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.
4.83 from 52 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.


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??