Help! My Cookie Dough is Too Sticky & Wet: (exactly) How to Fix It

Finished making your cookie dough and realizing that your cookie dough is too sticky?

How do you fix your cookie dough if it’s too wet?

In this guide, we’re going to talk about how sticky your cookie dough should be, how to make cookie dough less sticky if your recipe came out a little bit wrong, and how to fix wet cookie dough.

Luckily, cookie dough is usually meant to be a little sticky, particularly if you’re using a recipe that calls for the dough to be scooped out rather than rolled.

Certain doughs, like chocolate chip cookie dough, is also usually a little stickier.

If you’re doing cut-out cookies or cookies that need to be rolled out, however, then you shouldn’t have a sticky cookie dough because you’re going to have a mess on your hands and on the rolling pin (and overall it’s probably just going to be a baking fail).

So what do you do to salvage your dough if your cookie dough is too wet and sticky?

These are the best tips for sticky dough, compiled from expert bakers around the web, so you don’t have to throw out the batch.

chocolate chip cookie dough on a tray


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1. Add More Flour

hands rubbing flour together over rolled out gingerbread cookies

Adding more flour is a no-fail way to make your cookie dough less sticky, and the first port of call we’d recommend.

However, there is one caveat: you do not want to add too much, as you’ll end up with tasteless, dry cookies.

Try adding one tablespoon at a time, and mixing to combine.

Then, if it’s still too sticky, add another tablespoon and so on.

Once you’ve reached a consistency that can be rolled out without being too sticky, stop!

The best type of flour to add is all-purpose flour, but you could add bread flour or cake flour in a pinch if you’ve run out of other flour.

Adding more flour works because you’re incorporating more dry ingredient into the wet ingredients, soaking up some of that moisture and leaving you with a less sticky dough.

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2. Add Cornstarch

raw cookie dough in balls on a tray

If you find yourself with sticky cookie dough, there’s another dry ingredient you can add: cornstarch.

Go slowly, simply adding a teaspoon at a time and then combining.

You don’t want to add cornstarch if your dough is extremely sticky, but if it’s just a little bit too sticky, it’s the perfect remedy.

The dryness of the cornstarch will soak in that bit of extra moisture and cornstarch is actually a recommend ingredient if you’re trying to make your cookies soft, so you’ll have a win-win on your hands.

3. Refrigerate the Dough

Before you start adding ingredients to your dough, there’s actually another baking hack you can try to fix wet dough: refrigerate it!

Chilling or refrigerating your sticky dough can turn the butter cold and means that the dough will stop sticking to your hands.

Usually all it takes is an hour or so, but if you have extremely sticky dough and want to try this technique, put it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container overnight.

4. Use a Spoon or Ice Cream Scoop to Get the Dough on the Tray

If you’re working with a sticky cookie dough and struggling to get it in the oven, don’t try and get it on the tray with your hands.

Instead, use a spoon or ice cream scoop or cookie scoop (recommended) to get the dough onto the baking tray.

This is great for doughs that are okay to be a bit more sticky and don’t need to be rolled out or cut-out.

It’ll save you from making a mess all over the kitchen, and will mean you can get the cookies in the oven and baked up without ever letting the sticky dough cause you any baking issues.

5. Roll into Balls and Coat in Powdered Sugar Before Baking

Some bakers recommend rolling your cookie dough into balls and coating them with powdered sugar in order to help take care of sticky dough and make sure they bake well.

This can be a bit of a “zag” for some cookie recipes and it’s not the recommended technique to fix something like chocolate chip cookies, but it can be a fantastic way to fix: chocolate cookies, cake mix cookies, crinkle cookies and even sugar cookies.

The powdered sugar coating the wet parts of the dough on the outside is going to make it way easier to handle, and it adds a little bit of extra fun to your cookie dough baking day!

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