This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

I have a few tricks that make these the best soft chocolate chip cookies that you’ll ever try. With hundreds of positive reviews from bakers around the world, I’m confident you’ll fall in love with this chocolate chip cookie recipe too. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative and cornstarch makes them extra soft and thick!

Rows of chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a household favorite, a timeless classic, an unparalleled snack, warm, cold, dunked in milk, in dough form, or in baked form. No one can resist the comfort of a chocolate chip cookie and everyone has their favorite recipe whether it’s on the back of the yellow Toll House bag or scribbled in your grandmother’s recipe book.

Heck, I even have separate recipes for crispy chocolate chip cookies and chewy chocolate chip cookies!

Like many of you, I’ve searched far and wide for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe: the best chocolate chip cookies, a recipe I can bake again and again for years. I’ve lost sleep, I’ve burnt dough, I’ve tested and retested and retested… and retested countless times. And I’m so happy to report that I finally found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ll treasure for years. And I know you’ll enjoy these cookies too!

Chocolate chip cookies

How to Make Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Start with Butter: Use room temperature butter. You can soften butter quickly with this trick or set the butter out 1-2 hours before you begin.
  2. Use a mix of Sugars: Cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. This process aerates the butter, which promises soft chocolate chip cookies. Brown sugar yields soft chocolate chip cookies and white sugar helps the cookies spread. For chewier and more flavorful cookies, use more brown sugar than white sugar.
  3. Dark Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar are interchangeable in most recipes. Though either works in this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I love using dark brown sugar for extra flavor because it holds a little more molasses.
  4. Add Egg & Vanilla Extract: Eggs provide structure and richness, while vanilla adds flavor.
  5. Use Cornstarch in Dry Ingredients: Cornstarch, a thickening ingredient, is the secret weapon in this cookie recipe, just like in shortbread cookies. 2 teaspoons give the cookies extra lift and leave them extra soft. You can’t taste it! You also need all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients: Combine all the ingredients, then add the chocolate chips.
  7. Chill the Cookie Dough: For extra thick chocolate chip cookies, chill the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. Chilling cookie dough will make or break the recipe! The colder the cookie dough, the less the cookies will over-spread. If you’re interested, here are 10 tips on how to prevent cookies from spreading.
  8. Extra Chocolate Chips: This is optional, but as soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a few chocolate chips on top. They’ll melt right down into the cookie, making them extra pretty. And melted chocolate is never a bad thing! I recommend doing the same with double chocolate chip cookies.
stick of room temperature butter

Room temperature butter is cool to touch and about 65°F (18°C), which may be cooler than your kitchen. To test it, poke it with your finger. Your finger should make an indent without sinking into the butter. The butter should not be shiny or greasy. You can’t cream cold butter and you can’t cream partially melted butter either. Room temperature butter is imperative to the outcome of these cookies! You need 3/4 cup, which is 1.5 sticks.

Warm chocolate chip cookies on silpat

Don’t Have Time to Chill Cookie Dough?

If you don’t have time to chill the chocolate chip cookie dough, try my Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or even these soft chocolate chip cookie bars, which don’t require individual cookie rolling either!

I also have an entire section of no chill cookie recipes. 🙂 Snickerdoodles are a favorite!

warm chocolate chip cookies on black plate

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Freezing chocolate chip cookie dough is really easy. I have a whole post dedicated to how to freeze cookie dough, but here’s a recap:

  1. After the cookie dough has chilled in the refrigerator, roll the cookie dough into balls. Chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a labeled zipped-top bag– large or small depending on how much dough you have.
  3. Label the bag with the month and the baking temperature and place the bag in the freezer.
  4. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. The date will help you determine when the cookie dough is fresh and the temperature is written for obvious reasons. Really, you can write whatever is helpful to you. The date, temperature, time, recipe name, etc.
  5. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer. Preheat the oven according to the recipe’s instructions.
  6. Bake the cookies for a minute or two longer since the dough is frozen.

Bake the frozen cookie dough balls whenever the craving hits or when you need a big batch of fresh-baked cookies. I do it all the time!

Chocolate chip cookies on black plate

Sometimes the simplest recipes are what stick. I really don’t need to convince you– it’s a chocolate chip cookie. THE chocolate chip cookie!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
warm chocolate chip cookies on black plate

The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

I have a few tricks that make these the best soft chocolate chip cookies that you’ll ever try. With hundreds of positive reviews from bakers around the world, I’m confident you’ll fall in love with this chocolate chip cookie recipe too. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative and cornstarch makes them extra soft and thick!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar together on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add into the wet ingredients, then beat on low speed until combined. The cookie dough will be slightly thick. On low speed, beat the chocolate chips. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3-4 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  4. Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together when you work the dough with your hands. Roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls.
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The cookies will look extremely soft when you remove them from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. If desired, while the cookies are still warm, press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops. This is completely for looks.
  6. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with preheating the oven in step 3. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
  3. Adapted from Anna Olson

Keywords: cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot, including two other recipes the same weekend I made this one. I used dark brown sugar along with the granulated sugar, as I find it gives more flavor than just granulated or granulated + light brown. Usually my cookies end up kind of flat, but these had the perfect lumpy, bumpy cookie shape and were deliciously golden brown. I stored them in a ziplock bag with a slice of white bread and they stayed soft and delicious for days. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. My family loves these cookies and every other recipe I have made from your website (and I have made a lot of your recipes).

  2. I will not use any other recipe anymore. This is by far the family favourite! Thank you

  3. Loved this recipe. Can I use Reynolds’s Wrap nonstick pan lining paper, I’m out of parchment paper.

    1. Hi Sherry! We’re unfamiliar with that product – is it aluminum foil? Parchment paper or silicone baking mats are best for baking cookies!

