Master Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The best chocolate chip cookies are the ones you like the best. Make chewy, crispy or cakey cookies using this one master chocolate chip cookie recipe!
chocolate chip cookie split in half with melted chocolate chips. Shot from the top

One chocolate chip cookie recipe to rule them all

How many times have you read a recipe that started with “The BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe ever!”? I know I have too many times. Unfortunately, one person’s idea of the BEST might not be mine, or yours! The best chocolate chip cookie recipe is the one you like the best. Whether it’s thick and chewy, thin and crispy or light and cakey. Use this ONE chocolate chip cookie recipe to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

chocolate chip cookie split in half with melted chocolate chips. Shot from the top

So let’s dive into what makes a chocolate chip cookie chewy, cakey or crispy and what you can add or subtract from a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe to make your cookies exactly the way you want them to be. 

chocolate chip cookie tests on cookie sheets and cooling rack shot from above

Before I wrote this blog post I did a TON of testing. A ton. I baked so many cookies I think I couldn’t see straight. I almost overdosed on brown sugar and butter. But it was all worth it. I haven’t even listed all the tests here on this blog post because I don’t want to bore you but I included the most interesting results. 

I started my testing with a standard chocolate chip recipe from the back of my favorite Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips bag. This is listed as the “control” recipe to which all my tweaks were made from. 

How to make perfect standard chocolate chip cookies

This might come as a shock to you but I am not really that good at making cookies. I have more problems with cookies than any other type of recipe. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up baking so I never learned those cookie making fundamentals. 

So if you’re like me and you’re new to cookie making, let’s go over a few basics to making the perfect chocolate chip cookies.

chocolate chip cookie ingredients

Read the recipe – Read through the recipe once to make sure you have all the ingredients and tools you need to understand the basic flow of the recipe. Reading ahead will ensure you leave yourself enough time to get everything done.

Gather your ingredients – Get all your ingredients out so if you find that you’re missing something, you have time to get it before you start mixing.

Room temperature ingredients are important – One of my tests included using a cold egg and a room temperature egg to see if that made a difference in the cookie. The cookie made with a cold egg was very flat/thin. The cookie made with a room temperature egg was much thicker and cohesive looking. So all our future tests used room temperature eggs. We warm our eggs by placing them in a bowl of very warm water for 5 minutes. Soften cold butter carefully in the microwave (do not melt) or cut into chunks and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes.

egg in a clear bowl of hot water on white background

Measuring – If at all possible, measure your ingredients by weight for the best results but if your recipe is in cups, make sure you measure correctly. To measure cups of flour, spoon the flour into the cup until it’s full and then level it off with a knife.

Need to convert to cups? Download my FREE conversion chart! This will work for all my recipes.

Don’t substitute – When you first try out a recipe, resist the urge to make any substitutions where possible. Make the recipe as it reads and then once you know how it turns out, you can make adjustments based on your preferences. 

Follow the directions – This goes back to reading the recipe. Make sure you follow the directions (also referred to as the method) You can’t just dump all the ingredients into the bowl and have them turn out. Save yourself from wasting time and ingredients and follow the instructions.

Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (control)

So now that we got all that out of the way, let’s start baking cookies. I’m using the recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli chocolate chip bag as the control. I followed the recipe on the back but with a few notes for specifics below since one person’s idea of creaming could be very different than another person’s idea.

back of ghirardelli chocolate chip bag

This recipe is also listed below in the recipe card with notes for making the cookies crispy, chewy or cakey based on these experiments.

  1. Creamed softened but not melted unsalted butter and sugar with paddle attachments for  2 minutes on medium speed. 
  2. Eggs room temperature and added one at a time while mixing on medium speed. 
  3. Used a #20 medium cookie scoop on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  4. The cookie dough was not chilled.
  5. Baked the cookies at 375ºF 10 minutes

classic chocolate chip cookies in a white bowl on a white background with school book and milk in the background

Result: Fair amount of spread, nice golden edge, chewy, soft on the inside. little more doughy when warm, gets chewier as it cools.

Rating – Crispy: 2 Chewy: 2 Cakey: 0

Chocolate chip cookie ingredients: What do they do?

