This is the only gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe you’ll ever need. It gives the most perfect cookies: crisp and caramelised around the edges, fudgy-gooey in the centre and absolutely packed with chocolate. They’re incredibly easy to make and you honestly couldn’t possibly guess that they’re gluten free!
I’ve got a real treat for you today. I’m sharing my favourite, go-to recipe for THE ULTIMATE gluten free chocolate chip cookies. They’re my ideal cookie: crisp around the edges, fudgy-gooey in the centre and absolutely packed with chocolate. Of course, they also feature those tantalising, glossy puddles of melted chocolate – after all, they’re a must-have with any good chocolate chip cookie!
This recipe is actually from my debut cookbook Baked to Perfection, which comes out in the US and Canada in just under a week on August 17th (it was already released in the UK back in March). The book covers pretty much everything you need to know about gluten free baking – which simply had to include a recipe for the perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
I call this recipe “the ultimate” because I honestly can’t think of a single way in which these cookies could be improved. It took me quite a few months to perfect the recipe – I tested out all the possible ingredient ratios, using different proportions of white and brown sugar, testing them with and without extra egg yolks – and this recipe is the culmination of all those experiments.
It’s the star of the Cookies + Bars chapter in my book, and I’m so excited to share an exclusive preview of this recipe here with you today. In fact, I love these cookies so much that they were a contender for the book cover photo!
(That’s why you’ll see different sets of photos in this post – I made and photographed these cookies several times while making the book, and each batch was *slightly* different, mainly because of the different types of chocolate I used! It goes without saying that they were all delicious.)
Below, I’ve included all the information and step-by-step photos you’ll need to make these AMAZING chocolate chip cookies – but before we get to that, let me tell you a bit more about my book.
Baked to Perfection: delicious gluten free recipes, with a pinch of science
This is the book I wish I had when I started my gluten free journey way back in 2015. It answers any and all questions you might have about gluten free baking – I’ve included all the knowledge that I’ve collected over the years.
It contains over 100 truly amazing gluten free recipes: from cakes, muffins and cookies, to brownies, pastry and even a very extensive gluten free bread chapter. If you’ve been missing bagels, pizza, crusty bread, baguettes, pillowy-soft cinnamon rolls or even proper fried doughnuts – I’ve got you covered!
And because I’m a huge science nerd (with a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, that’s rather to be expected!), I’ve also included simple scientific explanations for WHY the recipes actually work. I find the science of baking, and especially gluten free baking, endlessly fascinating – and I hope you’ll love those sciency tidbits as much as I loved writing (and illustrating) them.
I’ve packed A LOT of information into the recipes themselves, as well (much as I do here on the blog). In addition to the usual ingredients list and instructions, you’ll find information like preparation and baking times, how to store the bakes, possible recipe variations, as well as extensive footnotes describing the science at work.
You can get more information about the book and all the main (pre-)order links here. It’s available with all major booksellers, like Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble (US), Indigo (Canada), Waterstones (UK), and Book Depository (international).
Now, back to the cookies.
Here’s why you’ll LOVE these gluten free chocolate chip cookies
- The perfect texture. They’re deliciously crisp round the edges and fudgy-gooey in the centre, especially when they’re still warm out of the oven. After they’ve been kept in a closed container for a few days, they become more chewy in texture, which is equally as delicious.
- The flavour is AMAZING. You get the slight caramel notes from the light brown sugar and the caramelisation of the cookies as they bake, as well as the gorgeous vanilla flavour from the vanilla bean paste or extract. And, of course, the wonderful bitter-sweetness of dark chocolate.
- They’re packed full of chocolate. If you’ve been round these parts before, then you know that I’m a huge chocoholic. I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as too much chocolate – and it shows in these cookies!
- Super easy to make. They’re incredibly simple to prepare, it’s definitely a no-fuss kind of recipe.
- Couldn’t possibly guess that they’re gluten free! And they’re always a hit with everyone, regardless of whether or not they have to follow a gluten free diet. In fact, my non-gluten-free taste testers couldn’t believe that these are gluten free!!
