DIY Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Ask any New Yorker where to find the best chocolate chip cookie, and they’ll likely direct you uptown toward Levain Bakery. I wanted to recreate these amazing cookies at home, for all those who don’t have access to these beautiful cookies that I could argue, are sent from God. I personally like to make them more than I like to buy them now, so I hope that speaks to how great this recipe is.

Like all baking recipes, it’s easy to f*ck up the final product if you don’t follow everything precisely. The main thing in this recipe that you must make sure the butter is cold when you combine it with the sugars. The temperature and texture of butter can drastically change the texture and shape of a cookie. In this instance, we want a big, poofy, gooey cookie that is buttery on the inside and crisp on the outside. Obviously, the rest of the ingredients affect this, but the cold butter prevents the whole cookie from falling completely flat. Another thing that I want to note is that I used cake flour in the original recipe…however, I now have changed it to accommodate anyone’s needs who cannot find cake flour. Just a quick little lesson for anyone wondering “wtf is cake flour and why are you using it for cookies:” the main difference in bread flour, all purpose flour, cake flour and pastry flour is the protein content. Cake flour has less protein, which results in light and fluffy baking for cake. On the other hand, bread flour has more protein that affects the structure of bread, which tends to be much more tough and dense than a light and fluffy cake. Ok, back to the second component to the recipe that you can’t skip. You must use a starch here. If you just use all-purpose flour without a starch, your cookies will come out more like scones, without that gooey inside. Corn starch is a thickener, but it also can change textures in baking and help you achieve softer baked goods. I’m not sure about this, but I bet those store-bought Chips Ahoy soft cookies incorporate a thickener like corn starch or xanthan gum. That’s what corn starch helps with. If you don’t have corn starch, try another starch or thickener, such as tapioca starch or xanthan gum.

IF YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE CAKE FLOUR:

Don’t follow the flour and starch measurements below. Instead, go with this.

  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch
Thick Doughy Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie recipe remake from levain bakery
Thick Doughy Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie recipe remake from levain bakery

Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Make the drool worthy doughy Levain Bakery chocolate chip walnut cookies at home with this recipe. Gooey, doughy, buttery deliciousness.
4.94 from 45 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Servings 8 6 oz. cookies

Equipment

  • Standing mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes. Refrigerate until you put it into the mixer
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 2/3 cup bleached all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt if using salted butter, adjust this to 3/4 tsp
  • 1 3/4 cups roughly chopped walnuts or to taste
  • 1 1/2-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or evenly coat with a thin layer of butter or nonstick spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  • In a mixer or mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, white sugar and cold butter cubes. Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low speed at first to fold the butter into the sugar. Then, increase the speed gradually, until the mixture is creamy and the butter is fully folded in, without any chunks. Do not do this at high speed because it will melt the butter, which will cause the cookies to fall flat. Make sure to constantly scrape off sides of bowl and continue to mix until butter is fully combined. If you don't have a standing mixer, use your hands to slowly fold the butter into the sugar, pinching it until it begins to combine. Once the butter breaks down a bit, use a wooden spoon to fold the butter in until the mixture is creamy.
  • Add in eggs and mix at medium speed until fully combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary and continue until the eggs are fully incorporated. If not using a standing mixer, fold the eggs in with a spoon until fully combined.
  • Next, add in the rest of all dry ingredients (cake flour, cornstarch, baking soda, all purpose flour, and salt) and mix at low speed until fully combined. If not using a standing mixer, use a spoon or spatula to fold together.
  • Add in walnuts and mix at low speed, followed by the chocolate chips at low speed as well, until both are evenly distributed in the mixture.
  • Gently mix in chocolate chips and walnuts a few more times with hands to ensure they are evenly distributed.
  • A little note: if you are making these during summer or live in a warm climate, wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for an hour before baking. This will help the cookies maintain their robust structure. I have made these without chilling, but if you have any doubts, definitely chill them before baking.
  • Remove handfuls of dough from the mixer and roll them into large balls. Each balls should be approx. 6 oz., which essentially is a handful. Then, place the balls on the baking sheet and bake for approximately 13 minutes, until the top and sides are golden brown.
  • Once baked, let the cookies cool for about 15-20 minutes. If you eat them right away, they will be explosively gooey, so if you want that, go for it. You make the rules! Enjoy!

