Baker Bettie

Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder

A simple chocolate chip cookie recipe without baking soda or baking powder. The cookies are soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges. You don’t absolutely need baking soda or baking powder to make chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookie on a glass of milk

I have always excelled at procrastinating. In case you haven’t mastered it for yourself, the secret to procrastination is to find anything that is something other than what you are supposed to be doing. And do that. For as long as possible. Becoming a blogger has made this infinitely easier on me. The effort I put into procrastination these days is minimal.

One of my new favorite procrastination activities is to look at my blog stats and read through the search engine terms people are using to find my blog. It can be quite entertaining, and also disturbing at times. There are some seriously perverted search terms bringing people to my blog. Those people are probably disappointed when they get here…

But I have been noticing a trend over the last few months. The top search term people are using to find my blog is “chocolate chip cookie recipe without baking soda.” People have found my blog by googling this in some form over 3000 times in the past few months. Either someone is REALLY trying to find the answer to this over and over again, or this is for some reason a hot topic for people.

I aim to please, to today I bring you a recipe today with no baking soda or baking powder. I’m assuming that my Science of the Chocolate Chip Cookie post has been the culprit bringing people to the blog up until now, but it really doesn’t go in depth about baking soda and powder and how to swap them or eliminate them. So I thought I would do a bit of baking science today about this!

Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked up on a sheet pan

Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents.  Meaning that they make your baked goods rise by creating air bubbles when mixed and baked.

Baking Soda (also known as Bicarbonate of Soda) is just sodium bicarbonate. In order for it to do it’s job, it needs an acidic component in the party. In baking, the usual acidic components include vinegar, yogurt, lemon juice (or other citrus juice), buttermilk, brown sugar, and chocolate (now you know why almost all chocolate chip cookie recipes call for baking soda). When the basic properties of baking soda mix with the acidic properties of one of these ingredients it starts to neutralize creating air bubbles (carbon dioxide). This raises the baked good and also makes it more tender.

Baking soda is ideal to be used instead of baking powder if there is an acidic component because it is about 4 times more effective than baking powder. Another awesome thing about baking soda (did I just call baking soda awesome?) is that it has an indefinite shelf life. Baking powder, on the other hand, does not. (*see source note at the bottom)

Baking Powder is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)already mixed with an acid (usually cream of tartar). Therefore, baking powder on its own is used in baked goods that do not already contain an acid. It works in the same way baking soda does, by creating air bubbles which cause the batter to rise. If you find yourself without baking soda you can always substitute baking powder for baking soda. This is not true the other way around. But keep in mind that baking soda is much more effective so using more baking powder is needed.

To make sure your baking powder is still effective, add about a tsp to a cup of hot water. If it is still good, it will start bubbling quite a bit. If it does not, time to throw it out and get some new. (*see source note at the bottom)

Here are a few scenarios to help you out:

My recipe calls for baking soda and I don’t have any?: If you have baking powder you can substitute using 2 or 3 times more the amount. I know I said that baking soda is 4xs more powerful than baking powder but I would only increase the amount by 2-3 xs. These ingredients can make your batter taste bitter.

My recipe calls for baking powder and I don’t have any? If you happen to have baking soda and some cream of tartar you can make your own baking powder! You mix the two together at a 1:2 ratio. 1 part baking soda and 2 parts cream of tartar= baking powder. You can also ask yourself if the recipe does have one of those acidic ingredients listed above in it. If it does, you can likely just use a little less baking soda in place of the amount of baking powder.

I don’t have either baking soda or baking powder: Determine how important is the rise of this baked good. Is it very important, like a cake? Or is it okay if they are a little flat, like cookies? How many eggs are in it because eggs will help with the rise? If there are eggs and it isn’t that important for the baked good to rise, you can probably leave both baking soda and baking powder out. Your baked good will most likely have a more dense crumb to it if you do leave both out, but that isn’t always a bad thing!

I made a cookie recipe without baking soda or baking powder and they turned out great! My husband told me they were his favorite cookies. They aren’t my absolute favorite, but they were really delicious!