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these wonderful cookies – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
How to make THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies
Making these gluten free chocolate chip cookies is incredibly easy. You can either make them by hand (using a large balloon whisk and a wooden spoon) or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious cookies:
- Melted and cooled unsalted butter. I prefer using melted rather than softened butter, as this recipe contains quite a large amount of sugar, and the creaming goes much faster and easier when using melted and cooled butter. Melted butter also produces slightly chewier cookies.
- Caster/superfine or granulated sugar. This is responsible for the cookies spreading in the oven.
- Light brown soft sugar. This is responsible for keeping the cookies nicely chewy and fudgy/gooey. It also gives them a wonderful, slightly caramel-like flavour.
- An egg and one extra egg yolk. The extra egg yolk makes the cookies gooier.
- Vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract).
- Plain gluten free flour blend. I’ve tested this recipe with several shop-bought gluten free flour blends available in the UK (Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour, as well as Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Asda own brands) as well as with two DIY blends that you can mix yourself. I’ve listed the composition of one DIY blend in the recipe below – for the other one, check out my book!
- Xanthan gum. This acts as a binder and prevents the cookies from being too crumbly and from spreading out into a flat pancake during baking.
- Baking powder and baking soda.
- Salt. This is a super important ingredient in the recipe as it enhances the flavour of the cookies.
- Dark chocolate. It’s very important to use a good quality chocolate. I like to use a mix of chocolate chips and chopped chocolate or chocolate wafers, more on that below!
Making the chocolate chip cookie dough
To make the gluten free cookie dough:
- Add both sugars to the melted and cooled butter.
- Using a large balloon whisk, cream the butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy.
- Add the egg and egg yolk.
- Add the vanilla bean paste.
- Mix it all together until you get a smooth mixture.
- Sift together the dry ingredients (plain gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt) and add them to the butter mixture in two batches, mixing well after each addition with a wooden spoon.
- The final cookie dough will be fairly soft – that’s okay!
- Add all of the chocolate chips and most of the chopped chocolate (reserving some for adding on top of the cookies later).
- Mix it all together until the chocolate is evenly distributed.
- Then, chill the cookie dough for about 1 hour or until firm enough to scoop.
Scooping the cookies
Once the cookie dough has chilled and firmed up, scoop it into individual portions using a “2 tablespoon” cookie scoop. I’ve found that this gives cookies of a perfect size – though you could, of course, use a larger or a smaller cookie scoop depending on your preference.
Note that if you make the cookies larger, you’ll have to bake them longer. And if you make them smaller, you’ll have to shorten the baking time.
After you’ve scooped all the cookies, chill them in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes – though they are even better when they’ve had time to chill overnight.
Baking, pan-banging and chocolate puddles
These cookies are perfectly baked after about 12-15 minutes at 350ºF (180ºC), with a shorter baking time giving gooier cookies.
If you want your cookies to be flatter and have that characteristic “rippled” surface, you can take the baking sheet with the cookies out of the oven after about 8 minutes and tap it a few times on the kitchen counter. This is known as “pan banging”, a method popularised by Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog.
At this point (before you return them to the oven), you can also add extra chopped chocolate to the cookies – this will give you those gorgeous, glossy puddles of melted chocolate.
How do you get perfectly round cookies?
To get perfectly round cookies, I like to use a round cookie cutter, slightly larger than the diameter of the cookies. Now, don’t go cutting them on anything like that!
Instead, while the cookies are still hot immediately out of the oven, use the cookie cutter to gently nudge the sides of the cookies towards the centre, until you get a perfectly round shape. It’s really as easy as that – and it makes the cookies even prettier!
This method can be used with any cookies that are fairly soft and malleable when they come out of the oven. I’ve used it with my Vegan Brownie Cookies, Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and many others!
Adding an extra egg yolk makes the cookies extra chewy and gooey
The extra egg yolk is absolutely crucial to the perfect (gluten free) chocolate chip cookie texture. By increasing the fat content of the cookies, it makes them extra chewy and gooey – and therefore infinitely more delicious. It also gives the cookies a richer flavour.
(If you prefer your cookies to be more cakey, you can use one egg + one egg white instead of one egg + one egg yolk.)
