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.

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

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67 comments on “Cornstarch soft chocolate chip cookies”

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 🙂

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

  6. Cornstarch and cornflour ARE the SAME thing

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. @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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!!


  13. 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:

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

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

  16. 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.

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

    Thank you!

  18. 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

  19. @ 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.

  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.

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