  4. As a regular reader who reads and uses your recipes on a regular basis, may I ask if you have a recipe for CRISPY cookies. They are the favourite in this family so would love a recipe for them!
    Love your site and awesome recipes and helpful hints! Thank you

  5. I love this recipe! I have converted it to sugar free by using Swerve Brand sugars and Lily’s Baking Chips. I make them for a diabetic friend and he loves them. I had to tweak the directions a little to make it work, but I stuck with it and each batch has turned out better than the last.

    1. Hello Annie, but how did you substitute the carbs on flour for your diabetic friend ?

  6. Can I cut back on the cornstarch I seem to taste it in the cooked cookie.
    Thank you
    Lin

    1. Hi Lin! You shouldn’t be able to taste it, but you can leave the cornstarch out if desired.

  7. If I leave the cornstarch out will they still soft and puffy
    Thank you
    Lin

    1. Hi Lin, you can leave the cornstarch out. They should still be pretty soft!

      1. This is my favorite and family’s favorite cookie recipe. Since I’ve found it, we haven’t used another. I’m visiting in Colorado and wanted to make these. Are there any adjustments for high altitude baking?

      2. Hi Sierra, we’re so glad your family loves these cookies! We wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  8. I rely LOVE this recipe.
    My cookies have never come out this soft and chewy. And I’ve been married and cooking for just over 50 years.
    Can I use Baking Powder along with / or in.place of the baking soda…I was wondering about texture. Most recipes I’ve use call for one or both. (Maybe that’s been my problem.)
    T hank you so much you have made my cookies edible; I had quit making them because they were hard as rocks.
    Most sincerely

    1. Hi Sharolyn, we’re so glad you love these cookies! We typically use baking soda when a recipe contains an acid–in this case, brown sugar. You can read more about it here. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi! This recipe is amazing. I am a mother of 3, and all the kids love this recipe. Do you have any similar recipes with less ingredients? I don’t always have all the ingredients on hand.

  10. I was also wondering if this recipe is the same if you do not add eggs. If not, are there any replacements for it?

    1. Hi Julie, we have not tried an egg-free version of this recipe. The eggs play an important role in the overall taste, texture, and structure of the cookies. If you do give any replacements a try, we’d love to know how it goes. If you’re interested, here are all of our egg-free recipes on the site.

  11. All I have is salted butter. Do I leave the salt out or just reduce the amount included?

    1. Hi Julie, You can leave the recipe as is or reduce the salt down to 1/4 teaspoon.

  12. Love this recipe! Any thoughts on how to make this into a cookie cake? Could I bake the recipe spread flat in a 9×13 pan? Same bake time/over temp?I’d love to try this recipe for ice cream sandwiches

    1. Hi Kathleen! We actually just published a recipe for ice cream cookie sandwiches if you’re interested! Otherwise you can use this recipe – this cookie dough will fit into a 9×9 inch square baking pan for cookie bars. We recommend doubling the recipe for a larger pan. We’re unsure of the bake time.

  13. Hi! I actually replaced the egg with 2 tsp of any oil and one tbsp of water. I also skipped chilling and it turned out soft.

  14. To answer Julie Williams’s question, I’ve used a vegan egg substitute (if you’re curious, the brand is Just About Foods) and the cookies turned out just fine.

    This recipe is just fantastic. I’ve baked these cookies for friends, family members, and coworkers, and they all loved them. It’s never failed me.

    I like to leave out the cornstarch, since the cookies always turn out thick enough without it, as long as they’re chilled. I also like to use fewer chocolate chips than the recipe calls for – personally, I don’t like a chocolate chip cookie that’s too heavy on the chocolate. Just my preference.

    1. Hi Sharon, You can definitely double this recipe no problem.

  15. This recipe is amazing! I’m a beginner baker and this turned out perfect! instructions are insanely easy to understand. Definitely recommend!

  16. I can’t get over how amazing this recipe is! They are beyond delicious and perfectly soft. I made them last night for the first time and I think it’s safe to say that I won’t ever use another chocolate chip cookie recipe aside from this one. Thank you!

  17. This recipe is so easy to make and tastes so good! I’ll never use any other recipe again!

    1. Hi Aurora, we haven’t tested a gluten free version of these cookies. Let us know if you give anything a try!

  18. I found these mediocre at best. They’re pretty, but dry and soft do not go together. I’ll go back to Dorie Greenspan‘s recipe which results in perfect cookies every time.

    1. Hi Debbie, thank you for giving this recipe a try! How did you measure the flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.

    2. Mine did not turn out dry! They were very moist! Mayne your oven temp is not accurate or need to take them out a few minutes sooner.

  19. My family LOVED this recipe. These cookies were gone almost overnight. My daughters said they were the best chocolate chip cookies they have ever had!

  20. Love these cookies! I want to make them again and add pecans. Has anyone added nuts to this recipe?

    1. Hi Beth! You can add 3/4 – 1 cup of chopped nuts to the cookie dough when you add the chocolate chips.

  21. Cookie’s are amazing but little burnt, but overall the cookie’s are amazing. 🙂

  22. I’ll add my enthusiastic 2 thumbs up to all the others who loved this recipe. I thought it was a little unorthodox ( melting the butter, etc) but made it exactly as written and chilled the dough overnight. I love being able to serve something that looks and tastes this good!

  23. These are delicious!

    Question – is there any reason why I can’t scoop out the balls of cookie dough and chill on the sheet already in ball form? When I chilled the dough first it was really hard to scoop with a cookie scoop. Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Lexie! We find this dough to be too soft to scoop right away, but you certainly can if that works for you. You can also chill the dough for half the time, roll the balls, then continue chilling. This way the dough firms up a bit and makes it easier to form the balls.