Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and I are about to start a fight. Right along with politics and the superior method to load a dishwasher, defining the perfect chocolate chip cookie is a topic guaranteed to spark a colorful debate. Reference: my marriage.

Whole Wheat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. Best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had.

Chocolate chip cookies are a source of marital discord in our household and elsewhere. Which is the greatest chocolate chip cookie? Is it the chewy or the crispy? The fluffy or the flat? Nuts or no nuts? Dark chocolate or milk? Though I know you are narrating a declarative answer to each of these questions in your head, today I’m excited to tell you about my favorite version of the incendiary dessert: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.

Until today, I never posted a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe on this site. (Crispy Chewy Pretzel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are as close as I’ve come.) After all, why bother with another chocolate chip cookie recipe when everyone already has a favorite? I was on my umpteeth batch of intentionally burned chocolate chip cookies for Ben (more on that in a second) when I decided that I’d had enough of this purposefully overdone cookie nonsense. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies were born.

Perfect soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies made with whole wheat and walnuts.

Whole Wheat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. Softest, chewiest cookie I've ever had!

Every week, I bake a batch of simple chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies for Ben to bring to school for lunch and long study sessions in the library. I never eat any of these cookies, partly because I have so many leftover desserts from other baking experiments that Ben doesn’t eat (his sweet tooth is restricted to these two cookie flavors and cookies and cream ice cream), but mostly because Ben likes his cookies burned. Ben would prefer me to use the word “crispy” or “perfect” to describe his ideal cookie doneness, but I find it to be nothing short of cookie sacrilege. I bake Ben’s cookies four extra minutes, which in the cookie lifespan where even 30 seconds can make a difference, is tantamount to lighting the cookies on fire.

A serious baker and perfectionist, it pains me to burn cookies, even though I know Ben loves them this way. I refuse to post pictures of the overdone cookies on Instagram, and Ben is under strict orders to tell no one who sees him eating the cookies that I baked them. If someone asks, he is to deny it. He can create rumors all he wants that another woman is baking for him—better than the law student’s classmates suspecting that his food blogging wife can’t even make a batch of cookies without charring them. I have credibility to maintain!

Whole Wheat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies with espresso and cinnamon

Though I’m constantly dreaming up new ideas for sweet recipes to share here (Hazelnut Latte Chocolate Meringue Cookies or Avocado Ice Cream anyone?), I adore classic chocolate chip cookies with all of my heart. They satisfy me in a deep, homey way that few desserts can, but since Ben insists his that his chocolate chip cookies be inedible (I told you cookies are an incendiary topic), I rarely eat them.

Deciding I’d had enough of this burned cookie business, I elected to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies just for me, the way I would have my perfect chocolate chip cookie taste. Whole Wheat Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies are the result. Ladies and gentlemen, aside from that one time I made fresh margaritas during a snowstorm because I could, these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies might just be the best thing I ever did for myself.

Whole Wheat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. My PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe.

My recipe for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies were inspired by the thick, chewy Double Tree Hotel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (if you’d stayed at a Double Tree, you know the ones), but revamped to suit my ideal cookie preferences.

Why Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies are my perfect chocolate chip cookie. I know this is long but I put A LOT of thought into these cookies, and I wanted to share!

