These Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies are extra soft, pillowy, and chewy. They’re made with instant pudding mix and three types of chocolate chips!
I have so many different cookie recipes on Show Me the Yummy, but these chocolate chip pudding cookies are ALWAYS a crowd favorite. They’re ultra soft and chewy and absolutely packed with chocolate. Bonus: they’re insanely easy to make…and even easier to eat. 😉
What sets these cookies apart? Instant pudding mix! This makes an extra soft cookie.
- Unsalted Butter – adds flavor and tenderness to any baked good. In this cookie recipe, butter is kept chilled which results in a thick, fluffy cookie. Using unsalted butter allows you to control how much salt goes into the recipe. If salted butter is the only butter available, simply reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of butter called for (these cookies use 1 cup of butter, so reduce salt by 1/2 teaspoon).
- Brown Sugar – contains molasses which yields a rich flavor and moist, chewy cookie. Dark brown sugar is approximately 20% molasses and light brown sugar is 10%. Dark brown sugar is called for in the recipe, but either can be used.
- Granulated Sugar – adds sweetness to the cookie while also encourages spreading and caramelization. This is what allows the outsides of the cookie to become just the right amount of crispy on the outside edges.
- Eggs – helps bind the cookie together while also adding a chewy texture. Because we’re using cold butter, you’ll need to use cold eggs. Same temperature ingredients combine better. Not all eggs are the same size; today’s recipe calls for large eggs, so be sure to check the carton!
- Vanilla Extract – adds flavor depth and a touch of sweetness. Pure vanilla extract or imitation vanilla may be used based on what you have on hand. In a recipe like today’s cookies, you won’t be able to tell if you’re using pure or imitation. The stronger flavors of brown butter and butterscotch chips will mask any differences.
- All-Purpose Flour – a good base for all different kinds of baked goods, especially cookies. The amount of flour added in a recipe will produce different textures — more flour = drier cookie that will hold its shape whereas less flour = chewy. Drop cookies, like today’s recipe, is somewhere in the middle. These cookies will hold their shape, but aren’t dry; they are perfectly soft, yet chewy!
- Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix – made primarily with cornstarch and sugar. Instant pudding adds an additional sweet, vanilla flavor and keeps the cookies tender. Use whatever instant pudding mix flavor you have on hand: butterscotch, chocolate, etc.
- Salt – a must for any sweet treat! Salt enhances other flavors in the cookies while also balancing out the sweetness from the sugars and pudding mix.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda – our leavening agents. Why use both? The combination of the two gives the best “lift” to the cookies while maintaining a pleasant flavor. Too much baking powder and you’ll end up with a bitter cookies.
- Chocolate Chips – stirred into the batter to create gooey pools of melty chocolate in every bite. I use equal parts semi-sweet, milk, and dark chocolate chips. Feel free to use 1, 2, or all 3.
How to make
This is a pretty standard cookie recipe, but the chilled butter and instant pudding mix keeps these cookies softer and fluffier than most!
- Place butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer, then beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Add in flour, instant pudding, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat again until well incorporated, then beat in chocolate chips.
- Line 4 baking sheets with silicone baking mats, then use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough out into 32 balls. Place 8 onto each baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF, then bake the chilled dough balls for 15 minutes.
What pudding to use
Any 1 (3.4 oz) box of instant pudding mix can be used to make these cookies. The recipe originally calls for instant vanilla pudding mix, but you could also use chocolate for double chocolate cookies, butterscotch for a buttery flavor twist, etc. Whatever flavor you choose, do NOT make the pudding…the dry mix gets stirred into the dough.
For complete flavor variations made with pudding mix, check out my lemon cookies, cake mix cookies, Oreo cheesecake cookies, fruity pebbles cookies, or brownie mix cookies.
Why add pudding mix to cookies
Instant pudding mix contains a pre-gelatinized starch which makes the cookies super soft. It also adds sweetness and flavor!
Why are my cookies flat?
If the cookies came out flat, here are a few things that may have happened:
- You melted or softened the butter. Make sure you use cold butter cut into cubes to incorporate into the dough. This helps the cookies stay light and fluffy.
- Your leavening agents were expired. Be sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. If they’re expired, they won’t have the same effect.
- You didn’t chill the dough. Although chilling is optional, I do recommend it so the cookies can hold their shape as they bake.
How to store
Leftover cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
To enjoy again, microwave to warm!
Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
- 3/4 cups brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs cold
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour spoon and leveled
- 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix chocolate pudding mix is also great if you want double chocolate cookies
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups chocolate chips I used equal parts semi-sweet, milk, and dark
- Place butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Beat until light and fluffy, this takes a while, because the butter is cold.
- Scrape down the sides, then beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Add in flour, instant pudding, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and beat again, until incorporated.
- Beat in chocolate chips.
- Line 4 baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
- Use a large cookie scoop to scoop out 32 dough balls — place 8 onto each prepared baking sheet.
- Optional - chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This helps the cookies from spreading.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, then baked the chilled dough balls for about 15 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.