You like cake and you like cookies, but what about cakey cookies? That isn’t very fun. If youve made a fresh batch of cookies and they turned out with a cake-like texture, its essential to know what went wrong and how to fix it for next time.
Hello, everyone! Im Shea, and Ive enjoyed baking cookies for over ten years. It started with baking chocolate chip and walnut cookies with my mother, and now its advanced to some of the most delicious and unique cookie concoctions I could ever dream of.
Although I have many years of experience, it doesnt mean I dont make mistakes along the way. One thing that happens to me and many other bakers, new and professional is cakey cookies.
Today, were learning why cookies turn out cakey and, more importantly, how to make them less cakey in the future.
- Why Cookies Come Out Cakey (5 Reasons)
- How to Fix Cakey Cookies (5 Tips for Success)
- Cakey Cookies: Common Problem with Easy Solutions
- How do you fix cakey cookies?
- How do you make cookies flatten more?
- Why do my cookies look like pancakes?
- How do you fix cookies that won’t flatten?
- What can I add to cookies to make them moist?
- Why are my cookies puffy and not flat?
- What is the secret to flat cookies?
- Why are my cookies cakey?
- What ingredient makes cookies flatten?
- Why are my cookies like muffin tops?
Why Cookies Come Out Cakey (5 Reasons)
If youre caught smack dab in the middle of a cakey cookie fiasco, youre likely wondering what went wrong. Well, there are a few different reasons why your cookies didnt come out with the texture you were hoping for. Here are the top five blunders.
1. Used a different type of flour
There are many excellent flour options when baking cookies, but all-purpose flour tends to be the recommended go-to. If youre experimenting with other types of flour, good for you but you need to be aware that different types of flour can alter the texture of your cookie.
Let’s use cake flour as an example. Im a big advocate for using cake flour for specific cookie recipes. The results are perfectly flaky and delicious but yes, theyre a bit on the cakey side. After all, the flour is named for its purpose to bake cakes.
If you use cake flour, you should expect that your cookies will come out more cakey. If you want to use cake flour but are nervous about an overabundance of cakiness, consider using cake flour and all-purpose flour.
However, at the end of the day, if you step outside of your comfort zone and opt for flour other than all-purpose flour, you may be setting yourself up for a cakey disaster.
2. Used too much flour
Regardless of what type of flour you used, one thing remains true if you use too much flour in your cookie dough, you will end up with cakey cookies. Why? Well, its pretty simple. The flour is dry. If theres too much flour and not enough liquid, the dryness will take over.
3. Added too many/too big eggs
Did you know that eggs are a liquid ingredient in baking, and one of their purposes is to leaven? Needless to say, if you add too many eggs or too big of eggs, you will be adding too much leavening to your cookies leaving you with treats that rise rather than spread.
Tip: Theres a reason why recipes ask for a particular size of an egg(s), for instance, one large egg or three small eggs. Theyre not just trying to be picky and annoy you with their precision theyre trying to avoid cakey cookie nightmares!
4. Overbeaten sugar and butter
Yes, you need to beat sugar and butter together either by hand, with a stand mixer, or a hand mixer. But too much beating will cause cakey cookies as the excessive beating results in too much air in the cookie dough.
5. Used baking powder – NOT baking soda
Baking soda is one of my best friends in the kitchen, and its a common ingredient for cookie recipes. However, some people dont know the difference between baking soda and baking powder, so they end up using them interchangeably.
However, baking soda and baking powder are not the same thing. Baking powder contains an acid, while baking soda requires an acid to activate.
Obviously, baking soda and baking powder will react differently in your cookie recipe. So, if you swap baking powder for baking soda, youll likely end up with cookies that risehigh rather than spreading as theyre supposed to.
How to Fix Cakey Cookies (5 Tips for Success)
Okay, we know what went wrong now. But that doesnt do anything unless we know how to fix it for next time. Well, Ive added these five essential tips for cookie-baking success. Say goodbye to cakey cookies for good!
1. Use all-purpose flour
While theres nothing wrong with experimenting with other types of flour if youre not quite sure what youre doing (yet!)It is recommended to use all-purpose flour. The most common flour used in cookie recipes is all-purpose flour. Follow along with the recipe, and youll be fine.
2. Weigh your flour/use less flour
So you’re sifting your flour? Excellent! But that is just half the fight. Although sifting will ensure more precise results, you wont achieve superior accuracy without weighing your flour (and other ingredients, too).
If you sift and weigh your flour and find youre still having trouble with cakiness, it may be a flaw with the recipe youre using. Try holding back about cup of flour from the recipe. This way, you can add, if necessary, without using too much from the get-go.