All ingredients measured out

If you have any other cookie science questions please do check out my post: The Science of The Chocolate Chip Cookie where I teach you how to customize a recipe to create your own perfect chocolate chip cookie!

Chocolate Chip Cookie dough in a bowl, scooped out onto a baking sheet before baking

Note: I almost always brown the butter in my cookie recipes. It creates an incredible depth of flavor, but it is not necessary to make the recipe work. To brown butter, place the butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium/high heat. Stir constantly, do not step away. The butter will melt, turn murky, clear up, then begins to turn an amber color. Remove from the heat as soon as it is a medium amber color. Allow to cool for several minutes before adding to the batter. 

Also a note about sugar. Granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and dark brown sugar are all interchangeable in this recipe. I wanted a bit of chew, but a mostly crunchy cookie so I used mostly white sugar with some brown sugar. If you want more chew, use all brown sugar. If you want more crisp, use all white sugar. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies on a sheet pan, in a basket and on a glass of milk

*I have learned most of this information by watching endless episodes of Good Eats with Alton Brown. I also read a lot of baking articles and a few that you should check out if you want to learn more about baking soda and baking powder are:

The Food Lab: Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda at Serious Eats

Baking Powder and Baking Soda (Bicarbonate) by Joy of Baking

Chocolate Chip Cookie on a glass of milk

Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder

Yield: 14 Large Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

This recipe is for simple chocolate chip cookie recipe without baking soda or baking powder. The cookies are soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges.


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup, 113 gr)
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55 gr) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (140 gr) chocolate chips (I prefer at least 60% dark chocolate)
  • coarse salt for sprinkling if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla and the egg, and beat until combined.
  4. Add the salt and then the flour in small amounts, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop dough mounds, about 2 TBSP in size on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets. Do not overcrowd them. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of each, if desired. (you should. it brings the cookies up a level)
  5. Bake at 350ºF for 8-12 minutes, until the edges are just set. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets (cookies will continue cooking and finish setting.)

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Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223

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158 comments on “Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder”

  1. What’s the sodium content of these cookies? That’s why I tried making them; low sodium diet!

  2. This was very horrible I followed directions maybe stop exaggerating. how about that!

  3. I made this recipe using all brown sugar as my family prefers chewy cookies but they came out tasting like flour. They didnt taste bad, but more just like nothing. Any suggestions how to give it a sweeter taste and less flour taste? Note: i followed the recipe as directed.

    • Hi Meghan! It sounds like you may have ended up with too much flour in your dough! Make sure you fluff up the flour, lightly spoon it into your measuring cups without packing it down at all, and then level it off. It is very easy to pack too much flour into your measuring cup. They definitely shouldn’t taste like flour!

  4. I googled cookies without baking soda and baking powder and found this recipe (as I had just come home from grocery shopping to realise I missed those items.. oops) and tried making these. The flour I used was self rising so I hoped it would have worked out alright and WOW!!! These are going to be a firm staple. Mixed manually and my husband was so impressed with them, he rated it 9/10, the only missing point is purely because I like soft cookies and he’s a crunch guy. The switch with my flour made them super fluffy and the flavour was amazing. Easily my favourite cookie of all time. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world.

  5. Thanks for this recipe and the scientific breakdown! I’m searching for recipes without baking soda or baking powder because those items make sunflower butter turn green! The flavor is still great, but people worry that I’ve snuck spinach into the cookies. Sunbutter is a great ingredient for people who are allergic to nuts – it’s just ground sunflower seeds! And I prefer flatter, less cakey cookies anyway, so now I know how to achieve that in all my cookies. Thanks!!

  6. Hello…I just made a batch of these cookies using maple syrup, and I did not brown the butter. The cookies came out very pale, but brown on the bottom and outermost edges. Strangely, the cookies were very cakey. The did not spread much, but puffed up. I prefer a thinner cookie, soft in the middle and crispy on the edges. I imagine the vanilla extract and brown butter may change the taste, but what will it do to the texture?

