Why Are My Cookies Cakey And How To Fix Them?

Who doesn’t love a fresh batch of warm, gooey cookies? They’re the ultimate comfort food that can instantly lift your mood. But what happens when your cookies come out looking more like cake than a classic cookie? 

It’s a frustrating experience that can leave you scratching your head and wondering what went wrong. If you’ve been struggling with cakey cookies, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a common problem that many home bakers face. 

But fear not, because, in this article, we’ll dive into the root causes of cakey cookies and share some helpful tips on fixing them. So, let’s get started and make sure your next batch of cookies is perfectly chewy and delicious!

Why Did My Cookies Come Out Cakey?

An imbalance between fat, sugar, and flour usually causes cakey cookies. The cookies will become drier and crispier if too much flour is added. 

It is common for flour to be measured incorrectly, resulting in too much flour. That is why weighing your ingredients is always better than using volume to get the best results.

It is either too much leavening (baking powder or baking soda) or too much egg that makes cookies cakey. Adding too much baking powder or soda to the dough will cause the cookies to rise excessively, which results in cakey cookies. 

Here Is A Quick Solution: 

The amount of baking powder or baking soda should be reduced slightly. Follow the recipe’s instructions for egg size. Extra-large eggs weigh about .25 ounces more than large eggs. 

You have increased the amount of eggs by 13% if you use extra-large eggs instead of large eggs. It’s more than enough to change the properties of cookie dough significantly.

Also, eggs contribute to the cakey texture of cookies. You may be experiencing cakey texture for the following reasons:

1. You Used Baking Powder Instead Of Baking Soda

Almost anyone can make this mistake. The two are often considered the same by many people, but this seemingly small mistake can greatly impact the finished product.

This is because these two leavening agents react differently and produce different results. The baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) used in most cookie recipes helps the cookies spread out during baking.

In contrast, baking powder will cause cookies to rise but not spread out very far, resulting in a cakey texture. Therefore, always remember that baking soda spreads cookies and baking powder puffs them.

2. Too Much Egg

There is definitely a possibility that you have added too many eggs or eggs that are too large. Many recipes use eggs as a leavening agent, so if you add too much, your cookies may rise up and become cake-like rather than spread.

When an egg is beaten, it has a larger leavening capacity as it gets more air, allowing it to rise more when baked. You can end up with sticky cookie dough if you add too big eggs, so sizing the eggs correctly is crucial.

3. You Used Volume Measurements

You’re more likely to get inaccurate measurements if you’re measuring large quantities of ingredients, like flour and sugar. The chances are that you didn’t measure the ingredients properly, even if you thought you did. 

It will at least be slightly different from the recipe if you are using cups or another volume measurement. This is because measuring by volume does not produce accurate results.

Often, flour is the ingredient measured inconsistently when measuring in volume. Due to its lightness and ease of compacting, a cup of flour can be measured 50g more or less by one person than by another.

A mistake this small can either result in your cookies spreading very thinly or not spreading at all. Adding too much spread will result in hard crackers, while adding too little spread will result in dense and dry crackers.

When baking, it’s smart to measure ingredients by weight to ensure consistent results.

4. The Sugar And Butter Was Overbeaten

You may overbeat butter and sugar, which will incorporate too much air and result in a cakey texture. The mistake is likely to occur if you’re using a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer.

Since you wouldn’t want to get a cake-like texture from the butter and sugar, you should beat it less in order not to incorporate too much air.

How To Fix Cakey Cookies?

With your new knowledge of what causes cookies to become cakey, let’s learn how to fix them next time. Here are some things you might want to consider before making your next batch of cookies.

1. Make Sure You’re Using The Correct Leavening Agent

Baking powder and baking soda should never be mixed up or the results will be skewed. The use of the wrong leavening agent will end up causing you problems.

You should always prepare for a recipe containing baking powder instead of baking soda since baking soda produces the best results.

2. Always Use Weight Instead Of Volume

In baking, measurements are essential, as it is a science. The volume of an object is not even close to a precise measurement.

It’s worth getting a kitchen scale instead of using cups, as volume measurements have so much room for error.

Weight measurements ensure consistent results rather than volume measurements. Using the same oven, temperature, and baking tray, you’ll be able to make the same cookie every time. But there will be inconsistencies in results with volume.

The volume of something can be used when measuring very small amounts, such as vanilla extract, salt, or baking soda.

With tablespoons and teaspoons, you will experience minimal variations from these ingredients because they are added in such small amounts.

It may be necessary to reduce the amount of baking powder or baking soda slightly. Make sure you use the same size eggs as directed in the recipe. Compared to a large egg, an extra-large egg weighs about .25 ounces more. 

Extra-large eggs are 13% bigger than large eggs, so if you substitute them for large eggs, you’ve increased the egg amount by 13%. An amount that large can significantly alter the properties of cookie dough.

3. Melt The Butter Instead Of Beating It

It is not necessary to beat butter in all cookies for them to taste good. The majority of my favorite cookie recipes just call for melted butter.