The best chocolate for chocolate chip cookies
I’ve found that people have very strong opinions when it comes to the perfect chocolate to use in chocolate chip cookies. Some swear by chocolate chips, others prefer chopped chocolate, chocolate féves or chocolate wafers.
I actually like to use a mix of both – in the recipe below, you’ll see that I use a 1:1 mix of chocolate chips and chopped chocolate (which can be replaced with chocolate féves or wafers).
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use high quality chocolate – both for chocolate chips and for chopped chocolate/féves/wafers. Chocolate chips in particular can taste awful if they’re of a poor quality, so if you can’t get your hands on good quality chocolate chips, use only chopped chocolate instead.
- My favourite chocolate brands to use in chocolate chip cookies (and in my bakes in general) are Guittard and Callebaut. Though I haven’t tested it myself, I’ve heard excellent things about Valrhona chocolate as well.
- Use a dark chocolate with 60-70% cocoa solids. This balances out the sweetness of the cookie dough and gives the best possible flavour.
- To get the pools of chocolate on top of the cookies, use chopped chocolate/féves/wafers. Due to their chemical composition, chocolate chips maintain their shape in the oven and won’t form puddles.
Can I freeze the cookie dough?
Yes!! I actually like to keep frozen cookie dough balls in the freezer so I can bake up a batch of cookies (of even just a single cookie) whenever the mood strikes.
Freeze the scooped-out cookie dough in an airtight container or ziplock bag, this prevents the dough from drying out in the freezer. You can keep them frozen for about 1-2 months. Bake them directly from frozen as per the recipe below, just adding 2-3 minutes to the total baking time to compensate.
Note that the longer the cookies are in the freezer, the less they will spread during baking.
How long do gluten free chocolate chip cookies last?
The cookies keep well in a closed container in a cool, dry place for about 1 week. They’re actually at their best a few days after they’ve been baked, after the flavours have had time to mingle and meld, and the moisture within the cookies has re-distributed to make them even chewier.
With chocolate chip cookies, there are really two main problems you might encounter: either your cookies will spread out too much or too little in the oven. So, let’s look at each potential problem in turn. (Note that if you follow the recipe below to the letter, you shouldn’t have any problems at all!)
Why are my cookies too flat?
There are several possible reasons for your cookies being too flat:
- You didn’t chill the cookie dough long enough (or didn’t chill it at all). If that’s the case, the butter in the cookie dough will be too warm the moment it hits the oven and/or the flour in the dough won’t have sufficient time to fully hydrate, and the cookies will spread out too much in the oven.
- You added too much sugar. Sugar (especially white sugar) causes the cookies to spread in the oven, so make sure to use the amount listed in the recipe below.
- You didn’t add enough flour. The amount of flour is crucial to controlling how the cookies behave in the oven, including how much they spread. Ideally, use a kitchen scale to measure it out correctly. If using volume measurements (cups), don’t scoop the flour directly from the container with the measuring cup, as that will compact it too much and you’ll end up over-measuring it. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the straight edge of a knife or similar.
Why aren’t my cookies spreading?
In general, cookies don’t spread and come out too thick if you’ve added too much flour to the cookie dough or if you’ve reduced the amount of sugar for whatever reason.
To prevent this from happening, keep in mind the following:
- Be careful how you measure out the flour. Ideally, use a kitchen scale – this will give the best and most reliable results. If using volume measurements (cups), don’t scoop the flour directly from the container with the measuring cup, as that will compact it too much and you’ll end up over-measuring it. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the straight edge of a knife or similar.
- Don’t be tempted to add more flour when your cookie dough – before chilling – is soft and sticky. As the cookie dough chills in the fridge, it will firm up and become easier to handle. So, no need to add extra flour.
- Use the correct amount of sugar as listed in the recipe. In addition to providing sweetness, sugar plays an important role in how the cookies behave in the oven. If you reduce the amount of sugar, the cookies won’t spread out enough and they won’t have the right texture.
Note also that if you keep the cookie dough in the fridge or freezer for a longer period of time, the cookies might bake up to be a bit thicker, but not unpleasantly so.