  • Ooey-gooey, extra chewy. Sorry thin, crispy cookie lovers. I’m a proud member of camp chewy, so that’s what you’ll find here.
  • All butter, all the way. Key for ultimate ooey-gooiness and the fullest flavor. I kept the quantity reasonable, so the cookies are rich without being greasy.
  • More dark brown sugar than white. I adore the extra softness and depth dark brown sugar gives the cookies, but kept some white for proper structure. The ratio of sugars in the recipe reflects my cookie wishes.
  • Deep, dark, good quality chocolate. I’m a dark chocolate lover to the core, and though I try to be budget conscience on the whole, life is simply too short for bad chocolate. Good quality chocolate chips are very important to creating the best-possible chocolate chip cookie, and treating yourself doesn’t require breaking the bank. I buy Ghirardelli chocolate chips in bulk when they go on sale at Target. They are about $.50 cents more expensive than the store brand this way, and I have never regretted a penny.
  • Espresso. Though you can’t taste the coffee flavor in the cookies, the espresso intensifies the chocolate flavor. Try adding a ½ teaspoon of espresso powder to your next batch of chocolate chip cookies. It is magical!
  • Cinnamon. A pinch for extra warmth. It’s subtle, but completely delectable and adds another dimension of flavor.
  • Whole grains. Regular readers know I’m a serious advocate for incorporating whole grains wherever possible, but never at the expense of taste. These cookies are 100% whole grain, thanks to a combination of ground oats, which give the cookies extra body and chewiness (think Double Tree Hotel Cookie) and white whole wheat flour.
  • Walnuts. Finely chopped, walnuts add an extra richness and toastiness to the cookies without overpowering them.
  • Real deal vanilla. Vanilla anchors the chocolate and espresso, so no imitators please! We are baking cookies from scratch, so let’s do them justice shall we?
  • Chill out. Allowing the dough to chill overnight in the fridge gives all of the above flavors time to get friendly, allows the wet and dry ingredients to fully incorporate, and results in a cookie of superior taste and texture. It’s worth planning ahead (and hiding the dough), but if you don’t have the time, even an hour makes a difference.

One seemingly odd ingredient you will see in the recipe is apple cider vinegar. I didn’t want to the cookies to be too sweet, but I knew I needed a certain ratio of sugar to give them the texture I wanted. I found a tip online to try adding a bit of apple cider vinegar, and it worked perfectly. I’d call it my best-kept cookie secret, except that the point of this post is to give those secrets away so that we can all enjoy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. A worthy cause indeed!

OK, now that I’ve given you the full spectrum of what makes Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies my idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, here is what you actually need to know: these cookies are out-of-control amazing.

Whole Wheat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies with espresso, dark chocolate and cinnamon.

I’m sorry, that wasn’t very food bloggerish of me. I should have written you a beautiful description about how these cookies have a perfectly soft and lightly chewy texture from the ground oats and brown sugar, deep dark chocolate flavor intensified by espresso, plus warmth from the cinnamon, toasted walnuts, and good quality vanilla—all while being not overly sweet and 100% whole grain.

Like I said out-of-control-amazing.

Though I know you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe of your own, I sincerely hope that you give my Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies a try. They still have the homey taste and feeling of the classic Toll House recipe, but with a little extra somethin’ somethin’ I think you’re going to love.

Whole Wheat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. Best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

4.6 from 5 votes
My idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie: Super soft and chewy, 100% whole grain, and packed with rich flavors like walnuts, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and this is mine!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 8 hrs

Servings: 26 cookies


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional but delicious)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • In a blender or food processor, grind oats until fine. Transfer to a small bowl, then stir together with the whole wheat flour. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Beat in the baking soda, vinegar, and egg.
  • By hand, stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips and walnuts, just until combined. For the best results, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, then bake for 9 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are barely beginning to brown. The cookies may appear underdone. Remove cookies from oven, let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Leftover cookies will keep in an airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week. They will lose a bit of softness but still be absolutely delicious.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I’m on Team Chewy, too! Nothing better than a warm ooey-gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookie right of the oven… those crispy people are sorely mistaken ;)

  2. My favorite chocolate chip cookie is made by doubling the amount of vanilla and adding cinnamon; sometimes I add some fresh pecans from my dad’s pecan trees.

  3. These cookies look fantastic! I am team soft and chewy CCC with a slight crispy edge. Love the whole wheat flour, oats and walnuts in here – these sound perfect :)

  4. These are sooo good! I left the oats whole, added 1/4c more flour for a little extra height, and upped the cinnamon to 1 1/2 tsp, but mannn I will definitely be making these again! Trying to resist wandering in the kitchen and eating every last one of them. D:
    Thanks for sharing <3!

    1. Maya!! I’m so excited that you liked these cookies, and I love that you doubled the cinnamon. I’m a cinnamon lover too :-) Thanks for taking time to share your review— absolutely makes my day to hear from people who enjoy my recipes!!

  5. Yay! Love that they’re 100% whole grain. And I’m totally with you on the not sacrificing taste for health thing. I don’t want no healthy tastin’ desserts! Psh.

