Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Filed Under: Chocolate | Cookies | Dessert

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 18th, 2022
4.85 from 208 votes
4.85 from 208 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 perfectly 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!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

This is the only recipe you’ll ever need for SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The kind of cookies that are ultra tender but still hold their shape and are loaded with tons of ooey gooey chocolate chips.

a tray of freshly-baked SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies

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

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

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

Which texture of cookies do you prefer? Does your family love soft-batch cookies? Chewy? Crispy? Some combination of it all?! Let me know in the comments below!

soft chocolate chip cookies on a plate, with one broken in half to show how soft and tender it is

How to Make SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are a few key ingredients to ensure your cookies are 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 much more brown sugar than granulated sugar in this recipe. Learn how to DIY your own brown sugar and how to keep it soft in your pantry here.


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.

How to Bake SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Be sure your oven isn’t running too hot – learn more about that here. If your oven does run hot, you may want to reduce the temperature slightly to avoid overly browning these cookies.
  2. 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.
  3. Avoid using a dark-colored baking pan. Learn more about that here.

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:

  • Make sure your butter isn’t too warm. Make sure your butter is at a COOL room temperature, about 67°F, before creaming with the sugar. Learn more about that here.
  • 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.

How to Store Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can also freeze your cookie dough balls. Learn more about that, and how to bake from frozen, here.

Science of Cookie Baking

Download my FREE Cookie Customization Guide for quick and easy ways to alter the texture of your favorite cookie recipes. 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!

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies on a light blue napkin

More Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

4.85 from 208 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!


  • 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 cool 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 cool room temperature
  • 2 cups (340 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips


  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
Keyword : chocolate chip cookies, quick recipes, soft cookies

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  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Rachel — November 12, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    made these tonight, best chocolate chip cookie, only difference i used mini chocolate chip. thank you for sharing these are delicious

  2. #
    Angela — October 1, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    These cookies were amazing! I followed the recipe except instead of 2 cups chocolate chips, I added 1 white chocolate and 1 dark chocolate chips plus 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts. I chilled in fridge 60 hrs then froze them in log shape (make 2 logs), then thawed the log in the fridge the night before baking. I cut the log accross into 1/2 inch slices and then shaped each slice into 2 balls. Kept them in fridge while waiting to bake and took 10-11min at 350F. My kids could not stop eatcing them. Definitely chill extra time as I have made them before and they are not as chewy without time in fridge.

  3. #
    Blythe — September 1, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever! It always comes out perfect. I added about a teaspoon of sesame oil, tasted it to see if it needed more and dipped the tops in sesame seeds before I baked them. They came out, so delicious! You must chill the dough for the best results.

  4. #
    Karen — July 4, 2023 at 7:45 am

    The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe out there!! Soft & Chewy 100%!

  5. #
    Victoria — July 3, 2023 at 10:58 am

    I will have to play with the timing. I set my oven to 350 and it tends to run hot, but after 10-11 minutes the centers were pretty ooey gooey. They were just starting to brown a little, but the rest of the dough/cookie still looked pretty blonde. I let the first batch sit out and cool and even after reaching room temp, I would have probably wanted at least another 2 minutes in the oven. The taste is delicious though! Only change to ingredients I would make is for the chocolate chips, measure with your heart :P.

  6. #
    O — May 19, 2023 at 9:02 pm

    Time and time again, I keep coming back to this recipe. The cookies always turn out delicious!

    • #
      Emily — May 22, 2023 at 5:54 am

      That makes us so happy to hear!

  7. #
    Dave Miller — May 3, 2023 at 9:33 am

    This is our family’s favorite cookie and with lots of little mouths around, we go through a 1-2 dozen a week.

    I am thinking of trying to double (maybe triple) the recipe and then freezing dough for later. I found your freezing instructions and will follow those.

    My question if there are any adjustments to make when multiplying this or any cookie recipe?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 3, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Dave! So glad to hear that you’re loving Tessa’s recipe! No adjustments needed to multiply the recipe – just keep in mind the dough volume and your mixer bowl size. You need to make sure there’s enough space in your bowl for everything to still be creamed and mixed as it needs to be, so most of the time, doubling just about maxes out that capacity. I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂

  8. #
    Mariel — April 27, 2023 at 5:25 am

    I think these are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. My coworkers loves them.

  9. #
    Tami — January 22, 2023 at 9:46 am

    The best chocolate chip cookie recipe!! Every time I make these … Everybody LOVES them!!

