Love and Olive Oil
Olive Oil Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Olive Oil Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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You better believe it, these beyond perfect chocolate chip cookies are made with olive oil instead of butter!

Bright and fruity extra virgin olive oil makes for a uniquely delicious chocolate chip cookie, paired with two kinds of bittersweet dark chocolate and a pinch of flaky sea salt on top.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies on parchment, one cookie broken in half with a small bowl of chocolate chunks and flaky sea salt

Not just for savory cooking, olive oil is an underrated ingredient when it comes to baking.

From brownies to rice krispie treats, swapping olive oil for butter makes for a uniquely-flavored dessert that’s naturally dairy free and downright tasty.

Like these chocolate chip cookies, for instance, which are made with extra virgin olive oil in place of the typical butter. The result is surprising, a little different than your typical chocolate chip cookie, sure, but undeniably delicious.

Balls of olive oil chocolate chip cookie dough in neat rows on a parchment-lined cookie sheet

This recipe is based on my ganache-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, which use melted butter anyway, so the swap to olive oil was quite straighforward (it’s harder to substitute when a recipe relies on creamed butter versus melted).

I did add an egg yolk for richness, and slightly more flour to account for the extra liquid, but otherwise the recipes are very similar overall.

But despite the similarities in the recipe itself, the results are surprisingly different. Not that these cookies taste strongly of olive oil (you probably wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell you), but there is definitely a unique flavor to these cookies when compared to all-butter cookies. Dare I say, sharper? Spicier, although not in the sense of chili spice. I guess it’d greatly depend on what olive oil you use too, whatever fruit/spicy/nutty flavors are in your oil will likely get passed on to the baked cookie.

Closeup of olive oil chocolate chip cookie broken in half, with a thread of melted chocolate connecting the two halves.

They might just be the perfect cookie: with delicately crispy edges and soft and chewy centers, with an ideal proportion of chocolate mixed right in (too many cookie recipes skimp on the chocolate, which is a darn shame).

Overhead of Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Balls of unbaked Olive Oil Chocolate Chip cookie dough

As far as chocolate goes, I think olive oil pairs extra well with bitter dark chocolate, so instead of your typical semisweet chips (which are usually around 50-60% cacao) I used a mix of dark chocolates ranging from 66% to 80%, including some broken up Valrhona feves and a bar of good quality dark chocolate that I chopped into rough chunks.

The mix of the two chocolates makes for a more interesting look as well as taste, since the different kinds of chocolate melt differently when baked (the chopped up bar melted into puddles, while the feves held their shape better). I tend to prefer chocolate chunks in my cookies over chips anyway, their rustic shapes making for a much more unique and interesting appearance.

Instead of shopping for your chocolate in the baking aisle, hop over to the chocolate section and pick out a few mid-range chocolate bars in various percentages. You’ll find the quality is overall much better than standard chocolate chips for not all that much more money. Trust me, quality chocolate makes a huge difference in a cookie like this one.

Closeup of Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie, showing flaky sea salt and puddles of melty chocolate.

One of my favorite cookie baking tricks is to hand place a few chunks of chocolate on top of the balls of cookie dough right before baking, so don’t forget to set aside a small handful of chocolate pieces and don’t stir all of them into the dough. These extra pieces will float on top of the cookie as it bakes, giving you those picture-perfect puddles right out of the oven.

I also topped my cookies with a sprinkle of flake sea salt, my favorite trick for making ordinary cookies pop. That extra hit of salt brings out the flavors and amplifies the richness of the cookie and the depth of the dark chocolate.

Overhead of Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies on parchment, with small bowl of chocolate pieces and flaky sea salt

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now, what kind of olive oil should you use in this recipe, you ask?

I’d suggest a decent everyday olive oil, extra virgin for sure, but one that leans more buttery/nutty as opposed to spicy/fruity.

Since this recipe uses a full 1/2 cup of olive oil you probably don’t want to use your really good stuff, save that for dipping bread and finishing salads, situations where the delicate flavors are really highlighted.

You may notice that the dough feels a bit greasier than your typical chocolate chip cookie dough, and that’s just the nature of using olive oil. You may find it easier to sort of ‘squeeze’ the dough into balls rather than rolling it in your palms, which sometimes tends to make the dough ball split and the chocolate pieces slip right out.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies on parchment, with a small bowl of chocolate chunks and flaky sea salt

Closeup of half a cookie showing the texture and gooey chocolate puddles

The raw dough balls can also be frozen, simply shape them and line them up on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then freeze overnight. Once frozen the dough should be transferred to a bag or airtight container (be sure to label it with the recipe name, date, and baking temperature and time), and stored in the freezer for up to a month.

