How to Thicken Cookie Dough

Runny cookie dough is a recipe for disaster. For one, flat cookies aren’t cute. Two, they aren’t that great to munch on, either. The good news is, with a little bit of flour, you can turn that runny cookie dough into superstar dough everyone will enjoy.

Hey! My name is Michelle, and even though I’ve been baking for years, I still make mistakes sometimes. One of those mistakes is ending up with runny cookie dough. Luckily, I have found some master tips and tricks to fix runny cookie dough.

Are you struggling with cookie dough that’s on the runny side? Don’t worry – there’s a quick fix for that, no special tools or gimmicks are required.

Let’s fix that cookie dough, bakers!

4 Ways to Thicken Cookie Dough

Thin cookie dough is not okay. Thin cookie dough will result in cookies that are flatter than a piece of paper. Sound tasty? Not so much. So what can you do when you’re struggling with thinned-out cookie dough? Use one of these quick and easy methods.

Method 1: Add Flour

Now, I can sit here and tell you that this is the only real method to thicken cookie dough. And I wouldn’t be lying. Think about it this way – cookie dough that is crumbly and thick needs more moisture. That said, the thin, liquid dough needs more substance.

The best way to add substance to your thin cookie dough is by adding more flour. The flour will help decrease the amount of moisture in the dough, creating that perfectly textured batter that will turn into the most succulent and divine cookies you have ever eaten.

Don’t go crazy with the flour, though. You shouldn’t add a full cup of flour and expect great results. Instead, start with a single tablespoon of flour and see how your cookie dough reacts. Is it right consistently? If yes, great! If not, add another tablespoon.

When adding flour, make sure you add a pinch of sugar, too. This will result in a great flavor that isn’t overwhelmingly “flour-y’” It will also ensure that the proper baking process takes place, which is essential for glorious baked treats.

Method 2: Balance the Ingredients

Flour is always going to be the best option when working with runny cookie dough. However, if you know exactly how much extra moisture you added by accident, then you can basically compensate until you have the right recipe.

What does this mean, exactly? Well, I’m talking about those situations where you added too much milk than the recipe called for, such as a full cup of milk instead of a half cup. (I have done this more times than I would like to admit). 

If you know how much extra liquid you added to the dough, then compensate by upping the other ingredients. For example, if you doubled the liquid called for, then simply double everything else, too. 

This will require the correct batter. Sure, you will have more cookie dough than expected, but is that a negative thing? Now you will have more cookies to enjoy!

Method 3: Heat It Up

I don’t necessarily recommend this last option, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you have no flour left and you want to thicken up your cookie dough, you can always try to heat it and dry it out. 

This is a risky method, but it can work. You just have to pay extra close attention to the cookie dough. 

To thicken cookie dough by heating it, simply stick it into an oven at a very low temperature (the lowest temperature your oven allows, such as 200F). Check the dough every few minutes. You don’t want it to start cooking or get too dried out.

Does it work? Maybe. It’s not a full-proof method. But if you have no other options, then it can definitely work.

Method 4: Start Over

Sometimes it’s better to admit your failures and start over. Sure, it might be a waste of ingredients. But if you really can’t seem to get the right consistency, it may have been a mistake that occurred from the beginning.

When trying again, make sure you’re paying extra close attention to the recipe and ingredients. If you end up with the same problem, it might be time to try out a new recipe altogether.


So now we know that the best solution to thin cookie dough is to add flour or other ingredients. If you still have questions, keep reading. Below are some frequently asked questions about thickened cookie dough.

How do I make my cookies thicker?

Cookie dough is fine, but your cookies are turning out too thin? Some simple solutions are to chill the cookie dough, use cool butter, and don’t overmix. Opt for taller rather than round balls of dough to create beautiful thickness.

How do I fix runny cookie dough without flour?

It’s somewhat challenging to fix cookie dough without flour. Your only option is to use another type of flour, such as coconut flour, or try the heating method listed above.

Why is my cookie dough so watery?

This question kind of answers itself – it’s watery because there is far too much liquid. To combat the excessive moisture, you need an ingredient (any kind of flour) to soak up the liquid and make the cookie dough crumbly and thick again.

Why do my chocolate chip cookies go flat?

There are a few possible reasons. Softened or melted fat (butter), too much liquid, or using a hot baking sheet from the get-go can all lead to flat cookies. The best thing to do is make sure the cookie dough is nice and thick, chilled, and don’t use the same hot baking sheet.

Final Thoughts

Runny cookie dough is the culprit for flat, unpleasant cookies. To avoid this, you can simply add a few tablespoons of flour to the batter and mix. You can also compensate by upping the other ingredients, try it out in the oven, or starting over entirely.

How do you thicken your cookie dough?

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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  • Sue

    I substituted 1/2 cup mashed banana for 1/2 cup almond butter and dough is runny. How do I fix it?

    • Michelle

      Hi Sue,
      The best way to thicken is by adding a little flour.

  • Omar

    Hi Michelle What thickener can I mix with flour to thicken my cookies?

    • Michelle

      Hi, Omar!
      Using flour should be enough, but you can add cornstarch or arrowroot if you’d like.