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

4.90 from 46 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. Hi! The recipe is absolutely amazing but the portion is a bit too much for a small family so I left some remaining dough in the fridge. How long should I bake if I refrigerated my dough?

  2. Hi! Im wondering if i can use a half-half mix of AP and cake flour? 🙂

  3. The flavor of the cookies was great but they were VERY dry. I double checked I added the right amounts even! They unfortunately needed up not great and I’ll have to toss the whole batch. Flavor is great – maybe the ratio of wet to dry ingredients can be adjusted

    1. Agreed. I am an avid baker and I perplexed how the ratio of wet and dry is correct, especially using cold butter. They look the same way as they did when I placed them in the oven. I have re-read the ingedients and I may have to just toss them. Bummer.

  4. Would it be fine if I leave out the cocoa powder and just want a regular cookie or will it affect the cookie because there will be less powder?

    1. It will affect the cookie so use my soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie and add peanut butter chips.

  5. These were so delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried the Levain cookies last month and this was such a wonderful re-creation of the cookie. Loved it so much and I will definitely make these again! Also, thank you for providing the recipe in grams. I halved the recipe to feel less guilty 🙂

  6. Hi! I made these yesterday and they were the best tasting cookies I’ve ever made. One question though, were they supposed to crisp up a bit around the edges, or did I not bake them long enough? It was almost cake-like, brownie-like.

  7. These were like hockey pucks. Used the recipe to a t and did not overmix. As some others have pointed out, this recipe needs more moisture. Use more butter, less flour and they come out ok. Also swapped some flour for cornstarch and came out great. Had to work on this recipe though.

    1. Hi Kristie, sorry you had issues with the cookies. The key is to not over bake them. You actually want to underbake them just a tad so that as they cool, they end up soft in the middle. Also, be sure to measure your flour correctly. If you pack in your flour, rather than scoop the flour in lightly with a spoon and level with a knife, you’ll end up with too much flour and the cookies will be dense.

      1. Cookies came out great, and I’ve had Levain’s cookies so I’m directly comparing. I am going to make them smaller the next time I think.

        I did put an extra egg in because it seemed dry, and it was fine. I think people forget that where you live, the humidity etc, the kind of oven you use all affect the end product.

        Flavor was fantastic! My son who only loves chocolate chip cookies was a reluctant convert, and has asked me to make them again.

    2. Would you say the butter needs to be room temperature rather than cold?

  8. Hi! Just finished baking the cookies. So divine! The texture was fudgy and gooey, however if I want to reduce the sugar to 1/4 can I just remove the white sugar? Also can the sugars be swaped with stevia all together or will thid change the texture of the cookies?

    Thanks in advance!!!

    1. I’ve never tried Stevia but you could try!

  9. Have to agree with some others, this recipe is too dry to mix. I added some buttermilk to get the dry ingredients to incorporate and add a little tenderness. Worked for me!

  10. I just baked my first one but haven’t tried it yet. It stayed in a ball and I was curious if I’m suppose to press it town? It didn’t melt down at all. I looks good but would like to know what maybe I did wrong before I cook the rest.

    1. Nothing really wrong. Maybe use a little less flour next time. They hold their shape pretty well, ensuring its nice and thick and soft inside like Levain.

  11. LaDawnia diaz says:

    Can you freeze the dough balls? What would be the baking time for frozen dough? I like to make up a bunch of cookie dough and freeze in balls so I can take one or two out at night after the kids go to bed and have a treat to myself.

    1. Yes you can totally freeze them! Give them a few extra minutes to cook.

  12. I wanted to leave a comment to share that this is my new favorite cookie recipe. I visited Levain Bakery a few weeks ago and loved their cookies, but this recipe is just as good. I followed the weights for ingredients, since that is always more precise. Thanks for sharing weights, Courtney! This is a great recipe.

  13. Elaine Hopkins says:

    I made these cookies but made them smaller -1 teaspoon size or a bit bigger and cooked for 9 minutes. They are really good!!

  14. Perfection! Rival and beat Crumbl cookie!!

  15. Thanks so much for the recipe, the cookies look great!! I’m going to try them this weekend.
    It seems like some people have struggled with the timing and have over-baked the cookies. By any chance, do you know what the internal temp of the cookie should be to be considered perfect? Thank you.

    1. 170 for slightly underdone and 175 for the rest.

  16. Paul Ambrosino says:

    Courtney if I wanted them a little sweeter how much sugar should I add I added some black cocoa powder and that might have thrown the ratio off they were a hit I’m making them again next week

    1. Little less cocoa, little more sugar

  17. I was reading the comments about how the mix could be a little dry so I modified the recipe slightly and I think they turned out great! They key is not to overbake.

    36 cookies
    2 cups flour
    3/4 cup Cocoa powder
    1 tsp Baking powder
    1/2 tsp Baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup Brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup sugar
    14 tbsp Butter, cubed (barely soft)
    2-3 Tbsp melted PB
    1 bag (10 oz.) Reese’s PB chips

    Whisk together first 5 dry ingredients.
    Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy (2-3 mins). Butter BARELY soft.
    Add eggs one at a time and beat until barely combined.
    Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beat until barely combined.
    Add melted PB, beat, then mix in PB chips.
    Bake 375 for 7 min.

  18. Hello! I would love to substitute peanut butter chips to add Walnuts, as me and my hubby aren’t huge fans of peanut butter.
    Also, I absolutely love ‘Double Chocolate Walnut cookies’ sold here in Paris!! Will the recipe or baking time be changed in any way?

    1. Should be totally fine!

  19. Isn’t it necessary to take them to freeze before baking?

    1. No, not in my recipe.

  20. Sooooo delicious! Thank you for sharing. I think these are in my top 5 easy to make homemade desserts. I’m alllll about peanut butter and chocolate. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, except for I did make my cookies a little bit smaller. I really think the key is under-baking. If you eat it without letting it cool for too long it’s SUPER gooey, which I like, but if you let them cool (aka finish cooking for a little bit *outside* of the oven) they become what I think most people would probably consider perfect…. like just the right amount of gooey. I did overbake one “batch” (I’ve only been baking them off 1 or 2 at a time from the freezer so I don’t eat them all at once), and those ones were definitely dry. Soooo like I said, I suggest under-baking.

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