Last Updated on April 27, 2022
One of the biggest cookie problems we often run into is a wet dough. Luckily, we have some of the best methods for how to fix runny cookie dough.
And, you would be shocked to learn how easy they really are! Today, we will look at exactly how to avoid these issues in the first place, but also how to fix them once they have occurred. So, are you ready to make the perfect cookies?
What Consistency Should Cookie Dough Be?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a right or wrong answer to what the “correct” consistency of cookie dough should be. that naturally makes it a lot harder to find the best way how to fix runny cookie dough.
The correct consistency will depend on the type of cookie you are planning to make. Just to put it into perspective, there are at least 8 common types of basic cookie doughs (excluding the loads of other sub-categories these doughs can make).
These include drop cookies, bar cookies, molded cookies, rolled cookies, sandwich cookies, no-bake cookies, refrigerator cookies, or pressed cookies. All of these should have different cookie dough consistencies so create specific textures.
As an example, drop cookies are made with a relatively stiff dough that is quite sticky. The way this dough is shaped is simply by dropping a spoon of dough onto the lined baking sheet. The dough shouldn’t be stiff (and dry) enough to roll into a ball (like pasta), but it shouldn’t be runny and not keep its shape.
Then you get rolled cookies. This cookie dough should be stiff enough to be shaped into a disc or ball and rolled flat into an even sheet. Then, the cookies are cut into the desired shapes using a knife or cookie cutters.
And our final example is with pressed cookies. This cookie dough is extremely runny as compared to other cookie doughs. It cannot be handled with your hands or be rolled efficiently. This soft dough is placed into a special tool that creates the shape.
So, as you can see, there will never be one correct answer on how to fix runny cookie dough. However, we can provide you with some useful guidelines!
Why Does Cookie Dough Turn Soft Or Get Too Runny?
Before we jump into how to fix runny cookie dough, let’s look at the main causes of it!
1. Incorrect recipe ratios
Often, the main reason your cookie dough may be too wet doesn’t even have anything to do with you! You wouldn’t believe how many cookie recipes are out there that are completely unbalanced! And trust us, we have made our fair share of runny and soft doughs that then creates completely flopped cookies!
2. Too little flour or too much liquid
Sometimes your recipe may have looked right but still created a runny dough. This may be because the recipe doesn’t contain enough flour to find all of the ingredients together and create a workable dough.
This can also happen when you use a different type of flour than the recipe called for. Different flours will absorb varying amounts of liquid (moisture) from the other ingredients. So some may create a super stiff dough while others make it runny.
On the other hand, too many wet ingredients can also (obviously) create a wet dough.
3. Your dough is too warm
Have you noticed that loads of recipes call for the rough to be rested in the fridge before shaping and baking? Some cookie doughs even require hours of resting time! However, if you have ever doubted the legitimacy of this technique, trust us, it is a necessity!
Many doughs become runny when it stands at room temperature. This is because the butter or shortening melts. However, you cannot simply remove those ingredients because that consistency is what gives that specific cookie its unique texture.
How To Fix Runny Cookie Dough – 3 Ways
Finally, we get to the fixing part of things! Below we have listed some of the best ways how to fix a runny cookie dough. now, some of these methods sound obvious, but if they were then this article wouldn’t be necessary.
So, always check your recipe to see if the problem doesn’t lie there, and then move on to our other fixing methods.
Method 1: Check your recipe
As we have mentioned, often the recipe doesn’t have the right ratios. This is easily avoidable though.
Always have a look at other similar recipes to see if your ratios look right. You can also immediately see from the recipe itself if they are. If your cookie dough recipe contains 4 eggs and 1 cup of flour, it will create a strange cake-like, dense, or rubbery cookie.
Method 2: Add more flour
If you can see your dough is more like a stiff batter, you can try adding some flour. Only add a bit at a time to prevent making it too stiff or changing the texture of the dough too much. Too much flour is also not a good thing.
Also, it would help if you look at some other examples of a similar cookie to try and see what the “correct” dough consistency should be.
And, this is also a great way how to make cookie dough less sticky, even if it isn’t too runny.
Method 3: Cool the dough
Even if your recipe doesn’t call for it, this is an amazing technique that helps chill and stiffen the cookie dough. It is a fantastic way how to make cookie dough thicker without flour.
By cooling it down in the fridge or freezer, you are solidifying the softening butter or shortening. It makes the dough much more workable. How soft the dough is will ultimately determine how long you should rest it in the fridge.
As you can see, there are many solutions for how to fix runny cookie dough. Now, you can easily refer back to this in-depth article to try to identify the problem and determine which effective solution should be used. Let us know what you think in the comments below or if you still have any other questions.
What is the best consistency of cookie dough?
There isn't one correct consistency for cookie dough. This is because there are a ton of different types of cookies with different textures. To create these varying textures, you will need varying dough consistencies. So, always research your specific cookie and the dough consistency before attempting your own batch.
Why is my cookie dough so liquidy?
The main reason for a runny or wet cookie dough is because the recipe you used has an incorrect ratio of dry and wet ingredients. So, to fix this, simply adjust the ratio. Another reason may be that your dough is too warm. This causes the butter or shortening to melt, which creates extra moisture. The best remedy for this problem is to rest the dough in the fridge.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.