What’s the Best Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? We Tested 9 to Find One for Every Palate

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·9-min read

When it comes to things I take entirely too seriously—far more so than any rational person should—chocolate chip cookies is near the top of my list. It’s my go-to dessert, snack or keto-unfriendly breakfast, served alongside a half-gallon of cold brew. I’ve planned entire vacations around noteworthy bakeries; I’ve tested so many cookie recipes I dare say I’m getting close to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule of mastery (at least I hope). I understand this obsession is unhealthy, but it’s also put me in possession of a very particular set of skills that make me distinctly qualified for PureWow100’s latest test: store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough.

RELATED: How to Keep Cookies Soft, So They Stay Fresh for Days

What makes a great chocolate chip cookie, you ask?

To me, rating the flavor of a cookie comes down to a few key factors:

  • Texture (crisp edges and a chewy center? Yes, please)

  • Caramelization (If the dough tastes like a sugar cookie, it’s gotta go)

  • The chocolate-chip-to-dough ratio (more is always better)

  • The quality of the chocolate (gritty chocolate has no place here)

  • The thickness of the cookie (stop the spread!)

While I’m all for baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch, sometimes you just need to cut yourself some slack and take a shortcut, courtesy of the grocery store’s refrigerated section. I’ve tried a ton of pre-made dough over the years—from mixes to tubes of dough to break-and-bake bars—but these nine have been the most noteworthy.

Wait—Aren’t You Wondering How I Tested Them?

No? Well, get nerdy with me anyway. I baked at least five cookies from each brand, all on the same brand of nonstick baking sheets (making sure the sheets were room temperature between batches). I followed each package’s instructions exactly, letting the cookies cool for two minutes before placing them on wire racks, unless otherwise noted. From there, taste tests ensued, a half-gallon of milk was depleted and mild stomachaches were had by all.

Our Favorite Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, at a Glance:

1. Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Most Homemade-Tasting

  • Value: 20/20

  • Quality: 17/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 17/20

  • Taste: 18/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 16/20

TOTAL: 87/100

If you want to go the semi-homemade route—but net full-homemade flavor—Betty Crocker’s the way to go. You’ll need to provide your own egg and a stick of butter (and remember to leave them out long enough to bring them to room temp), but the results are worth it. The cookie is soft, a little buttery, with a stronger vanilla flavor and a decent number of chocolate chips. But, if you’re already putting in the effort to mix up a batch, you might as well toss an extra half cup of semisweet chips in there. Just saying.

BUY IT ($2)

2. Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Best Chewy Cookie

  • Value: 18/20

  • Quality: 18/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 17/20

  • Taste: 18/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 17/20

TOTAL: 88/100

Pillsbury jumped on the edible cookie dough train, and I’m not mad about it one bit. The latest iteration of its chocolate chip cookie dough is labeled “safe to eat raw,” and you better believe I dug in. Raw or baked, the dough tastes the same as it’s always been—a little heavier on the granulated sugar and vanilla flavor than, say, Toll House, but there’s no gritty texture or strange aftertaste that some safe-to-eat doughs have. If you like Entenmann’s soft-baked cookies, you’ll love these.

BUY IT ($2.48)

3. Great Value Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Best for Dunking

  • Value: 19/20

  • Quality: 17/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 20/20

  • Taste: 17/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 17/20

TOTAL: 90/100

While many break-and-bake cookie doughs promise 12 to 16 cookies, Walmart’s in-house brand is an overachiever, bringing you 24. These were the smallest cookies of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean they were lacking in flavor. The dough had rich, caramel notes and was denser than some of the other brands—without tasting dry, either. It’s just the kind of hearty little cookie that’s ideal for dipping in your coffee or a cold glass of milk.

BUY IT ($2)

4. Chip Chocolate Chip Bundle

Best for Gifting

  • Value: 13/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 18/20

  • Taste: 18/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 19/20

TOTAL: 88/100

Move over, Levain—Chip’s softball-sized, ultra-gooey cookies are quickly gaining a massive following in New York (seriously, the Astoria store’s line often stretched down the block in the days before we had to stand six feet apart). And now, they’re shipping bundles of their frozen dough to several states nationwide. I’ve tried many a bakery mix that didn’t live up to the real deal, but trust when I say this does. It absolutely does. The price is definitely hard to grapple with, but these 5.25-ounce cookies are packaged six to a box, so really, you could buy one bundle and give a gift to a friend and yourself this holiday season. Win-win.

