Kirbie's Cravings

Cornstarch soft chocolate chip cookies

photo of a plate of chocolate chip cookies
Cornstarch in chocolate chip cookies?Who knew. I read this blog post last week discussing using a secret ingredient to keep chocolate cookies soft and chewy. I was surprised to learn the secret ingredient was cornstarch.

I’ve soaked raw beef strips in cornstarch to make the beef tender, so I guess it makes sense. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it out. The recipe comes courtesy of Anna Olson and can be found on the Food Network.
photo of chocolate chip cookies on a baking rack
I followed the recipe almost exactly. I found the dough to be pretty dry, especially for a chocolate chip cookie recipe. As a result the cookies didn’t do much spreading and they maintained a pale color.
photo of a stack of three cookies
The cookies were indeed soft. So the cornstarch definitely worked. These were good, but a little dry and a little pale. My favorite soft chocolate chip cookie is still this one. But it was still fun to try out another recipe. I might have to try adding cornstarch to other cookie recipes and see what happens.
photo of a stack of cookies on a plate

Chocolate Chip Cookies with cornstarch

Servings: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
These soft cookies are studded with chocolate chips and bake up very soft thanks to cornstarch in the batter.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate cut into chunks (I used one cup of chocolate chips)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in. Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  • Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.


Recipe source: Food Network

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.

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Recipe Rating

67 comments on “Cornstarch soft chocolate chip cookies”

  1. I’ve seen recipes that swear by refrigerating the dough for at least an hour before baking,(and it seems to work for me) will this hurt this recipe?

  2. I did not have any problems with mine spreading out. I did however make my cookies gluten free. I used 2 C of my gluten free baking mix, 1 t of baking powder instead of soda, and 1.5 t of xanthium gum. Delicious!

  3. There’s been a lot of talk about these cookies spreading. Yes, anything with butter will spread a little bit. The trick is to refrigerate the dough for about 20 mins before you bake it. Learned it from good ol’ Martha Stewart! Works every time!

    • I actually have had issues with the cookies spreading. In fact, they don’t spread much at all. You sort of have to press down on them to help them spread.

  4. Just made these cookies, exactly as the recipe states, and they are awesome! Crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. These cookies barely spread, I always bake on a stone, maybe that plays a part? Next time I might add a little cinnamon, just because I love it. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I made two batches for my coworkers and have gotten lots of compliments! I used 3/4 cup of brown sugar instead of the full cup and I ended up using half vanilla and half almond extract. They came out a little flat but definitely soft and, most importantly, yummy! Thanks again!

  6. Delicious cookies, no doubt. Although we followed directions exactly, ours were flat.

    • That is strange. Mine did not turn out flat. As I mentioned, this wasn’t my favorite recipe and I’ve actually found another cornstarch one I like better, though a lot of people really love this one. It seems like the cornstarch should prevent the cookies from going flat. I wonder if maybe you had too much butter?

  7. I have been making really fluffy cookies for years with a combo of butter/butter flavored shortening. I made these tonight, and followed the directions exactly – and mine fell flat. Not CRAZY flat, but definitely not a fluffy cookie. The reason I’m commenting is because I live in a higher altitude, and have to adjust my flour accordingly. Today I decided to follow the directions exactly, but feel like if I added 1/4 -1/2 cup more flour, these probably would have turned out better. Just a little note for those of us living the high life! 🙂

    I will try these again – with more flour next time! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. these were awesome! Made some for my family and they were like ” is this pillsbury?” the recipe was right on my cookies didnt look like the picture but they were still pretty and chunky and a bit more brown like normal choco chip!! I will be making these forever

    • Glad you enjoyed these! I actually have another cornstarch version which I made recently that I love even better, but I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it yet.

  9. Looking at this recipe I guarantee if you do 1.5 sticks of room temp butter and potentially add an egg white (bringing it to 1 egg 1 egg white) your cookies will be moist, will spread a bit, and will brown. 🙂

  10. ok. thanks kirbie. I guess I’ll just have to bake the cookies for 8min for them to be soft. Someone told me to put butter on them, and as the butter melts the cookie softens. Any thoughts on that ?

  11. hello kirbie. I hope this wont make you made but I’m short on time but love the house to smell like fersh bake cookies. Would this cornstarch work for cookie dough? If i mix it in and then cut the dough apart? Will the peanut butter trick work also? Thanks.

    • Sorry I don’t think you can add the cornstarch after to premade cookie dough. I don’t think it will mix in the dough properly

  12. We love these cookies. I even made them in a gluten, soy, dairy, nut, free they were still awesome!

  13. I’ve learned that if I refrigerate the cookie dough after it’s all mixed and ready, the cookies tend to keep their shape and not go flat. I’ve even refrigerated the dough overnight…or longer.

    I’m looking forward to first trying Kirbie’s “instant pudding” cookie recipe, and then I’ll try this one.

    Has anyone ever heard of putting some cream of tartar in the cookie mixture to help keep them soft. My friend’s mom told me she does that, when I asked how she always got such perfectly soft cookies. I’m not sure of the measurement, though…so might be something to experiment with, as well.
    Thank you!

  14. Made these last night for ice cream sandwiches, they were perfectly fluffy and soft!!

  15. I just made these cookies to kick off the Holiday baking season here at our house. I really love them! Mine did not spread at all! I browned them but left the center a little gooey. They are great! I followed the recipe exactly. Thanks so much. Happy Holidays.

