Recipe Review

I Tried the Most Popular Levain Bakery Copycat Recipe and Can’t Believe How Good It Is

updated Feb 25, 2021
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Credit: Nicole Rufus

The summer after my sophomore year in college, I visited a friend who lived on the Upper West Side in New York City. She had a list of things she couldn’t wait to show me, and at the very top was Levain Bakery (she was lucky enough to live just a few blocks away). She raved so much about their cookies that I was dying to see what the hype was all about, and as we approached the bakery, I quickly learned she was far from their only fan. The line reached out the door and wrapped around the block!

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was shocked when I saw the size of these cookies. Each one weighs a whopping six ounces! I remember trying to be as patient as possible as I watched the bakers send the enormous scoops of dough into the oven. When I finally reached the front of the line and took my first bite, I immediately understood the hype: It was unlike any other cookie I’ve ever had.

Levain’s famous cookies have a crisp outer crust that gives way to a delicate and gooey center that practically melts in your mouth. My favorite flavor is the chocolate chip walnut: it’s the perfect balance of sweet and nutty. It’s so good, in fact, that it’s impossible not to wonder about how it’s made — and thankfully, blogger Modern Honey has created the ultimate copycat recipe. Despite the danger of knowing how to make these cookies at home anytime I please, I decided to give it a try.

How to Make Modern Honey’s Levain Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies

You’ll start by creaming together cold cubed butter and sugar until creamy. At first this step surprised me — most chocolate chip cookies have you start with room-temperature butter— but then I remembered that Fox in the Snow’s famous cookies use this approach as well. Plus, I appreciated that I didn’t have to wait for my butter to soften!

When the mixture resembles wet sand and the butter has warmed a bit, add the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients — cake flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt — just until combined, making sure not to overmix. Modern Honey claims the cornstarch adds thickness without making the cookie dry, and the addition of cake flour yields a more tender cookie.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

Portion the dough into eight evenly sized balls, and bake four at a time on a lightly colored cookie sheet at 410°F. They should take around nine to 12 minutes to bake, and once they’re done it’s super important to let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes so they can really set. Then, dig in! (And be sure to have a glass of milk nearby).

Credit: Nicole Rufus

My Honest Review of Modern Honey’s Levain Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies

There are a lot of copycat Levain cookies on the internet, but Modern Honey’s is by far the most popular, ranking #1 on Google, receiving a five-star rating, and racking up more than 650 comments. And boy am I glad I chose this one. It absolutely does Levain cookies justice.

I was so excited when I took these cookies out of the oven because they looked so much like Levain’s — even more so when I cut one in half. They’re perfectly crisp and golden-brown on the outside, and the inside is delicate and gooey, just like the ones at Levain. They’re so big I was worried there was no way they’d be done in just 12 minutes, but the timing proved to be perfect. Baking them at such a high temperature (410°F) allowed the outsides to set while the insides remained just slightly underdone.

Now that I live in New York City, I have easy access to the real-deal Levain cookies. But I’m definitely going to save a few bucks by making Modern Honey’s version at home. Plus, I get to enjoy a massive bakery-style cookie without leaving my apartment.

Have you made Modern Honey’s Levain copycat cookies? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Kitchn