Copycat Levain Bakery Cookies (2024)

Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies are world-famous, and this copycat recipe allows you to make them right at home for a fraction of the price! Loaded with chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, and walnuts, these cookies aren't overly sweet and weigh 6 ounces each!

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Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies are world-famous, and this copycat recipe allows you to make them right at home for a fraction of the price! Loaded with chocolate and walnuts, these cookies aren’t overly sweet and weigh 6 ounces each!

Copycat Levain Bakery Cookies (2)

These NYC Levain Cookies have had a strong cult following since they were developed in 1995. In this post, we’ll dive into why we think that is and why we think this copycat recipe is a solid stand-in when you can’t make it to the bakery in person and don’t want to pay to have them shipped.

These cookies generally cost $29 for four cookies. This recipe makes 12 cookies for a fraction of the cost. The best part is that they really aren’t even that hard to make!

Table of Contents

What we love about Levain Bakery Cookies

Crispy, chewy, and gooey.

That’s right, the signature texture of these cookies is all three! Due to the high heat, large size, cold butter, quick chill, and flour-to-sugar ratio, these cookies bake up in just 10 minutes with a crisp/crunchy edge and exterior with a chewy secondary layer and a borderline raw center. If you have difficulty choosing between cookie textures because you love them all, this is the cookie for you! Here’s some more signature features that we can’t get enough of:

Huge – These cookies are massive. At 6 ounces each (before baking), each of these cookies will serve as dessert for at least 2 people!

Tall – Not only are these generally big cookies, but the height of them is essential too! These cookies are fat, and they don’t spread too much thanks to a quick chill on the baking sheet before going in the oven.

Old Fashioned – I know that NYC-style cookies aren’t really old fashioned, but these cookies TASTE old fashioned. And I think that makes sense given that the women who started were starting a bread bakery and likely using simple ingredients in a time when desserts weren’t necessarily overly sweet – but simple.

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Ingredients in Levain Cookies

We did a lot of research for this cookie recipe, and the end result is a dough that is relatively simple to make with pantry staple ingredients, butter, and eggs. The recipe is adapted from Joshua Weissman‘s Chocolate Chip Cookies because we felt that he was on to something with the extra egg yolks in getting that gooey center.

Cake Flour + All-Purpose Flour – This gives the cookies their signature build while adding height and tenderness.

Cornstarch – An ingredient we use in many of our cookie recipes because it helps create a soft and chewy cookie.

Cold Butter – That’s right, you don’t have to remember to pull your butter out of the refrigerator in time to make these; you’ll simply cut it up and cream it with the sugars while it’s cold. Just make sure you cream for 4 minutes and scrape the sides of the bowl down every minute or so. The cold butter is going to help give these cookies their height and allow us to chill the dough for a shorter period of time.

Toasted Sugar (optional)- This is a process, so I won’t fault you for skipping it and using granulated sugar instead. When you toast sugar, it develops a unique caramelized flavor that adds beautifully to these cookies. The process also reduces the sweetness of the sugar, so if you prefer a sweeter cookie or don’t have a lot of time, use granulated. But if you have a few hours one day, toast up a whole bag of sugar and then store it away to use in cookies like these for a unique flavor profile.

Eggs – This recipe does use two whole eggs and three additional egg yolks. It seems like a lot, but it’s the key to the different textures and dimensions within these cookies!

Vanilla – Rumor has it that the bakery doesn’t actually include vanilla extract in their cookies, but I couldn’t find anything that supported this. Maybe I’m not digging deep enough, but honestly, vanilla belongs in chocolate chip cookies, so we’re adding it! If you want to go real extra, use vanilla bean paste!

Walnuts – I highly recommend toasting the walnuts before using them in the cookies. This gives them a much better flavor, and the cookies taste better overall than if you were to use walnuts right out of the bag. Pecans are a great alternative to walnuts too!

Chocolate – We like to use a mix of chocolates to add complexity. Try using a blend of chopped semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate and some dark chocolate chocolate chips. You can use all chocolate chips or all chopped chocolate if desired.

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Baking Sheets – We found that for the best results, the cookie sheets should be chilled for 15 minutes with the dough. So if you portion out four cookies on a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes, then pop them in the oven, you can prep the other cookies while the first batch chills, and then they should be ready to go in the fridge when the first batch goes in the oven then they go in the oven when the first batch comes out. This recipe makes 12 cookies, so you’re looking at three batches/cookie sheets in total.

