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sourdough chocolate chip cookies lined up across parchment paper.

The BEST Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft, chewy, sweet and slightly tangy —these really are the best sourdough chocolate chip cookies. This simple recipe can be made using either sourdough discard or active sourdough starter. With bits of chocolate in every bite and the added benefit of long-fermented grains, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

a sourdough chocolate chip cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Why I Love This Recipe

I’ve noticed that many sourdough cookie recipes turn out cakey, but that’s not what we want, right? When it comes to the perfect chocolate chip cookie, it has to be soft and chewy. We deserve to have the best of both worlds—a chewy sourdough cookie with the added benefits of long-fermented grains.

After countless tries and tweaks, I can confidently say that these homemade chocolate chip cookies made with sourdough discard are exactly what you’re craving. They’re perfectly chewy, soft and packed with all those sourdough benefits.

This recipe is made with sourdough discard. If you’re not sure what sourdough discard is, check out my How to Make a Sourdough Starter post to learn how to make your own sourdough starter. Sourdough discard adds a slight tang that makes these cookies irresistible. If you are looking for a new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, I think you’ve found it!

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients

  • Butter – You have the flexibility to use either salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. Whichever option you prefer, it’s important to ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
  • Sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to your cookies but also plays a crucial role in their texture. The presence of sugar contributes to the chewiness of the cookies and helps promote the spreading action as they bake.
  • Molasses – Molasses helps hold things together and gives your cookies a caramel-like sweetness. If you don’t have molasses available, simply omit it from the recipe and substitute regular sugar with brown sugar instead. Brown sugar is essentially regular sugar with the addition of molasses, and will offer a similar flavor profile.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla helps to enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients in your cookies. For the best results, opt for real vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla.
  • Sourdough Discard – This recipe uses 100% hydration sourdough discard, but here’s the good news: it works perfectly fine with both sourdough discard and active sourdough starter.
  • Egg – Eggs act as a binding agent, helping to hold the ingredients together and providing structure to the cookie dough.
  • Flour – I highly recommend using unbleached all-purpose flour for this recipe. Unbleached flour is a great choice as it retains more natural nutrients and has a slightly higher protein content compared to bleached flour. This can result in better texture and structure for your cookies.
  • Salt – Salt helps to enhance the flavors in the cookies. If you’re using salted butter, you can skip adding additional salt.
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda reacts with the acids present in the starter, resulting in a chewy texture for your cookies.
  • Chocolate Chips – You cant have sourdough chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips! I use Guittard Baking Chips, because of their minimal ingredient list.
sourdough chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients.

How to Make Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Step 1: Make the Cookie Dough

Using a sturdy spatula or mixing spoon, gently stir together the sugar and room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl until they are just combined. Be cautious not to overmix or cream the mixture, as this could result in a more cake-like texture.

Next, add the molasses, vanilla, sourdough discard, egg, and egg yolk to the bowl. Stir everything together until well combined.

Sift in the flour and baking soda, and stir until a tacky batter forms. Then, gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

sourdough chocolate chip cookie dough after being mixed,

Step 2: Chill the Dough

Once the cookie dough is fully mixed, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 2-24 hours. Chilling the dough allows the butter to solidify, which in turn helps prevent excessive spreading of the cookies during baking. So, be patient and give the dough some time to chill for the best results!

Step 3: Roll the Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350°F(180°C).

Scoop and roll the chilled cookie dough into 2-inch balls and space them 3 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For uniform cookies, you can weigh each portion of cookie dough out to 50g.

Sourdough cookie dough portioned out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Step 4: Bake

Bake the cookies in batches on the center rack of your oven for 9-11 minutes. It’s important to note that the cookies may appear underdone when you take them out of the oven. Resist the temptation to cook them longer.

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Allowing them to fully cool will help them set and achieve the perfect texture.

Tips for Baking Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Don’t Cream the Butter and Sugar – Creaming the butter and sugar together incorporates more air into the cookie dough, resulting in a texture that leans towards a cake-like consistency.
  • Use Room Temperature Butter – Using cold butter will yield dense cookies that don’t spread properly, while melted butter will cause your cookies to spread too much, resulting in thin cookies. So, achieving the perfect texture and thickness relies on having your butter at the right temperature. To test if the butter is ready, simply press your finger into it. If it easily goes through without resistance, it’s good to go.
  • Don’t Over Mix – Over-mixing cookie dough can lead to excessive gluten development, resulting in tough and overly chewy cookies. It’s important to mix the dough until the ingredients are just combined to avoid overworking the gluten.
  • Chill the Dough – By chilling your cookie dough in the refrigerator, you allow the butter to solidify. This helps to prevent over-spreading during baking, resulting in thicker cookies. Chilling the dough also enhances the flavor of the cookies, giving them a deeper and more developed taste. So, don’t skip the chilling step—it’s the secret to achieving thicker and more flavorful cookies!
  • Don’t Over Cook – When you take the cookies out of the oven, they may appear undercooked. Don’t panic! It’s important to resist the temptation to cook them longer. The cookies continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the oven. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes, before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. They will fully set up and achieve their desired texture during this time.
sourdough chocolate chip cookies scattered across parchment paper.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie FAQ

Can I substitute a different type of sugar for the recipe?

