Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder
A simple chocolate chip cookie recipe without baking soda or baking powder. These cookies are soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges. You don’t absolutely need baking soda or baking powder to make your favorite cookie!
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Technique Used: Creaming Method for Cookies
I’ve recently been in a scenario where I didn’t have baking soda or baking powder on hand but wanted to do some baking. Can I make chocolate chip cookies without it? Turns out, you can! This recipe makes a classic chocolate chip cookie with crispy edges and a soft, chewy middle.
Let’s go over the why’s of why you don’t absolutely need baking soda or baking powder to make drop cookies!
WHY THIS RECIPE IS GOOD TO HAVE ON HAND
- You may not always have baking soda or baking powder on hand and want to make cookies!
- This recipe eliminates the stress that comes with starting a recipe and realizing you don’t have all the ingredients.
- With baking, it’s important to understand how each ingredient works so that you can substitute, eliminate, or customize!
Let’s go over the 2 ingredients left out of this recipe: baking soda and baking powder. Understanding how they work in recipes helps us to come to the conclusion that they aren’t absolutely necessary in this scenario (making chewy chocolate chip cookies).
Baking Soda (also known as Bicarbonate of Soda) is just sodium bicarbonate. In order for it to do its job, it needs an acidic component to interact with and create a chemical reaction. In baking, some common acidic ingredients 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 as the leavening agent.
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.
Keep in mind that baking soda is much more powerful than baking powder so when substituting you need more baking powder to equal the same strength.
HERE ARE A FEW SCENARIOS:
My recipe calls for baking soda and I don’t have any: You can substitute the baking soda in the recipe for baking powder if you have it.
The general rule of thumb is that 1 teaspoon of baking soda = 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) of baking powder
Since the original recipe called for baking soda then the recipe must already contain an acidic ingredient. And since baking powder also contains an acidic ingredient (cream of tartar) then you are all set. You do not need to add more cream of tartar.
My recipe calls for baking powder and I don’t have any: In this scenario, the recipe is asking for baking powder which is baking soda plus cream of tartar so you need to add both.
1 teaspoon baking powder = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
It’s important to use this conversion and not add too much baking soda. Too much can cause your baked goods to have a metallic or soapy flavor to them.
I don’t have either baking soda or baking powder: Determine how important it is for your baked good to rise. Is it very important, like a cake? Or is it okay if they are a little flat, like cookies? Are there eggs in the recipe? Eggs can help a baked good to rise. If there are eggs in the recipe and it isn’t that important for the baked good to rise, then you can probably leave out the baking soda and baking powder.
I do not suggest this for cakes, muffins, biscuits, etc. To date, I have only successfully tried this with drop cookies.
How to make chocolate chip cookies without baking soda or baking powder
Without baking soda or baking powder, these cookies will remain a little flatter then other recipes but because of the eggs and creaming of the butter and sugars in this recipe they will still puff up a little in the oven. They will have crispy edges and a soft, chewy center.
STEP 1: Cream butter and sugars
Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together the soft butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Creaming them together for several minutes will help lighten and leaven the cookies.
Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
STEP 2: ADD THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Stir in the salt and flour. Scrape down the bowl and mix until you no longer see any streaks of white flour. Stir for an additional 30 seconds to develop the gluten to make chewy cookies but then stop. Do not overmix.
STEP 3: ADD THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and fold them in until evenly distributed.
STEP 4: SCOOP THE DOUGH
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop dough balls onto a cookie sheet. Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons per cookie. If desired, top each cookie with a few extra chocolate chips and flaky, coarse salt.
STEP 5: BAKE
Bake cookies until the edges are set but the middle looks slightly underdone. They will continue to set as they cool. Let cool completely.
MORE articles FROM BAKER BETTIE!
If you love to learn the why’s of baking, you might like to read about other baking science topics!
Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder
This recipe is for simple chocolate chip cookie recipe without baking soda or baking powder. These cookies are soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges.
- 113 grams (½ cup, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 50 grams (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 150 grams (1 ¼ cup) all-purpose flour
- 150 grams (1 cup) chocolate chips (I prefer at least 60% dark chocolate)
- coarse salt for sprinkling if desired
- At least 30 minutes before making, remove the butter (113 grams, ½ cup) and egg (1 large) from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
TO MAKE THE COOKIES:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar (100 grams, ½ cup), and brown sugar (50 grams, ¼ cup) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract (2 teaspoons) and mix until combined.
- Add the salt (½ teaspoon) and flour (150 grams, 1 ¼ cup) to the mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix until to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Add the chocolate chips (150 grams, 1 cup) into the mixing bowl and mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Scoop large rounded mounds of dough onto baking sheets, about 2 tablespoons in size. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers are still slightly underdone. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool further.
- Sprinkle the warm cookies with coarse salt if desired.
- For best results, store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
*If you do have baking soda on hand, here is a recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies with baking soda.
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164 Comments on “Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder”
What’s the sodium content of these cookies? That’s why I tried making them; low sodium diet!
Hi Gail! I am not a dietitian so I do not know the sodium content of these cookies. You can always reduce the salt, leave it out completely, or utilize a salt substitute.
This was very horrible I followed directions maybe stop exaggerating. how about that!
Hi Reese! I would love to help you troubleshoot the recipe! What in particular did you not like about it so I can help you improve it?!
I made these for my daughter’s school party. Everyone loved them. I think they came out amazing. Only thing I did different was I used salted butter so I didn’t add any additional salt.
Oh and I didn’t brown butter, just let soften. I always chill my cookie dough as well, but I don’t think any of that would make a big difference. I like the recipe. Adding it my recipe box and shared it with my mother (who also loved the cookies)! Thanks!
That’s great! You’re welcome!
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!
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.
Hi Val! So glad you and your husband enjoyed these!
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!!
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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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
They look so great Ara! Thanks for sharing!
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!
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.
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.
You’re welcome for the recipe! 🙂
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…..it 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…
I’m so happy to hear that you found the information useful Gigi! <3
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.
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!
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.
yummy cookies, I tried at home, cookies come well , taste are so good.
I was trying to bake some cookies that I could give as gifts(since money is real tight). I got all the baking chips and everything that I needed for the cookies. Then started setting everything out to start my cookie adventure, and low and behold, I couldn’t find my baking soda, and it was late and I used baking powder and not enough of it. Then found out my powder was too old.Now I have a huge bowl of nice looking batter but does not bake well.So not sure what to do now. Except give up and throw that batter away.
I’m sorry Rhonda! That’s definitely happened to me before as well. It’s always such a bummer. I bet the batter tasted great! It’s always best to practice “mise en place”- it’s where you measure everything out before you start cooking or baking that way you know if you have everything you need and the right amount.
Thanks for a recipe that can be used during the feast of unleavened bread!
You forgot to put butter in the list of ingredients, it simply says 1 stick (1/2 cup, 113g)
thanks for letting me know! I’ve made the correction.
Very informative and substantial.