Few things are quite as satisfying and nostalgia-inducing as walking through a door and smelling freshly baked cookies. Whether you grew up making batches of cookies from a family recipe or you simply frequented a bakery down the street, the smell of dough baking is undeniably delightful.
No matter if you’re a baking novice or a pro, you’ve landed here because you’re on the search for the best cookie recipe of all time. While such an honor is highly subjective to your personal taste buds and memories, ahead, you’ll find 10 recipes for a variety of cookies sure to contend for the coveted title.
Whip up a batch of rich and sweet chocolate chip peanut butter swirled cookie bars, try your hand at double chocolate cookies that you’d never guess were vegan, and delight your palate with sugary snickerdoodle cookies. Although these concoctions haven’t been formally judged, we’d wager that the best cookie recipe of all time is somewhere on this list. You just might have to make all 10 for yourself to determine a winner.
Salty Dark and Milk Chocolate Skillet Cookie
The Recipe: Salty Dark and Milk Chocolate Skillet Cookie
The Hero Ingredient: Both dark and milk chocolate chips add a fun twist to this already non-traditional cookie recipe. The flavors meld together deliciously along with other typical chocolate chip cookie ingredients like butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and baking soda.
Pro Tip: "While you could scoop out portions of this giant cookie into individual bowls, that really takes the fun out of it," writes Holly Erickson of The Modern Proper. "I find it is best enjoyed straight out of the skillet," she suggests.
Why We Love It: This recipe asks you to replace your traditional baking sheet with a skillet. Instead of individual cookies, you’ll be baking one giant cookie perfect for topping with ice cream and feeding a crowd. It all comes together in a mixing bowl before you transfer the dough into a cast iron skillet to bake in the oven.
Candied Ginger and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Hero Ingredient: An upgraded version of the classic chocolate chip cookie, this recipe calls for candied ginger. All you have to do is peel and chop some fresh ginger, add it to a saucepan with water and sugar, and boil.
Pro Tip: If you don't have the time (or baking savvy) to candy ginger yourself, Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker points out that you can always pick some up from the market for one less step in the kitchen.
Why We Love It: While it may sound like a daunting task to candy ginger from scratch, it’s really rather simple once you get the hang of it (and so worth the extra effort in the kitchen). Once dried and tossed in sugar, you’ll be left with a sweet treat to tuck away in fluffy chocolate chip cookies. They're so much more dynamic than typical chocolate chip treats.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
The Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
The Hero Ingredient: Melted, gooey peanut butter is the hero ingredient of this recipe. It combines with chocolate chunks to make you forget about the healthy oats that are also in the mix.
Pro Tip: "The secret to these cookies is to use oil in place of butter," according to Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest.
Why We Love It: If you’ve never been a fan of oatmeal cookies, this recipe might just change your mind. The best part is that this recipe is crazy easy to make. It calls for just 15 minutes of prep time in the kitchen before you can pop the dough in the oven for a quick 10 minutes.
Classic Madeleine Cookies
The Recipe: Classic Madeleine Cookies
The Hero Ingredient: Orange zest is an optional ingredient for this recipe, but it will add so much flavor to the simple cookies.
Pro Tip: Be sure to have a Madeleine tin on hand before you try this recipe created by Lisa Samuel of Salt & Wind. You'll need one in order to get the shape just right.
Why We Love It: While it calls for a bit more attention to detail than simpler cookie recipes, this French classic is well worth the effort. The recipe includes simple baking ingredients, but the method requires a bit more work and some time to let the dough chill before baking.
Secret Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies
The Recipe: Secret Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies
The Hero Ingredient: Swap out traditional butter for vegan butter in order to get the texture and flavor of these vegan cookies just right.
Pro Tip: Laura Wright of The First Mess suggests using Miyoko's vegan butter. It's her favorite brand.
Why We Love It: This is one of the best cookie recipes of all time that requires zero eggs and no butter (but tastes just as good as the real thing). Perfect for chocolate lovers, the cookies get their super chocolatey flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder and vegan chocolate chips or chunks.
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies With Salted Caramel
The Recipe: Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
The Hero Ingredient: The shortbread part of this recipe comes together with butter, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, flour, and eggs, but the hero ingredient is the coconut flakes.
Pro Tip: Instead of making homemade caramel from just sugar and water, Erickson's recipe also calls for cream and butter. She notes that you should add these ingredients after the sugar and water have been brought to a boil, turned golden brown, and cooled.
Why We Love It: In order to pull off this recipe, you’ll need to make a coconut shortbread cookie filled with a salted caramel filling. As the name suggests, the cookies get their shape by being rolled into balls and then pressed with a thumb to create an indent for the homemade caramel filling to sit after the cookies have been baked. Each bite will offer a taste of crumbly shortbread, sweet caramel, and tropical coconut.
No-Bake Cookies With Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter
The Hero Ingredient: Peanut butter gives this easy no-bake recipe just the right flavor and creamy texture.
Pro Tip: Abbey Rodriguez of The Butter Half recommends pouring the mixture into a square dish before chilling in the freezer. This will make storing and cutting the cookies so much easier.
Why We Love It: The only thing better than homemade cookies is homemade cookies that require zero bake time. Perfect for hot days when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven, this recipe for no-bake cookies with chocolate chips and peanut butter takes just 10 minutes of prep work and the rest comes together in a saucepan on the stove.
Funfetti Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies
The Recipe: Funfetti Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies
The Hero Ingredient: The star of this cookie recipe is the Funfetti cake mix. It's what gives the colorful cookies their distinct cake batter flavor.
Pro Tip: According to Melanie Bauer of Melanie Makes, this is one of the easier cookie recipes of all time. "With just five ingredients and a quick stir, these Funfetti Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies come together in no time," she writes.
Why We Love It: If you’d rather lick the spoon than wait for the cookie dough to finish baking, these cookies are for you. All you have to do is mix a few ingredients together before plopping spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. After just 10 minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy a cookie that tastes as fun as it looks.
Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
The Recipe: Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
The Hero Ingredient: No snickerdoodle cookie recipe would be complete without cinnamon. It's what gives the cookie its unmistakable spiced flavor.
Pro Tip: Chelsea Lords of Chelsea's Messy Apron points out that allowing the dough to chill in the refrigerator before baking leaves you with perfectly fluffy cookies.
Why We Love It: According to Lords, these are the absolute best snickerdoodle cookies of all time. With just 15 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes in the oven, this sweet dessert will be ready in a snap.
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars
The Recipe: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars
The Hero Ingredient: The recipe calls for all the typical ingredients for chocolate chip cookies only with a bit of peanut butter for extra flavor. However, it's the salted butter that produces something special.
Pro Tip: "Eat hot cookies with a glass of cold milk and enjoy every last moment of it," Gerard recommends.
Why We Love It: If you’re a fan of gooey, buttery cookies that taste just a bit doughy, pay attention to this cookie recipe. For a twist, the dough is baked in a baking dish instead of a sheet pan in order to produce a thick and dense treat that you can cut into bars for serving and sharing.