By now, you've most certainly heard of Levain cookies. Made popular by the Levain Bakery in NYC, many people believe these are the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. Unfortunately the Levain bakery does not cater to us gluten free folks. I don't want you (or me) to be left out of the cookie craze, so here's my gluten free copycat Levain cookies. Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside and filled with chocolate and walnuts, just like the original.
What ingredients go into copycat Levain cookies?
Flour - for almost all of my recipes, I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour Blend. I have found it to be the most versatile gluten free flour. You can use your own favorite flour blend but keep in mind this recipe was developed with BRM, so your final product may be slightly different.
Baking Powder & Baking Soda - We are using a little of both kinds of leaveners for this cake. The signature Levain cookie stays thick when baked, so we are opting for baking powder for that extra lift. The original cookie also has a nicely golden browned outside, so we've added a little baking soda for color.
Butter - I always use dairy free butter in my recipes (either Miyokos brand or Country Crock Plant Butter). If you would like to use another brand, just make sure that it is a stick butter and not margarine. Regular dairy butter will also work fine, it's a 1:1 substitution.
Brown Sugar & White Sugar - Brown sugar gives this cookie the typical caramel tones of a chocolate chip cookie, while white sugar provides the crispyness to the outside.
Eggs - Eggs are the piece that hold the dough together. I have not tried this recipe without eggs (vegan) and I don't suggest it. If you need an egg free recipe, I suggest looking for one specifically made for that diet to avoid disappointment here.
Vanilla - Just a hint of vanilla to sweeten the flavor.
Nuts - Totally optional. I used walnuts, but pecans would also be delicious. If you're nut free, you can eliminate them, but add an additional ¼ of flour to keep the thickness of the cookie.
Chocolate Chips - I used a mixture of half semi-sweet and half dark chocolate. I think going all one way or the other would work fine as well. If you're dairy intolerant, make sure to use an allergen friendly chocolate chip like Nestle or Enjoy Life brands.
Why does this copycat levan cookie recipe work?
Levain cookies are characterized by being oversized, crispy on the outside while almost undercooked in the middle. They are thick and filled with melted chocolate and walnuts.
This recipe works because we start with a dough that is a little heavier on flour than a normal chocolate chip cookie, while having a little less sugar and butter. This assists with the cookie keeping its thick shape during baking. Add to that the higher heat oven, which browns and sets the outside of the cookie before the shape can spread, leaving the centers a little undercooked. Finally, we allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, which allows the cookie to continue cooking slowly as they cool down leaving you with a barely cooked center that stays soft and gooey even the next day.
How many cookies does this recipe make?
The original Levain bakery cookies weigh in at 6 ounces per cookie. That is a monster sized treat. I tried baking them at both 4 and 6 ounces and honestly preferred the 4 ounce size. They are still giant cookies, big enough to share. At 4 ounces, this recipe will make 11-12 cookies. At 6 ounces, it will make 7-8 cookies.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
These ccopycat levain cookies are best when they are served warm from the oven. You can bake them and reheat at 350 degrees for about 5-7 minutes.
If you want to work ahead, you have a few options. You can make your dough and refrigerate it up to 24 hours before baking. You can also portion out your cookie dough and freeze it to bake later. You may need to add extra baking time due to the thickness of the cookies.
If you love chocolate chip cookies, check out these other great recipes!
Gluten Free Stuffed Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gluten Free Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy Free Option)
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (Dairy Free Option)
Gluten Free Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Small Batch) Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Gluten Free Copycat Levain Chocolate Chip CookiesPrint Pin Rate
- ½ Cup Vegan Butter vegan or dairy, room temperature
- ⅔ Cup Light Brown Sugar lightly packed
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 2 Cup + 3 tablespoon Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 ½ Cup Walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 Cup Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 Cup Dairy Free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir until well mixed. Set aside.
- Add butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed 1-2 minutes until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the brown & white sugar to the butter. Beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating about 60 seconds between each addition.
- Add the vanilla.
- Turn your mixer to the lowest speed. Slowly add the flour mixture.
- Once the flour is about half incorporated, add the nuts and chocolate chips. Continue to stir until all the flour is incorporated. You may need to do the final stirring by hand.
- Remove your bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop your chilled dough into balls about ⅔ cup in size. Do not pack the balls together, just pile the dough onto the cookie sheet. The tops of the baked cookie are not supposed to be smooth. Only place 4 dough balls per sheet so there is enough space.
- Bake in preheated over for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before eating.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container. Reheat at 350 degrees for 5-7 to remelt the inside.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.