Kitchen Scale – To make sure the cookies are uniform in size, it’s best to use a kitchen scale. This is also the best way to ensure that your ingredient measurements are correct by using grams instead of cup measurements. This is our favorite kitchen scale (affiliate link).

Large Cookie Scoop – These cookies are 6 ounces each, and while a kitchen scale is necessary to make sure your weighted measurement is correct, the dough is fairly soft, and using a cookie scoop will help portion it out and shape it. We used our Vollrath No.8 Scoop (affiliate link) and made sure it was a heaping scoopful instead of leveling it off. Most scoops hit the 6-ounce mark, but we took away or added a little cookie dough if needed.

Stand Mixer – I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this chocolate chip walnut cookie recipe instead of mixing by hand or with a hand mixer. Since this recipe uses cold butter, it is much more difficult to cream properly, so a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (affiliate link) is the best way to get the job done.

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Levain Cookies Recipe Testing Notes

Once we got our dough down, we tested different baking and chilling methods to find the perfect bake and texture. Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies have a crisp out shell that is most distinguishable by the dark bubbles with ripples of pale dough around it.

1 – Unchilled, baked right after finishing the dough on parchment paper on a room temperature baking sheet. The flavors felt a little underdeveloped in this cookie like it lacked salt – but none of the other cookies baked differently had this issue, and is likely because the dough didn’t rest. It also spread the most while baking and had a basic cakey texture. It was our least favorite of the bunch. If you do prefer this method, I would probably sprinkle some flaky salt on top before baking.

2 – Scooped balls of dough were chilled on the baking sheet in the refrigerator and baked for 12 minutes. These had a crunchy bottom and edges that bordered on burnt. The center was still chewy and gooey. Great for those who like their cookies more cooked than gooey.

3 – Scooped balls of dough were chilled on a baking sheet and baked for just 9 minutes. The bottoms and edges were golden brown, and it had the signature brown bubbles on the top. The immediate interior texture was chewy, and the center was slightly raw. These cookies had the most height and best overall texture when trying to copy Levain Bakery’s recipe. WINNER!

4 – Scooped dough balls were chilled on a plate for 45 minutes. We also baked them on a pan that had only been out of the oven for about 10 minutes, as we felt this was a likely scenario for a home cook who didn’t have 2 or 3 baking sheets to rotate through. The cookies were baked for 10 minutes. The end result was a soft and gooey cookie with a golden bottom but little to no crispiness on the exterior. The cookie test probably could have stood to bake for 1 or 2 additional minutes without experiencing the deeper browning of cookie test #2 because it chilled longer. Overall it had less height, was softer (but could be baked longer to help with this), and the flavors were very well developed. This was second place in our eyes, but maybe first if you prefer really soft cookies and don’t have a lot of baking sheets to rotate batches with!

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Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe FAQs

What Are Levain Style Cookies?

These are big, thick cookies, usually chock-full of add-ins like chocolate, nuts, raisins, and more. They were the original NYC cookie. The NYC style of cookies is now super popular and can be found at many bakeries, farmer’s markets, and pop-up shops worldwide!

Where Did They Originate?

At the Levain Bakery in New York City in 1995.

Are These The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Does a chocolate chip cookie recipe truly exist that fits this description? I’m not sure it does because I think people have wildly different preferences for what the “BEST” is: chewy, crispy, thick, cakey, thin, tons of chocolate, only a little chocolate, etc. That being said, this recipe makes REALLY freaking good chocolate chip cookies, and I think our testing and notes will allow you to bake the cookies in a way that best fits your tastes (unless you’re looking for thin and crunchy cookies with minimal chocolate like Tate’s cookies).

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How to store Levain Bakery Cookies

Once baked and cooled, these cookies can be stored in an air-tight container for up to four days.

Can Levain Cookies Be Frozen?

Yes, they can. You can freeze the dough before baking or freeze fully baked cookies. Here’s how to do both. It’s important to note that if you freeze the dough, the final structure of the cookie could change.

How To Freeze Dough: Portion the dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (the balls can be close together) and flash freeze for 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer bag and remove any excess air and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the bag before thawing in the fridge, so the dough doesn’t stick to the bag. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes once thawed.

How To Freeze Baked Cookies: Let the cookies cool completely after baking, then flash freeze for 30 minutes on a baking sheet to make sure the exterior bits of chocolate is firm and reduce the risk of making a mess. Transfer the cookies to a freezer bag and remove as much excess air as possible before freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature a nuke in the microwave for 15 seconds before enjoying.

