The Cooking-less Cookie Cake

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

The Cooking-less Cookie Cake

September 10, 2015

When you bake a cake, you usually mix ingredients like eggs, flour, and sugar, pour the batter into a pan, and stick it in a hot oven. The heat makes that goop puff up and dry out to turn into cake. But here’s a cake that you can make by yourself, without an oven and without help from grownups! The “icebox cake” just stacks thin chocolate wafer cookies and whipped cream. The cream softens the cookies, so after the “cake” sits for a couple of hours, you can slice it easily. This cake shape stacks the cookies and cream in towers that you then tip sideways; when you cut across it, you make zebra-striped slices. For this second cake, you lay a center cookie with 6 more around it on each layer, making a flower-like shape. Either way, both cakes are easy to make, don’t have to bake, and taste great!

Wee ones: If you make icebox cake using cookies, heavy cream, sugar, and chocolate shavings, how many ingredients (foods) do you use?

Little kids: If each layer of the flower has 2 wafer cookies in the middle with 6 more around it, how many cookies make up each layer?  Bonus: If you eat 3 of those cookies, do you leave behind more or fewer than you ate?

Big kids: If you have 24 cookies in a pack, how many full 7-wafer flower layers can you make?  Bonus: If your tower cake has 4 stacks with 8 cookies in each, how many cookies is that in total?

The sky’s the limit: If the flower-shaped cake uses 18 cookies in total, and the tower cake uses 40, how many of each type of cake must you have made if they use 112 cookies in total?


And before you check out the answers…just a reminder to send in a video clip of yourself so you can be on the Bedtime Math website! Just tell us in one sentence what you love about Bedtime Math, and we’ll post your clip on our Strength in Numbers webpage. The deadline is this Saturday, so click here for details!




Wee ones: 4 ingredients.

Little kids: 8 cookies.  Bonus: You leave behind more cookies, since you leave behind 5.

Big kids: 3 layers, since they use 21 cookies, 4 would use 28 cookies.  Bonus: 32 cookies.

The sky’s the limit: 4 flowers and 1 tower. As you add up sets of 18, you finally get a number ending in 2 when you reach 72 (4 flower cakes). That falls 40 short of 112, which means you then make 1 tower cake using 40 cookies.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

More posts from this author