25 Jun Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake

Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.com

I’d like to pretend that the timing of this cake was intentional. Carefully planned to coincide with the film release heard around the world (or at least by those of us whose formative years fell in the 1990s) – the feat of computer-generated imagery (though perhaps not storytelling) that is Jurassic World. Or in other words, the movie that made you really want to see Chris Pratt shirtless…the guy whose abs, three years ago, we were all pretty sure we’d never even dream of shirtless. Or maybe I’m just late to the game?

Okay, backing up. This place of chocolate cake pushing and butter praising is definitely not the platform for objectifying rock hard abs. Forget abs. Love cake.

Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.comChocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.com

And this cake, which ever-so-conveniently happens to be dinosaur-themed during the record-setting run of one of the most anticipated film releases of the year that also happens to be dinosaur-themed? Coincidence. Swearsies.


Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.comChocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.com

The inspiration, I think, is even cooler. A 60-something geologist, owner/grower/manscaper of what I think has to be a record-setting 45-year-old mustache, with a strong affinity for stiff bourbon cocktails, western movies, cargo shorts and who uses his iPhone exclusively for Googling whatever he’s watching on TV – or, the dude, my numero uno, my dad.

A self-proclaimed “purist”, he’s a die-hard fan of both simple chocolate cakes & the lunchbox staple Chips Ahoy. Since crushed Chips Ahoy look like rocks (remember, geologist), and Sunday was Father’s Day, this fortuitous cake was born into creation. And just for funsies, (and to tie my rambling loose ends together) we did go see Jurassic World, which, while maaaaybe a little underdeveloped and mostly hokey, I thoroughly enjoyed.

Two tiny T Rex arms up!

Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.comChocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.com

This is a somewhat simple cake that pays homage to chocolate in all of its finest forms, those being: cake, icing, ganache and cookie. If I could have fit in ice cream, I would have, but ice cream cakes don’t last long in the Texas summer heat so instead I just ate a big, fat scoop on the side.

So let’s break this monster down. Two layers of my favorite chocolate cake (yes, again), frosted with a light, fluffy chocolate buttercream, covered in rich, unsweetened chocolate ganache (which looks like lava and, for some reason, lava reminds me of dinosaurs – and we’re sticking to a theme, here!) and piled high with crushed Chips Ahoy cookies (because, rocks…and cookies). Oh, and some more crushed cookies thrown in between the two layers for good measure.

And because your ten-year-old would LOVE this and from what people with children tell me, ain’t nobody got time for from-scratch cakes, cheater alert: this one could easily be faked, ahem, adapted, to be made top-to-bottom with store-bought mix and icing. Though, if you have the time, I highly recommend making it from scratch, because I’m a food blogger and I’m supposed to say things like that. (But really, you do you.)

Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake // butterlust.com



Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake


    For the chocolate cake:
  • Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake prepared in 2x 8-inch layers
  • For the chocolate frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
  • For the chocolate ganache:
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • For garnish:
  • 16 Chips Ahoy cookies, crushed


  • Prepare the chocolate cake according to instructions and let cool completely.
  • To prepare the frosting, place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on high for 2 minutes until it starts to become fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and blend on low until well mixed. Add in the powdered sugar and cream alternating one cup of powdered sugar to one tablespoon of cream, starting and ending with cream. If icing is still too thick, add in the final tablespoon of cream then turn the mixer to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until frosting has become much lighter in color and texture.
  • To prepare the chocolate ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave in 30 second intervals until hot, being careful not to let it boil over. Add the cream to the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the chocolate will have melted, stir well until glossy and fully combined.
  • To assemble, place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board or serving platter. Scoop about 1/2 cup of icing onto the cake layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of crushed Chips Ahoy over the icing and then top with the remaining layer. Use the rest of the frosting to fully ice the cake and then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill.
  • Once your cake is chilled, it's time to pour over the ganache glaze. If your ganache has thickened at all, you may need to reheat in the microwave for 10-15 second. It should be fairly thin and easy to pour, once it hits the cold cake it will thicken fairly quickly.
  • Pour over the chilled cake and use an offset spatula to gently push some of the ganache over the cakes edges, helping it to form those coveted drips. Place back in the fridge for 5 minutes to chill completely and stop the ganache from running off the cake completely.
  • Top with remaining crushed Chips Ahoy cookies and decorate with toy dinosaurs, if desired.
  • Tori@Gringalicious.com
    Posted at 07:49h, 25 June Reply

    I LOVE this cake and I am a huge fan of the Jurrasic Park movies but I’ve yet to see the new one. My whole family went and saw it though (I’m the boring one that always stays home to work on blog stuff) and they said it was really good, so I can’t wait to see it.
    That’s so cool that your dad is a geologist, I bet he really loved this cake!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 13:34h, 25 June Reply

      Sounds familiar, Tori! I’m pretty sure my boyfriend has said the words “Katie is at home baking.” FAR more times that he’d like (or is normal). 🙂

  • June @ How to Philosophize with Cake
    Posted at 09:30h, 25 June Reply

    Dinosaur cakes!!! This must be a thing, I swear I’ve seen that before…ah well I guess I’ll have to get on the trend! 😛 This cake looks amazing, with all the frosting and ganache 🙂
    June @ How to Philosophize with Cake recently posted…Vegan rosewater Victorian sponge cakeMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 13:34h, 25 June Reply

      I’m sure there are TONS of them popping up around the internet, especially with Jurassic Park coming out this summer! Plus, they’re just so fun!!

