Why Do My Cookies Always Fall Flat?

Updated on September 06, 2011
K.C. asks from Irvine, CA
20 answers

Every time I bake chocolate chip cookies, they come out of the oven nice and puffy, but within five minutes, they are flat. They are still fairly soft and aren't overly crunchy, but they don't look very nice. Am I cooking them too long? Too short?

If it makes a difference, I don't use eggs in my cookies. I replace them with a mixture of oil, water and baking powder.

Any tips to make my cookies thicker, chewier, and just generally nicer looking?

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who answered so far. As for the eggs, my son is allergic so using eggs is not an option. Looking forward to getting more advice. : )

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answers from Honolulu on

Do not, over mix or over beat the mix.... when making the cookies.

My friend, a baker, has said that.

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3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would guess that it's the eggs. Assuming that there's an allergy or some other valid reason to substitute the eggs, just leave them be. Honestly, no one cares about how a cookie looks as long as it tastes good!

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answers from Austin on

Because you are not using eggs. The oil is heavy.
You should be using baking soda (Arm and Hammer, yellow box) not baking powder.

Also make sure your baking soda is fresh.. I noticed it it has been in the cabinet for more than a year, the baked goods do not bake as high.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Haha... It has taken me YEARS to get my cookies flat. I hate puffy cookies. Bleck. Yucky.

- No baking sodas or powders
- Pasteurized eggs (the kind in the milk box) only
- A little extra crisco or butter, and butter's better for flat than crisco
- Dump all the ingredients in at once (no sifting!!! no wet and dry! Together!)
- Beat the bejeebers out of them
- Pull out of the oven early (to keep cooking on the sheet for a few minutes on top of the stove)

Haha! Victory!!! Flat cookies!!!

Conceivably one could reverse the process for puffy icky cookies ;)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I once read that putting your cookie dough in the refrigerator for a bit before cooking them makes them not so flat. It wouldn't hurt to try, right.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We have egg allergies so this is how we make cookies. I dislike flat cookies, and ours always come out fluffy!

I follow the Nestle Toll House Recipe on the back.

I use real butter, softened. We replace each egg with a 1/4 cup of applesauce. I've used cinnamon applesauce for variety, it also tastes good! But mostly we use unsweeted applesauce.

I add extra flour, maybe about a 1/4-1/2 cup more flour, depending on how the batter feels.

I then refrigerate the batter until it's a little hard. I place the cold batter in round chunks on the cookie sheet and bake according to directions.

The extra flour and the refrigeration keep the cookies more puffy and also soft. However, they do disappear quickly because who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies???

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

My mom and I make our cookies almost the exact same. Hers fall flat and mine are fluffy. I use real butter and she uses margarine.. I don't know about the eggs making a difference though. If you use margarine try real butter. It makes my baked goods taste better in my opinion...and everyone always says I bake great!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It's been years since I took food courses but as I remember it's the fat that causes cookies to fall flat. It's been my experience that most chocolate chip cookies are flat.

A second idea is that without eggs the cookies do not have enough structure to maintain their shape. Perhaps you can google baking without eggs and see if you can find something. Here is one site: http://www.chooseveg.com/baking-without-eggs.asp

I might try adding more flower to the dough. I also agree with Laurie A. Baking soda is probably a better choice but you need some acid, such as vinegar too. You can use both baking soda and baking powder in the same recipe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The BEST cookie recipe!! And, no eggs!

The Puffy Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the shortening, sugar, and brown sugar in the mixer's work bowl, and cream until light and fluffy. In the meantime, sift together the cake flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
Add the eggs 1 at a time to the creamed mixture. Then add vanilla. Increase the speed until thoroughly incorporated.
With the mixer set to low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the shortening and combine well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 per sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown and puffy, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool and store in an airtight-container.

Fail!! Sorry, gave you the wrong egg-free recipe. I will leave it, in case anyone else can use it with eggs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

add a touch more flour until they dont do this. I usually make a practice cookie until i know they are like i want them to be. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Hmmm. Good question. I do use eggs (and oatmeal), but mine are usually pretty flat too. And darn delicious. ;)
Mmmm. I need to make some cookies!
What do you bake them on?
I think a baking stone makes the best cookies.

I will be curious to see the answers you get. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I find adding oatmeal helps with my cookies staying puffy. I'm like you...cookies have often fallen flat and I love puffy cookies. I also bet the idea of putting the dough in the fridge for a bit. One other thing I began doing a couple years ago is to rinse the cookie sheet off with cool water before putting another batch on it, that way they're not beginning to ooze outwards before being out into the oven and will hopefully hold their shape better. Good luck!!

OH...just remembered!!!! I've begun to add flax seed meal to my pancakes, muffins, etc because it's so darn good for you but the pkg also says it's a good egg replacement. Give it a shot. Maybe it'll help them stay puffy AND be a smidgen healthy!!

Now...don't gain TOO much weight trying out all the different suggestions! ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

Have not read thru all the answers yet - but can I ask if you are sifting your flour (presuming you are using an all-purpose flour)?? If so, DON'T !!! That should solve your problem!

Oops - also how much fat content is in your margarine you are using?? That will also make a BIG difference! We found that out the hard way several years back - picked up what we thought was the usual stuff and found the content had dropped almost in half - 70% and up is best!


answers from Rochester on

I totally agree with The 3 M's answer, and that was exactly what I would suggest doing.


answers from Los Angeles on

What type of flour are you using? Do you use yeast? There are certain ingredients that make cookies puff up and look awesome. What exactly do you put in them?



answers from Boston on

Use crisco instead of butter. My cookies always come out flat when I use butter. Also, try adding a little more flour to it.



answers from Chicago on

Don't use melted butter or margarine. It needs to still be a little cold, and so does the cookie dough. If it is too warm the cookies will go flat.


answers from Phoenix on

I don't mind flat cookies as long as they are soft and chewy. I wouldn't worry about the puffiness and concentrate on the flavor and texture. So maybe make sure your oven is preheated thorougly, use a little "scoop" type spoon that puts them in a ball shape, also try that "Egg Replacer" powder too. Make sure you don't overbeat once you add the liquid to the dry mixture. You could try baking on a silpat or parchment paper and make sure you have some good baking pans. And good quality Vanilla too.



answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry if this is a repeat, but I think more flour and using half margarine and half butter is a good idea. Whenever I only use butter, the cookies seem flat and crispy. I also sometimes used that energie egg replacer stuff, but I use eggs sometimes as well,



answers from Kansas City on

Do you have new pans? I have had some of my pans for too many years, and found the same thing happened. New pans did the trick for me. Also, try baking your cookies on parchment paper. You can put it on top of your old pans too, and the paper will also help the look of the cookies. You can usually buy it at Walmart, and I have found that some grocery stores do not carry it.

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