So if we wanted to make adjustments to this control recipe, what do you do? Well, first of all, we need to understand what the role of each ingredient is so we can tweak this chocolate chip cookie recipe successfully.

chocolate chip cookie tests on a white background shot from above

Flour – Makes cookies thicker and cakier but also drier. Less flour makes them thinner and crispier.

Brown Sugar – Makes cookies chewier but too much makes them crispy and dark

Eggs – Adds moisture and structure to the cookies but also makes them spread. Room temperature eggs made a better cookie with less spread. 

Baking powder – Makes cookies fluffier and lighter in color.

Baking soda – Gives cookies flavor, color and lift.

Butter – When creamed with the sugar makes cookies fluffy and chewy when melted makes them thinner and crispier.

Scoop size – For every test, I scooped with a #20 cookie scoop and also did a double scoop to see if they baked up differently. Across the board, the larger scoops resulted in thicker cookies with less spread. 

Chilling – I didn’t notice much of a difference with chilling cookies. I know some people SWEAR by chilling. They may have been ever so slightly thicker but not a huge difference.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Tests

Hard, dry, crispy or doughy? I tried to recreate some problems that someone might have with their cookies to see what would happen. These are my results! I know this is a TON of information so feel free to scroll past if you’re not into geeky experiments about cookie ingredients like I am. 

As I said earlier, I used the Ghiradelli chocolate chip cookie recipe and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I have rated my tests as far as crispy, chewy and cakey goes on a scale of 1-3. Each test starts with the standard control recipe from Test 1 and then I change one thing to see what happens. 

chocolate chip cookies with too much flour on a pink baking sheet

Test 1: Too much flour This was my first test and it really was an accident. I meant to make a half batch of the cookie recipe and forgot to half the flour. Result? Hockey pucks. Oops. 

  1. Used double the amount of flour 

Result: Didn’t spread at all, very dry. Crispy:0 Chewy: 0 Cakey: 3

Test 2: Dough chilled for 24 hours. I wanted to see if chilling really was necessary for the cookies to turn out since so many recipes say that chilling is absolutely necessary. 

  1. Regular Ghirardelli recipe
  2. Creamed butter with paddle attachments
  3. Softened butter
  4. Scooped and Chilled (fridge) 24 hours. Don’t wait for them to room temp. 
  5. Baked 350 12 mins (needed extra time because of the cold dough) 

Result: Call me crazy but I couldn’t see any difference in taste or texture between the chilled or unchilled dough. Crispy: 2 Chewy: 2 Cakey: 0

chocolate chip cookies made with melted butter on a blue plate on a wooden background

Test 3: Melted butter. Some recipes I come across say that melting the butter makes a chewier cookie so I decided to try it out for myself. I melted the butter, let it cool so it wasn’t hot and then mixed it with the sugar. The mixture wouldn’t cream so I just mixed it until combined, then I added in my eggs and dry ingredients. The dough was very soft and easy to scoop. 

Result: These cookies spread a lot more than the cookies that used softened butter and seemed a little oily and doughy in the center. These cookies got a lot crunchier as they cooled. Crispy: 3 Chewy: 3 Cakey: 0

chewy chocolate chip cookies on a floral plate on wooden background

Test 4 – All brown sugar. Brown sugar is what gives cookies their chew so I thought if I used all brown sugar, the cookies would be really chewy.

Result: These cookies did not spread as much and where thicker. They were chewy in the center but crispy around the edges. Crispy: 3 Chewy: 2 Cakey 1

cakey chocolate chip cookies on a white plate

Test 5 – baking powder instead of baking soda. I wondered what would happen if I used baking powder instead of soda, did it really matter?

Result: Didn’t spread as much, lighter in color, puffed up more and took one extra minute to bake. The taste was very mild. Crispy: 1 Chewy: 2 Cakey 2

Chocolate chip cookies with extra flour added on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

Test 6 – More flour (1 extra ounce). This time I only added one extra ounce of flour to see if it would stop my cookies from spreading as much. 

Result: Thicker cookie, doughier, softer, not as much spread. Got chewier as it cooled. 

Test 7 – Extra egg yolk. I read that extra eggs can make your cookies moister and cakier so I gave it a try. 

