Cookie scoop sizes can be perplexing. Small, medium, large? What does that mean when you come across it in a recipe? If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of dough and you want to use a cookie scoop, which should you use? If you arrived at this post looking for a Cookie Scoop Size Chart, you are in the right place because I have got everything cookie scoop ON LOCK.
Why Use A Cookie Scoop?
Do you absolutely need a cookie scoop to make cookies? No you do not sir. Plenty of people live happy, fulfilling lives while haphazardly plopping uneven “teaspoons” full of dough willy nilly all over their cookie sheets. But if you want cookies that bake up evenly and are uniform in size, you totally need a cookie scoop. A good quality cookie scoop ensures more consistent results and is much, much faster than the spoonful method. As you’re about to find out, I take uniformity in cookies VERY SERIOUSLY. But even if you don’t obsess over every millimeter difference in a cookie, you still value your time, right?
So now that you agree that you need a cookie scoop (right?), you need to decide which cookie scoop sizes you need. That’s where it can get a bit confusing. Recipes from back in the day say “drop a teaspoon full of dough” but that doesn’t literally mean one teaspoon. That means get a teaspoon out of your drawer and use that. Not the soup spoon, the teaspoon. So exactly how much does your recipe want you to use? Here’s my take: When it says “teaspoon”, you want a scant 2 teaspoons. When it says “tablespoon”, you want about 4 teaspoons. But that still doesn’t tell you which scoop to buy, especially when they’re usually labeled: small, medium, large, jumbo, etc. You need more information!
This year, right in the middle of baking thousands of holiday cookies, my beloved cookie scoop broke. I had been using it for five straight years and it had probably scooped tens of thousands of cookies. No joke. In my naivety I thought, “I’ll just go get another one!” So I headed over to Sur La Table and started rifling through their cookie scoops. I picked the “medium” one and took it home. When I held it up to my first one, it didn’t match. Too small. That’s when I noticed a little number stamped into the metal of both scoops. Mine said 50, the smaller scoop said 70. An even smaller scoop said 100.
After googling around and searching on Amazon, I deduced that the 50 was a size of scoop, or “disher”, as the scoops with a spring handle release are called. But it doesn’t stand for 50mm or 50ml, it’s a gauge. A #50 means that, using this scoop, you will get 50 scoops out of a quart of dough. A #70 will give you 70 scoops from a quart, which is why it was smaller. THE HIGHER THE NUMBER, THE SMALLER THE SCOOP. I called Sur La Table back and had them check the numbers on their scoops. They call them “large, medium, and small” but they’re really #30, #40, and #70. No #50.
Not All Cookie Scoops Are Created Equal
I finally found a #50 scoop on Amazon, two actually, and because I was in a jam I ordered them both. One-day shipping. Unfortunately, when they arrived the next day both scoops broke the first time I tried to use them. They were just too cheap and flimsy. I may or may not have had my first true existential baking crisis in that moment. I mean, without a functioning cookie scoop that’s exactly the right size, what is life about? Who am I? Seriously, I actually cried.
I had to figure out how to make all my cookies the same size without a scoop. Maybe that seems silly to be so particular, but part of making a professional-looking product is uniformity. My #50 cookies measure 2 5/8 inches and that’s exactly how I like them. Any bigger or smaller and not only will the number of cookies per batch vary, but the baking times will be off too. Honestly, if I make a cookie that is more than a millimeter or two different than the others, I usually toss it in our cookie jar rather than include it in my cookie boxes.
So now I moved on to the penalty phase. The first stop was measuring the volume of my original scoop. By pouring water into the scoop a teaspoonful at a time I determined that it was about 4 teaspoons, or 1.3 tablespoons. Then I measured out 1.3 tablespoons of dough and measured it on my digital scale. 23 grams. That night I made hundreds of cookie balls, weighing each one to make sure it was exactly 23 grams. It worked but it was time-consuming and made me feel like a crazy person.
So I got back online and started researching quality cookie scoops that come in a range of sizes. Finally, I found Zeroll. Zeroll makes a line of EZ Dishers (scoops) that come in 13 sizes, are easy to clean and use, and basically indestructible. They’re also color-coded so you can easily find the size you’re looking for. I’ve been using Zeroll scoops since then and I am so pleased. #50 scoop problem solved! You can buy the perfect cookie scoop here.
Cookie Scoop Size Chart: Nerdcore Edition
BUT. Yesterday I was making these Decadent Chocolate Banana Cupcakes and when it came time to put the batter in the cupcake papers my usual method came up short. As I explain here, I usually use a syringe to draw up cupcake batter because I like the precision it gives me. I use 40ml of batter in every cupcake and they all come out perfectly even. But the lumps in my banana cupcake batter were clogging the syringe. I knew that 40ml was about 2.66 tablespoons (thanks Google!) but I wanted to know how that might translate into a standard size cookie scoop. That’s when things got algebraic. By using this little equation below I was able to plug in the number of tablespoons to calculate the gauge of cookie scoop needed. FYI, 64 is the number of tablespoons in a quart, the volume the scoop gauge is based on.
If you know the gauge # of your scoop, you can calculate how many tablespoons. If you know how many tablespoons, you can calculate the gauge # of scoop you need! So, 64 ÷ scoop# = tbsp OR 64 ÷ tbsp = scoop#. To solve for scoop# I just divided 64 by 2.66 (tbsp.) and got 24.06. In other words, a #24 scoop! And of course it works the other way too. If you want to know how many tablespoons a scoop holds, you just divide 64 by the scoop# and voila! So a #16 scoop holds 4 tablespoons (that’s 1/4 cup for those of you playing along at home).
Now here’s where it gets nerdy. Not only do I want to know the gauge and the number of tablespoons, I also want to know how many fluid ounces and milliliters each scoop will yield. Plus I’d like to know what the finished cookie size will be for each scoop #. For that, I needed a chart. A real fancy Cookie Scoop Size Chart. With this chart you can pick a scoop size for any volume. You can adjust cookie sizes to increase or decrease the number of cookies in a batch. No scoop? No problem. Use the grams column on the chart and weigh each blob. It’s actually faster than measuring with a tablespoon. The weights are based on an average cookie dough and won’t work for things like batter or meringue, which are less dense.
So there you have it! Everything you wanted to know AND MORE about cookie scoop sizes. Now I’m off to edit all my cookie recipes to include an accurate scoop size. Next stop, world cookie perfection domination!