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High
    Posted at 09:58h, 25 June Reply

    OMG. I totally made a chocolate dinosaur cake for my boyf’s birthday!!! I was going to post it on the blog soon! Great minds think alike, yo!
    Michelle @ Hummingbird High recently posted…Black Sesame Sugar Cookies with Lemon CurdMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 13:36h, 25 June Reply

      NO WAY! How funny, Dino cakes FTW! Apparently the men in our life have some things in common, too. 🙂 Can’t wait to see it!

  • Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
    Posted at 12:20h, 25 June Reply

    Katie, that is such a special and creative idea; you are such an awesome daughter! This cake would make any boy or man happy! Actually, it would make any person, male or female, happy because look how beautiful it is! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. Those Chips Ahoy cookies are the perfect ingredient to look like rocks, and the flowing ganache “lava”? Yes x10! I love using Ina’s chocolate cake recipe, so I know I would just love the taste and flavor of this cake. This is such a fun idea; I think I will recreate it for my little cousin’s birthday…he’s turning 6 and he will LOVE this! 🙂
    Beeta @ Mon Petit Four recently posted…Pretzel Braids with Caramel SauceMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 13:37h, 25 June Reply

      Oh my goodness, Beeta, such a wonderfully kind, sweet comment — THANK YOU!!! And that Ina, she’s just the best! I really can’t get enough of that chocolate cake. I didn’t even like chocolate cake before I found her recipe, can you believe that?! If you make it take a pic and tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see it!

  • Allison from Baking: a Love Story
    Posted at 16:00h, 25 June Reply

    omg, I love that you said “you do you” because, although I’m a tiny fledgling baking blogger, I have totally told my readers to bake from the box when they need to.

    By the way, this is so beyond the beyond that ANY child (or grown up!) would love it!


    Allison from Baking: a Love Story recently posted…Patriotic Blueberry PieMy Profile

  • Mom
    Posted at 20:19h, 25 June Reply

    Your dad loved this cake! Rocks and all!! Thank you for being so special!!

  • Erin @ Shanghai Spice
    Posted at 05:49h, 26 June Reply

    WOW, I really want cake now. So cute!

  • Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com
    Posted at 00:38h, 28 June Reply

    Aaaaahhh you are the best daughter! This is adorable. Two tiny T-Rex thumbs up for you! Also, I re-watched Jurassic Park last week and am ready for Jurassic World and shirtless Chris Pratt. Maybe with this cake as a chaser!

  • Dad
    Posted at 10:18h, 30 June Reply

    Katie, This might be the best thing that you have ever baked for me. Really great chocolate cake and delicious frosting – and you can’t go wrong with Chip Ahoys – especially when they are made to look like rocks! Thanks – Your rock-headed Dad

  • molly yeh
    Posted at 10:31h, 06 July Reply

    ahhhh this is so much fun!!!! i love this 🙂
    molly yeh recently posted…buttermilk chocolate cake with peach filling and a marzipan cowMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 18:14h, 07 July Reply

      Thanks, Molly!!

  • Marlis
    Posted at 08:55h, 05 August Reply

    So, since yesterday was my son’s tenth birthday it was duly celebrated with your cake. Well. Not YOUR cake, but a cake made according to your recipe. Except, not being a fan of crumbly cookie debris, we chopped up some malt balls and toasted coconut shavings as a substitute. My fifteen year old daughter had a blast making the cake with me and was totally channeling Ms. Binoche in ‘Chocolate’ while making the ganache. In fact we got into quite a discussion about the movie and are of one mind about the superfluousness of Johnny Depp’s character in that movie. The cake was a decided success among the under twenty crowd. As for the rest of us (adults), we’ll probably carry a piece of this delicious ‘death by chocolate’ cake on our derrieres for the rest of our lives. It is super rich!!!

    Thanks for sharing your great recipe with us and beautiful photos. My son was delighted with this treat!

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  • Caitlin
    Posted at 21:03h, 04 February Reply

    Do you remember where you got the dinosaurs from or about what size they are??

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 21:09h, 09 February Reply

      Hi Kaitlin, I got the dinosaurs from my local grocery store but I’m sure you could find similar ones on Amazon. They very from 1″ – 2″ tall.

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  • Lisa Summey
    Posted at 20:03h, 23 June Reply

    For the ganache, I bought unsweetened dark chocolate since that is the purest. However, now I am thinking that I may have made a mistake. I just made the ganache and without any sweetener, it is bitter. I am not sure if you used sweetened dark chocolate or not, as the recipe doesn’t specify. I am wondering if it will be okay though since the frosting is so sweet. Thoughts? Thanks

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 11:28h, 09 August Reply

      Sorry for the delayed response, Lisa! I use a 70% dark chocolate for the ganache so it does have some sugar content. In the future, if using unsweet chocolate, you can add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness is reached.

  • Carol
    Posted at 20:21h, 29 July Reply

    Hi!!!! I’m writing from Brazil here! 😉
    I just loved your cake so much and made one myself for my 2- and 5-year-old children. They helped me and also loved the final piece. <3
    I'm a blogger too and I'd like to know if I can translate your recipe and post it to my followers, along with the pictures of my version. Could I? I'd link your original post, of course.
    Thank you very much!!! :*

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  • Chelsie
    Posted at 17:14h, 20 July Reply

    I’m totally going to recreate this for my son’s Dino themed 4th birthday this weekend!! Can I ask where you found those little Dino figures? all the ones I’ve seen are super tiny or way too big! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Crystal Skinner
    Posted at 16:25h, 16 October Reply

    Hi! I’m in Australia and a little confused by the ‘ounces’ measurement. Are they both fluid ounces?

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