  6. Oh my goodness! I am seriously drooling after reading this! It’s like you were reading my mind when it comes to the perfect cookie! Now I need to remember to hit the grocery store after work!!

  7. Just recently tried this recipe and it fully shamed my previous favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe! These were PERFECT. Not too sweet. Not too salty. Just right, perfect texture. New favorite version of my favorite cookie. Thanks Erin!

    1. This comment makes my day!!! I’m so so happy to hear you loved these as much as I do. Cheers and chocolate chip cookies for life!

  8. Holy. Schnikes. I just made these and they are INSANELY delicious. Truly. Life-changing. They are making me SO happy right now. 

    Thank you, kind kind lady, bringer of wonder and joy, for providing this recipe. 

  9. Erin, I baked your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe this evening. Now it is my favorite too! Thank you for sharing. Absolutely amazing. 

  10. Totally derailed from your Going Sugar Free post to check out (and pin) this recipe. I pinned and baked many chocolate chip cookies in my day and didn’t expect to see much variance from the norm when checking this out. HOWEVER, I LOVE that you added apple cider vinegar and espresso powder! Even the cinnamon is a good new spin. This will be the next cookie I bake. Thank you!! I’m excited :)

    1. Katie, those cookies are a worthy distraction! If you try them, I’d love to hear what you think. They are a little bit different, but still have that classic cookie comfort you’d expect. Thank you!

  11. Hello. I’m a cookie monster and I really want to try  this recipe:) As a novice baker, I’m not sure about the flour. I just bought a whole wheat pastry flour. Is this the same as you called a white whole wheat flour? I wish it is! Don’t wanna waste time to do shopping LOL Cant wait to try your recipe Thanks ❤️

    1. HI Katie! Whole wheat pastry flour actually isn’t the same as white whole wheat flour. Both are whole grain, but have different protein contents, so they give baked goods different final textures. (FYI, white whole wheat flour is called just that: white whole wheat flour.) If you don’t want to go shopping again, I’d swap the 1 cup white whole wheat flour called for in the recipe with 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour. Hope you enjoy!!

  12. Quick question! I already have some oat flour blended…how much flour does the 1/2 cup of oats yield? 


  13. Erin!! I baked these cookies a minute ago, & they really are so yummy!! I did make a few changes with sugar. I used Splenda instead. Turned out so good!! I look to you for heart healthy recipes. Can’t wait to get your new 2020 recipe book! I received a slow cooker for Christmas & will look for healthy recipes. THANK YOU &  thank you for sharing your God given talent of cooking. I know you have many more talents awaiting.  God Bless you BIG!!  Cindy Aicher5 stars

  14. These are our new favorite chocolate chip cookie, by far. We cannot keep enough on hand. SO delicious and they keep really well and stay chewy for literally weeks. They’re the current favorite dessert in our household and I have made them several times now!5 stars

  15. Made these for the first time a couple weeks ago and we loved them! So good! Am back today to make them again.5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed them, Kiersten! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  16. I’ve made this recipe twice. The first time my three-year-old was helping me and I assumed I left something out, or mismeasured, as they turned out dry and we’re really hard to combine. The second time I made them I had no distractions, followed the recipe precisely, they were better but still were poofy and still a little dry than anything picture or described in the recipe:/3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had trouble with these cookies, Brooke. They definitely shouldn’t be dry, but unfortunately, it’s so hard to say what might be going wrong without being in the kitchen with you. I hope you were still able to enjoy them!

  17. These are so simple to make and delicious. They have become my family’s absolute favourite cookies. Don’t skip the coffee. I plan to try using different nuts to mix things up but these really are perfect.
    I would like to know why the apple
    Cider vinegar ingredient and also why they benefit from being left in the fridge before baking ? Thanks Erin ??5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed them, Kathy! Thank you for sharing this kind review! The apple cider vinegar came about because I didn’t want the cookies to be too sweet, but I knew I needed a certain ratio of sugar to give them the texture I wanted. Allowing the dough to chill overnight in the fridge gives all of the flavors time to get friendly, allows the wet and dry ingredients to fully incorporate, and results in a cookie of superior taste and texture. It’s worth planning ahead, but if you don’t have the time, even an hour makes a difference.

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