Basic Cookie Dough For Mix-ins

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Next up in my basic dough series is this basic cookie dough for mix-ins. This is a reliable dough that produces a soft, but thicker cookie. It’s the perfect cookie dough for chocolate chips or chunks, nuts, M&M candies, dried fruit, or even by itself as a “chipless” cookie.

A bowl of cookie dough with a spoon in it.

Why I love this dough so much

This is one of those recipes that never lets you down. The dough has primarily brown sugar, so the cookies are perfectly chewy and dense, which makes it a great dough for chocolate chip/chunk cookies, chocolate nut cookies, or even M&M monster cookies. It’s very versatile and can handle all kinds of mix-ins.

This cookie dough is also made with common ingredients that most bakers have in their kitchen at all times, so it’s one you can whip up without a ton of planning or preparation (a huge plus).

A bowl of cookie dough with chocolate chips and a spoon.

Let’s break down how to make this dough

  1. Start by creaming room temperature butter, brown sugar, and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing for another minute.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and sea salt together.
  4. Then, add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix with the mixer until mostly combined. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula.
  5. Once dough is made, you can add the mix-ins and bake the cookies right away or freeze the plain dough for baking at a later time. If you freeze the dough, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, let it come up to room temperature, and then add mix-ins.
A bowl of cookie dough with a spoon.

To make chipless cookies

If you’re a purist and are looking to make chipless cookies (yes, that’s a thing), this is a great dough for that. Just scoop the cookies as you normally would, but sprinkle the tops of them with sugar just before baking. This will give them a little extra sweetness and crunch after they cool.

Chipless cookies are actually one of my personal favorites. I really appreciate being able to taste the dough, which is often lost or overpowered by mix-ins.

A bowl of cookie dough with a scoop sitting on top.

Questions about this recipe

Yes. You can make up to 4 tablespoon size cookies with this dough. Just make sure to keep an eye on it the last couple of minutes of baking to make sure the cookies are done. Bigger cookies often take a few extra minutes of baking time.

You sure can. If you want to do this, make the dough as directed, fold in the mix-ins and then scoop the dough onto a baking sheet. I like to pop them in the fridge for a few minutes to harden them up a bit and then transfer them to an airtight container for freezing.

To bake frozen scooped cookie dough, remove the dough balls from the freezer and place them on a lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Allow the dough to thaw for 20-30 minutes on the counter. Then preheat the oven and bake as directed.

There are many variables in baking, but this could be from adding too much flour. I recommend weighing the sugars and flour on a small kitchen scale to ensure accuracy.

Whether you make this dough as cookies with a mix-in or as chipless cookies, this basic dough will be your new go-to. Whip up a batch and let me know what you think.

Other basic cookie dough recipes for you

A bowl of cookie dough with a spoon in it.

Basic Cookie Dough For Mix-ins

By: Kristine Underwood
An easy, stable basic cookie dough for all of your favorite mix-ins from chocolate chips, to nuts, to dried fruit and candy. The baked cookies are indulgently soft and chewy.
4.84 from 59 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sweets & Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 26 cookies
Calories 84 kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup flour (unbleached)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium size bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
    1/2 cup butter, unsalted, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar
  • Beat in egg and vanilla extract and mix for another minute.
    1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and sea salt together in a separate bowl.
    1½ cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Add flour to wet ingredients, half at a time, mixing with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  • Using a 1.5 TBS cookie scoop, scoop dough onto lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  • Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze.


*If you’re adding a mix-in, use anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on your preference. 
**Make sure to read the cookie baking tips to get answers to common questions about baking cookies.
***The nutrition facts are for the cookie dough only.


Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 84kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 98mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 118IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.4mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. This is the best cookie base recipe ever! I love using it for kitchen sink cookies, so delicious!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Caitlin! That is a brilliant idea. I love, love, love it!

  2. Gina Abernathy says:

    I’ve been looking for a great cookie dough and this is it. I added some chocolate chunks and pecans. Delish!5 stars

    1. Gah! I love that idea Gina, sounds delicious! Thank you so much.

  3. MacKenzie says:

    I made this dough and it turned out perfect. My daughter picked m and ms to add and the cookies were fantastic.5 stars

    1. That’s one of our favorites over here too. My daughters are both huge M&M lovers. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  4. This is a perfect cookie dough. Love that I can divide it up and put what I want in each section.5 stars

    1. That’s so smart! It’s like making a bunch of different cookies all at once. Brilliant.

  5. Great base cookie recipe. I used this a few times and they all came out perfectly5 stars

  6. My all time favorite cookie recipe for family and coworkers! Thank you :).5 stars

    1. You bet! It’s mine too-it’s so easy. Thanks so much for the kind words.

  7. How many mixing should you use based on this recipe? Does it matter?

    1. Hi Dawn! I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. Can you clarify your question? And I’ll do my best to answer it. 😁

  8. Nancy Leras says:

    One of my favorite ways to use this recipe is to add Pecan Cluster Granola
    (from Trader Joe’s). If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, then any favorite granola works very well.
    I also like to use it with toffee bits (they come in a package like chocolate chips) and the MINI chocolate chips. During Holiday time there are special flavors of chocolate chips that also make interesting cookies, or additions to your brownies.5 stars

    1. This is a genius idea, Nancy! Believe it or not, I’ve never tried adding granola to cookies. I’m only 5 minutes away from Trader Joe’s though (and I love their stuff), so I’m trying this ASAP. Thank you for the suggestion!

  9. My husband is lactose is intolerant. Can I user butter flavored crisco instead of butter? How will doing this impact to cookies?

  10. Could you also use this recipe as a base for snickerdoodles? Or do you think they might turn out too sweet? I want to make a few different types of cookies for Christmas and using one dough would really save me dishes and time 🙂 TIA!

