why are my cookies cakey?

Why Are My Cookies Cakey? Tips on How to Avoid This Common Baking Problem

How do you like your cookies? Thin and crispy or soft and chewy? There are so many types of cookies and cookie flavors. I am a huge fan of the soft and chewy NYC style cookies. They are to die for. But, even though I do like a big, chunky cookie, I don’t like it when the cookies are too cakey, too thin or if they’ve spread out too much.

If you’ve ever baked a batch of cookies that turned out cakey, then you probably already know just how disappointing it can be when your favorite treat doesn’t live up to your expectations.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to avoid making this common baking mistake. So, if you’ve also thought to yourself why are my cookies cakey, read on as I share some of the tips and tricks I learned along the way.

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What Makes Cookies Cakey?

If you’ve been caught in a cookie nightmare and are sitting there wondering why do my cookies come out cakey, the first step is to understand what makes cookies cakey.

Used Too Many Eggs

Eggs are an important ingredient in cookies, as they help to add structure, moisture, and richness. However, too many eggs in a cookie recipe can make your cookies come out cakey.

Eggs also act as a leavening agent. And what do leavening agents do? They make things rise. If you add too many eggs in your batter, the cookies will rise too much in the oven and cause them to taste like a cake.

Most cookie recipes only call for one or two eggs, so you shouldn’t be deviating much from the recipe anyway. If you do find that your batter is still too dry. I wouldn’t recommend adding anymore eggs to the cookie dough mixture. Add a few tablespoons of water at a time until the batter comes together.

Used Large Eggs

Large Eggs for Cookie Mix

This is a mistake I make all the time. I usually buy large eggs, so if a recipe calls for medium eggs, I take the risk anyway. Why go back to the grocery store just to buy a different size of egg, right?

Sometimes it works out for me, sometimes it doesn’t. The first few times I risked it with cookies, it definitely didn’t work out as my cookies turned out cakey. So, if you want to avoid this from happening to your cookies, I recommend sticking to the egg size your recipe states.

Used the Wrong Flour

There are many types of flours out there and it’s important to use the right one for baking cookies. For example, cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour and works best for cakes. If you were to use cake flour in cookies, they are very likely to turn out cakey. Self-raising flour will also cause your cookies to come out too cakey.

The best type of flour to use in cookies is all purpose flour. It has the right amount of protein to add structure to your cookies without making them too cakey.

If you’re like me and like a really chewy cookie, you could also try using bread flour. The higher the protein in the flour, the chewier the cookie will be. I personally use a combination of all purpose flour and self-raising flour.

Added Too Much Flour

As well as using the correct flour for your cookies, you also need to make sure you don’t add too much.

If you’ve been looking for a perfect cookie recipe, and have started to experiment with your own baking creations, or you’ve accidentally read the wrong measurements, it can be easy to go overboard with the flour that you add. This added excess can definitely lead to cakey cookies and also really dry cookies too.

To make sure you are using the right amount of flour check that you’ve read the recipe correctly. I would also recommend using digital scales to measure out your flour as they give the most accurate reading.

Used Too Much Baking Powder/Soda

Baking powder and baking soda are used in all of our favorite bakes. They act as leavening agents, but what most people don’t know is that baking powder and baking soda are different to one another.

Because many people think they are the same thing, they will use them interchangeably. And that’s when things start to go south. Baking soda will react to wet ingredients immediately and needs an acid to activate. Baking powder, on the other hand, activates both when it’s wet and when the mixture is heated up.

Some cookie recipes call for both to be used, others prefer one over the other. Just make sure you read the recipe carefully and add the correct amount. Using too much baking powder or soda will not only make your cookies cakey, it will also leave them tasting very chemically.

Creamed The Butter and Sugar For Too Long

Overbeating the butter and sugar can easily be done, especially if you are using a mixer to do it. When creaming the butter and sugar together, you want to aim for a light and fluffy mixture that is smooth, but not overbeaten.

Overbeating your butter and sugar will introduce too much air into the batter, which can result in overly cakey cookies. So if you’re noticing that your cookies turned out cakey, next time try to beat the sugar and butter for less time.

How To Make Cookies Less Cakey

Okay, so now you know what makes cookies cakey, but what can you do to prevent this from happening again? Here are my tips for making the best cookies.

Read The Recipe

Have you read the recipe correctly? The most common reason why our cookies came out cakey is because we’ve probably not read the recipe properly. It’s easy to skim over and misread an ingredient or a measurement.

Measure Out Everything Before You Begin Baking

Measure ingredients to avoid cakey cookies

I have been really bad for just adding ingredients as I go. Running back and forth from my pantry and cupboard is not definitely not the best way to bake!

Try measuring out all the ingredients beforehand. You might need to do some extra cleaning after, but if it means you end up with a perfect batch of cookies, I think it’s worth it.

Use Digital Kitchen Scales

Digital scales

Baking is all about precision. And nothing is more precise than digital kitchen scales. I find them so much more accurate than using measuring cups , and they make it so much easier to measure out even small amounts.

So if you want your cookies to be just right, consider investing in a good pair of digital kitchen scales. And remember, practice makes perfect!​

Use The Correct Type Of Flour

Even if you’re not sure what flour you should be using, by default, always reach for all purpose flour. It’s foolproof and will give you a nice texture in your cookies.

If you’re looking to experiment with other flours, use bread flour for extra chewiness and cake flour for more tender cookies (but watch, follow a recipe that specifically uses cake flour, don’t substitute).

Just remember that each type of flour has a different protein content, so make sure to do your research beforehand.

Don’t Overbeat Your Sugar And Eggs

As I mentioned earlier, overbeating your butter and sugar can lead to overly cakey cookies. To avoid this, try to beat the eggs and sugar together for less time. Just enough until the mixture is light and fluffy, but not so much that you start incorporating lots of air into it.

Now You Know How To Fix Cakey Cookies!

Fixed Cakey Cookies

If your cookies turned out cakey and you’re looking for ways to prevent this from happening again, try all the tips above. Pay close attention to the recipe, measure out your ingredients properly, and invest in some good digital scales. And most importantly, practice makes perfect!

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