3. Use the right size eggs
I know it can be annoying to have to go out and purchase small or large eggs for your cookies, but it will make a world of difference and you cant put your cakey nightmares to rest. Always make sure youre using the right-sized eggs!
Tip: If youre still struggling with your recipe, consider cutting down on the number of eggs. For example, if the recipe calls for two small eggs, use one instead.
4. Don’t overbeat the sugar and butter
I said it once, and I will say it again you need to beat your sugar and butter. However, overbeating can cause cakiness. You never want to go beyond three minutes of beating if youre using a mixer or five minutes if youre beating by hand.
Tip: Consider using melted butter rather than room temperature butter. This will get rid of some of the sturdiness that can come from the room temp or cold sticks of butter.
5. Make sure you use baking soda
A lot of cookie recipes will call for baking soda, not baking powder. It is crucial to follow the recipe exactly. Otherwise, your cookies might turn out to be a cakey mess.
Now, thats not to say that all cookie recipes are created equally. For example, these yummy cookies utilize baking soda and baking powder.
Does that mean you should nix the baking powder in fear of ending up with cakiness? No way! To get the best results, always follow the recipe exactly as written.
Many problems can cause your cookies to turn out cakey, but now you know how to fend off cakiness for good. Are you still interested in this subject? Here are some interesting, frequently asked questions that people (like you) have asked.
Do you love flat and crunchy cookies as much as I do? There are a few ways to achieve maximum crunch!
For one, reduce the amount of flour and cut out an egg (or simply use the egg white, no yolk). Reduce the oven temp by 25F and ditch the baking soda. Use more white sugar than brown sugar, and opt for light over dark when using brown sugar.
Do you prefer a denser and chewier cookie? Then try swapping dark brown sugar for 75% of white sugar in your recipe. Instead of all-purpose flour, use cake flour. Double your yolks and try using baking powder rather than baking soda. Always chill the dough and cut down on baking time ever so slightly.
Cakey Cookies: Common Problem with Easy Solutions
While cakey cookies are a relatively common problem, the good news is that there are many simple solutions. It really comes down to ensuring youre not overdoing it with the flour and opting for all-purpose flour.
Always ensure you use the correct egg size, avoid overbeating the sugar and butter, and dont mix up baking soda for baking powder.
Have you ever had trouble making cakey cookies? What steps did you take to resolve the problem? Share some tips and tricks with us in the comment section!
How to Fix Cakey Cookies
Don’t Chill Your Cookies.
Use Melted Butter instead of Room Temperature Butter.
Use Less Flour.
Don’t Beat the Butter and Sugar Too Much.
Add Baking Soda.
Decrease Baking Powder.
Drop the Pan on the Counter a Few Times after Baking.
Decrease the Amount of Eggs.
How to Spread Cookies
Do not refrigerate your cookie dough before shaping the cookies.
Use melted butter rather than softened room temperature butter.
Increase the fat content in the cookies.
Use more white sugar and less brown sugar.
Make sure your baking powder is not old.
Add more liquid to your batter.
If your oven is too hot, the fat melts faster than the cookie is able to set, and you end up with pancake cookies. Always preheat your oven and invest in a good oven thermometer. Even new ovens can be incorrectly calibrated, so check the actual temperature every time you put a pan in the oven.
I always make ONE testing cookie first.
Then if your cookie didn’t spread enough, leave the cookie dough to come to room temperature before baking the remaining cookies. If it spread too much, you can put it back in the fridge to chill for a bit longer.
Add molasses or honey to taste. Another way to add more moisture to your cookies is incorporate a tablespoon of molasses into a standard-sized cookie recipe. Don’t use any more than a tablespoon, because it will make your cookies very sweet and runny. One spoonful is enough.
Q: Why are my cookies so puffy and cakey? Too much air is whipped into the dough. That fluffy texture you want in a cake results from beating a lot of air into the room temperature butter and sugar, and it does the same for cookies. So don’t overdo it when you’re creaming together the butter and sugar.
If your cookies repeatedly turn out flat, no matter the recipe, chances are your oven is too hot. Here’s what’s happening. The butter melts super quickly in a too-hot oven before the other ingredients have firmed up into a cookie structure. Therefore, as the butter spreads so does the whole liquidy cookie.
Why are my cookies so cakey? When cookies are too cakey, there are two main culprits: too much leavening (baking powder or baking soda) or too much egg. If there is too much baking powder or baking soda in the dough, the cookies will rise too much when baking, creating a cakier structure.
If your cookies come out flat on top, with a cake-like texture, you’ve added too many eggs. In this case, my mom and I added two extra eggs. Adding extra eggs is not a common issue, but we were curious. The results looked presentable, though the chocolate chips were lost a bit in the dough.