Which Flour Is Best for Cookies?

There are many “staple” ingredients in a fresh batch of cookies, from the leavening agent to the eggs, butter, and sugar. But one of the most prominent ingredients is none other than flour. what’s the best flour for baking cookies, though?

If you’re thinking about whipping up a batch of cookies this weekend, don’t settle for your “regular” flour. 

While you can’t go wrong with all-purpose flour, you can swap for another top-notch option like cake or bread flour. Yes, the results will change, but not necessarily in a bad way!

Howdy, cookie lovers! Michelle here, and today I want to talk to you about flour. More importantly, which flour should be the go-to for your cookies? Personally, I use AP flour regularly without issue. But there are lots of other great choices, too.

Keep reading to discover which flour ranked!

Best Flour for Cookies: Top Five Picks

Flour provides the structure for all your baking projects, including a batch of cookies. That’s why it is essential to follow your cookie recipe to a T, ensuring you use the exact amount of flour called for. But which flour is best for cookies? Let’s check out the top five options.

1. All-Purpose Flour (Top Choice)

All-purpose, or AP flour, is the most common type of flour stored in peoples’ kitchens. It’s the ultimate go-to, whether you’re deep-frying some chicken, making zucchini chips in an air fryer, or, yes – making cookies.

All-purpose flour typically has a protein content ranging from 10% to 12%. This ensures that your cookie gets its structure without being too overwhelming.

The result? Flawless cookies, with a slightly crispy exterior and an invitingly chewy center. It’s the “perfect cookie” in most people’s eyes, so don’t hesitate to stick to all-purpose flour when making cookie treats.

2. Cake Flour (Tender Cookies)

For some people, the thought of a crispy or chewy cookie is a no-go. If you love an utterly tender and fluffy cookie that almost falls apart in your hands, you might consider going the cake flour route.

Cake flour has the lowest protein content (hovering around 6% to 7%) and therefore creates the weakest gluten structure. When using cake flour, you should expect impossibly flaky and scrumptious cookies. 

If you’re worried about your cookies falling apart, you can opt for half-cake flour and half-all-purpose flour. This will provide enough structure while still ensuring a beautifully fluffy result.

3. Bread Flour (Chewiest Cookie)

Bread flour? This might seem like a strange choice for cookie baking, but although it’s out of the box, it works like magic. This is especially true if you love a super-duper chewy cookie. In fact, one could argue it’s almost too chewy.

Why? It’s all thanks to the high protein content (up to 14%). All of the extra protein allows for a superior gluten network, which is excellent for loaves of bread that need to be somewhat thicker and denser than a treat.

If you want impeccably delightful chewy cookies, use bread flour!

4. Self-Rising Flour (Tall and Fluffy Cookies)

One of the perks of going with the self-rising flour option is that you don’t have to fuss with adding a leavening agent like baking soda or powder. Fewer ingredients are always simpler and more manageable, right? 

Aside from cutting down on the ingredient list, self-rising flour is also great for creating super tall cookies. If you prefer to have towering cookies rather than traditional “flat circles,” self-rising flour may be your ticket to success.

Self-rising flour will also create a fluffier and cakier texture overall. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, especially if you prefer a more cake-like cookie. 

5. Pastry Flour (Perfect In-Between)

The last option for baking cookies is pastry flour. With a protein content of around 8%, it stands between cake flour and all-purpose flour.

With that in mind, pastry flour is ideal for those who want a more tender cookie yet not so delicate that it falls apart relatively quickly.

For that reason, many people deem pastry flour the “perfect” and “best” choice for baking cookies. The only drawback is that pastry flour tends to be more expensive and difficult to find in local grocery stores, so it tends to be overlooked.


I bet you didn’t know you had so many options for baking cookies! I found a few commonly asked questions to which you might want to know the answer. Check them out below!

Does it matter what flour you use for cookies?

It definitely matters. Flour is the structure for your cookies. So, using a different type of flour will change the texture, appearance, and flavor. So, decide what consistency you want for your cookies and go from there. If you can’t choose, AP flour always works.

Do you use plain flour or self-raising flour for cookies?

You can use self-rising flour or plain flour (all-purpose flour) for cookies. However, self-rising flour tends to spread less, resulting in taller cookies. There may also be a fluffier, lighter texture compared to plain flour.

Is cake flour better for cookies?

If you want fluffy and light cookies like a piece of cake, you can undoubtedly use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. However, I recommend going 50/50 with all-purpose flour. This will provide some added structure that may be necessary for your batch of cookies.

How do you bake cookies so soft?

There are many ways to bake soft cookies. Bake your cookies at 375F. Underbake them by a minute (and not a second more). Add a teaspoon of cornstarch or increase the baking powder by a teaspoon. Use cake flour, and don’t overmix!

Final Words

All-purpose is the best for cookies, but pastry flour is a close second. However, you can also opt for bread, cake, or self-rising flour. These flours will alter the final result, so it’s important to know the effects before applying them to your cookie recipe.

What is your favorite flour to bake cookies with? Share in the comment section!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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