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Let’s Connect!

If you’ve tried thisrecipe, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below and leave a review. I love hearing from you!

Don’t forget to tag me – @sugarandsoulco on Instagram and Pinterest with your photos or join our Sugar & Soul Show-offs Community and share them there, where you can join our recipe challenges!

Copycat Levain Bakery Cookies (9)

Copycat Levain Bakery Cookies (10)

4.97 from 33 votes

Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


Author Rebecca Hubbell

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Prep Time 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes minutes

Chill Time 15 minutes minutes

Total Time 55 minutes minutes

Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies are world-famous, and this copycat recipe allows you to make them right at home for a fraction of the price! Loaded with chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, and walnuts, these cookies aren't overly sweet and weigh 6 ounces each!

Ingredients

  • cups cake flour 230g
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 275g
  • teaspoons salt 5g
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch 8g
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda 6g
  • cups cold unsalted butter 280g, 20 tablespoons
  • 1⅓ cups light brown sugar 285g, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 115g, or toasted sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 additional large egg yolks
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups walnuts 165g
  • 8 ounces chopped chocolate 250g
  • cups dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Spread the chopped walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

    2 cups walnuts

  • Remove the walnuts from the oven and allow them to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F (NOT A TYPO).

  • While the walnuts toast, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, salt, cornstarch, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    1¾ cups cake flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon corn starch, ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the cold butter, light brown sugar, and toasted or granulated sugar. Mix at medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl about every minute.

    1¼ cups cold unsalted butter, 1⅓ cups light brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar

  • Once combined add in the eggs one at a time followed by the egg yolks. Then mix in the vanilla extract.

    2 large eggs, 3 additional large egg yolks, 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Once smooth, mix in the flour mixture a little at a time until smooth.

  • Add in the mostly cooled chopped walnuts, chopped chocolate, and chocolate chips. Mix just until combined.

    2 cups walnuts, 8 ounces chopped chocolate, 1½ cups dark chocolate chips

  • Weigh each dough ball out to 6oz and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

  • Allow them to set on the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

  • Once baked and cooled, these cookies can be stored in an air-tight container for up to four days.
  • If using salted butter, reduce the added salt to 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Do not use room temperature or melted butter in these cookies – cold butter only.
  • We like to use a mix of chocolates to add complexity. Try using a blend of chopped semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate along with some dark chocolate chocolate chips. You can use all chocolate chips or all chopped chocolate if desired.
  • We found that for the best results, the cookie sheets should be chilled for 15 minutes with the dough. So if you portion out four cookies on a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes, then pop them in the oven, you can prep the other cookies while the first batch chills, and then they should be ready to go in the fridge when the first batch goes in the oven then they go in the oven when the first batch comes out. This recipe makes 12 cookies, so you’re looking at three batches/cookie sheets in total.
  • To make sure the cookies are uniform in size, it’s best to use a kitchen scale. This is also the best way to ensure that your ingredient measurements are correct by using grams instead of cup measurements. This is our favorite kitchen scale(affiliate link).
  • These cookies are 6 ounces each, and while a kitchen scale is necessary to make sure your weighted measurement is correct, the dough is fairly soft, and using a cookie scoop will help portion it out and shape it. We used our Vollrath No.8 Scoop(affiliate link) and made sure it was a heaping scoopful instead of leveling it off. Most scoops hit the 6-ounce mark, but we took away or added a little cookie dough if needed.
  • I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this chocolate chip walnut cookie recipe instead of mixing by hand or with a hand mixer. Since this recipe uses cold butter, it is much more difficult to cream properly, so a stand mixer with a paddle attachment(affiliate link) is the best way to get the job done.
  • How To Freeze Dough:Portion the dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (the balls can be close together) and flash freeze for 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer bag and remove any excess air and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the bag before thawing in the fridge, so the dough doesn’t stick to the bag. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes once thawed.
  • How To Freeze Baked Cookies:Let the cookies cool completely after baking, then flash freeze for 30 minutes on a baking sheet to make sure the exterior bits of chocolate is firm and reduce the risk of making a mess. Transfer the cookies to a freezer bag and remove as much excess air as possible before freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature a nuke in the microwave for 15 seconds before enjoying.

Nutrition

Calories: 781kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 6mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Copycat Levain Bakery Cookies (2024)

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