Besides being easier and faster, melted butter is also cleaner. You just need to mix the melted butter with the sugar before continuing.

It’s important to let the butter cool enough before adding the egg to the dough – you don’t want scrambled eggs.

4. Instead Of Shortening, Use Butter

For less cake-like cookies, replace shortening with butter right away.

Using shortening will result in fluffier, more tender, cake-like cookies, which is why many people use it.

However, if you prefer that buttery, melt-in-your-mouth kind of taste, swap shortening for butter in your cookies.

5. Reduce The Number Of Eggs

You’ll notice that cookie recipes and cake recipes are fairly similar, except that cake recipes have more eggs! As well as adding structure, eggs also help baked goods rise and have a cake-like texture.

Cookies with fewer eggs will have a less cake-like texture, so reducing the eggs in your recipe will result in denser cookies.

Simply cut the number of eggs in half or in 1/4, and if it calls for just one egg, add the yolk or half if it calls for multiple eggs. You’ll want to make sure you don’t completely dehydrate your cookies by using eggs.

6. When You’re Done Baking, Drop The Pan On The Counter A Few Times

After baking, you can fix cakey cookies using this method in just a few seconds without changing any ingredients. 

Drop/bang the pan several times on the counter once you remove the cookies from the pan (make sure it’s heat-safe or has a heat-safe mat underneath) as soon as you take them out.

You can make your cookies denser and chewier by pressing them down, as this helps them settle and compact.

7. Reduce The Amount Of Baking Powder

You can also use baking powder to puff up your cookies (I always think “Powder” = P= puff). The good thing about baking powder is that it makes your cookies soft and cake-like, so if you want less cakey cookies, decrease the baking powder to avoid all the puff.

You can try both ways, but I would recommend decreasing the amount of baking powder first. Do some test batches before coming up with your new perfect recipe and decrease baking powder by 1/4th teaspoon at a time.

8. Less Flour Is Better

In order to make cakey cookies, flour is a huge culprit. The more flour you use, the fluffier your cookies will be because they will hold their shape more instead of spreading. Try using less flour if your cookies don’t have the right texture.

9. You Shouldn’t Chill Your Cookies

In many cookie recipes, you are instructed to chill your cookies before baking them. Using this technique often results in puffier cookies that don’t spread as much in the oven.

It’s okay not to chill the dough if your recipe is turning out too cakey. Melting the butter faster will make the cookie flatter and denser, thereby controlling the cake-like texture.

10. Use Melted Butter Instead Of Room Temperature Butter

Almost always, room temperature butter is used in cookie recipes instead of melted butter. Why? The butter/fat melts more slowly in the oven, so it produces sturdier cookies that spread less.

You get flatter cookies when you use melted butter in a cookie recipe, because the fat has already been melted.

Although not ideal for most recipes, using melted butter in place of room temperature or cold butter can help you create a denser cookie if your cookies keep baking up too cakey.

11. Beat The Butter And Sugar By Hand

The use of an electric mixer will significantly increase the possibility of overbeating them, which is why it is a better idea to manually whisk them instead.

Even though beating them together by hand is more difficult, you will incorporate less air and have better cookies.

In case you don’t want to put too much effort into it, you can mix the ingredients until they combine, then continue to beat them by hand.

Tips For Next Time Your Cookies Are Too Cakey

Even though cookies sound easy on paper, they aren’t so simple when it comes to making them. The road to success is filled with mistakes, and you are almost certain to make plenty of them throughout your lifetime. 

You will learn from these mistakes over time and become a better baker as a result. If you’re baking cookies, here’s a list of tips to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Bake A Test Cookie First

When you bake one or two of the test cookies from the batch of dough, you’ll be able to determine how long it takes for them to bake and how they look after they’ve been baked.

Try it again after adjusting the temperature and/or size of the cookie dough pieces after making a test cookie. After you bake a good cookie, you’ll know the conditions are perfect, and you can bake the rest of the dough.

Always Read The Ingredients And Recipe Carefully

Unless you’re certain of what you’re doing, you shouldn’t rush a recipe. Rushing it increases your chances of missing ingredients, making mistakes with measurements, and making mistakes with the method.

You need to pay close attention to every ingredient on the list and follow the instructions correctly. Missing an ingredient will ruin the taste and could even make the cookies incapable of baking.  

Getting the wrong amount of an ingredient can result in a moist or dry dough or even a cake that doesn’t bake properly as a result. If you mess up a recipe once, you’ll never want to rush the recipe again.

Final Words

The crumb of a cake tends to be spread out and fluffy, unlike cookies that tend to be dense, but in a good way.

When we talk about “cakey” cookies, we mean cookies that are much tender and fluffier than regular cookies. Some people find that they can’t get a less cakey texture if they try to get a more traditional cookie texture.

If you’re looking for chewier cookies, be sure to check out our guide on how to make your cookies chewier! Cakey cookies don’t melt in your mouth like denser cookies and have less chewiness.

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