The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my new favorite chocolate chip cookies.

That’s a big statement because I haven’t cheated on this recipe in two and a half years.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

I use it for Twix Bar CookiesSnickers CookiesM&Ms CookiesSmores Cookies, and many others when I want a hearty, but buttery dough base. Any cookie I’m going to stuff with add-ins or candy, and that’s not a peanut butter cookie, I use that base.

But all good things eventually get knocked off their pedestal and something better, shinier, and newer comes along: cookies made with pudding mix.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!


The pudding cookie craze certainly isn’t new. I’ve used it in Soft M&M Chocolate Chip CookiesDark Chocolate Chunk and Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies, and Quadruple Chocolate Soft Fudgy Pudding Cookies and I wanted to create a classic soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe with it.

This recipe is nearly a carbon copy of my old standby. The signifiant changes include omitting 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and replacing with one packet instant vanilla pudding mix. If you don’t like pudding mix or can’t find it in your area I recommend you use my old standby recipe because there’s really no substitutions here.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The cookies are slightly larger than you may be used to baking. There’s about 4 tablespoons of dough (1/4 cup) per cookie, and the batch makes just 14 large-ish cookies.The cookies are still so much smaller than cookies I see for sale at bakeries and coffee shops, and 8 comfortably fit on a baking tray.

I’d rather bake fewer bigger cookies because frankly it’s less work. But also because size and the related surface area does matter in terms of the final taste and texture.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

Smaller cookies tend to dry out faster and relatively speaking, and there’s more chewy edge than soft center.

Conversely, bigger cookies have a great interior surface area which means more soft, tender, juicy bites loaded with chocolate. Christina Tosi speaks very eloquently about this in her book.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

As with all my cookies, you must chill the dough before baking. It’s absolutely crucial for thick, puffy, full cookies. If you bake with warm, limp dough, your cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter. Why bother. Plan ahead and chill your dough.

I baked my cookies for 11 minutes, but if you choose to make smaller cookies, you’ll need to bake for less time. How much less? I don’t know. The secret to these cookies is keeping them a touch underbaked. I think that’s the secret to most good cookies.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

My Tricks and Secrets for Perfect Cookies

Make sure the butter is truly soft. If it’s not, cheat and zap it in the micro for 5 to 10 seconds. It’s best to plan ahead and set your butter out 2 to 4 hours ahead of time, but it’s better to cheat with the micro than try to cream cold butter. Your dough will seem overly dry and crumbly after adding the dry ingredients if your butter wasn’t sufficiently softened. I used Trader Joe’s unsalted butter.

Using a high quality flour like King Arthur. It has just a bit more protein (gluten) than other brands so your baked goods have more structure and will rise higher.

Chilling the dough so the cookies bake up thick and don’t spread as much.

Underbaking so the cookies are (almost) as good on the third day as they are right out of the oven.

Bake on a Silpat because it provides traction so the cookies don’t slip-and-slide around a slippery greased baking sheet.

Use a cookie scoop. I first portion out the dough with the scoop so all the mounds are the same size, and then I smooth them out with my hands so they’re perfectly smooth.

While smoothing the mounds, strategically re-positioning the chocolate chips. Obsessive? Yes, but I am asked all the time what my tricks and secrets are, and now you know.

The cookies are thick enough to sink your teeth into with slight chewiness at the base and edges. It’s just enough to balance the very pillowy soft centers and give me the mouthfeel I want in a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie.

The dough is buttery and moist with hints of vanilla, and it’s the perfect canvas for the melted chocolate chips.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

So it’s ‘the best’ according to me and my family, and of course, this can change. Food bloggers, we change our minds if you haven’t noticed. But for now, they’re the top dog.

I can’t wait for you to try them and let me know if you agree.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my new favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, moist, buttery, and thick enough to sink your teeth into. There’s a hint of chewiness at the base and edges, and it’s just enough to balance the soft pillowy centers and give me what I want for my idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The secret to these cookies is instant vanilla pudding mix and there’s no substitutions. The cookies are larger than some and the batch makes 14 cookies. About 11 minutes works perfectly for this size cookie, and if you alter the size of the cookie, you’ll need to alter the baking time. The dough must be chilled before baking so the cookies don’t spread and bake thin and flat.


