opt to buy a container of store-bought frosting for this task." If you'd like to create an exact duplicate of her cookie cake, you'll need only enough frosting to pipe a border around the outside of the cookie. You'll then decorate the frosting with additional sprinkles because, as Allen describes her creation, "Pairing bright and colorful sprinkles with mini chocolate chips ma[kes] for a fun, decorative cookie cake for any ... occasion."

If you have more ambitious decorating schemes in mind, though, an oversized cookie makes a great template. Decorate it in team colors for a game day watch party, make a Jack-o'lantern face for Halloween, or turn it into a bunny cake for Easter. You could even use a base of red-tinted frosting and top it with shredded coconut to create a "pizookie." For an extra-special occasion, you might even bake two cookie cakes and put a layer of ice cream in between them for a super-sized (and very photogenic) ice cream sandwich.