Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
These decadent double chocolate chip cookies are thick, soft, and rich. They taste very close to the dark chocolate chocolate chip cookies from Levain Bakery in New York City.

As you may recall, I visited NYC a few months ago and tried Levain Bakery’s famous chocolate chip cookies (post here). While I loved their signature cookie and could finally understand the hype and long lines, the cookie I most adored was the dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie. It was so rich, decadent, and chocolatey.

Just look at them!
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I immediately knew I had to try to replicate them.
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While I was eating my Levain Bakery cookies, I was also analyzing every bite, trying to determine why they are so special. I think their appeal is that they taste like regular home baked cookies rather than more cheffy gourmet cookies, and yet they aren’t quite like your typical homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are crisp on the outside and yet very soft in the center. The chips stay gooey and half-melted. They are thick and rich, but have a lightness to the crumb. These suggest they are using a few extra steps beyond the typical recipe to achieve these characteristics.
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There are many copycat recipes out there. After trying a few, this one is the one I found most promising and incorporated many techniques I suspected when analyzing the cookies. When the cookies are first baked, they are thick, crispy on the outside, with a still-soft center, and a light crumb. They stay so for a few hours, but eventually they did lose the crispy exterior and the crumb became denser. The ones I had from Levain Bakery managed to maintain that just-baked texture almost a full day. So I’m still not quite sure how Levain Bakery does it.

But don’t get me wrong. These cookies are delicious.  Definitely worth sharing and gifting to chocolate lovers. I’ll be making them for holiday cookie gifting this year!
Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Also check out my copycat for the classic Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies!

Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup graulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (try to use a premium brand for richer flavor)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (I used a combination of both)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 410 F.
  2. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Add in cocoa, cake flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and set mixer on lowest speed setting to stir until dough is just combined. You want the dough to be smooth and uniform in color, but you don't want to overmix it. Stir in chocolate chunks/chocolate chips.
  4. Place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
  5. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Measure out 4.5 oz of dough and roll into a ball, placing onto baking sheet. You will place four on each baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. You should have enough dough to make 8 cookies, but it is best to weigh the balls so that they are all the same size and will cook evenly.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 10-11 minutes, or until the surface is dry and cookies look almost set. Remove and let cookies cool on the baking sheets (if you try to remove them they will likely break apart). Allow cookies to cool about 15-20 minutes so that they can set. Then remove and enjoy.
Slightly adapted from Modern Honey

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
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58 comments on “Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Reading your comparison of these cookies vs. Levain’s, I immediately thought cornstarch may be a factor- but you’re already on top of it! Gelatin also comes to mind, it’s used by paleo dieters in their cookies to give them chew. Or maybe they really like sneaking gelatin into recipes. In any case, these look super duper. Thank you! 

    • Yes, cornstarch was the first thing I thought of when I was eating the cookies at the bakery! So that was one of the things I was searching for when looking for a copycat recipe to try. Also chilling the dough. If I do come up with an even better recipe, I’ll update this post, but so far this one is really good!

  2. I’d love to try and make your recipe but what is cake flour if you aren’t in America? 🙂 what makes it different to normal plain flour?

  3. Oh wow! I want to get in the kitchen and start mixing these up. I haven’t had the real thing. One day!

  4. I’d prefer to make smaller cookies, Jen. How would you adjust the baking time for 1-2 Tbsp of dough? Thanks!

    • I haven’t experimented with smaller ones, but you would probably want to just keep your eye on them the whole time since they would be done in just a few minutes (maybe 5 minutes?). One thing though- they might stay more ball shaped in smaller portions since this dough is designed to make thick cookies that don’t spread as much.

      • I made average-sized cookies (using a 2 Tbs scoop) and this recipe made exactly 3 dozen. I scooped then chilled them (for half the time) and baked them for 7-8 minutes. Picture perfect, chocolatey goodness!

      • thank you for sharing your results!

  5. I am obsessed with levains cookies! I have been look for the chocolate chip copycat recipe but I haven’t found one, do you have one?

  6. Thanks so much for this recipe! I made these tonight as a last decadent treat before starting my diet and they were absolutely amazing! Will be making these again for sure. My family loved them as well, thanks again! 

  7. These turned out delicious!!! But seems like my batch spread out a bit more than yours. Any idea why they didn’t remain as thick after baking?

  8. Made these and sized them at 2.25 ounces since I didn’t want such huge cookies for my kids. They come out wonderfully delicious. I used same bake time and they didn’t look quite as gooey as in the photos, but they were still awesome. Will be working on some tweaks of my own for later publication! Thanks for turning me on to this trend!

  9. Made this just now. It’s heavenly. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this recipe before going into carb coma

  10. These are so delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I made large tablespoon full cookies (about 24 cookies total) and baked them for 7-8 minutes. I placed about 8 cookies on a baking sheet at a time. This recipe will definitely be a go to recipe from now on. 

