The Best Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

July 9, 2024

These rich and chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies are a true indulgence and will have you thinking you’re sitting on West 74th Street at the popular New York City bakery. Truly the best Levain Bakery copycat recipe.

A stack of chocolate peanut butter chip cookies on a cooling rack.

I have so many new cake flavor ideas I’m dying to test out and share with you, but I had to put those on hold for a bit longer. I was recently in New York where I visited (again) the popular Levain Bakery. After getting home I simply couldn’t wait another minute to recreate their Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie. This is one of my all-time favorite cookies EVER!

A plate of half pieces of chocolate peanut butter chip cookies.

What is Levain Bakery?

Levain Bakery ™ is a beloved New York City institution that has garnered a cult-like following for its legendary cookies. Founded in 1995 by Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes, the bakery originally aimed to create the perfect fuel for their triathlon training. However, their decadent, six-ounce cookies soon became the star of the show, captivating locals and tourists alike.

Levain Bakery’s appeal lies in the indulgent, gooey centers of their cookies, juxtaposed with a crisp, golden exterior, creating a textural symphony that cookie aficionados crave. Beyond cookies, the bakery also offers a delightful array of breads and pastries, all baked fresh daily with high-quality ingredients. This commitment to craftsmanship and the sensory pleasure derived from every bite has solidified Levain Bakery’s status as a must-visit destination for dessert lovers around the world.

Stack of three cookies on a cooling rack with glasses of milk.

I know Levain is probably best known for their Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, but in my opinion the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie takes the cake! (Their oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate peanut butter cookies are pretty amazing, too!) Maybe I’m a little biased because I’m shamelessly obsessed with peanut butter. There must be something about peanut butter, as even The Silos have a peanut butter based Magnolia cookie – I have a copycat recipe for that one as well. But even non-obsessed PB fans love this cookie because it’s simply delicious!

How to Make Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

To make the Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies, you’ll need to grab:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Dark cocoa powder (I use Extra Brute Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – IT’S THE BEST COCOA)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cake flour
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Baking Chips (this brand is a must – so much better than any other peanut butter chip)

Step by Step Tutorial

This recipe took me a few times to get it just right! I wanted to make sure the texture was chewy, while also getting a slightly crispy edge. The final result is truly the perfect copycat recipe of the Levain Bakery cookies.

FAQs

Do I have to make the cookies so big? Levain is known for the massive size of their cookies. They don’t mess around, people! Each cookie is weighed out to 5.75 ounces before going on the baking sheet. (Levain actually does 6 ounces per cookie). That sounds huge, but it makes the cookie what it is.

Do I have to use so many peanut butter chips? The Levain cookies are also known for being packed with baking chips (and nuts, in some cases). For my copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookies, the chips help to create the height. I put nearly a bag and a half of peanut butter chips in my cookies here, which I think is perfection! 

Why do my cookies look flatter then yours? Depending on where you live (altitude and humidity can affect baked goods), or the temperature of your ingredients (use cold), or not using enough peanut butter chips (these give the cookies height). can cause the cookies to be a little shorter than the Levain cookies. In fact, I recently reshot these cookies to get step-by-step tutorial pictures for you and you’ll notice they’re a little shorter than my photos from the cookbook. Do not worry! They still taste amazing. I think my butter and eggs just got a tad warmer than I usually have them at since we were taking photos along the way.

A stack of chocolate peanut butter chip cookies on a cooling rack.

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

4.89 from 45 votes
Thick, rich, and chewy, these chocolate peanut butter chip cookies will have you thinking you’re sitting on West 74th Street at the popular New York City bakery.
Servings 8 Large cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (76.6 g) cake flour
  • 3/4 cup (88.5 g) dark cocoa powder (I use Extra Brute Cacao Powder)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (197.75 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg, cold
  • 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 1 bag (10 oz.), plus ⅓ cup Reese's Peanut Butter baking chips*

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cold butter and sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the whole egg and egg yolk and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for about 30 more seconds.
  • Turn the mixer on low speed and add the dry ingredients in three separate additions, only mixing until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Stir in the peanut butter chips.
  • Measure 5.75 oz. of cookie dough and shape into balls. Place 4 cookie dough balls on the baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes. 
  • Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes and then serve while still warm. To eat later, heat a cookie in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. 
  • *Please don’t use any other brand but Reese’s! I’ve tried every peanut butter baking chip out there and these are simply the best. They make a huge difference to the flavor of the cookie and any other peanut butter chip just wouldn’t be the same.
  • **This is about a bag and a half.
Author: cakebycourtney
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Keyword: chocolate, cookies, Peanut Butter

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Spot on for levain copycat, however I cut the cookie size down and made 14 with this recipe… still may be a little large!

