The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my new favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are top dog, which says a lot. This recipe will teach you how to make the best chocolate chip cookies thanks to a special secret ingredient: pudding mix.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked on top of one another

Battle of the Chocolate Chip Cookies

These really are my new favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies. Now, that’s a big statement because I haven’t cheated on this recipe in two and a half years! I’ve used 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, 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: enter cookies made with pudding mix.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Broken in Half with Melted Chocolate


Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding

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 chocolate chip cookie recipe is nearly a carbon copy of my old standby. The significant change is:

  • 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.)

How to Make Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Big, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies are slightly larger than you may be used to baking. There are 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 the size and the related surface area does matter in terms of the final taste and texture.

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

Conversely, bigger cookies have softer, tender, juicy bites loaded with chocolate due to a greater interior surface area. Christina Tosi speaks very eloquently about this in her book.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies lined up in a row


Stack of homemade chocolate chip cookies with melted chocolate chips

Be Cool to Your Dough

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 chocolate chip cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter. Why bother. Plan ahead and chill your dough.

I baked my chocolate chip 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 chewy chocolate chip cookies is keeping them a touch underbaked. I think that’s the secret to most good cookies.

Big, soft, Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies on wax paper

Tips for The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. 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.
  2. Use 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.
  3. Chill the dough so the cookies bake up thick and don’t spread as much.
  4. Underbake so the cookies are (almost) as good on the third day as they are right out of the oven.
  5. Bake on a Silpat because it provides traction so the cookies don’t slip-and-slide around a slippery greased baking sheet.
  6. 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.
  7. Strategically re-positioning the chocolate chips while smoothing the mounds.

Obsessive? Yes, but I am asked all the time what my tricks and secrets are, and now you know.


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding in recipe

The Verdict Is In: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

These homemade chocolate chip 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, chewy chocolate chip cookie.

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

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, these chewy chocolate chip cookies are the top dog.

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

How to make chocolate chip cookies with pudding

How to make chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding

How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding in recipe

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.

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

  1. I want to make monster cookies with this recipe, how much oatmeal can I add to this and peanut butter ?

  2. These cookies are amazing! I was super excited to make them because I love all of your recipes. I ended up not having the instant vanilla pudding and instead used 2 tablespoons if cornstarch. They are so incredibly thick and taste! I’m really really impressed that they tasted as good as they did without the pudding mix and I’m excited to try them with the pudding mix next time

  3. What changes would you make for high altitude?

  4. I found your recipe easy to follow and I made the cookies exactly as directed. The dough was very tasty. As I added the chocolate chips, I thought, “My! That’s an awful lot of chocolate chips!” I am a chocolate lover, especially semi-sweet chocolate, so I gave it a try. However, this was too much even for me! The cookies were quite good, except I could only eat one half of a cookie. Way too rich with all that chocolate. Next time, I will try using about 6 oz. of chips. I got sixteen cookies from the recipe. 12 oz. of chips = too much for 16 cookies in my opinion. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    • Generally speaking most average chocolate chip cookie recipes have about 2 cups, or 12 ounces of chips but if you feel that’s too much, of course reduce to taste. My recipe yields 16 cookies, or so, because they’re on the bigger size. Many people could get 24-30 out of this recipe based on the size they shape their cookies, which is smaller than I tend to do. In that case you’d probably have no problem finishing a smaller-sized cookie. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  5. This is by far the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. The cookies stay so soft and taste delicious. The vanilla really comes through! Everyone asks me for this recipe!

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this recipe. Best ever!

  7. i can’t find the pudding mix at my area :( . the pudding is use to make the chewy of the cookies right ?

    • Yes it adds a lovely texture, both soft and chewy. I have other cookie recipes in the Related Recipes section in the post that you may want to try that don’t use pudding mix. In this recipe, if you omit it, not sure what will happen.

  8. Hello, am I using 1 egg or 4 eggs? I see it listed both ways. Thanks.

  9. I love your recipe. Me and my son make these cookies every year for Santa. I bad a batch tonight and just realized I forgot the brown sugar. I already molded them and they are sitting in the fridge so I really don’t want to add it. How do you think it will come out without it?

  10. Thank you for sharing this recipe! My husband devoured all but 2 cookies! I baked 8! This recipe is a definite keeper. ?? This recipe is so easy! I followed the recipe exactly as written and they are delicious. I even have some in the frig to bake up when hubby comes in tonight. . He ask me to wait till he got home to bake them. . LOL! Again, thanks for posting.

  11. My butter was a little on the cooler side and it dried out a double batch of cookies I was making for my son’s classroom. Such a waste! Make sure your butter is TRULEY softened before making these cookies. ?

  12. I am ready to make your best soft and chewy choc chip cookies but i noticed that there is a recipe for easy soft and chewy choc chip cookies? Which one do you like better? I want to make the best ever!!!

  13. I was so excited to try these, I had pudding cookies when I was a kid and they were so good.
    I did exactly as you directed, made sure my butter was softened ( I left it out over night) my dough was still dry. It was also a little longer in bake time. Just wondering what could of happened?

    • It’s easy to accidentally over-flour dough which I am guessing what you did. Next time start using 1/4 cup less than the recipe calls for and evaluate if you think you need the full amount based on how you measure it, your exact brand of flour and how it interacts with the other ingredients, etc.

  14. can i bake the cookies right away take it out from fridge? or need to wait until its in a room temperature?

  15. I only have butterscotch pudding.
    What do you think???

  16. The BEST!! Made just as the recipe calls for and they came out perfect. Wound up with 16 cookies on the dot with the 1/4 cup measure. They are fluffy, thick and delicious! Thank you!

    Rating: 5

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