Result: Moister cookie, chewier and more flavor.
Crispy: 1 Chewy: 2 Cakey 2

bakery style chocolate chip cookie

Test 8 – Double scoop. I wanted to see what would happen if I made my cookies twice as big, what would happen.

Result:  These cookies were very thick and reminded me of the cookies you get in a bakery! I loved them! Same taste and texture as the classic cookie. Note: These took two extra minutes to bake. 
Rating – Crispy: 2 Chewy: 2 Cakey: 0

So what have we learned?

I narrowed these tests down to three results for successfully tweaking a chocolate chip cookie recipe to your liking. 

The MOST important thing I have learned is that a room temperature egg makes all the difference and that you don’t need to chill your cookie dough which is a relief for impatient people like me.

For chewy chocolate chip cookies add 2 extra ounces (1/4 cup) of flour, 2 extra egg yolks, and replace all the white sugar with brown sugar.

For cakey chocolate chip cookies, add 2 extra ounces (1/4 cup) of flour and replace the baking soda with an equal amount of baking powder.

For crispy chocolate chip cookies, use melted butter, increase the white sugar by 4 ounces (1/2 cup) and decrease the brown sugar by 4 ounces (1/2 cup). chewy chocolate chip cookies on a floral plate with wooden background

What was my favorite test? I prefer the thicker, cakier cookie with more flour (test 6). Perfect for dunking in milk. My husband’s favorite cookie was the thinner, crispier cookie (test 3) although he happily ate all the leftover cookies throughout the week. Avalon’s favorite cookie was the small chewy cookie.

Whichever you prefer, I hope this guide has helped you make the perfect chocolate chip cookie that’s perfect for you! 

plate of chocolate chip cookies in a white bowl with. schoolbook and glass of milk behind it

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
chocolate chip cookie split in half with melted chocolate chips. Shot from the top

Master Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The best chocolate chip cookies are the ones you like the best. Make chewy, crispy or cakey cookies using this one master chocolate chip cookie recipe!
5 from 19 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 11 mins
Serves: 24 cookies
Calories: 221kcal

Ingredients

Master Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter softened but not melted
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) light brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup (12 oz) all-purpose flour spooned into the cup then leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 2 large (2 large) eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chopped or chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375ºF and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper (not wax paper)
  • Add softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and cream until smooth
  • Add in your brown sugar and white sugar and whisk on low until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)
  • Add in your eggs one at a time, letting each mix in fully before adding the next
  • Add in your vanilla, salt, and baking soda
  • Add in your flour and chocolate chips and mix until just combined
  • Scoop onto your cookie sheet using a #20 cookie scoop or about two Tablespoons of dough per cookie.
  • Bake for 6 minutes, rotate the pan then bake for another 5-6 minutes or until the center is no longer shiny. Do not over-bake.
  • Cookies will be soft at first but will harden as they cool.

Notes

Tips for success
  1. Use room temperature eggs for less spreading
  2. No need to chill your dough
  3. For chewy chocolate chip cookies add 2 extra ounces (1/4 cup) of flour, 2 extra egg yolks, and replace all the white sugar with brown sugar.
  4. For cakey chocolate chip cookies, add 2 extra ounces (1/4 cup) of flour and replace the baking soda with an equal amount of baking powder.
  5. For crispy chocolate chip cookies, use melted butter, increase the white sugar by 4 ounces (1/2 cup) and decrease the brown sugar by 4 oz (1/2 cup).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 221kcal (11%) | Carbohydrates: 25g (8%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 13g (20%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (40%) | Cholesterol: 36mg (12%) | Sodium: 106mg (4%) | Potassium: 72mg (2%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 15g (17%) | Vitamin A: 259IU (5%) | Calcium: 16mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!
 

 

45 comments on “Master chocolate chip cookie recipe

  1. Funny, baker Bette Just posted this exact thing yesterday. So, either you copied her or she copied you in the past recipe

    1. Hi Sandy, how would either of us be copying each other? Blog posts don’t happen in one day. I took these photos months ago, have been working on a video and this post for months. Blog posts take a lot of work. If we both published today then I guess we are both on the same wavelength. I’ll be sure to check out her blog post too. Im sure it’s full of great info as well.

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for all the important information on making cookies. I tried once and make chocolate chip cookies were light biscuits, I was disappointed and so was my girls. Now I know what happened and I won’t be making that mistake again.