  2. 5 stars
    One of my fave cookies to make. So delish

  3. I doubled the recipe and for some reason, they turned out too dry. The cookies didn’t even spread in the oven, they remained ball shaped 🙁 I’m still waiting for them to cool but I’m worried that they are all crumbly and falling apart because of being too dry 🙁

    1. 3 stars
      This happened to me, too! I didn’t double the batch though. I made a single batch weighing everything to the exact amounts in the recipe. I was very careful. They did taste amazing, but the texture was like an old ball of clay.

      I made the recipe again thinking I did something wrong the first time. But, nope, second time – same result. The dough was dry and clumpy. I fixed it by adding a half stick of butter and another egg (I melted the butter and whisked it with the egg before adding them to the dough). I made the balls half as big the recipe said and baked them for 9 minutes rather than 11 minutes. I don’t know if what I made the second time is like the Levain cookies (I’ve never had those), but they are very delicious and they probably won’t last the weekend!

    2. Same here, the dough ball was falling apart when baking as well and the cookie it didn’t spread.. I wonder why

  4. These are awesome! I froze most of the dough balls, but wonder if I’ll have to thaw before baking or can I bake from frozen? Change the oven temp or timing at all? Thank you.

    1. Nope you can pop them in from the freezer.

      1. Hi! I was wondering how long they can be frozen for? 2-3 months? I will possibly make these for a wedding!

        1. I would say like a month!

  5. 5 stars
    This was such an easy recipe to follow! Loved loved loved the cookies. And you are totally right about the pb chips! They make the biggest difference. Thanks for taking the time to figure this recipe out!

  6. 4 stars
    I followed your recipe to the tee (in grams) and it came out short of 3oz. I got 7 cookies at 5.75oz and left with 2.75oz scrapping the bowl. I wonder what if did wrong? Will be baking it this afternoon.

  7. I had a question- were the grams measurements ones you did on a scale or just converted later? Because I basically hit 3/4c at ~40 grams and a little lost on how you got to ~80? Which should I default to, c or g?

  8. 5 stars
    This is the second time I’ve made these cookies and they are a perfect dupe for the Levain version! I used the volume measurements instead of weighing them and spooned and leveled the flours. I added 2 tbsp of espresso (freshly brewed and allowed to cool) to help with the dryness of the dough. I only had one bag of the Reese’s chips, so I subbed 1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. I also refrigerated the dough for about an hour before baking.

    Instead of making the large levain style cookie, I rolled about 2 tbsp of dough into balls and then slightly flattened them (like a hockey puck) before baking. These cookies don’t spread much so I found the flattening made for a more traditional looking cookie. The key is not to over bake them! For the 2 tbsp cookies I did about 10 minutes. They’re perfect!

  9. 5 stars
    Man, these are some of the best cookies I have EVER had- and I bake cookies quite frequently. They are super easy and quick to make, especially because the butter doesn’t have to come to room temperature! The dough is thick and super tasty, and since I only had one bag of peanut butter chips, I added in some dark chocolate chunks. I weighed them out, slapped them on a pan and baked them for 11 minutes which was perfect. Take note that they don’t spread-like, at all- so I flattened the next batch a bit before sliding them in the oven. Once they came out, I did sprinkle them with some Maldon sea salt, just because I like some salt to balance out the sweet flavor. I could barely wait ten minutes to let them cool, but as soon as the timer went off, we all dug in, and they did not disappoint! They were so thick, gooey, and decadent, with delicious little pops of salt and peanut butter. Everybody declared them to be some of the best cookies they had ever had! I will be making these again and again!

    1. Thank you so much!!

  10. Josie Gomez says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Would it be possible to use it as a base for other flavors or addons? Like coreo cookies?

    1. Thank you. yes, I think this recipe would be fun to play around with with different add-ins.

  11. Aileen Bluhm says:

    3 stars
    I’m so glad I read the reviews first. I left out an entire cup of flour and it was still slightly dry. Maybe there’s a typo in the recipe.

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