You can bake frozen cookie dough straight from the freezer, just place the frozen balls on your cookie sheet and pop them right in the oven. I find they typically take a few minutes longer to bake, so just keep an eye on them the first time and then you’ll know exactly how long to bake them in the future.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookies made with olive oil instead of butter (believe it!) with two kinds of bittersweet chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (230g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (100g) extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup (175g) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150g) roughly chopped dark chocolate (60-80% recommended, you can also use a mix of multiple chocolates here too)
  • Maldon flake sea salt, for topping (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together olive oil, brown sugar and sugar until evenly moistened. Add egg and egg yolk and beat on high speed for 30-60 seconds until smooth. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Dump in dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost incorporated. Add chopped chocolate (reserve a small handful for topping, if desired), and fold with a spatula until chocolate is evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes until it can be rolled, or overnight for the best flavor.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a heavyweight baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop dough into balls (I use a medium #40 cookie scoop which is just under 2 tablespoons of dough) and shape into smooth balls. Because of the oiliness of the dough, I find that ‘pressing’ the dough into balls is a better technique than ‘rolling’ it. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between cookies. If desired, press a few chunks of chocolate into the top of each dough ball for a prettier baked cookie. Sprinkle with flake sea salt. At this point you can also freeze the dough balls to bake later (freeze overnight on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a bag or airtight container to store for up to 1 month).
  7. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are puffed and edges are golden brown (add an additional 2 minutes of bake time if baking dough directly from frozen). Before removing from the oven, give them a good smack on the baking rack (drop the pan from a few inches down on the rack) – this will help deflate any puffiness on top. Let cool on cookie sheets for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy warm, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*This recipe is very sensitive to over-measuring flour. Even 20g additional flour can result in a dough that’s dry and crumbly and cookies that don’t spread. We highly recommend weighing your flour in this recipe! Please see our post on measuring flour for more info.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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21 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Thank you, nice swap, hadn’t tried olive oil before and also good tip about choc chip on dough balls before baking

  2. Hello. Only fruity olive oil is used for this recipe? Ordinary olive oil, extra virgin, is it ok?

    • Any olive oil will work. I recommend something buttery since it’ll compliment the flavors of the cookie, but you can really use whatever you have on hand. :)

  3. Made these completely dairy free with dairy free chips and they were soooo good! I’m always looking for dairy free alternatives so these are definitely going in my rotation.

  4. Any suggestion on brand of olive oil? 

    • Just use what you have on hand, no need for anything fancy or expensive here. Something mild and buttery will produce the best flavor!

  5. The olive taste in the cookie is different but not necessarily better. The batter was extremely crumbly and made rolling them into balls difficult. The chocolate chunks kept falling out of the dough balls too. I won’t be using this recipe again.

    • The dough is definitely a different texture than butter-based cookies. I found ‘squeezing’ it more than rolling it helped shape the dough better without the chocolate slipping out. Also, do be cautious not to overmeasure the flour, a few extra tablespoons would make a very big difference in the consistency of the dough.

  6. These cookies are amazing!  I just made them for the 3rd time in a week, twice for the family and another time when friends were over. They took the leftovers home since they loved them so much, had me send them the recipe and made them a few days later. I’m always trying out different chocolate chip cookie recipes, but hadn’t  ever made them with olive oil — don’t need to try another recipe, this is my new go-to. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Need eggless recipe for cookies

  8. Hi! Is there a possible equivalent substitute for the egg yolk specifically? Also, if I choose to replace the whole egg with its equivalent measurement in applesauce, would I have to shorten the baking time? I know this is a super specific question—totally okay if you don’t know, just curious!

    • Sorry but I cannot speak to substituting the eggs in this recipe. You’re really going to change the entire nature of the cookie by doing so, so I don’t recommend it.

  9. What can I substitute for the eggs?

  10. The recipe says to chill the dough for 2 hours. Is that necessary?  Adds a lot of time to the process! 

  11. Made this at 5,000 ft elevation (Denver) with GREAT results, even though I cheated and only chilled the dough for half an hour. Thank you!

  12. I made these using coconut sugar as a substitute for both brown and white as that is all I had on hand. Other having to press them flatter (post baking) as coconut sugar does not allow them to spread as much – they turned out marvellously. I am really impressed with this recipe. It will become my new go to for dairy free baking AND baking period. Great job Love & Olive Oil.

  13. I just made these for the first time and they’re delicious! However, the final product didn’t look the way they are supposed to. I followed the recipe exactly (i was very careful while measuring too) but the cookies didn’t spread, they just stayed as little mounds despite being fully cooked on the inside. I also noticed the batter was a bit more dry than other cookie batters, but i wasn’t sure if it was how it was supposed to be. Any tips?

    • These cookies seem to be particularly prone to overmeasuring flour; but I haven’t tested if different types of flour, for example, can affect this as well. If you make them again, try reducing the flour by a few tablespoons, which should help the cookies spread more!

  14. Hi! Made this yesterday, the flavour was lovely (love using olive oil in baking!) but I couldn’t get them to be chewy in the middle. Not sure what I did wrong, all batches came out crispy and crumbly, despite trying different baking times, any suggestions? Thanks!

    • My guess is you either over-measured the flour or over-baked (or your oven runs hot perhaps)? If you try again, use a little less flour and take them out a few minutes sooner.

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