    • Hi Marcia! Maple syrup is not a direct substitute for sugar. Because it is liquid it will not properly cream with the butter and its chemical makeup is completely different so your results will vary quite a lot. Other than that, it sounds like you may have ended up with too much flour in your cookies. Make sure you are lightly spooning it into the measuring cups and leveling it off without packing it down at all. These cookies do not brown quite as much as other chocolate chip cookies because of the lack of baking soda or baking powder which definitely contributes to the browning of cookies. But I developed this recipe for people who are in a pinch and need to make cookies without. Hope that is helpful!

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  8. I made these cookies with all brown sugar, I did brown the butter, I substituted vanilla extract with pure maple syrup, used butterscotch chips, and used the coarse sea salt. My mixture seemed a little thin so I chilled it for 40 minutes before using and cooked for 12 minutes. They came out

  9. Hi Kristen!  People with heart failure, heart disease  and kidney disease have to keep their sodium very low, usually below 2400 mg for heart failure  and  about 1200 mg or less for kiney disease.  The average person should only have about 2500 mg of sodium per day, but most North Americans have three times that amount.  It’s very hard to limit sodium.  It’s in most foods, even milk,  but much less in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes  you just want a cookie though, right? I will have to leave out the kosher salt and coarse salt and use unsalted butter.  I am just grateful to know I can make a batch of cookies again! That’s probably why your recipe got so many searches.  Thanks for your recipe, and keep the low sodium recipe options coming!

  10. I should have explained…  baking soda and baking powder both contain a fair bit of sodium, and for those of us counting our grams of sodium, finding baking recipes without them is a big deal!  I can omit salt from recipes, but replacing leaveners with yeast or eggs is very tricky.  Sometimes it just can’t be done.  Eggs have 60 g sodium too, so that doesn’t really help.


  11. Yes, eggs do contain sodium. The idea is to greatly reduce the amount of sodium, not eliminate entirely from the diet. We all need some sodium to function properly. That is so especially for kidney disease patients. However, by eliminating the salt and sodium from this recipe, you have a very low sodium content. Usually chips have no sodium too. I hope to try your recipe soon. No sodium, or low sodium foods many times do not always taste or appear as ”normal”, but can be very good. To have a sweet treat once in a while is a really nice boon to those of us on restricted sodium diets. A normal person should try to eat on only 1200mg of sodium a day for a week. That is why we cannot go to restaurants, and especially fast food places. It is not easy. Thank you for this recipe.

  12. Your info was very useful for me tonight!….I made an awesome fruit cake ….I wanted it to be moist like a pudding and yet have a light cake texture… came out just right…I used 1 1/2  tblsp baking  powder and 3 cups flour…thanks ! I learned something about baking powder containing baking soda tonight!
    I have a good recipe for choc chip cookie also…I use baking soda…but now I know what it will be like without any rising agent…

  13. I’m going vegan for health reasons, I’m looking for a cookie or sweet dessert but no dairy, sugar, oil / fats and salt. I can use oatmeal maple syrup, molasses apple sauce. No baking soda or powder also no butter(dairy) can you help me?

    • Hi Sandi. Unfortunately, I don’t do a lot of specialty baking and don’t have a lot of experience baking like that so I’m likely not the best person to ask. It might be the most successful to google “fat free, refined sugar free cookie”. People who write those types of recipes are going to be much more of an authority on it than me. So sorry I can’t be of more help.

  14. To comment on your musings over why people would be searching for this kind of recipe, for me it’s the fact that baking soda and powder are made from mined ingredients that require a lot of fossil fuels to manufacture. This is a system of food production that I am moving away from as much as possible. It also seems like we don’t know exactly what’s in baking powder and I avoid mystery ingredients whenever possible. Thanks!

  15. These are absolutely delicious!
    This week is Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread and I needed something sweet to make without leavening.
    I made them exactly as written and they were not only gooey and crisp around the edge but had a little rise just like a chocolate chip cookie should.
    Thanks for this recipe, my family will be using it for years to come.

  16. yummy cookies, I tried at home, cookies come well , taste are so good.

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