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. Eggs also promote a cakey structure in cookies.
The most common cause is using a different flour than usual, such as cake flour, and measuring flour with too heavy a hand. Using larger eggs than called for can make cookies cakey, as will the addition of milk or more milk or other liquids than specified.
Add baking soda. If your recipe doesn’t call for it, try adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. If your recipe already has baking soda and it still turns out cakey, go ahead and add about 1/4 teaspoon extra to see if that helps (in addition to a few of the other techniques).
Not using enough sugar resulted in dry and bready cookies. They weren’t chewy at all, and they puffed upward in the center.
Rest the dough a secret baker’s trick is to rest your cookie dough in the fridge. You can rest it for at least an hour, which will evaporate some of the water and increase the sugar content, helping to keep your cookies chewy. The longer you allow your dough to rest in the fridge, the chewier your cookies will be.
All-purpose is the best for cookies, but pastry flour is a close second. However, you can also opt for bread, cake, or self-rising flour. These flours will alter the final result, so it’s important to know the effects before applying them to your cookie recipe.
If you cream the butter for too long it will cause the butter to warm up too much and make it soft to hold onto those air pockets created by the sugar. This will cause your cookies to spread flat in the oven.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until the cookies are firm enough to remove, about 15 minutes. As the cookies are cooling, press additional chocolate chips into the tops for a more bakery-style look. Repeat with remaining batches, until all cookies are baked. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!
While brown sugar keeps your cookies moist and soft, white sugar and corn syrup will help your cookies spread and crisp in the oven. Using more white sugar in your cookies will result in a crispier end product. To achieve a crispy cookie, skip the rest in the fridge.
The problem: Your oven is too hot. 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.
If the cookies that you’re baking are turning out far too puffy, then just flattening out the cookie dough a bit before baking it might work well. You can place a dollop onto a cookie sheet and then flatten it a bit using a spoon or a fork.
Sugar sweetens the cookies and makes them an enticing golden brown. Adding too little sugar can affect the taste and texture of cookies. Adding too much can cause them to be brittle. Take your time creaming the sugar and butter together at the beginning.
Bake at 375 degrees F until golden and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. For crispy-cakey cookies: Bake the cookies at 425 degrees F until golden and crunchy on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes.
Basically, cookies made with butter spread more and are flatter and crisper if baked long enough. However, they are more flavorful than cookies made with shortening. Cookies made with shortening bake up taller and are more tender, but aren’t as flavorful.
Adding more moisture to your dough in the form of extra butter, egg yolks, or brown sugar will make your cookies even softer.
Shortening is 100% fat, containing no water. That means no steam is created during baking which effectively reduces gluten production, so shortening cookies tend to be softer and more tender. Also, shortening has a higher melting point than butter, resulting in taller cookies.
Sifting the flour helped promote consistency in recipe results by removing the larger particles that could potentially result in densely textured baked goods or even ones that would sink in the middle.
Eggs add structure, leavening, color, and flavor to our cakes and cookies. It’s the balance between eggs and flour that help provide the height and texture of many of the baked goods here on Joy the Baker. It’s a balancing act. Different parts of the egg pull the weight in different ways.
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.
One of the most common reasons why cookies didn’t spread out in the oven is because you added too much flour. Cookies rely on the perfect ratio of butter to flour in order to spread just the right amount when baked. It’s very easy to over measure flour when using cup measurements.
If your baking soda or baking powder is expired, your cookies won’t develop as they are supposed to – causing them not to rise but simply to spread across your oven tray. It’s a good idea to regularly replace your raising agents as they are key to baked goods rising as they should when baked.
To fix this, Delishably instructs adding 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it thickens up. The ideal consistency will depend on what you’re baking.
When cookies don’t spread in the oven, it’s either because the dough was too dry or too cold. Dry dough doesn’t have enough moisture or fat in it to spread out, so it sets in that shape. Dough that’s too cold will start to firm up before the butter has a chance to melt completely.
For softer, chewier cookies, you will want to add much less granulated sugar, slightly more brown sugar, and a fair bit less butter. For cakey cookies, you will often be including even less butter and sugar.
Brown sugar you use has a great effect on texture because each type has a different moisture content (brown sugar is much wetter than white). Using more brown sugar will produce a softer, chewier cookie, while using more white sugar will turn out cookies that are sandier in texture and crisper overall.
Mistake: When cookies turn out flat, the bad guy is often butter that is too soft or even melted. This makes cookies spread. The other culprit is too little flour — don’t hold back and make sure you master measuring.
“Most people think the butter should be so soft that it’s broken down, but the most important thing is that you want a little bit of give to the butter.” If you want to get technical, she says the precise temperature should be between 63 and 68 degrees — where it’s cool to touch, but your finger can leave an indent.
If you’re looking for fluffy cookies, stick to baking powder. Baking powder is better known for causing incredible “puff.” Just make sure that it is not expired.
The role of vanilla in sweet baked goods is like the role of salt on the savory side: it enhances all the other flavors in the recipe. Without it, cookies and cakes tend to taste flat and bland. Forget to add the vanilla once, and you’ll probably never do it again!