Kirbie's Cravings

Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

close-up photo of a stack of 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!
close-up photo of Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I immediately knew I had to try to replicate them.
photo of a pile of Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.
Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies on a baking rack
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

Recipe now updated with video! You can also view all my recipe videos on my youtube channel.

Also check out my copycat for their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie and the classic Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies!

Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings: 8 cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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.
4.93 from 14 votes


  • 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
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cup semisweet chocolate chunks or roughly chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 410°F.
  • 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.
  • 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 (please note in the video the mixing is sped up to keep the video short). You want the dough to be smooth and uniform in color, but you don't want to overmix it. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  • Place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
  • Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Measure out about 4.3 oz of dough and roll into a ball. Place several chocolate chips on top and adjust chips until the dough weighs 4.5 oz. Place dough ball 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.
  • 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.


Recipe slightly adapted from Modern Honey
I recently made these cookies with only white sugar and no brown sugar (so 1 1/2 cups white sugar total) and found the cookies tasted even more like the original.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Check out all my cookie recipes here!

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Recipe Rating

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

  1. Cam i lessen the amount of chocolate?

    • You could try adding fewer chocolate chips but it will cause the cookies to be flatter. We don’t recommend reduce the amount of cocoa powder.

  2. Made these for Christmas. Absolutely amazing and huge hit. There was a lot of tension over who was worthy of the last few cookies left. 

  3. Hello, unfortunately it is not very clear in the recipe, 1 1/2 thickets. And how much is it in grams. I would really like to try your recipes, but in the thickets I don’t know how at all. Thickets are different in volume

  4. I’m confused. It says to use cold butter cut into small cubes in the ingredients, but then it says to cream it with the sugar. Cold butter doesn’t cream very well. Am I missing something?

    • The recipe works best with cold butter – if you cut it into small cubes it’s very easy to cream with the sugar.

  5. They turned out amazing! I took others advice and only used all white sugar. I actually froze some of it. Thawed it and baked them later and they were a delicious as the first time.

  6. Im sure I read you explain how can I make the cake flour and I just can’t found it, can you help me! I’m trying to make this amaaaazing cookies, thanks! 

  7. Is it possible to add the chocolate chips to the batter instead of putting them on the top, also can they be made smaller & cook for a lesser time length?

    • We haven’t tried mixing in the chocolate chips, but it should be fine. As far as smaller cookies, we haven’t tested it, but they would need less baking time. Let us know how it works for you!

    • I made them in a measure of 1.5 table spoon. They baked in 9-10mins. I used dark choco chunks and semisweet choco chips. We love dark chocolates. Everyone loved them. 

  8. This is the best cookie recipe I think I’ve ever followed and these are the most delicious cookies I’ve ever made. I shared them with five friends and family members and they all agreed! I used all white sugar, and I’m glad I did. It turned out. My very old hand mixer started smoking from the cold butter, but it was worth it.

    Thanks for this – I will be making it again, and trying your other variations too.

  9. can you make the dough ahead (like a day?) Eileen

    • We haven’t tried making the dough ahead and not sure how that will change the texture of the cookies. If you try it, it might be best to scoop the dough into the cookie dough balls and chill them and then allow them to come to room temperature before baking them. Please let us know if you try it and how it worked!

  10. Simply incredible.  Made these yesterday for Mother’s Day.  Off the charts.  I’ve never had a Levain cookie, but perhaps with this recipe, I don’t need to?!  Thanks for sharing!

  11. These are amazing. Followed the directions from author exactly. They are just like the Levain Bakery cookies.

  12. I made these yesterday but I switched out the chocolate chips for mini eggs and they were lush. Today I made them again, but used only white sugar and made them more levain size-6oz, and cooked slightly longer. Oh my days they are epic cookies!! Glass of milk, cookie….heaven!!

  13. great cookie if you love dark chocolate desserts. Goes good with red wine.

  14. Can I freeze/refrigerate the cookie dough for 24 hours? 

    • We haven’t tried chilling or freezing the dough. Doing this could change how the cookies bake so we can’t say for sure it will produce the best result.

  15. These are so amazing! The best recupe! Definitely recommend giving these a try! Wish I could post a photo of how mine came out, they were amazing. Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed! Unfortunately there isn’t a way to post a photo through comments but you can always share via email, Instagram or Facebook.