  16. this recipe works better with an eletric mixer, and i even put some hazelnut jif in the middle of the cookie

  17. Honestly this recipe was a disappointment. I was excited to try them but they ended up tasting a bit odd.

    • If you read my post, I didn’t actually love them either. But a lot of other people tried it and loved it, so I’m wondering if I did spmething wrong.

  18. I just baked these using 2 eggs, 1 c white flour, 1 c wheat flour, 2 T flax seed and 2 T brewers yeast, 1/2 c dark chocolate chips and 1/2 c semi-sweet. Lactation cookies! All that’s missing is oats. Delicious!

  19. my cookies were flat all the time until I stopped using those air bake cookie sheets. I switched to plain old jelly roll pans and parchment paper.

    • Interesting! I have noticed how things bake differently depending on the pan, parchment paper, etc. It’s crazy how many factors there are.

  20. @ Gale – I used to live in Denver, and the trick to cookies at high altitude was to use more flour. You can try using 1/4 c more flour in a recipe, a lot of times that is all I did. But you can also decrease the sugar a little bit and the baking soda a little bit. You may jut have to play with a recipe you like with these adjustments until you find the combination that you like best. I’m not a pro – I was just the designated cookie maker in our family so I just learned a few tricks.

  21. @ Shannon O – A trick I learned to help keep my cookies from going flat, and helping them stay softer is adding peanut butter. It also makes for a very yummy cookie. I just use my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add about a half cup of peannut butter (I just eyeball it). The cookies really keep their shape so much better and are softer. I also, like you, do the half butter/half shortening.

  22. For the brown sugar is it packed or loose? I’m making them atm and Im going to go with loose so hopefully it works…Thanks

  23. What do you do differently with this cookie recipe that you posted in order to add the cornstarch or change anything else.

    Thank you!

  24. I tried these tonight because I love fluffy cookies – was really bummed when I baked them and they spread and look like discs with chocolate tumors. I am at high altitude but thought I’d try your recipe with no alterations. I guess I was hoping for cornstarch miracles. The next time, I’ll try baking powder as was suggested by Tara. I also used margarine because I find that butter really spreads and makes for crispy cookies. I’ll keep searching…

    • Aw I’m sorry to hear that. I actually had a hard time getting the cookies to spread at all. But then I’ve never baked in high altitude before.

  25. To avoid the cookies from “spreading” use baking powder instead of baking soda. They are awesome!

  26. I’m at high altitude – would you know if there are anything changes to the recipes?

  27. I can’t wait to try this trick! I’m on the quest to find the perfect CCC recipe. I hope you’ll consider adding this post to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge link-up. Learn more here:

  28. Good gracious, these are good.

    I’m taking them over to my neighbor tonight. Maybe they will make him want to mow his grass! 🙂

    Thanks for the great recipe!!


  29. I found out that I can’t make cookies with butter because of them spreading so much,so I use margarine with 80% vegetable oil and I have no problem.

  30. @Shannon O this site might help you out in determining what you may have done wrong. If you scroll down it will show you pictures of a bunch of different cookies and why they came out the way they did. It sure helped me out in the past!
    I have made the Anna Olsen version and the only difference was 3/4 cup of brown sugar instead of 1 cup. They turn out perfect every time.

  31. Nope it wasn’t melted it was softened butter… not even room temp butter… but it is just a chemical fact that this kind of fat spreads as it bakes where was shortening gives off steam when it bakes which makes them soft but not chewy… so for a soft chewy cookie… you have to mix them… it was something oddly enough I learned in college… but I believe alton brown also did something about this issue on good eats years ago…

    like I said… they tasted great but very flat and crispy (that is from the sugar to flour ratio)… I have been baking FOREVER lol… and my friends that run cupcake shops agree with me… butter spreads and they have never heard of this corn strartch thing either… but they do cakes and cupcakes and not cookies lol… oh yeah and it wasn’t super hot here today and my house has the ac at 70 lol… so it wasn’t over warm either…

    • That’s strange. My cookies don’t ever seem to turn flat and crispy. This one time I even accidentally doubled the amount of butter and they still came out poofy.

  32. I just made these cookies and just like any cookie I have ever made with butter they spread… and these spread… when I want soft cookies I use a combo of butter and shorting… but mine came out flat and crispy and I followed the recipe perfectly… and I tried cooking them for 7 mins, 8mins, 9 mins … all them flat and crispy lol… they taste great but look nothing like the photo… to get cookies to look like that for me… it is the combo of the butter and shorting 🙂

    • Hmm, do you use room temperature butter when you make these? I know that some people melt their butter and that can cause them to spread. I’ve had a few people who have cookies that spread no matter what recipe they use. I really want to go over and watch them make it and find out what is going on. hehe.

  33. Kelly, cornflour is in fact the same as cornstarch. It is a thickening agent, most often used in sauces, but also use in baking.

  34. Cornstarch and cornflour ARE the SAME thing

  35. Yes, cornflour is the same thing as cornstarch.

  36. Hey I live in Austalia and I was wondering if Cornflour is the same thing as Cornstarch ? As I would really like to try this bickies thanks 🙂

  37. Adding cornstarch is a well kept secret. I didn’t knew about this till I came across this recipe. I usually prepare fathers day chocolate hampers and this year I’m planning to prepare cookie hampers for a change. Small tips like this will be highly helpful for me.

  38. I have had issues with almost every single one of her recipes I have tried. From desserts to main courses. There just always seems to be something missing from them.

    • Thanks for telling me your experience. While the cookies came out okay, I did feel like the recipe needed to be tweaked a little and they would have been better.

  39. I’ve made Anna Olsen’s chewy chocolate chip cookies numerous of times, and they’re one of my favourites!