Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Chocolate | Cookies | Dessert

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Tessa Arias
  |  
January 22nd, 2019
4.85 from 200 votes
4.85 from 200 votes

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies are ultra ooey and gooey with two secret ingredients to keep them ultra soft and tender! Your friends will LOVE these cookies. Click here to download my FREE cookie customization guide!

Yield: 26 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: This cookie has big butterscotch flavor and the small amount of cream cheese in the dough adds an almost indiscernible tang that takes these cookies over the top.
Texture: Ultra soft and tender.
Ease: Super easy!
Pros: Perfect for when you’re craving that super soft texture in a cookie.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? I’ve been making this recipe for years.

Today we’re talking all about making SOFT chocolate chip cookies. The kind that are ultra tender but still hold their shape and are loaded with tons of ooey gooey chocolate chips.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m obsessed with chocolate chip cookies.

The ultimate SOFT batch chocolate chip cookie that will become your GO TO recipe!

But sometimes I crave different textures. Sometimes I want them to be super soft chocolate chip cookies. Yet other times I want them to be thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies.

Don’t get me wrong, practically any homemade chocolate chip cookie is a good with me. It’s just every once in a while you have a texture craving that must be satisfied.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies are ultra ooey and gooey with two secret ingredients to keep them ultra soft and tender! Your friends will LOVE these cookies.

Which texture of cookies do you prefer? Does your family love soft batch cookies? Chewy? Crispy? Some combination of it all?!

How to Make SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are a few key ingredients to ensure your cookies bake up ultra tender and soft.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is hygroscopic, which means it takes in and retains moisture (better than granulated sugar). Adding moisture to your cookie dough can help make it softer and chewier, and stay soft for longer. That’s why I use way more brown sugar than granulated sugar in this recipe. Learn how to to DIY your own brown sugar and how to keep it soft in your pantry here.

Cornstarch

Cookies with cornstarch are ultra soft and often slightly gooey and paler in color. It can also aid in lift and height, as it is a thickening agent. Just be sure not to add too much extra cornstarch, otherwise your cookies will develop an almost glue-like pudding consistency. I find in this recipe 2 teaspoons is the Goldilocks measurement.

Cream cheese

Not only does cream cheese add richness and flavor, but it also tenderizes the cookies so they’re super soft, even slightly chewy, without being cakey due to the fat content. I know it’s a bit of a hassle to add in cream cheese here, but believe me it’s these small details that take your cookies from good to GREAT. Be sure to use full fat brick cream cheese, not cream cheese for spreading on bagels.

Baking Time & Temperature

If your oven runs hot, you may want to reduce the temperature slightly to avoid overly browning these cookies. You want to remove these from the oven just before they actually look done baking. The residual heat will continue to cook them and they will solidify as they begin to cool. Also, avoid using a dark colored baking pan.

How to Bake THICK Cookies

The key to making sure your cookies bake up nice and thick instead of flattening into those little sad puddles is to make sure your butter and/or cookie dough isn’t too warm. Make sure your butter is at a COOL room temperature, about 67°F, before creaming with the sugar.

Next, make sure your balls of cookie dough aren’t warm when they enter the oven otherwise the dough will melt too much. If you experience issues with your cookies spreading too much, try popping the tray of shaped dough into the freezer while the oven preheats. If you live in a very humid climate, try adding a couple extra tablespoons of flour to the dough to combat that added moisture.

Why use a cookie scoop?

Using a stainless steel spring-loaded cookie scoop when portioning out cookie dough is one of the KEYS to beautiful, uniform, evenly-shaped and evenly-baked cookies. My cookie scoop is one of my most frequently used kitchen gadgets. A spring-loaded scoop saves you *so much time* in forming the balls of dough. When using a scoop, you ensure each ball is evenly sized so the cookies bake evenly, meaning you don’t have any small overbaked cookies or large underbaked cookies. Learn more about Cookie Scoops and how to use them here!

Science of Cookie Baking

Download my FREE Cookie Customization Guide which shows you quick and easy ways to alter the texture of your favorite cookie recipes. So whether you like soft cookies like this recipe, or prefer cakey, crispy, or chewy, this handy visual guide will show you what tweaks to make to get the texture of your dreams!

If you love SOFT and slightly gooey chocolate chip cookies you will be obsessed with this homemade recipe!

More Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

See ALL of my chocolate chip cookie recipes here!

August Baking Challenge

This recipe was the pick for August 2019’s baking challenge! Check out all of the entries that were submitted here!

