Can You Bake Cookies on Foil?

Most cookie recipes will tell you to lay out a sheet of parchment paper on your baking tray before laying out your delicious cookie dough to be baked. But what if you don’t have parchment paper?

I’m sure everyone has wondered about this at some point – Can you bake cookies on aluminum foil? 

The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Technically speaking, yes you can. Whether or not you should, however, is another more important question. 

I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker who’s been baking for over ten years. I enjoy baking cookies and love their varying flavors and textures. I can tell you that when I was a young and inexperienced baker, I baked cookies on foil. 

Was it a complete fail? No, it wasn’t! 

That said, over the years I’ve learned just why that might not be the best idea and I will tell you all about it in this article so you don’t have to waste any time or ingredients.

Let’s get baking.

Can You Use Aluminum Foil to Bake Cookies?

You may already know this if you’re in any way exposed to baking – but when it comes to baking cookies, brownies, and cakes, it’s most common that parchment paper is used to prevent our baked goodies from sticking to the pan

That said, parchment paper might not be a pantry staple for you. Many people keep foil in their cupboards because they’re more versatile and widely used not only in baking but also in cooking. 

When used properly, foil … can be a solid replacement for parchment paper and you can certainly bake cookies on it. Is it the best option though? I wouldn’t say so – because it doesn’t serve the purpose this extra layer is intended for. Baking on foil does not prevent sticking or burning. 

The only “passable” way to bake cookies on foil is if you lightly grease the foil as you would your regular aluminum baking sheet. You can do so with baking spray or just a light brush of butter or vegetable oil.  

Should You Bake Cookies on Foil?

A few things to consider when you’re deciding whether you should bake cookies on foil:

1. Foil does not have any nonstick properties. Baking cookies on foil is pretty much exactly the same as baking directly on a baking sheet. The only difference is that it can save you some clean-up time – you can simply remove and discard your foil without having to wash your baking sheet. 

2. Aluminum is a heat conductor – meaning it absorbs heat quickly. Baking on an extra layer of aluminum may cause your baked goods to cook at a slightly faster rate and for the bottom to brown more easily. As a result, you need to be mindful of your cooking time and make adjustments to your oven settings when necessary. 


Here are some commonly asked questions regarding baking cookies on foil. I’ve answered them for you below. 

Can you bake cookies on just a pan?

Generally speaking, it is ok to bake most cookies directly on a pan. Cookie dough tends to contain quite a large amount of fat which naturally greases the pan and prevents sticking. That said, when baking directly on a pan, it is best that you still lightly grease your pan. 

What side of foil do you use for cookies?

If you look carefully, the foil has a shinier and duller side. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no real difference in which side of the foil you use to bake. The result is the same. 

Which side of aluminum foil is nonstick?

Although not the most common, nonstick aluminum foil exists. In this case, there should be a non-stick sign imprinted on the side that is non-stick – which is generally the dull side. 

Final Thoughts

Learned something about foil? I sure did. When it comes to baking cookies on foil, it’s really up to you whether you want to do it or not because really and truly it makes no significant difference.

That said, having foil in the kitchen is always a good call because you never know when you might need it. 

Have you baked cookies on foil? What was your experience like? Would you recommend it? Let us know in the comments below.

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Mike

    Just tried backing cookies on foil which I sprayed with “Chosen Foods Expeller-pressed Coconut oil spray” and even says on back easy coat your baking pans. After only about 5-7 minutes (testing 3 cookies) I had to get a spoon and pry each one off and was getting angry because the foil was tearing with the cookie yet thankfully was able to seaperat the foil from the cookie. What really upset me is the square and round shapes were all messed up which was meant for presentation at my church during bible study 🙁