7 Reasons Your Cookies Are Cakey & How To Fix Them

Cookies can turn out cakey due to excess moisture or too much leavening agent in the dough. Also, using more brown sugar than white sugar or over-mixing your cookie dough can contribute to a cake-like texture, as these factors affect how the dough spreads and rises during baking.

Let’s investigate the common reasons why cookies get cakey and how you can fix the problem.

Cookies Cakey

7 Reasons why Cookies Are Cakey

Excess Moisture

Cookies rely on a delicate balance of wet and dry ingredients to achieve their characteristic texture. Using too much liquid – from eggs, butter, milk, or even other wet ingredients – can lead to a dough that’s too moist. This excess moisture causes the cookies to puff up during baking, creating a cakey texture.

Excess Moisture

Too Much Leavening Agent

Leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda create gas bubbles in the dough, causing it to rise. If you add too much of these, the cookies may rise more than you want, giving them a cake-like consistency. Always stick to the amount specified in the recipe.

Over-Mixing the Dough

Mixing dough develops the gluten proteins in the flour, which gives baked goods their structure. However, over-mixing the dough can develop too much gluten, resulting in cookies that have a denser, cake-like texture. Mixing just until the ingredients are combined for optimal texture is important.

Type of Sugar Used

The type of sugar you use can greatly affect the texture of your cookies. Brown sugar contains more moisture than white sugar due to its molasses content, which can contribute to a cakey texture. If a recipe calls for more white sugar than brown, and you’re swapping them, this could be causing your cakey cookies.

Type of Sugar Used

The Kind of Flour

Different types of flour contain different amounts of protein. Cake flour, for example, has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which can lead to a softer, cake-like texture in your cookies. If your recipe calls for all-purpose flour and you’re using cake flour instead, this might be the reason for the cakey outcome.


Baking not only heats the dough to cook it, but it also drives off moisture. If cookies aren’t baked long enough, they can retain too much moisture, which contributes to a softer, cakey texture. Make sure to bake your cookies for the full time specified in the recipe, and ensure your oven is properly preheated before you start baking.

Incorrect Oven Temperature

Oven temperatures can be tricky, and not all ovens heat the same way. If your oven runs cooler than the temperature you set, cookies might not spread as much as they’re supposed to and could instead puff up, yielding a cakey result. It’s worth investing in an oven thermometer to ensure accurate baking temperatures.

Incorrect Oven Temperature

Tips to Fix Cakey Cookies

Adjust Your Liquid Ratio: If your cookies are coming out cakey, try reducing the wet ingredients in your dough. Cut back slightly on eggs, butter, and milk to decrease moisture content.

Measure Leavening Agents Correctly: Ensure you’re not using too much baking powder or baking soda. Overdoing these ingredients can cause cookies to rise excessively, creating a cakey texture. Use measuring spoons for accuracy.

Don’t Overmix: Mix your ingredients just until they’re combined. Over-mixing develops too much gluten, which can result in a denser, cake-like texture. Remember, you want to create a dough, not a batter.

Watch Your Sugar: If your recipe calls for both brown and white sugar, use the correct ratio. Too much brown sugar can add extra moisture to your dough, resulting in cakey cookies.

Use the Correct Flour: If a recipe calls for all-purpose flour, don’t swap it out for cake flour. The lower protein content in cake flour can make your cookies soft and cake-like. Stick with all-purpose for a traditional chewy cookie texture.

Bake Completely: Bake your cookies for the full recommended time. Under-baking can leave them with too much moisture, creating a cakey texture.

Ensure Accurate Oven Temperature: Use an oven thermometer to confirm your oven reaches and maintains the correct temperature. If the temperature is too low, your cookies might not spread properly and become cakey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make cookies flatter?

To make cookies flatter, you can increase the amount of butter or sugar, contributing to spreading. Additionally, you can slightly decrease the amount of flour and leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda. Remember to chill your dough before baking to prevent excessive spreading.

How to make cookies dense?

Denser cookies can be achieved by increasing the proportion of dry ingredients like flour and reducing the amount of leavening agents in your recipe. Be careful not to over-mix your dough, creating more gluten and making cookies tough rather than dense and chewy.

Why do cookies spread out in the oven?

Cookies spread out in the oven due to the heat, causing the fat in the dough to melt. The melting fat and leavening agents, causes the dough to expand. If there’s too much sugar, butter, or leavening agent, or the dough is too warm in the oven, the cookies may spread more than desired.

Why are my cookies too thin and crisp?

Cookies become thin and crisp with too much sugar, butter, or liquid ingredients and insufficient flour to absorb the moisture. Over-baking can also result in thin, crisp cookies, as can baking at a too high temperature. Try reducing the liquid content and baking at the right temperature for the recommended time.

Why are my cookies burnt on the bottom?

Cookies can burn on the bottom if the oven temperature is too high or if placed on a baking sheet that’s too low. Over-baking can also lead to burnt bottoms. Use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate temperature, place your baking sheet in the middle of the oven, and remove cookies as soon as they’re done.

Why didn’t my cookies hold the shape?

Cookies might not hold their shape if the dough is too warm before baking, causing the fats to melt quickly and the cookies to spread. Too much sugar, butter, or leavening agent can cause cookies to lose shape. Make sure to chill your dough before baking and use the correct amounts of ingredients.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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