Dark or Burned

Here are some helpful solutions for the common causes:

  • Dark cookie sheet
    • Use a light-colored aluminum cookie sheet.; dark sheets absorb more heat and transfer it to the cookies.
    • Turn dark cookie sheets over. Often the bottom side is lighter in color.
    • Reduce the baking time.
    • Reduce the oven temperature by 25°F.
    • Cover dark cookie sheets with heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Oven rack too low

    Position oven rack in the center of the oven.

  • Too many cookies on cookie sheet

    Place cookies about 2 inches apart and avoid putting them close to the edges of the cookie sheet.

  • Ratio of dry ingredients to fats and liquids was too high

    Oven thermostats can change over time, requiring adjustments by the baker or calibration by a professional. To assure the correct temperature each time you bake, always use an oven thermometer.

  • Cookie sheet too big for oven

    Use a cookie sheet that is 2 to 3 inches smaller than the oven. This allows the air to circulate around the sheet, and heat the oven more evenly.

  • Cookies baked at high altitude

    As altitude increases, liquids and even the moisture in foods evaporate faster. This causes cookies to continue to brown a bit more than usual after they have been removed from the oven. Reduce oven temperature or baking time. Since cookies brown a little after removing from the oven, bake to a lighter color than desired.

  • Unbleached and bread flour contain more protein than bleached all-purpose flour

    Particularly when making light-colored cookies such as sugar cookies, switch to bleached all-purpose flour. It usually contains less protein than either unbleached or bread flour. The more protein a flour has, the darker the color of the baked cookies will be. Learn more about flour.