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!

Chocolate Chip Cookie on a glass of milk


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!


  • 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.

Box of baking soda and a can of baking powder side by side
Chemical Leaveners


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

Butter and sugars creamed together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment

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.


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.


Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and fold them in until evenly distributed.


Cookie dough in a bowl, cookie dough scooped onto a baking sheet, and salt sprinkled on top of cookie 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.


Collage of chocolate chip cookies in  a basket, on a glass of milk, and a closeup.

Bake cookies until the edges are set but the middle looks slightly underdone. They will continue to set as they cool. Let cool completely.


If you love to learn the why’s of baking, you might like to read about other baking science topics!

Chocolate Chip Cookie on a glass of milk
Yield: about 14 Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies without Baking Soda or Baking Powder

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

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



  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.


  1. 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.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract (2 teaspoons) and mix until combined.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the chocolate chips (150 grams, 1 cup) into the mixing bowl and mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Scoop large rounded mounds of dough onto baking sheets, about 2 tablespoons in size. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  6. 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.
  7. Sprinkle the warm cookies with coarse salt if desired.
  8. For best results, store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.