  16. These were delicious! To amp the chocolate flavor a bit, I added a half Tbsp of instant espresso powder.

  17. These look awesome. I don’t have cake flour or cornstarch in my house so wondering if I could just use AP flour. I want to make them now! 😉

  18. I’m about to pull these out of the oven and can’t wait to try them. In the directions it states to mix in the chunks but not the chips. And later states to put the chips on top and weigh the dough balls. Are you supposed to mix in ALL the chips and chunks initially and press just a few chips in at the end or do all the chips go on top and get pressed in? I was A little confused about that part of the directions. Thx!!

    • As stated in the directions, the chunks are mixed in. The chips are added at the end, on top, which is why there is only 1/2 cup. I hope your cookies turned out well!

  19. These were delicious. I didn’t have cake flour so I used
    2 1/4 c of AP flour and 1/4 c of cornstarch. I weighed out 2 oz cookie dough (so still big, palm-sized cookies, but not huge) and baked at 410 degrees for 8 minutes. They were gooey and soft (but set) with slightly crispy edges. Perfect. Thank you for a terrific recipe. 

  20. Since my cookie looks too dark using 50 gr of cocoa powder, can I reduce the amount of cocoa powder and replace it with something else without changing the texture and the flavor of the cookies? Which flour is a better replacement for cocoa powder?

  21. I changed out the flours to be gluten free since we have celiac disease in my family. I used cassava flour for the cake flour and almond flour instead of all-purpose flour. They came out wonderfully! I used a heaping tablespoon to make smaller cookies and baked for 7 minutes. They came out delicious, soft and gooey and so chocolatey. I also used dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, but that’s just my preference.

  22. So decedent and delicious! I make these for my son every time he goes back to school. He (and we) love them! Thanks so much for sharing!! 

  23. Amazing!!!! I used a heaping tablespoon, probably comparable to a tbs and a half and baked for about 8 minutes, and they were PERFECT!!! So good. Will definitely make in the future!

  24. I just made this, and halve the weight portion about 2 1/14. Baked it at 7 -8 minutes  and voila it’s the mini version of the big cookie. The first batch looks like semi ball. So the 2nd batch I flatten them a bit and looks like a regular cookie. Man it’s delicious and cholatey , very decadent. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. I’ve made this twice now and didn’t use cake flour and they are DELICIOUS. I can’t find cake flour made in a nut free facility.  I did chill my dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, took them out and made balls, and then froze the balls.  I then baked the cookies after they were slightly frozen and the rise and goofiness is fantastic.I’ve never used cake flour but perhaps I’m missing out. on amazing texture.  For now, my family is not complaining one bit about these though.  Thanks for a great recipe! I live in NYC and visit Levan weekly.  I’m so glad I don’t have to spend $4 on a cookie anymore!

  26. These are delicious. I substituted half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour which gave them more body and made them about half the size (trying to give myself less body 😉 Thank you for the recipe.

  27. Well I messed around with these and thought they’d end up a disaster but they are really tasty! I used all purpose flour and didn’t see the comments about ‘making’ cake flour until after the dough was chilling. Oops! Also I thought I’d be a genius and take out 1/4 tsp baking soda and put in 1tsp baking powder so that I could chill the dough longer (possibly overnight) and still have a leavening effect…but I for some reason thought it called for 2tsp of baking soda and not 3/4 so I ended up with almost double the baking soda. I think these whoopsies definitely made a spreadier and slightly crunchy cookie but miraculously didn’t ruin the flavor. No weird metallic soapyness that can occur with too much baking soda. Oh I also threw in 2tsp of espresso powder to amp up the chocolate flavor (maybe the acid is what saved me? balanced out the extra soda? idk). Ended up with 46 nice sized cookies. Next time I’ll use cake flour and the correct baking soda and try making these as they are supposed to be! Thanks for making a fun and tasty recipe. 🙂

  28. Has anyone baked then frozen them? How did they turn out? 

  29. The cookies are amazing! I didn’t make mega cookies. I portioned them out to 1.5 ounces before adding the extra chips. I made them as an experiment to see if people would like them. I have been asked to make them for the holidays for all of the gatherings that I will be attending. Thank you for the recipe.