If you prefer, coconut sugar can be used as a replacement for regular sugar. However, it’s important to note that using coconut sugar may result in cookies that are slightly crispier and darker in appearance. Feel free to experiment and choose the option that suits your taste preferences best.

Can I use a different type of chocolate in place of chocolate chips?

Any type of chocolate can be used. Feel free to experiment with substitutions like dark chocolate, white chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts.

Can I freeze cookie dough and bake it later?

Wrap the cookie dough tightly and store it in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to bake, transfer the wrapped dough to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.

How do I store the baked cookies to keep them fresh?

After the cookies have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container. Store the cookies at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

More Cookies and Treats

The BEST Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.5 from 53 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro
Course: Sourdough Recipes, Sweet RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

24

cookies
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

25

minutes

Soft, chewy, sweet and slightly tangy —these really are the best sourdough chocolate chip cookies. This simple recipe can be made using either sourdough discard or active sourdough starter. With bits of chocolate in every bite and the added benefit of long-fermented grains, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 12 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature (170g)

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (345g)

  • 2 tbs molasses (42g)

  • 1 tsp vanilla (8g)

  • 1 cup sourdough discard (252g)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (362g)

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (3g)

  • 2 tsp baking soda (13g)

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (200g)

Directions

  • Make the Cookie Dough
  • Using a sturdy spatula or mixing spoon, gently stir together the sugar and room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl until they are just combined. Be cautious not to overmix or cream the mixture, as this could result in a more cake-like texture.
  • Next, add the molasses, vanilla, sourdough discard, egg, and egg yolk to the bowl. Stir everything together until well combined.
  • Sift in the flour and baking soda, and stir until a tacky batter forms. Then, gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Chill the Dough
  • Once the cookie dough is fully mixed, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 2-24 hours. Chilling the dough allows the butter to solidify, which in turn helps prevent excessive spreading of the cookies during baking. So, be patient and give the dough some time to chill for the best results!
  • Roll the Cookies
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F(180°C).
  • Scoop and roll the chilled cookie dough into 2-inch balls and space them 3 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For uniform cookies, you can weigh each portion of cookie dough out to 50g.
  • Bake
  • Bake the cookies in batches on the center rack of your oven for 9-11 minutes. It’s important to note that the cookies may appear underdone when you take them out of the oven. Resist the temptation to cook them longer.
  • Once you remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Allowing them to fully cool will help them set and achieve the perfect texture.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 429kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 63.8g
  • Protein: 5.6g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Sodium: 317mg
  • Sugar: 38.4g

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7 Comments

  1. These are absolutely delicious! I am especially thankful for the note at the end to avoid the temptation to bake longer, because I would have. They were the perfect texture!

  2. (I forgot to rate it before I commented!) These are absolutely delicious! I am especially thankful for the note at the end to avoid the temptation to bake longer, because I would have. They were the perfect texture!

  3. Hello! I tried making these this evening. My dough had chilled from around 2pm to 8pm and all the cookies went pretty flat. I put the other half of my dough back into the fridge and will try again in the morning. Maybe it needed to be chilled longer? Other than being flat the flavor is absolutely wonderful!

    • Hey Katlyn, thank you for reaching out! I hope that after some additional chilling they held shape better. If not this article is a great resource for fixing flat cookies. One possible explanation that this article wont cover could be the hydration of your starter. My recipe calls for 100% hydration discard that is equal parts flour and water by weight, though I know many people feed equal parts by measurement. If you normally feed your starter by measurements it would contain more water than the one I used in making this recipe, and the flour would need to be increased a bit to balance out the extra water.

  4. I made these cookies in double and triple batches all summer for my farmers market, and they were an incredibly huge hit, my most requested item by far. I had printed the recipe and it didn’t say the blog name anywhere so it took me until right now to figure out where the recipe is from, but I’m excited to try more recipes here now!
    These cookies do turn out quite flat for me even after a 12 hour chill and 100% hydration, and I have to break your rules on time because the center of each just won’t set in 11 minutes, but I truly think my oven is just in poor shape as this isn’t the only recipe to under bake for me. All in all this is the absolute favorite chocolate chip recipe in my whole county right now and I’m incredibly grateful I happened to try it as my first sourdough cookie!

    • Tessa. This makes me so incredibly happy to hear! Many have had mixed results with the bake time on this recipe. I am happy to hear you found a cook time that works for you and your oven.

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