Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo of a stack of Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are a copycat of the famous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. The tiny bakery in New York City almost always has a line of New Yorkers and tourists waiting to buy their monstrous cookies. I think my version tastes very similar to the real thing, allowing you to recreate the famed New York City cookies in your own home.

After several dozen batches of cookies and having to make a grocery run to restock on butter, walnuts and chocolate chips, I finally have a cookie recipe to share that tastes like the ones I ate at Levain Bakery.
photo of Chocolate Chip Cookies on a baking rack

As you may recall, I went to Levain Bakery last fall for the first time. I stood in that long line, doubting that the wait could possibly be worth it, only to completely fall in love with their thick, gooey, melty cookies.
close-up photo of a chocolate chip cookie


Each cookie weighs in at a whopping 6 ounces. In the last week, I made about 10 pounds of cookies. I don’t want to calculate how many pounds of cookies I ate while recipe testing. The cookies have crispy edges and a soft, slightly underbaked interior. When you break open the cookie, it falls open, revealing a gooey center with melted chocolate mixed in.
close-up photo of two chocolate chip cookies

While Levain Bakery is most famous for their chocolate chip walnut cookie, my favorite is actually the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie, which I recreated with this recipe.
photo of a dough ball on a kitchen scale
photo of dough balls on a silpat

It took me a little longer to recreate their signature chocolate chip walnut cookie, but after many tweaks and watching a video of the owners making the cookies, I think these taste and look pretty darn close to the original. You can watch the video here. Now I no longer have to plan a trip back to NYC just for these cookies.

close-up photo of a stack of Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie
You can also check out my copycat recipe for the Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies here.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 cookies
This is a copycat recipe of the famous Levain Bakery chocolate chip walnut cookies. Each cookie weighs 6 oz!


  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • ¾ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 2 cups  roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 410°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter and sugars. Cream until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Since you are dealing with cold butter, start on low speed for about 30 seconds. Switch to medium speed for another 30 seconds and then high speed for 1 minute.
  3. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add in eggs. Mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  4. Add in cake flour, all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix on the lowest speed ("stir" function on my Kitchen Aid) until all the flour is just incorporated. Careful not to overmix.
  5. Add in walnuts and mix on the lowest speed for about 5 revolutions until walnuts are evenly incorporated into the dough.
  6. Add in chocolate chips and mix on the lowest speed for about 5 revolutions until chocolate chips are evenly incorporated into the dough.
  7. Remove dough from bowl and mix with hands a few times to make sure chocolate chips and walnuts are evenly distributed. Dough should be quite sticky.
  8. You can either divide dough into 8 equal pieces, or I prefer weigh out the dough. Each dough ball should weigh 6 ounces. You should grab the dough by the handful until you reach 6 ounces and lightly form a very loose ball. Make sure to keep it loose as the cookies should be airy and not compacted (like the owners demonstrate in their video).
  9. Place only four cookies on each baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, so that they don't spread onto each other. (Please see my photo above for how I spaced them.)
  10. Bake only one sheet at a time in the middle row of the oven, for about 12-13 minutes. The tops of the cookies should be a light brown and the dough should look cooked, but the cookies should not be fully set. Let cookies cool at least 15 minutes. This gives them a chance to set so that you can remove the cookies without them breaking and will also allow inside of the dough to cook a little more. Make sure you don't move the cookies before they are set. They should still be gooey inside even after you wait 15 minutes. Cookies are best eaten warm.


Adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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70 comments on “Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. GORGEOUSNESS!!!!!! Gonna try this recipe tomorrow and surprise kids after school:)

      • This is not exactly the same recipe, I just give you a hint and its to much flour and there a trick of making it. These cookies are way to light in texture.

      • I think it would be quite hard to get their recipe exactly right, but this one tastes pretty similar and since I don’t have access to Levain’s cookies everyday, this one works for me right now.