BUY IT ($75/12-Pack)

5. Trader Joe’s Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Most Gourmet-Tasting

  • Value: 19/20

  • Quality: 19/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 20/20

  • Taste: 18/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 17/20

TOTAL: 93/100

Admittedly, I went into this one with a bit of an eye-roll: Trader Joe’s fans tend to really love all things Trader Joe’s, so I wasn’t sure if these cookies could deliver on the hype. Spoiler: They did. These treats are darker and denser than your typical chocolate chip cookie, giving them a more gourmet-look, but they also have the sophisticated flavor profile to match. The dough itself is less sweet than its competitors, with a richer flavor, thanks to a combo of wheat flour, brown sugar and molasses, all balanced out with a hit of sea salt. And those chocolate chunks! It’s hard to wait for the two-minute cool time before digging in. (Note: Trader Joe's doesn't sell its products online, so you'll have to head to your nearest store to pick up a package.)

BUY IT ($3.49 in stores)

6. Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Cookie Dough

Best Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio

  • Value: 20/20

  • Quality: 19/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 19/20

  • Taste: 19/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 18/20

TOTAL: 95/100

How do you improve upon a classic? More chocolate, always. While I may not be totally satisfied until there’s a store-bought dough that piles on Gideon’s Bakehouse-caliber chocolate chips—as in, you can barely see the dough amid all of the cocoa—Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Cookie Dough comes pretty close to perfection. The treats are bigger than the classic break and bakes, but the dough is every bit as brown sugar-laced and pillowy.

BUY IT ($3)

7. Sweet Loren’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Best Gluten-Free Option

  • Value: 18/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 20/20

  • Taste: 16/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 13/20

TOTAL: 87/100

Gluten-free cookie dough has a reputation for being gritty, mealy…and so dry it makes you reach for a glass of water the second you take a bite. Sweet Loren’s flips the table on those stereotypes with a cookie that’s hearty, yes, but far from sawdust-y. That’s all thanks to the brand’s g-free flour blend, a mix of potato starch and oat and tapioca flours. The ingredients are non-GMO, sustainably sourced and vegan, too. But even if you didn’t know any of those things, you’d be sold at first bite: These cookies have rich chocolate and caramel flavors, though they’re worth storing in an airtight container right away, as they tend to harden quickly. (P.S.—You can eat the dough unbaked, though admittedly, it has a sandy aftertaste.)

BUY IT ($5)

8. Trader Joe’s Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Best Vegan Option

  • Value: 15/20

  • Quality: 16/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 15/20

  • Taste: 15/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 16/20

TOTAL: 77/100

OK, Trader Joe’s, this is where you have room to grow. TJ’s Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is the right blend of chewy-to-gooey, with a slight nuttiness thanks to the almond flour. It’s just…the cookie itself tends to be crumbly, and it’s almost like the chocolate melted into the dough—you don’t get those chunks of chocolate and that textural difference in each bite that you’d expect from the classic cookie. Still, being a mix rather than a dough, you can customize your experience a bit, adding chopped chocolate if you’d like, and gradually adding in tablespoons of non-dairy milk until the dough is your desired consistency. (One downside: You’ll need to make sure you have vegetable oil, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract on hand before baking.)

BUY IT ($5 in stores)

9. Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Best Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • Value: 17/20

  • Quality: 18/20

  • Ease of Instructions: 17/20

  • Taste: 18/20

  • Chocolate-to-Dough Ratio: 16/20

TOTAL: 86/100

Just the scent of this cookie dough brings on a wave of nostalgia. Toll House is a classic for a reason: Beyond inventing the chocolate chip cookie (bless you, Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides!), the brand has created an iconic balance of brown sugar and granulated sugar, resulting in a chewy, caramelized dough with a crisp edge. Your teeth sink into the cookie when you bite into it, so there’s a little crunch, but not a snap—this isn’t a wafer, after all. My biggest gripe? Not enough chocolate chips. Thankfully, as you saw above, Nestlé did something about that.

BUY IT ($2.43)

RELATED: The Absolute Best Oat Milks, Ranked by Two Editors Who Don’t Do Well with Dairy

PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow's editorial and sales departments.