Cookie Scoop Substitute – Cookie Dough Portioning Alternatives

Published Categorized as Journal, Baking Tagged

Making cookie dough can be fun, but sometimes, you may need to grab a cookie scoop to get it portioned just right. If you don’t have a traditional cookie scoop on hand, don’t worry. There are multiple substitutionary tools you can use instead to help you with scooping cookie dough. So, if you’re ready, let’s explore the many ways you can scoop cookie dough balls without using a cookie scoop.

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Cookie Scoop Substitute – Cookie Dough Portioning Alternatives

Table of Contents

A normal, medium cookie scoop is the equivalent of 1 ounce. This translates to approximately 1/8 cup or two tablespoons. With this in mind, there are a couple of ways you can scoop cookie dough without a 1-ounce cookie scoop.

The first option is to use a measuring cup. When taking this approach, you can use a 1/8 cup measuring cup (although this isn’t a common measuring tool to have), a 2 tablespoon measuring cup (somewhat more common), or a 1/4 cup measuring cup filled halfway up. 

When using the measuring cup method, be sure to use spray oil or traditional oil to lightly lubricate the inside of the cup. Doing so will help the cookie dough to release easier, which means less stress for you.

Alternatively, you can use a simple tablespoon to dip up two scoops to make equal-sized cookie dough balls. Although none of these methods may be as neat as using actual cookie scoops, it will suffice when you want equally sized balls for eating edible cookie dough or baking cookies.

As you’re likely already aware, cookie scoops can sometimes come in varying sizes.

Another popular scoop size besides the medium scoop is the small scoop. This size cookie scoop usually yields a little under 1 tablespoon of cookie dough. This kind of scoop is generally good for making smaller round cookies and has other uses, such as making melon balls.

There are several other cookie dough scoop sizes available on the market. And while I won’t go into depth about each one, I can give you a general conversion for how many tablespoons you’d need to replicate the same amount. Note that the following are general approximations and not exact amounts. This also isn’t an exhaustive list.

For reference, know that the smaller the number size, the larger the scoop. The sizes of cookie scoops usually available for perfectly scooped cookies include:

Cookie Scoop SizeTablespoon Conversion
#16 4 tablespoons
#20 3 tablespoons
#24 2 1/2 tablespoons
#30 2 tablespoons
#60 1 tablespoon
#100 1/2 tablespoon
Cookie Scoop Substitute – Cookie Dough Portioning Alternatives

The best scoop for cookie scoops that make picture-perfect cookies are cookie scoops themselves.

Still, if you do not have cookie scoops on hand, try using the measuring cup method mentioned above. This can be good for measuring out small, medium, and large scoops, depending on what sized measuring cup you use.

If you want large scoops, such as for a bowl of delicious edible cookie dough, try using an ice cream scoop. Know that a traditionally sized scoop of ice cream usually packs about 1/2 cup. This may be too much for making cookies, but it is the perfect amount for scooping up edible cookie dough. Treat the freshly scooped cookie dough like ice cream by eating it chilled and with a spoon.

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Using a cookie scoop may seem relatively simple, and indeed, it is. Still, there are some of you that want to know the detailed process for how scooping cookies actually works. If that’s you, stay tuned. I’ve got the tips you need!

To use a cookie scoop, do the following:

  • Dip your cookie scoop into your cookie dough.
  • Use your hand to gently pack the dough into the scoop.
  • Level off the cookie dough scoop using your finger or a knife.
  • Flip your cookie scoop upside down over a prepared baking sheet (or bowl if eating without baking)
  • Press the lever on the cookie scoop to release the dough balls onto your desired surface.

You can use a cookie dough scooper for a variety of cooking tasks. These include:

  • Scooping ice cream
  • Scooping protein balls
  • Scooping batter for muffins, pancakes, or cupcakes
  • Making melon balls
  • Portioning the filling for deviled eggs
  • Scooping mashed potatoes
  • Portioning oatmeal into bowls (or even making baked oatmeal cookie dough!)
  • Scooping equal portions of nuts or other goodies to make trail mix

There are many tools you can use to portion cookie dough if you don’t have a cookie scoop on hand. Your best bet is usually to use a measuring cup or ice cream scoop, though using a simple tablespoon will work just as well.

And while these substitutes may not get you picture-perfect cookies the way a traditional cookie scoop would, you can still expect to dish up roughly the same amount of cookie dough in each portion by carefully utilizing the tools and methods mentioned in this post.

I hope this helps you the next time you find yourself scrounging for tools in your kitchen. Until next time!


Is a cookie scoop 2 tablespoons?

That depends on what kind of cookie scoop you’re talking about. In general, a traditional medium size scoop featuring 1 ounce of dough is indeed 2 tablespoons.

How many tablespoons is a cookie dough scoop?

A cookie dough scoop usually features about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough, though it can sometimes feature as many as four or more tablespoons.

 How to keep cookie dough from sticking to the scoop?

Try adding a bit of cooking spray or oil to your scoop prior to scooping. This can often help the cookie dough release better.

 How do clean cookie scoops?

The best way to clean cookie scoops is often to hand wash them. This way, you are getting all of the cookie dough out of the crevices. Running them through the dishwasher is okay too, but you’ll need to ensure the scooper is dishwasher safe and doesn’t contain hidden dough that the dishwasher can’t get to. 

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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