  2. Oh dear ! Great photos ! So juicy, comforting, must do cookies ! thank you so much !

  3. I made them today! Except I really couldn’t stomach the idea of 6 oz of dough in one cookie…so I made them almost half the size (~3.5oz per cookie). They were still generously portioned and I got 13 cookies out of it. They do taste quite close to the ones I’ve had from Levain. Thanks for the recipe!

    • I’m glad these turned out well for you!

    • Did you decrease the cooking time with the smaller cookies? How much time do you recommend?

      • I set the timer for ~10 minutes, but every oven is different so I would keep an eye on batch and take them out when they are golden/light brown on top. Kirbie is absolutely right about not touching these cookies until they are set – it is essential for getting the right texture. 

  4. These look like the cookies from my favorite Atlanta food truck (although much bigger.) I can’t wait to try these cookies and see how they compare! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  5. Kirbie, this is my first time meeting you but I’m in love. Just made these and I’m now scouring your blog.

    • awww, you’re making me blush! Hope you found some other recipes you love. I’ve got a ton of decadent cookies, brownies, and more 😉

  6. I baked this with great success! Thank you so much for the recipe, I couldn’t be happier.

  7. These cookies look amazing. i was just in NYC and went to Levain’s Bakery those were the best cookies. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you!!!

  8. Thanks for your diligent journey. I used se salt because we like the coarseness and flavour. I also added vanilla. Mmm…

  9. Does this recipe require any chillig for the dough before bakong??

  10. Can I substitute anything for the cake flour I have a bunch of kids here and would like to make them I have everything except the cake flour. However I do have a box of white cake mix would that work.
    Thank you 

    • You can create your own cake flour with all purpose and cornstarch. There are several websites that provide the conversion. boxed cake mix won’t work because it has other ingredients added into it. Cake flour is a finer flour with less proteins which helps produce the right texture for these cookies.

  11. I tried your Dark Chocolate Chip cookies first and they were amazing! I will definitely make the regular Chocolate Chip cookies this weekend. The cookies are huge and I can fool myself by saying that I just ate one. Thank you!

  12. I just made these and they taste heavy, like a lot of flour or something. And they are not gooey inside =/ Any ideas or suggestiond? I did double the recipe, and this is my first time making cookies from scratch…

    • it sounds like you may have added too much flour. When measuring flour, you need to make sure that you spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level it off. You should not directly scoop flour into the measuring cup because this leads to overpacking the flour.

  13. Would I be able to freeze the dough and bake the other half in a week? Amazing recipe! They turned out great!  

  14. Wow, what a great cookie! I made these yesterday and gave a few to friends, the messages started shortly after. Everyone loved them, wanted more and they told more people who then messaged asking where their cookies were. These will be my something special when I need a little gift. Thank you for the time you spent researching this recipe, it will be appreciated by everyone lucky enough to try it..

  15. I’m having people over Saturday and wanted to try and make the dough ahead of time. Can I do that and freeze it?

  16. Can you post the equivalence of this recipe in grams? It’s partifularly helpful for the flour measurements, but also great for us New Yorkers living in Europe and missing these cookies! 🙂

  17. Hello! How do you measure your flour? Do you use the spoon or the scoop method?

    • You should definitely be spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling off for accurate flour measurement. This applies for all my baking recipes unless some other method is specified.

  18. Hello! I saw a bountiful kitchen’s recipe and her recipe has baking powder. What difference does it make and why did you omit the baking powder? Tried your version though and it’s uber yummy! 

    • The baking powder will help the cookies have more rise but will also change the texture of the cookies. I think bountiful kitchen’s recipe is great but when I tested it with cornstarch instead of baking powder, I thought they tasted more like the version I had at Levain’s. Cornstarch helps makes cookies thick and fluffy.

  19. Can this recipe be completed without the walnuts? And what would be the temperature required for a fan forced oven?

    Thanks! I’m very excited to try this!

    • I don’t recommend leaving out the walnuts. The cookies will be very sweet without them. You would also have to adjust the cookie weight and baking time without walnuts as well. Unfortunately I do not have a fan forced oven so I don’t know the answer to that.