4.85 from 200 votes

How to make
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 26 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies are ultra ooey and gooey with two secret ingredients to keep them ultra soft and tender! Your friends will LOVE these cookies. Click here to download my FREE cookie customization guide!

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups (349 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups 340 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. If baking right away, preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

  4. If time permits: wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but no more than 72 hours. This allows the dough to “marinate” and for the final cookies to become softer, thicker, and more flavorful. Let dough sit at room temperature until it is just soft enough to scoop.

  5. Using a medium (1 1/2-tablespoon size) spring-loaded scoop, drop balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets.

  6. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until barely golden brown. Don’t overbake - the cookies will continue to cook from residual heat. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American

This recipe was originally published in 2013 and recently updated with new photos, weight measurements, and more recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Fatma — February 27, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Hello i tried your recipe and loved it but i have a question my cookies became soo big and dome like it did not look like regular cookies is it from the amount of flour?

    • #
      Tessa — March 1, 2021 at 11:53 am

      Oh no! I’m sorry your cookies didn’t turn out. Yes, cookies that don’t spread at all usually have too much flour in the dough. I’d recommend measuring with a digital scale: https://handletheheat.com/how-to-measure-flour/

  2. #
    Heather — February 16, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Interesting. Over two decades, I’ve tried about every combination of chocolate chip cookie ingredients and method. While these are very good and definitely chewy, I wouldn’t call them soft. The bottom was crunchier than I expected, and the top was borderline underdone (which my household prefers). I portioned the dough into 20 cookies, refrigerated overnight, and baked them at 350 (verified with a thermometer) for 13 minutes on the middle rack, using a silicone liner on a commercial rimmed baking sheet. The extra couple minutes was to account for the larger cookies. I checked each minute after 10 minutes, and even at 13 minutes, I worried they were a little too raw (again, not a bad thing at our house). Next time, I’m going to try baking on an insulated cookie sheet to see if it changes the texture at all.

    • #
      Tessa — February 17, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Heather, I’m sorry your cookies burned on the bottom! I’d highly recommend baking cookies on ungreased sheets of parchment paper lined on baking sheets – this will prevent them from browning too quickly on the bottom. Hope you give these cookies another try!

  3. #
    Kellie Conrad — January 23, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Making this recipe currently and very excited to see the outcome. Just curious about storage. I’m sure sealed container at room temperature but wasn’t sure because the addition of cream cheese in the cookies. Thank you!

  4. #
    Ssbah — January 10, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    Loved it!

  5. #
    maggie — October 12, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies. I thought I had the best recipe and I’ve used it for years, resolving never to try any other recipe ever again, as all others have been a disappointment. But, I tried Tessa’s Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (after I heard about them) and now I have a very popular foolproof recipe. I am a good main meals cook, but a lousy baker – however with this Ultimate Cookie handbook, I am, for the first time, baking. And I’m successful at it, because this book doesn’t just contain recipes, but is educating me on how I can always get the best result. I may be in my 60’s but Im finally making my debut amongst family and friends as a great baker! Who’d have thought it? I’m working my way through recipe after recipe. Thank you Tessa, I treasure this book

  6. #
    susan — August 18, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I watched you video on measuring – the volume and weights do not seem to be equivalent measurements.

    Please advise as to which is correct.

    Thank you

  7. #
    Mohini — August 17, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve made this recipe and it easily became my favorite home made cookies <3 it was soft and chewy and just all round yummy
    How much dark cocoa powder do i need to add to turn this into a double chocolate chip cookie ?

  8. #
    Cindy — August 14, 2020 at 8:31 am

    PERFECTION!! These cookies stayed moist, soft and gooey even a day after making them! My husband kept marveling about how perfectly round they were and how they were the best cookies I have EVER made!!

  9. #
    Sonia — August 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I loved making this recipe. The best soft chocolate chip cookie recipe I have used and I have tried many. Thank you

  10. #
    Judy Lancaster — July 25, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Sorry Tess I wasn’t too clear on my earlier email.

    meant what brand of fine sea salt do you use or recommend?

    Thank you.

  11. #
    Judy Lancaster — July 25, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Hi Tess
    I am so happy to have stumbled in tour website just a few days ago! I am excited to participate in the August baking challenge.
    One question – what fine sea salt do you use?
    I’ve always used Kosher salt. After reading your educational tip about salt it made a lot of sense.
    Thank you.