    1. Hi Jordan! I think you could make some kind of a cinnamon sugar cookie with this dough for sure. I’ve made them as a “chipless” cookie and they’re yummy. I’d scoop them, roll them into a ball with your hands, and then generously roll them in cinnamon and sugar before baking. You could also portion out part of the dough after you mix it up and add some cinnamon to the dough before you scoop and roll the cookies to make them a little more cinnamon-y. Hope this helps. Happy baking!

      1. Can you add peanut butter to some??

  11. can I make without sugar and then combine with store bought cookie dough(which is always too sweet)5 stars

  12. Lisa Switzer says:

    I tried this recipe and it seems the flour to butter is off.. they basically melted into a pan cookie

    1. Hi Lisa! Wow, I’m so sorry that happened to you – I’ve never had that happen with this recipe. Thanks for taking a minute to leave feedback, I appreciate it.

    2. Weird! Mine barely changed shape and were perfect! Maybe the butter was too soft? Mine wasn’t quite down to room temp.5 stars

    3. I have made this recipe several times. One time I also had that issue. Then I realized I had not pressed the flour into the cup as I measured. That was a mistake that messed up my cookies very badly…. I hope this helps anyone else that had this issue.5 stars

      1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Lisa. You’re absolutely right – too much flour will wreak havoc in cookies. I always recommend weighing if you can or using the fluff, spoon, level method for flour especially.

  13. Lmaoo this recipe honestly would’ve turned out great if I didn’t mess it up somehow not sure what I did wrong. This tasted like muffins after and didn’t flatten out like normal cookies lol. Not sure what that’s about hopefully next time I can follow the recipe better.5 stars

    1. Hahahaha Aleah what happened? Sounds like maybe you added too much flour. That usually causes cookies to puff up, be stiff, and not spread out much. I hope you have better luck with the next batch. Happy baking!

  14. I added orange extract instead of vanilla because i wanted to keep them simple and they turned out divine! Excellent recipe5 stars

    1. Oooh Sara, that sounds yummy! I’ve never added orange extract to cookies. I’ll put that on my list to try. Thank you for taking a minute to leave a comment, I appreciate it. Happy baking!

  15. Hi! Do you have a recommendation for the ideal measurement for mix-ins? 1/2 cup?

    1. Hey Natalie! I usually do 1/2 to 3/4 cup total. Happy baking!

  16. Catherine says:

    I don’t usually leave reviews but thank you so much for this recipe. Perfect sweetness, perfect baking time and super easy.
    I also love that the ingredient amounts are reminded for each step ; that’s how every recipe should be.
    I added white chocolate chips and nuts.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Catherine! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies and the recipe. I truly appreciate you taking a minute to leave a review, it’s so helpful. Happy baking! 🙂

  17. Hello! Can I add oats to this base?

    1. Hi Kimberly! It depends on how much actually. If you’re adding a small amount of oats, like a half a cup, you likely won’t need to make any adjustments to the recipe. The oats should incorporate into the dough without significantly altering the texture or consistency. It’s always a trial and error thing and I haven’t tried it, so let me know how it goes!

  18. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Can peanut butter be added and if so, how much?

  19. hi , this recipe really worked
    for me just right amount
    nice to switch it up add nuts, raisons , pumpkin seeds , butterscotch chips easy !

    1. I love this, Elaine! Thank you so much for the feedback! It’s one of my faves too. 😉

  20. Jessica Padilla says:

    Could I use this recipe as a base for NY style cookies, maybe without the baking soda and adding cornstarch?

    1. Hey Jessica! You could definitely scoop them bigger; they’re nice and thick, but you may need to adjust the baking time for bigger cookies. Keep an eye on them after 10 minutes. 🙂

  21. Just made these and added chopped up leftover chocolate honeycomb candy that had gone soft and pecans! Perfect cookies & so yummy. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Oh my gosh, this sounds like an amazing combination Bridget! Thank you so much for taking a minute to share. Happy baking! 🙂

  22. Marissa R says:

    Would it be possible to use this dough to make white chocolate raspberry cookies AND white chocolate matcha cookies?

  23. I will be using this recipe forever!! Its just perfect5 stars

    1. Hi Nina! This makes me so happy, so glad you loved it! Happy baking! 🙂

  24. Madeleine says:

    i just made these! i had a bag of Skor minis i wanted to use somehow, so i used those as my mix-in. just crushed em up a bit and it was perfect! the thin chocolate coating on the toffee pieces surprisingly stayed pretty intact and didn’t just melt everywhere, and the Skor pieces were a nice lil crunch.
    i’ll definitely be using this recipe again. only done it once and it’s made its way into my “favourites rotation.” thanks a ton, Kristine! 🙂5 stars

    1. Hi Madeline! This is a genius idea, sounds so yummy! I’m going to put that on my list to try FOR SURE. I’m so glad the cookies were a hit and thank you, thank you, thank you for taking a minute to leave a comment and a review±—I really appreciate it! 🙂

  25. Anonymous says:

    its really good it brought my family back together 5/55 stars

    1. Hello there! What a heartwarming comment. Thank you! I’m so glad the cookies were a success! ❤️

  26. this works but… it does’nt tell you how much to put in.4 stars

    1. Hi Ashley, thanks for the feedback—I’ll amend the recipe and add in the approximate mix-in amounts (1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on your preference). 🙂

  27. Can I make up the dough ahead of time with add ins and freeze it until I am ready to bake it?5 stars

    1. Hi Angela! Absolutely, but as this recipe bakes best from room temperature, so make sure to thaw it in the fridge the night before and then let it come completely up to room temp before you scoop and bake it. 🙂