  20. Tried this yesterday and wow, great work, thanks so much for this revipe, followed it exactly and super happy with bow closely they resemble the Levain cookies. Great work!!

  21. i tried it yesterday but the cookies went flat as they cooked in the oven, anything i could’ve done wrong?

    • You might want to try refrigerating the cookie dough first if you are having issues with them spreading too much. I haven’t had that issue but it should help. You may also want to double check the amount of butter and flours. too much spreading is usually caused by not enough flour and too much butter. Also make sure each cookie ball is a giant lump rather than shaping them like you normally would for cookies.

  22. I tried your Le Vain dark choc cookies last weekend and this choc chip cookies today.
    I love both of them and def will try more of these recipes again and again. Thank you so much!
    I have a question – you don’t put the batch in the fridge before baking for this cookie, but when i do that my cookie spread too much so i put them in the fridge and then it worked. so i wonder why you don’t.
    And I have one more question – If I can cut down the amount of sugar, how much of the sugar would be the minimum but still good in taste and shape? Because I want to feel less guilty indulging myself into this wonderful cookie.
    Thank you!

    • I have not had issues with the cookies spreading too much but if that is an issue, then yes, you can refrigerate the dough first. There are many factors that can affect the dough spreading too much including weather and baking pan material. Unfortunately, I do not know the minimum amount of sugar for the recipe to still work.

  23. I am not a fan of nuts (especially walnuts) in cookies, can I leave them out or would you suggest maybe adding a little extra flour and chocolate chips to make dough the right texture/density?

    • I usually hate nuts in my cookies and brownies, but I think it really works with this recipe and without them it does change the texture and they are a bit too sweet without them as well. I’d recommend maybe trying the cookies with the nuts first and then you can try tweaking the recipe if you still don’t like the nuts in there

  24. Hi! I tried these and I felt like they just burned because of the oven temp. I lowered the temp and baked them but they weren’t gooey on the inside 🙁 any tips? Thanks! 

    • The cookies need to be cooked at a high temp, so I think lowering the temp caused them to cook all the way through so they are no longer gooey. I’m not sure why your cookies were burning. You may want to try refrigerating the dough before putting them into the oven

  25. Are these still good the next day if I won’t be serving them warm?

  26. Hi! I made these cookies today and they are great. I did not use walnuts so I only ended up with 6.5 cookies 🙂 My husband and kids are going to love them!!!

  27. I ADORE Levain cookies – I’ve bought cookies at the bakery and I’ve had them shipped to me twice. I’ve wanted to try a copycat recipe for some time! I am going to try your recipe today and am so excited! 

  28. Hi Kirbie! did you sifted the AP flour and cake flour?

  29. I made your chocolate cookie recipe Thursday and they were to die for! Getting ready to make this recipe, but we aren’t fans of nuts so I’m going to try subbing in toffee pieces. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    • I hope you enjoy this one too! I usually hate nuts in cookies, but this is the one exception. I think the nuts keep it from being too sweet, but I’ll be interested in how your toffee version comes out

      • They turned out SCRUMPTIOUS! I used about 1 cup of toffee pieces and sprinkled some coarse salt on top when they came out…perfect balance of sweet and salty!
        My first batch spread more than I would have liked, so I chilled the second tray before baking and they came out perfectly ?

      • So glad they turned out well for you and thanks for updating me with the toffee!

  30. SOLID recipe and very damn close. GREAT JOB figuring it out. Issue I had was the middle was still raw. Edges were nice and crisp. Any tips on what I might be doing wrong?

    Thanks, Gonzo

    • You may just need to cook a little longer so that it cooks inside. If you refrigerated the dough first, it may take longer to cook.

  31. Thanks for the recipe this is so yummy. However, it’s burned at the bottom. I think I have to adjust the time and will buy thermometer to ensure that heat is well regulated. But so far sooo good! By the way I ran out of walnuts so I added a cup of almonds and it turned out well. 🙂

    • You may want to try moving your cookies to a higher spot in your oven if the bottoms are burning. Using a thermometer should help too.

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