  11. Hi Did you use Dutch processed cocoa?  Ridiculous how good they look!  Thank you.  

    • no, please use regular unsweetened cocoa powder. dutch processed won’t react with the baking soda properly. I will specify when a recipe requires dutch processed

  12. Hello,
    these looked so delicious in your pictures that i had to make them, but mine turned out more cake like and not so gooey like yours, even though i followed the steps and i baked them for 10 min.
    Maybe because as it was my first trial, I halved the recipe, and as I didn’t have cake flour and I tried to make one with all purpose flour + cornstarch but I messed up the ratio.
    Whats the secret to that soft gooeyness?!

    • Hi. You mentioned that you messed up the cornstarch + all purpose flour ratio. That would change the texture of the cookies. It’s fine to halve the recipe, but make sure you have all the measurements right. At 10 minutes, the cookies should still be slightly underbaked inside (assuming you are doing 4.5 oz each), so that is why they are gooey. If your cookies were smaller, they would need less time in the oven.

  13. instead of cake flour can i use something else an can i refrigerate it for a day

    • you can do a cake flour substitute. please look online for how to create cake flour using all purpose and cornstarch. but if you do this, make sure you don’t leave out the cornstarch that is already in the recipe as well.

  14. Amazing! They were really just like the real deal! I went to NYC last year and thought I’d never try them again! But behold – I had them ?in my very own kitchen! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  15. This is my second time making your recipe and I can say without doubt they are fantastic!!! It is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe!  

  16. Do the butter and sugars come together if the butter is still cold? Usually recipes call for room temp butter to mix easier?

    • yes definitely. just beat it at high speed and it’ll need a little longer than room temp butter. You’ll often see cold butter used for more gourmet/cheffier cookie recipes. It does make a difference in the structure of the cookie

  17. Can I make these ahead of time and freeze them?

    • yes. though it’s probably best to freeze the dough and then bake later rather than freeze the cookies

  18. So so so amazing, they are the perfect balance between sweet and chocolaty! I questioned the bake time because they seemed very raw but letting them sit afterward really made them the perfect texture. I don’t even need to go all the way to NY for the perfect cookies! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    (by any chance, do you know the nutritional facts for your recipe? That’d be a great addition to this post!)

    • Also, though I didn’t have a baking sheet, parchment paper worked pretty well. A very tiny tiny bit burnt at the bottom but not noticeable.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the cookies. They do set to the right texture once you let them cool. Unfortunately, I do not have the nutritional information for this recipe. There are websites out there that allow you to calculate nutritional information for recipes but since I can’t confirm how accurate they are, I do not provide that information for my recipes as I don’t want to provide any wrong information.

  19. Made these for my husband and I and they are absolutely delicious! By sharing this recipe you made our lives just a little bit sweeter…thank you!

  20. Thank’s for the recipe ..

  21. Excellent! If you are a chocolate lover, these cookies are for you! I made these exactly like the recipe – save for the silicone mats. I just used a couple of well-seasoned cookie sheets. They came out perfectly. The only change I MIGHT make next time is to add espresso powder to intensify the chocolate even more – if that’s possible :).  Thank you for the recipe!!

  22. I made these the other day and something seemed “off” with the flavor. Couldn’t quite put my finger on it. How dramatically would the flavor change if I used 3/4C brown sugar and 3/4C regular sugar? I think I might try that for the next batch. I must disclaim that I’ve never had the real deal so I really have nothing to compare these to! Also, I love the idea above about adding espresso powder! Nice!

    • changing around the sugars would change the flavor some, but it would also impact the texture of the cookies as brown sugar helps keeps the cookies moist and soft.

  23. These taste like heaven, but my much younger sister just called them “poppies” and my husband commented “these are like eating the Cookie monster’s dumps”. They do look a bit …. !!! Seriously delicious though. 

  24. I am all ready to bake these cookies and I am glad I read the comments. I would have used dutch cocoa powder. I can not find a non-dutch dark chocolate in Philadelphia. The only option seems to be purchasing it online. Is there a work around to use darker richer dutch process cocoa that will work with the baking soda? I

    • I’m surprised to hear you say that. dutch processed cocoa powder is more of a specialty one. but non dutch processed is usually sold in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. For example, hershey’s and ghiradelli carry regular rich cocoa powder that has not been dutch processed. I’d also recommend Amazon. I buy a lot of my baking supplies from there.

      • I can get Hershey Unsweeted Cocoa; which is not dutch and Hershey Dark which is dutch.

      • Hmm, how about ghiradelli? I believe they have a premium cocoa powder that is not dutch processed. or you can use the non-dark one if you’re okay with the cookies not have a dark chocolate flavor or appearance.

  25. These sounds perfect! Do you know if these can be portioned out, frozen and baked on a later date? Thank you 

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