  10. #
    Daphne — December 30, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Fabulous cookie!! Soft and chewy.
    Thank you so much for the recipe.
    I’m sharing this with my three sisters.
    Happy New Year

  11. #
    Jayne — December 4, 2022 at 9:32 am

    Had my tough critic cookie lovers rate this and they mentioned it’s little too sweet. Maybe I can use salted butter instead of unsalted to balance the sweetness?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 6, 2022 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Jayne! Yes, that should work just fine. You can also try a darker/more bittersweet type of chocolate, to further balance out the sweetness. Happy baking!

  12. #
    Sally — October 20, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    OMG!! I always wondered why my cookies where never chewy and soft! I made this recipe and never had used cornstarch and I believe that was one key.

    • #
      Emily — October 21, 2022 at 9:09 am

      You’re absolutely right! Cornstarch is one of the ingredients in this recipe that helps to create ultra soft cookies! Glad you gave our recipe a try! 🙂

  13. #
    K — October 12, 2022 at 10:22 am

    I accidentally used 2 whole sticks of butter, purely out of habit. I followed this recipe for everything else, though, and everyone was very happy with the softness.
    I even got a text from my husband, complimenting the cookies on his lunch break!

  14. #
    Denise Bergmeier — June 23, 2022 at 8:56 am

    I love this recipee!
    There are never any cookies in my cookie jar!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 23, 2022 at 9:02 am

      So happy to hear that, Denise!! 🙂

  15. #
    Linda Butler — May 11, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    This is the third Chocolate Chip Recipe that I’ve tried from Handle The Heat. And it’s just as fabulous as the others. My plan is to try them all and I expect that they will all be just as fabulous as one before. Your simple rules for good cookies every time is the key. I have followed them exactly and have not been disappointed. Before I started using the recipes from Handle the heat, many times I froze the finished cookies I made, when necessary, because of time constraints. Do your baked cookies freeze well?
    Sweet Regards, Linda Butler

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 16, 2022 at 9:57 am

      Hi Linda! I’m so happy you love HTH’s cookie recipes! You can freeze baked cookies by wrapping well in plastic wrap, then storing in an airtight container. Tessa details everything you will ever need to know about freezing cookie dough, or baked cookies, in this article here. I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂

  16. #
    Shamsa Alowais — January 15, 2022 at 2:21 am

    The cookies remain so soft and everyone loved the cookies!

  17. #
    Brooke — December 30, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    I want to try these out but can’t find block cream cheese in the Uk, only soft cream cheese. Would this work or do you have any other suggestions?

    • #
      Emily — January 3, 2022 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Brooke! Please make sure to use full-fat, high-quality cream cheese. The spreadable type of cream cheese shouldn’t be used as it’s normally processed differently and is too aerated. I hope you can find something that will work well, I wish I could help more!

    • #
      Louise — June 13, 2022 at 11:39 pm

      Hi, for anybody in the UK like me where block cream cheese is impossible to find. I think cream cheese triangles may work as they’re dense and not spreadable as required.

    • #
      Lindsey — October 21, 2022 at 8:10 am

      I’ve made this recipe 3 times now. I’m not sure why, but these do not brown at all. I’ve reduced the cornstarch amount by half and still they turn out very pale. Flavor is very good.

      • #
        Emily — October 21, 2022 at 9:13 am

        Hi Lindsey! Besides reducing the cornstarch in half, have you made any other substitutions to the recipe? Are you baking the cookies on the middle oven shelf? These are lighter-in-color cookies, but they should still be a lightly golden brown on the tops when they’re finished baking.

  18. #
    Lieza — December 14, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Tessa, can I add oats to this? Would it not affect the texture of the cookies?

    • #
      Emily — December 15, 2021 at 11:34 am

      Hi Lieza! Yes, adding oats will affect the texture of the cookies, but you’re welcome to experiment with it! I’d suggest making the recipe as written first though so you have something to compare it to 🙂 If you’re looking for a soft Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, check out ours HERE, and follow the baking instructions to bake for about 12-13 minutes. Hope that helps!

  19. #
    Pam R. — November 7, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Your cookbook says to use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and it says it makes about 26 cookies and to cook for 10 minutes and leave on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and the recipe made 5 dozen cookies — the time and size worked for me. Here, it says to use a 2 tablespoon scoop and should make about 26 cookies; and it says to cook 10-11 minutes and cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Why the differences from the cookbook?

    • #
      Emily — November 10, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Pam! Some cookbook recipes differ from older blog recipes. We only used a 1 1/2 tablespoon or 3 tablespoon scoop size for all recipes of the book. We’ve not had this recipe make 60 cookies before, just around 26. Did you by chance double the recipe? I’m not sure how you got so many cookies!