  30. WARNING!!!! Do not try to make one large mega cookie! I thought it would be a good laugh at first – but then, I opened up the oven. A cloud of black smoke came pouring out, and a nasty smell filled my kitchen. The cookie had been burnt to a crisp!!! It was burnt so badly that even the parchment paper turned black!!!! I would recommend NOT making large mega cookies, and sticking to only medium or small mega cookies.

    • thanks for sharing! I’ve never tried making a mega cookie but I can see why this would happen because the cookie needs to be cooked at such a high temperature which is not ideal if you need to bake for a much longer time. Hope you were able to make regular sized cookies too

  31. I originally tried this same recipe when I saw it on modern honey (but with PB chips), and it was delicious. I wanted to compare it to other levian knock off chocolate cookies and made your recipe, not realizing it’s the same one. This batch came out with a sticky loose batter and very cakey, like a cupcake. Total flop 🙁 no idea what I did wrong since it’s pretty straight forward and they came out great the first time, but given that a few other people have had cakey cookies or too much spreading, it seems that there’s weird hidden room for error. I halved the recipe, though that shouldn’t be an issue. In any case I can attest to this being a hit when made right from my first batch! 

  32. Can I freeze this dough?

  33. Thank you! This turned out very well for me.  I only changed the sugar as I only have light brown sugar available..   Before this I was following a recipe that spread too much so I was a bit worried about this one too but it turned out great!  

  34. Any chance you have experimented with a Gluten Free Option??? Thanks! 

  35. Will it be ok if I put the dough in the freezer and then bake the,m in batches?? 

  36. Can v make it eggless

  37. Thank you for your wonderful recipe. They taste amazing. Unfortunately mine spread way too much even though I refrigerated them for over 1 hour. Any further advice would be most welcome.

  38. I am eager to try this recipe. No vanilla in this recipe?

    • no vanilla. You can feel free to add it but I was aiming for rich chocolate, so I didn’t want the vanilla to take away from that. I do use vanilla in my regular chocolate chip recipe version.

  39. OMG thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!! There are not enough words to describe how amazingly delicious these cookies are!! I will absolutely be making these again! 

  40. I never leave comments, but this recipe is too amazing to not say something. I have made a lot of cookies,and these are the best I have ever had. They are even better the next day. They are too easy to make! I’ve made them once a week for the last 3 weeks. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Made these tonight and they are THE BEAT COOKIES I’VE EVER MADE IN MY 41 years of life. Not kidding. Can’t wait to make the regular chocolate chip cookies next!

  42. Had trouble mixing up the cold butter with my basic handheld mixer. Had to wait for it to soften on it’s own since it wouldn’t mix up as (very) cold cubes. I also eye-balled the chocolate chips I added which was a very silly thing to do- I probably added a cup. Very good cookies, but mine needed more chocolate chips/chunks! Mine were not gooey in the center, but that’s because I made 15 decent sized cookies instead of 8 huge cookies, but still baked them for 10 minutes.
    Will make again! Thanks for the recipe!

    • I’m glad they worked out for you. I think you’ll find them to be more gooey if you make them as the huge cookies. I also think you’ll find the choc chips to be enough if you measure them out.

  43. Hi
    can you convert the cup of butter to weight in grams? and also cup chocolate?
    Thank you

    • There are many websites that provide baking conversions for common ingredients. I suggest you look into those for baking conversions you need

  44. These came out so great! I had to adjust my oven temp to 350 for 8 minutes though my first batch were hockey pucks ? 

    • I’m glad you got them to work! I’m surprised your first batch came out burned. I wonder if maybe your oven runs hot? Or did you make the cookies smaller? Mine are still barely baked at 10-11 minutes because they are so big.

  45. Just made these, and they turned out awesome!  Will gift to a friend for her birthday : )  Thanks for sharing!

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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. 

  49. 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.

  50. 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!!

  51. Thank’s for the recipe ..

  52. 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!

  53. 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.

  54. 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

  55. 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

  56. 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!  

  57. 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!!

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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

  61. 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. 

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

  63. 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!

  64. 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?

  65. 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! 

  66. 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?

  67. 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.

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

  69. 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?

  70. 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!