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
one 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix (not sugar-free and not ‘cook & serve’)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
one-12 ounce bag (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s)


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 14 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Tip – Strategically place a few chocolate chips right on top of each mound of dough by taking chips from the underside and adding them on top.
  5. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
  7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Adapted from Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies and Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Only Eats

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Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies – My gold standard Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for over two years

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Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies - The softest, thickest, best M&M cookies ever! People go nuts for these big cookies loaded with M&Ms and chocolate chips!

Quadruple Chocolate Soft Fudgy Pudding Cookies – For true chocolate lovers, these super soft cookies are loaded with chocolate

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups - Prone to cookies that spread? It's impossible with these! Thick, soft & chewy cookies baked in a muffin pan that are so rich from the browned butter!

468 comments on “The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Can I substitute the pudding mix with corn starch (equal amount or less) ? What does the pudding mix do ? Does it create the chewyness or else ? Thanks. Greeting from Indonesia.

    • Hi I discussed your questions in the blog post so go ahead and re-read that. If you don’t have pudding mix, make the cookies I linked to in the blog post that I said I didn’t cheat on for years. These cookies and those differ only in pudding mix vs. cornstarch. But no, you don’t want to use 3.5 oz of cornstarch; follow that link and follow that recipe.

  2. Hi Averie,

    I have followed this recipe to the exact, and I went ahead and refrigerated them overnight. I baked them exactly like the recipe and they got really flat, nothing like your pictures. Yes they are gooey, chewy, yummy, but they are really flat. I want that “bakery” look like yours. What do you think is the problem? This is my second time and they are still flat.
    Also, I baked the chocolate fudge cookies, and they were perfect! But these were BAD. I even did it with the trader joes chocolate. Thank you for all your advice and help

    • Are you using King Arthur flour? My favorite, gold-standard & highly recommended.

      Are you baking on a Silpat?

      Chilling the dough?

      If you answered no to any, I would make changes because I swear by all. And of course, make sure your oven is working properly, your baking soda is fresh, and that you measured everything totally correctly. Baking can be tricky but I know that somewhere in there, some little detail may likely went awry and that can contribute to flattening. I would surmise it’s the flour, baking soda, or Silpat…

      • I use gold medals flour and I bake on parchment paper…baking soda is fresh, did chill the dough, do you think that using dark brown sugar did it…I just like the more caramellly flavor of it…I will definitely change the flour. But when I made the chocolate fudge cookies and they were amazing, I used the same ingredients as this…thanks for all your time and help…you are amazing just like your cookies

      • Ok three things, Gold Medal flour has the LOWEST gluten content of all grocery store flours and King Arthur has the HIGHEST. Thus, the higher the gluten, the more rise, structure, and least prone to spreading things are. Swap out the GM for KA.

        Next, parchment, eek. It’s like a hockey rink. The cookies have no traction, nothing to grip, nothing to hold onto, so they can spread. Silpats are rubbery and tacky, the cookies can ‘grip’ it, and they spread less. So worth the $20 bucks, trust me. You’ll have it for years.

        And dark brown sugar has more water in it than light brown b/c it contains 3x the amt of molasses, thus, more water; thus moister dough. Again, prone to spreading.

        None of this may matter for some people; in their kitchen. In yours, all the little things do matter it sounds like. And chocolate cookies are more forgiving b/c cocoa acts as a binder and dries things out so that explains that :)

      • Thanks again you’re awesome!

      • Ok well please keep me posted how things go in the future!

      • OMG Averie……I did just as you said, I bought KA flour, silpat, and light brown sugar…….they were just like yours! Delicious, chewy, soft, and just like you said, the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve had, and I’ve had quite a few!
        Thank you soooooo very much for sharing. They are a success! God bless

      • I am so so so glad that these came together perfectly for you! Sometimes a small thing or two is just a small thing, but in baking the small things can add up and turn into a big thing. Glad that everything is perfect now and I urge you to always bake with KA and on Silpats! Night and day difference in results, right!

  3. Well, I’ve just prepared the cookie dough balls, and it hardly made it into the fridge because my little porky hands were popping them in my mouth as fast as I could… I am supposed to be making these for my husband’s last week at work, and I can already tell that these are going to be winners before they’re even baked! Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  4. I followed this recipe exactly, except I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter as substitute, and dark brown sugar because I didn’t have light. They taste amazing, but when I took my first tray out of the oven, they hadn’t flattened, even a little bit. They didn’t really look like cookies, so I hand-flattened the ones on my other two sheets, and those came out great. I think the chilling for 2 hours or more is unneeded, or maybe only for 30 minutes or so. Great recipe otherwise!