  3. Can’t wait to try the cakey ones tomorrow!!? ?

  4. Hey Liz! I love chocolate chip cookies! I’m definitely going to try! Thank you!

  5. Can you substitute the chocolate with other candy like m&m’s?

  6. 5 stars
    I love chocolate chip cookies! Thankyou so much Dear Liz!!????❤️❤️

  7. Thanks Liz , will be trying this recipe

  8. Would these work if I replace the AP flour and baking soda with self raising flour?

    With supermarket shortages at the moment I haven’t been able to get more flour, and self raising is all I have!

    1. I’m not sure but I think it would be ok. They might not taste exactly the same because of the baking soda but you’ll definitely have cookies 🙂

  9. Great information! Thank you! Does the size of the chocolate chips matter? Thank you ?

  10. 5 stars
    This was such a great info. My cookies have been very flat and I was wondering how to change that. Now, I can make thicker, chewier cookies. Thank you so much.

  11. 5 stars
    Love your way you bake & teach I really love your baking God bless you with your beautiful family ? Ameen ❤

  12. Hi. Would this recipe work with cake flour? Unfortunately that’s the only flour I have during this season

  13. 5 stars
    Amazing as always, thank you again. Will be trying this today. Love your work and how adorable is your son. Stay safe and take care xx ps finally through out my Pegasus cake lol, it was looking very sad

  14. 5 stars
    Hello, I love everything of yours, yesterday I made the chocolate death cake and my son who does not like chocolate cakes ate it and repeated it, I would like to learn how to make stewed cookies, I do not know if you know the recipe, I started selling cake to live you do wonderful things

  15. This is SO helpful!!! My cookies were so thin yesterday and I love thick chewy ones so 100% going to try your tweaks!
    Thank you!

  16. Aren’t these Nestle tollhouse cookies recipe ? I have been making these for years

    1. I think tollhouse and Ghiradelli are slightly different but yes, its the recipe from the back of the bag as the base recipe. The adjustments are made to the temperature of the egg and I use more brown sugar.

  17. Hi for some reason my cookies aren’t rising I followed all the instructions and this is my second time trying but still no rise

    1. make sure you’re not using old baking soda, you’re using a scale for measuring and that all your ingredients are room temperature.

  18. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and they were fluffy and delish!!!! I always go to your page for trust worthy recipes. Thanks for making quarantine baking time special, Liz!

  19. 5 stars
    Liz! You rock!! Thank you for creating everything I am looking for in a chocolate chip cookie!!! Seriously. I’ve spent the past 20 years trying to find the right recipe and I’m so excited to have finally found it! We have made these probably 6 times over the past few weeks and our whole family gets so excited when these tasty little beauties start coming out of the oven. Thank you!! You are my go to baking blog and my 5 year old daughter loves watching your YouTube channel with me. She’s always asking to watch “Sugar Geek” ❤️

  20. Going to try your recipe tonight (well lol maybe tweeting my recipe here at Sweet Emmie’s) with the chewy method you have…one question for you though, have you ever heard bread flour is the best way for making chewier chocolate chip cookies? Would you recommend that method also? I will definitely add a review once I have finished 😋😊

  21. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe and five stars!

    I’m not fussy when it comes to cookies. As long it tastes good, my tastebuds will be happy. it looked amazing aswell. Thank you

    If I wanted to turn the control in double chocolate cookie do I just replace some of the plain flour with cocoa powder ?

  22. 5 stars
    I loved all the analysis of the ingredients! We went for a chewy/cakey cookie. 9 oz brown sugar/3 oz white; all baking soda and an extra egg yolk And no time consuming chilling! Thank you for your idea on how to gently bring your eggs to room temp. I read somewhere (here??) about how to bring butter to room temp. Boil water in your microwave. Remove the water and just put the butter in for a few minutes – do not tury the microwave on. The warmth there will soften the butter without melting it.

  23. 5 stars
    Love these! These are my go to from now on! Made them 3 times so far and my kids love them!! Super soft and oh so ooey gooey!

  24. This cookie is amazing and so easy to make. My husband loves them and has added them to his must make again list. Thank you so much Liz for sharing your tips and recipes!

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