I love making cookies of all kinds for myself and for family members. They usually come out pretty good, but that wasn’t always the case. When I first started making cookies, a lot of times they would come out flat or burnt or overly crispy or even kind of greasy.
I wondered what I was doing wrong, and sometimes it can be hard to tell just by looking at the recipe that you are trying to follow.
I think what helps is understanding what each of the ingredients in the cookies do and how they function. If you’re asking the question “why are my cookies flat?”, then understanding what each of the ingredients are supposed to do may help you come to a solution.
I know a lot of people get frustrated with making foods for the first time or the second or third time when the when the food doesn’t come out right. I would urge you to not get discouraged and just know that you are in good company. “Why are my cookies so flat?” is a common question online.
Let’s look at a few common problems with cookies and how they turn out and what might be causing those issues. That way, if you’re having some trouble with your cookies, hopefully the solution is right here.
Table of Contents
Best Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of softened butter (or margarine)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- ¾ cup of packed brown sugar
- ½ tsp of salt
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine vanilla, egg, butter, and both sugars in a large bowl.
- Once those are combined, add in whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt. This makes a stiff dough.
- Add in chocolate chips, stirring until everything is combined.
- Use a spoon or your hands to pull out small, round balls of cookie dough from the bowl and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about two inches between each one. Make sure to give the cookies enough space in order to spread out fully. You don’t want to stifle their spread.
- Bake the cookies for about nine minutes. When done, they should be light brown and have soft centers. You can remove them immediately from the cookie sheet and place onto a wire rack to cool.
Why are my chocolate chip cookies flat? If they come out flat and overly crispy, that could be because they are lacking flour. It could also be that the cookies don’t have enough baking powder. The flour fills out the cookies gives them some substance and some depth.
The baking powder will lighten the cookies and make them fluffier as it rises when activated by heat. Both of these ingredients have very important jobs, and without these the cookies will be a mess.
Without the right proportions of either of these components, your cookies will not look quite right. They could easily come out too flat looking because you didn’t add enough baking powder or you didn’t have enough flour.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about your cookies once they come out flat from the oven. You can only learn from your mistakes. Next time, be sure to check your recipe carefully, and if you’re sure you followed the recipe exactly, you probably need a new recipe.
Not all recipes are perfect, unfortunately, and you may need to modify the recipe slightly to make sure your cookies come out right.
Why are my oatmeal cookies flat? No matter what kind of cookie you’re making, whether it’s oatmeal cookies or chocolate chip cookies, they will probably become flat for the same reason. Once again, check your recipe over carefully.
Make sure you are following the recipe exactly. If you are wondering, “why are my chocolate chip cookies so flat?”, it could very well be because you are not being careful with your recipe.
Another problem you may find is that your cookies come out and greasy, or perhaps greasy and flat. Why are my cookies flat and greasy? It may be because of the same problem as above. You might not have enough flour in your cookies.
Flour makes cookies a little drier, as you can imagine. The flour is the main dry ingredient in the cookies, so if there’s not enough flour, your cookies will definitely come out kind of greasy and wet looking. They may be a little oily and not taste quite right. Getting the right amount of flour in the cookie is very important.
Why are my homemade cookies flat and greasy? This problem tends to happen with homemade cookies quite often. If you are using a cookie making pack that includes all the ingredients, it is hard to mess that up. But homemade cookies are a different story.
Why are my chocolate cookies flat and greasy? The problem could come down to modifications you made to the recipe. Perhaps you are halving your cooking recipe or maybe you are doubling it.
When you make modifications like that you may be wondering why are my cookies flat and why did they come out greasy. When you double the recipe, you might not have calculated the right amount of flour or other dry ingredients.
Crispy, Burnt Cookies
Now, here’s a problem you get often with sugar cookies. We talked about the solution to the problem of why are my cookies flat and thin. But probably just as common of a problem is that the cookies come out too crispy and overcooked, almost burnt.
This can definitely happen because you cook the cookies for too long, but that’s not usually the issue. The reason your cookies may be crispy and slightly burnt is because you use too much sugar. Sugar burns very easily, and if you are wondering why are my sugar cookies flat and crispy, that could be the problem period too much sugar was used in the recipe.
I often have problems with recipes I find online and how much sugar they call for. I am not someone who likes very sweet desserts anyways. I like them to be only slightly sweet and I find I can’t handle the level of sweetness that many other people do.
So, I adjust the recipe accordingly to suit my taste and I find that helps with the crispiness of the desert as well, particularly with cookies.
Because I minimise how much sugar I use, that makes it less likely that my food will come out crispy. It tends to be softer and more tender because of the limited amount of sugar I use in the recipe.
You can try this as well and limit how much sugar you use and see if that makes your cookies come out softer and more pillowy. If you’re trying for soft cookies, just cut back on the sugar a little bit and perhaps the cooking time as well. Both of those contribute to hard, crispy cookies.
Thick, Heavy Cookies
Let’s take a look at a problem on the other end of the spectrum from why are my chocolate chip cookies flat and greasy. This is the problem of cookies being too thick and too heavy period maybe you already know what the issue is and you know how to fix it. Did you guess too much flour?
That’s usually the problem with cookies when they’re too heavy or thick. The more flour you use, the denser your cookies will be in the end. Consider modifying the recipe to have less flour in it, if your cookies come out too thick and heavy.
Once again, this isn’t a problem that you can fix after the fact. You just have to learn from it and do something different next time, perhaps writing down a different recipe or making modifications to the recipe to ensure that your cookies come out properly.
Another reason that your cookies may be too thick and heavy is because you are using too few eggs. Using too many eggs makes the dough runny and wet, so using too few eggs makes the dough thick and heavy.
If you know what to look for, you can tell that there is a problem before you start baking the cookies. In the dough stage and the mixing stage is where you should be catching these problems if at all possible.
Look out for dough that is too thick and heavy, as well as though that is too thin and drippy. You can make your changes there adding flour, adding eggs, or adding more of other ingredients to even out your dough.
What are the common reasons for cookies turning out flat and greasy?
Cookies can turn out flat and greasy for a few reasons. Too much butter or other fats can make your cookies spread out and become greasy. Inaccurate measurements of flour (too little) or leavening agents can also lead to flat cookies. Additionally, your dough might be too warm when it goes into the oven, causing the butter to melt too quickly and result in flat, greasy cookies.
How can I adjust my recipe or technique to prevent my cookies from becoming flat and greasy in the future?
Can anything be done to salvage a batch of cookies that have already turned out flat and greasy?
If you’ve already baked your cookies and they’ve turned out flat and greasy, there isn’t much that can be done to change their texture. However, you can still make use of them! Consider crumbling them up and using them as a topping for ice cream, a mix-in for homemade granola, or as the base for a cookie crust in a pie or cheesecake.