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Many individuals appreciate cookies as a tasty treat. Nonetheless, they might be tough to create properly at times. One of the most typical baking issues is that cookies do not spread correctly. I wanted to go further and discover what was causing the cookies not to spread!

In general, too much flour in the cookie batter is the most typical cause of your cookies not spreading. The cookie dough gets excessively stiff when too many dry ingredients are added. The flour will absorb all of the moisture in the dough, preventing it from spreading during baking.

Although making your cookies spread properly may seem to be a simple process, there are several factors that must be considered. In this essay, I will examine the reasons of this issue, how to avoid it in the future, and how to resolve it.

Is it normal for cookies to spread when baking?

As a general rule, cookies should spread somewhat when baking. This gives them their distinctive form and size. If your cookies do not spread, it suggests there is insufficient flour and something is wrong with the baking process.

Because of the fat in the dough, cookies spread. The fat melts and distributes the dough in all directions. After the cookies bake, they will bubble up and then flatten down again.

This is what gives them their distinctive crinkly look.

I bought a set of baking sheets for myself, and they work well! On Amazon, you can get this Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set! I just discovered the Ideal Nonstick Cookie Sheets *By the way, if you’re searching for some new cookie sheets for your kitchen,

But, you must exercise caution since the cookies may spread if there is insufficient flour in the dough. For the fats not to spread the cookies too much, the dry to wet component ratio should be right.

If the cookies spread too much, they may come into contact with one another and stay together during baking.

Why aren’t my cookies spreading?

There are various possible causes for your cookies not spreading in the oven. The most typical reasons include using too much flour, using the incorrect recipe, using the incorrect oven temperature, and having the dough be too cold.

I go through each of these issues in further detail below:

You Used Far Too Much Flour

If you over-flour your dough, it will become thick and heavy. Too much flour absorbs all of the moisture from the fats, causing the dough to become solid and hard.

This will prevent the cookies from properly propagating. The remedy is to add a little more liquid to the dough until it is the ideal consistency.

You followed the incorrect recipe.

If you use a recipe that is not intended for cookies, the cookies may not spread properly. Cakes, for example, have a different component ratio than cookies. To obtain the finest results, choose a cookie recipe designed exclusively for cookies.

The ratios of wet and dry components must always be exact, since getting it wrong might spell the difference between success and failure of your baked delicacy!

You used the incorrect oven temperature.

If your oven temperature is too high or too low, the cookies may not spread properly. A low oven temperature will undercook your cookie dough, causing the fat in the dough to not melt completely.

This keeps your cookies from spreading. To ensure that the cookies spread correctly, bake at the right temperature.

You made use of cold dough.

When the dough is excessively cold, it becomes harder to spread because the fat in the dough becomes more solid at freezing temperatures.

Cold fats take slower to melt, making it more difficult for the cookies to spread when baking.

You just used baking powder.

Another guaranteed technique to have your cookies spread poorly in the oven. To rise and spread correctly, cookies need both baking powder and baking soda.

For the greatest results, use a mixture that includes both components while maintaining the dry to wet ratios of the ingredients consistent.

*By the way, I just published an essay titled Why Do Cookies Soften When Left Out. This article explains why cookies soften over time when left out. This article may be found here!

How Do You Repair Cookies That Don’t Spread?

As a general rule, you can mend already-baked cookies that aren’t spreading by raising the temperature of the oven a few degrees. A hotter oven allows the fats in the cookie dough to melt more quickly, causing the cookie to spread.

But, following these techniques may help prevent cookies from spreading in the first place:

Before you add the flour, weigh it.

While making the cookie dough, avoid using too much flour. Leveling the flour in the measuring cup rather than cramming it in is the easiest method to do this!

To compensate for too much flour in the cookie dough, I normally add some form of oil or moisture to balance the wet to dry component ratios.

If the cookies are already in the oven and not spreading, I will sprinkle some type of fat component, such as chocolate chips, on top of them to melt and absorb the moisture. This typically aids in the spread of the cookie!

Follow and Apply the Proper Recipe

Be certain you’re using a cookie recipe rather than a cake or bread recipe. The components and ratios will be varied, which will aid in the proper distribution of your cookies.

If the dough is too moist, add a little more flour; if the dough is too dry, add a little more liquid.

*Side Note: I just published an essay titled Whether Cookies Must Be Round. This article explains why most cookies are round and how to prepare cookies in a variety of forms. This article may be found here!

Use the Correct Butter Temperature

Let the butter to come to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before incorporating it into the cookie batter.

Since the fats in the dough may melt at an uniform pace, using room-temperature components allows the cookies to spread smoothly.

Bake the Cookies at the Correct Temperature

Bake your cookies at the optimal temperature to achieve even distribution. Oven temperatures might vary, so use the suggested temperature for your oven.

If I’m baking cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and they’re not spreading, I gradually raise the temperature of the oven by 5 to 10 degrees. This helps the fats in the dough to melt more quickly.

Let the chilled dough to come to room temperature before baking.

Letting the dough to remain at room temperature for a few minutes before baking is the answer. This will enable it to properly warm up and spread.

The dough will not spread properly if it is too cold when placed in the oven.

Allowing it to warm up at room temperature helps the cold fats in the dough to warm up and melt at the same pace as the other ingredients.

*Side Note: You may also be interested in learning How To Make Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet. I just published an article on What Can You Use To Make Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet, which you can read here!

Do cookies flatten as they bake?

In general, your cookies will puff up during baking and then flatten down again. If they are flattening too much, it might be due to over-mixing your butter with the sugar or not having enough flour in the dough.

Combining the butter and sugar vigorously adds too much air into the dough, causing the cookies to flatten out.

If there is insufficient flour in the recipe to keep the butter, fat, and sugar together, they will spread too thin and become flat.

If this is occurring, try adding a bit extra flour to your recipe.

*Side Note: You may also be interested in learning How To Properly Store Cookies. I have published an article that discusses all you need to know about Storing Cookies To Make Them Last, which you can read here!

How Can You Fix Overly Spreading Cookies?

In general, you may correct overly spread cookies by using the proper quantity of flour in the dough to keep the fat together as it melts. The appropriate wet to dry component ratios might help the cookie maintain its form. To correct this, increase the amount of flour in your recipe.

You may also try chilling the dough for a few minutes before baking it to help it maintain its form in the oven.

Next, use an oven thermometer to confirm that your oven is set to the proper temperature. This will keep your cookies from spreading too much.

*By the way, I found the perfect 24 Piece Set of Cookie Cutters that come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are ideal for shaping your cookie dough the proper way. These cutters are available on Amazon!


Why do my cookies stick together?

The most common cause of cookies remaining in a ball when baking is because you put too much flour in your dough. When you add too much flour, it absorbs all of the moisture and prevents the cookies from spreading.

What causes cookies to be flat and crispy?

In general, the major cause of flat and crispy cookies is that the butter is too soft or has melted too much. When the butter melts too quickly, it contributes too much moisture to the dry ingredients, causing them to pool and become crispy as you bake them.

Last Thoughts

When I was younger, I had a significant issue with cookies not spreading. That occurred to me more often than I would have like. Your cookies may not spread for one of the reasons listed above.

But, by following these guidelines, you may assist to avoid this and guarantee that your cookies look and taste fantastic. I hope this post helps you prevent any future cookie spreading issues.