  12. #
    Michelle Orndorff — June 27, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I had to stop baking as they JUST began to brown, unlike I’ve ever done before. They were a BIG hit. I believe the 2 hours of refrigeration before and also between batches was crucial. (I did a batch when the dough had been left out just 15 minutes, and they were flat.)

  13. #
    Nour — June 26, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Every recipe of yours is heaven! every time I make one, I feel like a pro baker, because its not only about the recipe, its about all the details your explain! Thank you for your existing & I’m so glad I bumped into your Instagram by pure coincidence
    Lots of love!

  14. #
    Melissa — May 18, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    It was probably just me but they turned out too thick for my liking. I like Tessa’s classic ccc recipe better, they are my new go-to favourite (probably for life)!

  15. #
    David — May 14, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Light or dark brown sugar for this recipe?

  16. #
    David — May 14, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Light or desk brown sugar for this recipe?

  17. #
    Gracie — April 29, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    I made these for my son’s 4th birthday party. Everyone raved about them at the party. These cookies stay soft for days and are absolutely delicious.

  18. #
    tony — April 28, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Tess, I’d love to fuck you.

  19. #
    michael b — April 18, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Made these cookies today and they are amazing…. Tollhouse has been shut down for good!!

  20. #
    Lisa Resciniti — April 16, 2020 at 10:22 am

    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe and I have made so many different recipes!!! My family loves these and they stay soft and delicious!

  21. #
    Olivia — April 14, 2020 at 4:49 am

    CaN pecans be added to this recipe

  22. #
    Emilie — March 25, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Absolutely DELICIOUS ! They are so gooey and the center and crunchy on the outside ! This is one of the best recipe I have ever seen. When they come out of the oven, it smells like heaven. And when you take a bite, it tastes like heaven. So thank you Tessa , please keep sharing your truly wonderful recipes !

  23. #
    Ellen — February 12, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    What is brick cream cheese vs cream cheese that is used on bagels? Is it sold in most grocery stores?

  24. #
    Elva — February 3, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    I just finished making these delicious cookies, thank you for the recipe, they are great!

    • #
      Marnee Antonio — February 11, 2020 at 11:37 pm

      4 stars bec its a bit on the sweet side for me. But the texture is PERFECT!!!! THE KIND OF SOFTNESS AND CHEWY COOKIE IVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. but how can i reduce the sweetness? Can i take out the entire white sugar or just cut brown and white to a smaller scale?

  25. #
    Sarah — February 1, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    These cookies are AMAZING!! I don’t have the words to adequately describe just how amazing they truly are. They are pillowy soft, gooey, chocolatey perfection. Thank you for giving me the only CCC recipe I will ever need.

  26. #
    Han — January 26, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    How long does it take to come to room temperature after chilling the dough?

    • #
      Tessa — January 29, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      That’s going to totally depend on the temperature of your kitchen and the size & shape of your bowl.

  27. #
    Maduni de Freitas — December 15, 2019 at 11:02 am

    How do I store these? How long can I store them for?
    Thanks!

  28. #
    Patricia — November 22, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Hi there! Im very excited to try this recipe after reading the raging and countless positive reviews! I have a quick question before attwmpting the recipe. Can margarine be used instead of butter, and if so…do the measurments change? Also….am i able to cut the salt in half without alterering the flavoir too much? Im asking because we are a tightly financially budgeted home and this recipe is a little bit more than our usual ingredients. And im sure thats why the cookies are so amazing! And im asking about the salt because we try to minimize sodium intake as much as possible. Im sooooo looking forward to hearing from you so i can try this recipe ASAP.

  29. #
    Mariana — November 1, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Isn’t a hole teaspoon of salt a bit much?

  30. #
    Vicki — October 9, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Have you ever tried other add ins with this cookie recipe – day nuts, M&Ms, butterscotch or whites chocolate chips, dried fruit? Seems like it would work well with other flavours as well!

  31. #
    Marina Giribone — September 16, 2019 at 7:58 am

    They lost all their form and came out flat…. 🙁 so disappointed. Not sure what the reason could be….

  32. #
    Ta Gay — September 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Omg!!! This recipe is the best! Do you have a soft batch recipe for peanut butter, sugar or chocolate cookies??

  33. #
    Tamela Abenoja — September 10, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Can you add two teaspoons of cornstarch to any chocolate chip cookie recipe?

  34. #
    Bella — September 8, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Hi. Just want to ask. Why your recipe on your own youtube video (soft chocolate chip cookies) not same as this recipe ?