  20. #
    Leshelle — October 26, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Just made these and oh my goodness these are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. This recipe is Devine! Big fluffy ooey gooey deliciousness! I did add I bit of cinnamon to mine because it always takes chocolate chip cookies to the next level of yummy. But definitely adding this recipe to my recipe book. My go to from
    Now on. Thank you!

    • #
      Haley Wehner — October 26, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      Genius about adding the cinnamon to your cookies! So glad to hear you loved this recipe.

  21. #
    Kristy — October 3, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Can you freeze the dough and then bake later, after letting the dough come to room temperature?

    • #
      Emily — October 4, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      You can definitely freeze this dough! Be sure to ‘marinate’ the dough prior to freezing (see directions for details), then follow this post here to bake directly from frozen: Enjoy your cookies!

  22. #
    Ellen — September 27, 2021 at 3:28 am

    Hi!What can you suggest instead of cream cheese?Love your ideas…

    • #
      Emily — September 27, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Hi Ellen! Cream cheese is one of the secret ingredients to making these cookies so soft! We don’t suggest substituting the ingredient, sorry!

  23. #
    ila — August 7, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    these cookies are amazing!! i love how chewy, crispy, and soft they are. plus, they are incredibly easy! also tessa, i just posted these cookies on my instagram @a.spoonful.of.sugar_ and i invite youto check them out!! thanks again for the recipe, i recommend for everyons to make them!!!

    • #
      Emily — August 9, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks so much for tagging us in your photo on IG, Ila! Your cookies looked delicious! So happy you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

  24. #
    Monica — July 8, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    This recipe for soft chocolate chip cookies or sooo good I recommend 100%!

    • #
      Tessa — July 9, 2021 at 9:43 am

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Monica!

  25. #
    Deb — June 7, 2021 at 5:42 am

    I love to bake and always volunteer to bring desert – this recipe is by far the most requested. I’ve even made these cookies instead of cake for birthdays!

    • #
      Tessa — June 7, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      WOW! I’m absolutely thrilled they’re such a hit!

  26. #
    Adi G — May 18, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    I love a warm, thick, chocolatey chocolate chip cookie. This recipe is amazing! I make a full batch at a time and freeze the dough balls. I pop 1 in the oven every night as my dessert and it is what I look forward to all day! I put the frozen dough in for 13 minutes and they turn out perfect!

    • #
      Tessa — May 18, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      I am 100% for having a cookie every night for dessert!! I’m so thrilled you love this recipe, Adi! 🙂

  27. #
    Trish Grafton — May 5, 2021 at 7:17 am

    These were fantastic! I added 1/ 1/2 cups of oatmeal and another egg yolk to balance it out – still worked perfectly!

    • #
      Tessa — May 5, 2021 at 9:29 am

      Happy to hear your additions worked!

  28. #
    The trendy baker — March 27, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Hi! Have made this recipe a thousand times and I absolutely luv it! One question though. My family doesn’t eat cream cheese a lot, and I often forget to add it to the shopping list as I don’t have the best memory. I usually find myself in the situation where I want to bake these delicious cookies, but I can’t because I never have the secret ingredient. Tessa, what would you recommend as a substitute for cream cheese since I know that some substitutes could alter the taste of the cookies, and I wouldn’t want to do that because they are the best I’ve ever tasted! A little help, please?

    • #
      Tessa — March 29, 2021 at 10:21 am

      I haven’t tried this recipe without the cream cheese, I think it’s an essential ingredient! Not only does cream cheese add richness and flavor, but it also tenderizes the cookies so they’re super soft, even slightly chewy. Sorry I can’t help <3

      • #
        Alia — September 15, 2022 at 1:32 am

        Can I use double cream ! or can u give specific brand of cream cheese!

        • #
          Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — September 15, 2022 at 12:07 pm

          Hi Alia! Any full fat cream cheese (Philladelphia is the common brand name here, but a store brand is fine as long as it’s a full fat variety!). We have not tried these with double cream instead, but I do not think that would work instead, unfortunately.

  29. #
    Lili — February 27, 2021 at 11:58 am

    How do you keep your cookies from hardening after baking for the next couple of days?

    • #
      Tessa — March 1, 2021 at 11:50 am

      To keep your baked cookies soft, you can add an apple wedge, piece of bread, or a tortilla on the top and bottom of the cookies to the container a day or two after baking them, or whenever you find the texture starting to harden. The moisture from the bread or apple will migrate to your cookies, making them soft and chewy again! Enjoy!!

1 3 4 5

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed