What Causes Cookies To Spread?

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Last Updated on April 23, 2021

Nothing beats the taste of a fresh-baked cookie right out of the oven. However, sometimes things don’t always go as planned and the cookies come out flat. So, what causes cookies to spread?

Cookies that spread too much are one of the most common mistakes in baking. It is frustrating when it happens, as it changes the consistency of the cookie, losing its delicious, chewy texture. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to prevent your cookies from coming out flat.

What Causes Cookies To Spread?

There are many different reasons why your cookies may be spreading too much. The main culprits are incorrect oven temperature, not enough flour, the wrong temperature of butter or the dough is too warm.

Luckily, all these things are easy to prevent with the proper steps. Figuring out what is causing your cookies to spread can help prevent it from happening in the future.

why cookies spread

Incorrect Oven Temperature

An Oven that is too hot or too cool can lead to cookies spreading. Don’t set the oven to a higher temperature in order to try to bake cookies faster. An oven that is too hot can lead the cookies to become flat as the fat spreads too much.

You should always bake your cookies at the temperature the recipe calls for. If they are still spreading even though you set the oven to the right temperature, your oven thermostat may not be working properly. If you suspect your oven temperature may be off, get an oven thermometer.

Butter Is The Wrong Temperature

Butter is a key ingredient in many cookie recipes. However, if not the right temperature, it can cause the cookies to spread. Butter that is too cold or too warm can lead to flat cookies.

Not Enough Flour

Flour is one of the most important components of cookies. Not enough flour in your dough can lead to flat cookies, as cookies spread because of the fat in them. If there is not enough flour, the butter will spread too much.

Not Enough Flour

The Dough Is Too Warm

When the dough is too warm, it becomes soft which can lead to spreading. Warm dough causes the butter to melt faster in the oven, causing them to become flat.

The Cookie Sheets Are Hot Going Into The Oven

If you are making several batches of cookies, make sure to allow your cookie trays to cool between bakes. Putting dough on a cookie sheet you just took out of the oven will cause them to spread too quickly.

How To Stop Cookies From Spreading

There are many easy hacks you can follow that will allow you to bake the perfect cookie with no excess spreading. Following these simple steps will lead to delicious, chewy cookies.

Carefully Measure The Flour

It is very important to carefully measure all your ingredients when baking. Flour is one of the most common ingredients people measure wrong while baking.

U-Taste 10 Piece Measuring Cups and Spoons Set

It is important to carefully measure out your flour to ensure the right consistency in your cookies. The best way to measure flour out is by weighing it with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have a scale, spoon it into your measuring cup and then use a knife to level it off.

Use Room Temperature Butter

Unless your cookie recipe calls for melted butter, you should always use room temperature butter. Room temperature butter should be cool, but not cold to the touch. It should slightly give when you squeeze it.

Avoid Overmixing

Be careful not to overmix your dough or cream the butter and sugar for too long. Only cream the butter and sugar for around 1-2 minutes and only mix the dough together until it is just combined. Both of these mistakes can lead to cookies collapsing and falling flat.

Chill The Dough

Most cookie recipes require the dough to be chilled for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Chilling the dough causes the butter, or fat, to solidify so that it takes longer to melt when baking. This in return results in a tasty cookie with a wonderful texture.

Chill the Dough

No More Spreading Cookies

It is frustrating when your cookies spread when baking in the oven. It can happen for many different reasons including incorrect oven temperature, not enough flour, the wrong temperature of butter or the dough is too warm. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can follow while baking to prevent this from happening.

Do you have any questions on what causes cookies to spread? If so, please ask your questions in the comments down below.

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