Video

Notes

This recipe calls for kosher salt as it dissolves the best in the batter. If you only have sea salt, use 1/2 tsp. Beware that if you are using coarse sea salt, your final cookie may result in having salt crystals in it that haven’t dissolved. That’s why kosher salt is preferred here!
Keyword chocolate chip walnut cookies, DIY levain bakery cookies, levain bakery, levain cookie recipe

 

42 thoughts on “DIY Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    TBH better than the real thing! And super easy to make. I made these for my family and they were a hit. Perfect quarantine baking item.

  2. 5 stars
    These cookies are to die for. Soo gooey and delicious. I made half of the batter and saved the other half in the fridge, then made the rest a few days later. They were still just as good! Love love this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never had the real Levain cookie because the line has always been too long (impatient to the max over here), but that’s ok because this recipe is ridiculous!! Gooey sinful choc chip cookie of my dreams!

  4. 5 stars
    These cookies are amazing. I used all purpose for the whole recipe and they turned out perfect. So gooey and chocolatey. I’ve had the real Levain cookies and these are just as good a perfect dupe.

  5. 5 stars
    These cookies are amazing! I used dark brown sugar and made them 4.5-5 oz which produced 2 dozen. I baked them @ 12 mins and they were perfection!! I love this recipe and will never use another cookie recipe again! OBSESSED!

  6. 5 stars
    These are amazing!!! Will put a smile on anyone’s face and tummy hehe very easy/clear directions and overall pretty quick to make. Can’t wait to make them again!!!

    1. 5 stars
      These cookies were so gooey and buttery and delicious 😍 Had to stop the fam from eating the raw cookie dough so I could actually make the cookies lol… One of my fave recipes I’ve tried in quarantine!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve had Levain cookies a million times – these are better! Such an easy recipe to follow, and love the option to use AP flour since I rarely have bread flour on hand. They are crumbly on the outside, gooey and chocolatey on the inside – the perfect comfort food! 11/10 would recommend!

  8. 5 stars
    YUM. Definitely recommend a kitchenaid this batter is thick ..in all of the best ways. We couldn’t believe 6oz cookies could exist so we started with 4 oz for the first batch and then made our way to 6 oz. Made with the cake flour measurements. We may add a touch of vanilla extract next time just for experiments sake..but 10/10 would recommend. Well done Skyler!!

  9. 5 stars
    These came out great! I added a tablespoon of mexican vanillla because I put that in pretty much everything I bake 🙂 They were pretty much perfect. Get ready for an arm workout when you add in the chips and nuts. Not only do they look good but they taste really good. Nice and crunchy outside, soft and gooey inside. Thanks for this recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    Love this recipe so much! Very easy to follow and the turn out is amazing! As someone who has been in NYC for a while I’ve grown to become way too obsessed with Levain cookies. Though now moving back home to Arizona, I’m so happy that I have a recipe to use to make my own Levain since I won’t be close anymore!

  11. These are so insanely good and easy
    to make it’s dangerous 😂. I keep making them and delivering to my friends in quarantine and we are all obsessed. YUM!

  12. 5 stars
    Wow this recipe was UNREAL – gooey goodness!! (my whole family devoured these cookies). I’m always on the hunt for the best cookie recipe and this is for sure it. What’s even better is this is recipe is SO easy to make and with simple ingredients. Skylar provides an easy substitution if you don’t have cake flour. I’m a big fan of Levain cookies and now I can bake them myself!

  13. 5 stars
    These cookies were INCREDIBLEEEE and a huge hit with everyone I gave them to. Recipe was easy to follow and they turned out perfectly! Key is def the cold butter so don’t skip that step!!

  14. 5 stars
    Legit the easiest recipe and the most DELICIOUS cookies I have ever had and definitely have ever made! I didn’t have a standing mixer so did most of it with my hands but was still super easy and they were a huge hit!

  15. 5 stars
    First off- I was soooo thankful for the edit given that cake flour was virtually impossible for me to find given that everyone’s baking in quarantine!

    I am a Cookie Monster and needed something hefty, full of chocolate, and homemade so that I could pass the time. This recipe allowed me to work with what I have (ie. NOT a stand mixer …yet) and came out sooooo good. I threw some extras into the dough (still walnuts but also mini chocolate chips, chopped Hershey kisses, and ghirardelli white chocolate chips) and ohhhh my god. These were awesome and truly hold their own against Levain. Thanks so much Skyler!