  5. Hi Averie,

    Based on your recipe I was able to make about 16 cookies with 1/4 cup scoops. I ended up baking them for about 16-17 minutes (5-6 minutes longer than you had suggested) because they looked undercooked. After I let them cool, they were still under baked in the centre despite baking them larger. I had also flattened them before chilling the dough. Otherwise they tasted and looked great. Any tips?

    Thank you!


  6. I completely skipped over the “and flatten slightly” bit, so my cookies were super puffy, I baked an extra minute or so and they were still very gooey on the inside and quite round. Hopefully they harden just a bit overnight. still taste great, just very, VERY messy.

  7. I love all cookies but often they only taste best in the centre where it is soft and moist, but your recipe is moist throughout the whole cookie. I had eaten half the batch on my own! highly recommended, looking forward to trying the other varieties!

  8. Hi Averie! I keep looking at all your chocolate chip/butterscotch chip/white chocolate chip recipes and wondering why your chips don’t melt and seep into the batter(not exactly a bad thing but I want them to stay intact). I always check after about seven minutes to see if the chips in the batter have spread but they always do. How can I get mine to stay intact? Do you think putting foil over the tin would help? Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Definitely no tin! I used Trader Joe’s choc chips, Nestle Butterscotch, and generic store brand white choc OR TJ’s white (but those are seasonal). Brands vary widely in their melting factor. I also ‘stage’ the chips on top of the cookies and always put a few by hand on the tops for visual effect. Not sure what else to say but that’s what I use and do!

  9. Thanks so much for such an awesome recipe! They came out perfectly, and I invested in a Silpat like you suggested. My boyfriend LOVES these cookies! :)

  10. Truly the best cookie recipe ever invented. I swear up and down by two recipes: my coleslaw recipe and THIS ONE. As you said, I can’t find any reason to cheat on this recipe when it’s this good! The guys at work practically fight over them.

    I don’t get to TJs often, so I like to make these cookies with 1/2c each of milk, semisweet, and dark chocolate chips, and the last 1/2c being mini chips of the flavor of your choice (I used semisweet, to total 2 cups). I made 3 batches today, and they are all lying pathetically on a tray, bleeding chocolate and just waiting to disappear…into my face!

    • lying pathetically on a tray, bleeding chocolate and just waiting to disappear…into my face! <--- I love that! Oh that is so awesome you made three batches! And that you like to mix up the choc chip types. I do that too if I'm not baking for my blog because I use whatever's open and random odds & ends but it's too hard to explain that on the blog :) So glad you love this recipe and swear by it up and down! And I am a cole slaw LOVER! If you feel like sharing, I'm all ears!!

  11. Hi Averie! I made and shared these cookies with my readers on facebook and instagram. They were wonderful. Oh and pinned, ofcourse ;)

  12. Made them tonight! My absolutely favorite cookie so far! Thanks so much for posting and being so specific!!!

  13. Just made these a few hours ago and they have cooled now- AMAZING! I’ve never liked cookies because they were either store bought, or the homemade ones were too crispy. My mom’s favorite recipe has always been one on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip bag, but not for long! These will now and forever be my go-to cookies, thank you!!

  14. What is the difference in using a sugar free vanilla pudding mix & a regular vanilla pudding mix? Can i add sugar in using sugar free vanilla pudding mix? Thanks!

    • There’s something about sugar-free that has a chemical in it that can adversely effect the outcome of the cookies. It’s beyond a taste thing. It’s a chemical reaction. It’s why you can’t make instant pudding with soymilk and have good results…chemical reaction situation.

  15. Please HELP! I made a major mistake, I fear. I made the dough (yum) last night and put it in the fridge overnight. I just pulled it out and the dough is crumbly and dry. My biggest mistake was obviously using tin foil to cover it rather than plastic wrap because I didn’t have any in the house (I don’t cook/bake much so this is probably a rookie mistake). I wanted to send them out to my boyfriend in the morning so I really wanted to get them done and packed up ASAP. Any tips on what I can add to bring it back to a cookie dough consistency? Thanks!

