How to Make Cookies Soft and Chewy

Tired of your cookies coming out crispy and flat? These 5 simple tips will teach you how to make cookies soft and chewy! Just look at that texture 👇🏼😍

How to make cookies soft and chewy

I’ve found using a mix of brown sugar and white sugar helps make cookies soft and chewy. Brown sugar prevents the cookies from spreading out too much in the oven, meaning the cookies stay soft and chewy. It also gives cookies a lovely caramel-like flavour.

Refrigerating the cookie dough not only develops the flavours but also massively improves the cookie texture. The colder and firmer the cookie dough the less the cookies will spread out in the oven. In this Hot Chocolate Cookies recipe, for example, chilling the cookie dough results in a thick, soft and chewy texture.

As a minimum, try chilling the cookie dough for two hours, but I’ve found leaving it in the fridge overnight is best. Just cover the mixing bowl with clingfilm and pop it in the fridge.

soft and chewy cookies dough

First, take your cookie dough out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature for 20 minutes. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of cookie dough and use the palm of your hands to roll it into a ball. Place on a flat baking tray (do not flatten) and repeat using the rest of the cookie dough. Leave roughly 8-10cm between each cookie ball so they have enough room to spread out.

Did you know cookies continue to cook as they cool down? That’s why if you want soft and chewy cookies, it’s best to take them out of the oven whilst they’re still underbaked.

For all of my cookie recipes, I recommended setting the oven to 180°C and your timer to 10 minutes initially. The cookies are done when the outer edge is set and golden, but the middle is still soft and under-baked.

  • Are you having trouble with your oven temperature? I highly recommend using an oven thermometer to accurately measure the temperature inside your oven. You pop it inside your oven and it will tell you the temperature on the dial as the oven heats up. I started using one last year and I soon realised my oven took much longer to preheat than I thought.

Yes, I know how difficult this can be! The smell of freshly baked cookies is just irresistible. But trust me, this tip is a cookie texture game-changer.

Resist the urge to tuck in straight away and leave the cookies to cool on the baking tray for at least 10 minutes. During this time the cookies will continue to cook and the middle of the cookie will set up and turn super chewy.

Chocolate M&M soft and chewy cookies

That’s it! Now you know the secret to soft and chewy cookies, why not try a recipe…

Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks

Nothing says "I love you" more than a batch of these freshly baked Red Velvet Cookies!
These red velvet cookies are flavoured with cocoa, vanilla and melted white chocolate chunks. They're chewy on the outside with a super soft and gooey middle.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Afternoon Treat
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10


For the red velvet cookie dough

  • 160 g Unsalted butter
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 150 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 medium Whole egg
  • 1 medium Egg yolk
  • 245 g Self-raising flour
  • 20 g Cocoa powder
  • 120 g White chocolate chopped into chunks
  • Red gel food colouring I highly recommend using Sugarflair Red Extra

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 60 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 120 g Icing sugar
  • 60 g Full-fat cream cheese cold from the fridge


Make the red velvet cookie dough.

  • Stir the flour and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl melt the butter in the microwave until liquid. Now add the two sugars and mix together.
  • Mix in the whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and red gel food colouring (just enough until the mixture is bright red).
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder and the white chocolate chunks, and fold together until the mixture comes together into a cookie dough.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Bake the cookies.

  • Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and leave to soften at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • Meawhile preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and line two large, flat baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Take two heaped tablespoons of cookie dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Place on the baking tray and do not flatten. Repeat for all 10 cookies.
  • Leave space between each cookie ball on the baking trays so they have enough room to spread out. 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. The middle of the cookie should be super soft and underbaked, but the outside edge of the cookie should be firm and set.
  • Leave to cool and firm up on the baking tray for at least 15 minutes.

Make the cream cheese frosting.

  • Beat the butter until soft and smooth. Sieve in the icing sugar and beat together until smooth.
  • Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Gently fold together until fully combined. Be careful not to overmix otherwise the frosting will become too loose.
  • Spread or pipe the frosting on top of the cookies.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Keyword Cookies, Cream cheese frosting, Red velvet
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