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for so long and my only regret is not doing it sooner! I used the recipe without cake flour (because I didn’t find any, thanks COVID), so I’m glad she was able to ensure the cookies would be just as yummy. I also modified the batter to be dairy free (dairy allergy) and used Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks instead. They were so chewy and amazing! Flavor was great, not tooo sweet, A couple friends tried them too and we all love them! Definitely a crowd-pleaser. My search for a great cookie recipe is now over 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    Levain Bakery is home to my absolute favorite cookies in NYC. That’s why, when I came across this DIY copycat recipe I was overjoyed. Being stuck in quarantine has been rough, but the one light is diving into baking with the help and inspiration Skyler offers through these detailed, yet simple recipes. The cookies tasted fantastic, and overwhelmingly close to the real thing. The recipe is now a staple for my family & I. Thank you Skyler!

  18. These were so gooey and buttery and delicious 😍 Had to stop the fam from eating the raw dough so I could actually make the cookies!! One of my fave recipes I’ve made in quarantine so far!

  19. 5 stars
    Before quarantine you’d NEVER find me attempting a recipe like this but choco chip cookies are my favorite so I had to attempt it and Wow. So good, tastes just like Levain and the recipe is surprisingly simple and easy to follow. Trust me, if I can do it you can do it. And so worth it!

    1. Hi! I’m sorry I deleted that part out of the recipe! It should be about 8 cookies that are around 6 oz.

  20. 5 stars
    No words. I’ve now made five batches of these, given them to family and friends. They are absolutely amazing. I have made both with and without cake flour (though they looked prettier with cake flour, they tasted the same). I have had great results when refrigerating the dough after it is made but before baking. Will definitely make again (and again, and again)!!!

  21. 5 stars
    Hi Skyler!

    These turned out great and am ready for a second batch.
    Do you recommend reducing the sugar if we were to use milk chocolate chips, or if we varied the recipe and used white chocolate and macadamia instead ?

    Thanks!

  22. 5 stars
    These are a hit. My boyfriend (who doesn’t usually like sweets) licked the cookie dough bowl clean and LOVED these. They were soft, gooey, and delicious.

  23. 3 stars
    These cookies were good, but not really anything special. I used cold butter and stuck my bowl and mixer attachment into the fridge while doing other steps of the recipe, but the cookies spread out pretty badly into one another when baking. I don’t mind chilling the dough, but you should make it a required step. I’ll stick to other cookie recipes in the future.

    1. I’m sorry you had an issue! I posted this recipe in the winter and believe it or not, weather plays a huge role in whether you need to freeze dough or not. I did not want to make this a mandatory requirement unless it was actually mandatory. I am making a note of this for anyone making them in the summer or in hotter climates, but it really is not mandatory for anyone in weather that is neutral or cold. In the future, I also provide an open line of communication on my Instagram if anyone has any questions! I answer almost immediately to try and help anyone if they have a climate question or ingredient sub question. I try my hardest to help everyone and I wish you reached out to me so I could help!

  24. 5 stars
    Soooo yummy and easy to follow the recipe! I chilled the dough for an hour before baking and I think it made a big difference in the way they came out.

  25. 5 stars
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    Really enjoyed reading your blog.It is highly informative and builds great interest for the readers. For the people like us your blogs helps to get ideal information and knowledge. Thanks for providing such blogs.
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  28. 5 stars
    I was initially drawn to this recipe because Skyler provides an option to make these cookies without cake flower. I’ve now made these cookies a few times (without walnuts, and with and without cake flour) and they were SO good!! The feedback I got was that they were as good (if not better) than the real thing. I did add extra chocolate chips and a little extra flour in order to compensate for omitting the walnuts. Thank you for a great recipe!!!

  29. 5 stars
    Made these cookies and they are delicious! Followed the recipe exactly, except I did not have walnuts. They were still soft, gooey and so so good!!! Will be making again. Definitely recommend!

  30. 2 stars
    I was so excited about this recipe but it just didn’t work for me. Not sure why. The cookies spread like crazy. I tried chilling the batter to see if I got better results, but they still spread. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

    1. Hey Malicka – I’m so sorry you’re having trouble. Baking is a science, and believe it or not, if you’re located in a different location with different weather and different altitude, it could affect the recipe. Did you freeze or refrigerate the butter cubes before creaming with the sugar? This is the main things that goes wrong when I hear the cookies spread. Or, you could have a “hot oven.” Some ovens estimate the temperature but can go up to 20 degrees over what they are advertising! At what point in the bake time did they spread? Would love to figure this out so you can have the best experience possible like everyone else!! Keep me posted.

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