    • Once you let dough, or any food dry out overnight in a refrigerator, it’s anyone’s guess if it can be saved. At this point the only thing you could do would be to probably press into a pan and bake as cookie bars if you think they’re too crumbly to bake as cookies.

      • I figured that might be the case, so I tried anyway and they actually pack together okay. I baked them and they’re DELICIOUS. They might not be the perfect consistency (for this recipe) but they’re soft with a bit of a crisp edge and they’re really really good. I’ll definitely make sure I use the plastic wrap next time. Thanks!

      • Great and glad you were able to save them and that they’re delicious!

  16. Hi Averie, my dough looked kinda runny and soft. Is it supposed to be that way? I have yet to scoop it, instead I placed it in the fridge first. Kindly advise!
    Thank you so much!

    • No it shouldn’t be runny and soft. It should be like normal cookie dough. If it isn’t, double check your measurements and that you did everything correctly. I would add more flour to bulk it up, up to 1/2 cup maybe depending on how runny it is…but I’ve never had this problem so can’t speak from experience.

  17. I made these two weeks ago, and they were a HUGE hit! I used my large cookie scoop and got 15 beautiful cookies. My husband loves chocolate chip cookies, and he said these were his favorite cookie ever! Thank you for providing great recipes, and all of your tips and tricks!

    Oh, I froze half of the batch on a cookie sheet before storing them in freezer back. I added one extra minute to the baking time, and they were perfect. I another batch tonight!

  18. Oops! Sorry…my comment should have said “store brand chips won’t cut it for me anymore.” =) I need to proofread!

  19. These are amazing cookies! I to used Gold Medal flour. Never have a problem. After reading the posts from folks stating their cookies were too runny, I think they may be over beating them. Could be they’re overheating the butter or not using *real butter. A good cookie dough should just be moist enough to hold your chocolate chips in place. Thank you for your wonderful recipe!

  20. Do you take the chilled dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before you bake?

    • I put it on the baking sheets while the oven preheats.

      • Thanks for the response! I didn’t see it and thought I did it wrong earlier since I used my iPad… sorry. I baked these last night and just as you said, put the dough on the baking sheets while the oven preheats and I feel like they are not fully cooked… are these cookies supposed to have a dense texture?

      • They are on the denser side, yes, but if you feel like they need a few minutes longer in your oven, by all means, bake until they’re as done as you like them. All ovens and baking sheets vary.

  21. Do you leave the chilled dough on the counter a few minutes before you bake?

  22. Just made a double batch of these so I could take them to everyone in my Physical Therapist Assisting program before a big week of tests!
    I used liquid egg substitute and halved the chocolate chips. I chilled the dough for 3 hours and baked for exactly 11 minutes on a silpat. My cookies turned out as gorgeous as yours. I couldn’t believe how rounded, ooey and gooey they were, even the next morning. Everyone at school loved them, too.

    • That’s amazing that you use egg substitute and they came out perfectly! And halving the chocolate chips? You’re a better woman than me :) I need my chocolate…ha! Glad that these cookies will make you look like a star with your colleagues!

  23. Made these yesterday. They got a thumbs-up from everyone. My daughter even asked me where I got the recipe. I even bought the silpats you use and am so glad I did. The cookies looked just like yours. Many thanks.

    • I love comments and results like yours! Thank you for trying the recipe and you’re going to love Silpats. Your new BFF for all your baking! Thanks for trying the recipe and so glad it was a hit with everyone!

  24. Oh. My. Heavens. I made these tonight. I froze the dough for like a half hour because I needed cookies in my life tonight. I also used ener-g egg replacer because my hubster is allergic to eggs, added sliced almonds, and used half a bag of milk chocolate chips. These looked just like the ones in the picture- even using parchment paper. I suspect it worked because I didn’t use a real egg. They are amazing! I think I’ll add some coarse sea salt next time. Yummo!

    • So glad that you loved these and that they worked out great for you, even using egg replacer! Nice twists with the almonds and milk choc chips, and sea salt never hurts! Thanks for trying the recipe and making it your own!

  25. Amazingly yummy!!! Everything about them were perfect! Whipped up a double batch of cookie dough in the morning. Let them sit in refrigerator overnight. They baked beautifully and tasted as great as they looked. Thank you for my now “go to” cookie recipe!

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