  35. #
    Beela — September 8, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Hi. Just want to ask. Why your recipe on your own youtube video (soft chocolate chip cookies) not same as this recipe ?

  36. #
    Ella — September 1, 2019 at 12:00 am

    W O W , this recipe is the best recipe I have ever tried and I will never be using a different recipe. They were soft and had the best texture and taste. Thanks for the incredible recipe

  37. #
    Nancy — August 31, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Amazing! Wow, love these! Big hit, keeper recipe! Thanks for the great recipe!

  38. #
    Nancy — August 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    These are fantastic! SO so good, especially sprinkled with Maldon sea salt! Definitely a keeper recipe to make again and again!

  39. #
    Saba Hassani — August 31, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    This is definitely a fool proof recipe! After trying 4 different other recipes from other websites labeled as the “best” cookie recipe, I ended up with oily flat cookies after each attempt. I kept thinking: “what am I doing wrong?”. Thanks to this recipe I finally nailed it!!! Thank you sooo much!! If you are reading the reviews to see if it works, I promise it works and it’s soft and delicious! The tip about chilling the dough is simple yet genius.

  40. #
    Allyson — August 31, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I super liked the recipe, but think it would benefit from another 1/2 tsp of salt

  41. #
    Wendy Hurst — August 31, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Yum!

  42. #
    Eunice Choe — August 31, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Excellent recipe. My roommate and I love them!

  43. #
    Eunice Choe — August 31, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Amazing! My roommate and I loved them. The cream cheese added a lovely chewy texture.

  44. #
    Pam — August 31, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I have tried this recipe before and it looked more like yours and it was actually better. The only thing I did differently this time (that I know of) was that I used mini chocolate chips in the cookie dough; then I added extra chocolate chunks on top. It was good and when I made it before I actually made it alongside another soft chocolate chip cookie recipe and I liked this recipe best; and so did my granddaughters.

  45. #
    Jill Peacock — August 31, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    This recipe has the perfect amount of crispness, chewiness, and chocolate! I love this recipe! It’s my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe! Thank you for sharing Tessa!

  46. #
    Jill Peacock — August 31, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    I just made the these and cannot stay out of them (dough+ cookies)!! I usually stick with my chocolate chip cookie recipe but I’ve found a new favorite recipe!! Thank you for sharing!!

  47. #
    Macarena carvajal — August 31, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Loed the recipe, love cookies, I made the ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, everyone loved!!

  48. #
    Macarena carvajal — August 31, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I made de ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and they where wonderful!! Going t do this one tomorrow!!

  49. #
    Jen Nicholson — August 31, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    They turned out amazing, couldn’t get my husbands hans out of the dough!!!

  50. #
    Ines — August 31, 2019 at 11:05 am

    These turned out great even the batch I did not refrigerate!

  51. #
    Pramit Gupta — August 31, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Bestbestbest recipe!

  52. #
    Pramit — August 31, 2019 at 10:22 am

    People were fighting to have a bite of the cookie. Loved the recipe

  53. #
    Pramit — August 31, 2019 at 10:20 am

    People were fighting to have a bite of the cookies. Loved the recipe

  54. #
    Erika — August 31, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Easy and delicious, my kind of recipe 🙂

  55. #
    Bonnie — August 31, 2019 at 5:12 am

    These were so soft and they looked lovely

  56. #
    Rebecca — August 31, 2019 at 12:22 am

    WOW! Such delicious cookies! The cookie dough was thicker than my previous used recipe so I was unsure, but they turned out great (even tho i didnt let them rest in the fridge). I lovie the slight tangy flavor from the cream cheese. I may definitely making them again!

  57. #
    Aaliya Aslam — August 31, 2019 at 12:10 am

    I usually follow one recipe for cookies and my family loves them. But I wanted to try something new and im absolutely in love with this. The texture is amazing and it’s so soft and easy to make. Honestly one of the best recipes I’ve come across and I respect your love for baking

  58. #
    Kathreen — August 30, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Great but I would defintely add more semisweet chips in it! Wasn’t enough but still delicious!

  59. #
    Ellen Hubbs — August 30, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    THE PERFECT COOKIE! My mom is a retired home ex teacher and one of my sisters is a pastry chef. So believe me when I say I have seen A LOT of cookie recipes. This one produces the perfect, gooey, soft, crispy cookie.

  60. #
    Leena Imran Khan — August 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Can I substitute cream cheese

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