And there you have it, friends. Everything you might possibly need to know about how to make the ultimate gluten free chocolate chip cookies. They’re truly a breeze to make and so incredibly delicious.
There are also endless possibilities of adapting the recipe further – by using brown butter or adding chopped nuts or using different types of chocolate… In fact, my Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies are both based on this recipe!
And yet, my favourites are still these, with no extra add-ins or other alterations. There’s just something so perfect about a simple, gooey chocolate chip cookie warm out of the oven, when the chocolate is still melty and it gets all over your fingers because you’re just too impatient to wait for it to cool.
I really hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
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The Ultimate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 100 g (¾ stick + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 120 g (½ cup + 1 ½ tbsp) light brown soft sugar
- 70 g (¼ cup + 1 ½ tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
- 1 UK medium/ US large egg, room temperature
- 1 UK medium/ US large egg yolk, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 220 g (1 ¾ cups + 1 ½ tbsp) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour blend, which doesn't contain added xanthan gum. You can also mix your own blend with 50% finely ground white rice flour, 30% potato starch and 20% maize flour by weight. Note that maize flour in the UK is equivalent to corn flour in the US.)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 50 g (~⅓ cup) dark chocolate chips
- 50 g (~⅓ cup) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped (You can also use chocolate féves or chocolate wafers.)
- flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters, cream the butter and both sugars together until pale and fluffy. You can also use a large balloon whisk and do it by hand.
- Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla bean paste, and mix until fully combined.
- Sift together the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, mixing well after each addition. (If mixing by hand, switch to a wooden spoon for this and all the following steps.)
- Add in the chocolate chips and half of the chopped chocolate, and mix well until evenly distributed.
- Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for about 1 hour (in a bowl covered tightly with cling film) until firm enough to scoop and handle easily.
- Use a "2 tablespoon" ice cream or cookie scoop to scoop individual portions of cookie dough. You should get 16 cookies in total.Place them onto a baking sheet lined with baking/greaseproof paper, cover tightly with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.Tip: The cookies will be even better if you chill them overnight before baking.
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line another baking sheet with baking/greaseproof paper.Tip: You will bake the cookies in several batches, so you can line 2-3 baking sheets if you have them on hand. Otherwise, just re-use the same baking sheet, but make sure to cool it completely before you place the next batch of unbaked cookies onto it.
- In batches (at most, 6-8 at a time), place the chilled cookie dough balls on the lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between them (about 2 inches/5 cm), as they will spread out during baking.
- Bake the cookies at 350ºF (180ºC) for 12-15 minutes in total, depending on your preferred cookie texture and consistency (a shorter time will give you very gooey cookies, a longer baking time will give you more fudgy cookies). They should be light golden on top and golden brown around the edges when done.At the 8-9 minute mark, take the baking sheet out of the oven, tap/bang it 5-7 times onto the kitchen counter, and place a few pieces of the reserved chocolate on top of each cookie.Return the cookies to the oven and bake until done. You can tap the baking sheet again at 2-minute intervals until the cookies are baked, to give them an extra rippled, crinkled appearance, if you wish.Tip 1: Tapping the cookie sheet on the kitchen counter helps the cookies to flatten, thus giving them their characteristic shape and appearance. Omit the tapping if you want thicker cookies.Tip 2: Adding the reserved chopped chocolate to the tops of the cookies halfway through baking will give you those gorgeous glossy puddles of melted chocolate.
- Immediately out of the oven, you can correct the shape of the cookies into a more evenly round one. To do this, use a round cookie cutter slightly larger than the cookie diameter to nudge the cookies into shape.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the baking instructions for the remaining balls of cookie dough, then once all the cookies are baked and cooled, sprinkle with flaky sea salt (optional) before serving.
- Storage:The gluten free chocolate chip cookies keep well in a closed container at room temperature for about 1 week. Note that the cookies will get a bit softer and chewier with time.Alternatively, you can store raw, unbaked balls of cookie dough in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week, or in the freezer for 1-2 months. Bake the cookie balls directly from chilled or frozen, just adding 2-3 minutes to the baking time to compensate. Note that the longer the cookie dough balls are in the fridge or freezer, the less they will spread during baking (so the thicker the results).