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

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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.

Notes:

Recipe adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen

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

Related Recipes

Check out all my cookie recipes here!

Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
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95 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 
    Josephine 

    • 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.

      • 5 stars
        I left the walnuts out only because my son has an allergy (otherwise, I do love walnuts). So I used 1 cup of semi-sweet and 1 cup bittersweet chocolate. Everything else following your recipe (12min at 410*) and they turned out amaaazing. Not overly sweet at all. Making several batches right now for Christmas 🙂 Thanks for this great recipe!!

      • So glad these turned out well for you!

  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. Omg! These were to die for. I didn’t have cake flour or corn starch the first time I made them, so I subbed with all purpose flour and a little powdered sugar. They were still one of the best cookies I’d ever had, but the second time around I followed your recipe exactly and – wow! The cake flour and corn starch really do create the perfect texture. For those who don’t like nuts in their cookies, I have made them without and they are SUPER sweet. If you omit the nuts, I recommend sprinkling coarse sea salt on top to balance it out. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. Thanks for this recipe, I’ve made it once before and it was spot on!

    Quick question – can I make the dough ahead of time, refrigerate and then bake a few days later? I want to prep them as thanksgiving treats!

  34. 5 stars
    I just made this humongous cookie and it was delicious. I had to bake it a little longer because after I rested/cooled the cookies, I split it in half and seems that dough was still raw inside. I put the halves back together and baked at 350 degrees F for 3 mins, turned off the oven and left them there for another 2 mins. and it was perfect. Question though, did you flatten the cookies a bit before baking?
    Also, the bottom is not burnt, but seems a little darker than the top….is that normal? Any tips? I plugged it in MFP and a 3 oz (I only ate half of the cookie) was a whooping 600 calories! WOW! lol…it was worth it. though..haven’t indulged in awhile. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can’t wait to try the Dark chocolate chip cookie 😀

    • So glad you enjoyed these! I do not flatten the cookies before baking. Make sure your cookies are baking closer to the middle of the oven if you are worried about the bottom getting too dark.

  35. These are light as air! What a cool cookie, thank you!  Mine didn’t spread much at all and look like little mountains. I notice yours are perfectly cookie shaped, did you shape or flatten them before baking? Thanks!

    • I did not flatten or shape. I used the method described in the instructions. If your cookies aren’t spreading, check to make sure your baking soda is fresh. Also if you reduced the sugar or butter amount that will also cause the cookies to not spread as much.

  36. Hi. Can’t wait to try these but am curious why you leave out vanilla. Could you explain?

    • because Levain Bakery stated in one of their features that they don’t use vanilla in their chocolate chip cookies

  37. I made these during holidays and called them to my different departments. Everyone raved about them and is now looking for them again! I did several batches at the 6 oz weight for about 12 minutes each, and a few batches of around 3 oz for about 8 minutes. Both came out delicious! I’ve never been to Levain, so I can’t compare, but these cookies are to die for! (And nowwe it is on my list of must eats next time I’m in NYC!) I also tried the Dark chocolate cookie recipe and loved it as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • I love making these cookies for the holidays! I’m glad your coworkers enjoyed them! And I hope you get to visit the bakery in NYC

  38. 5 stars
    Can I use the same cookie base to make white chocolate macadamia cookies?

  39. Hi Kirbie! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
    I used crystal brown sugar, which gives a “crunchy” effect to the cookie. I could taste the sugar crystals, so it wasn’t so good.
    I can see that you use soft brown sugar (the one that resembles wet sand). In the part of the world where I’m from, the soft brown (light or dark) isn’t very common.
    So, in order to lose that crunchy crystal effect, what would you recommend I should do?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Sorry I am not sure what would be a good substitute for soft brown sugar. Soft brown sugar is used in almost all chocolate chip cookie recipes. Is there a substitute used in your part of the world for brown sugar in regular chocolate chip cookies?

  40. 5 stars
    OMG!! I love this recipe! I made them last night and it came out just like the Levain bakery cookie that I absolutely love! Thank you thank you thank you for saving me of the long wait until my next NYC trip.  With four boys, a hubby, and a busy schedule, it makes it challenging to get to the city as much as I’d like to. These cookies are so close to the real thing and definitely satisfies my tastebuds in the meantime. You are awesome!

  41. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! Usually I get good ratings on taste but my cookies tend to flatten too much… the cornstarch made all the difference! Thank you for researching and publishing this amazing recipe! My family thought they were the best Id ever made. Interesting higher temp makes such a difference as well! Thanks again!

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