Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookie

May 9, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

From Bien Cuit bakery's pastry chef and owner Zachary Golper: “We decided to use buckwheat for this cookie because of its unique, beautiful, flavor; tender and crumbly texture; and the fact that it makes gluten-free people happy."


Food52 Review: Featured in: Our New Favorite Chocolate Cookies Just Happen to Be Gluten-FreeThe Editors

Makes: 12 cookies


  • 2 cups buckwheat flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon strong espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
  • Powdered sugar (for sprinkling)
  • Sea salt (preferably Maldon; for sprinkling)
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat on medium-low until no dry spots remain. Add chocolate chips and espresso and beat on low speed until just blended.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a log about 2" in diameter and 10" long. If possible, chill the dough for at least 1 hour before cutting for optimal results.
  4. After chilling, remove the dough. Cut crosswise into 12 even pieces (they will be large). Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar and a little bit of salt. Bake, rotating once halfway through, until cookies are cracked, slightly puffed, and baked through (they will still be slightly soft and firm up as they cool), 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

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Reviews (69) Questions (3)

69 Reviews

Liz January 4, 2019
I had great pause after reading the reviews but the buckwheat flour was purchased so, what the heck. I don't like cookies but love shortbread. My husband loves cookies but is dealing with some refined flour intolerance. This recipe is flipping am! My only changes were wrapping in wax paper and refrigerated overnight, making 18 cookies and sprinkled apricot salt from Austria. They weren't bitter. They were soft and chewy. Thanks!
Birch December 15, 2018
I love buckwheat, but these were inedible. Kinda like munching on plastic-y volcanic ash (and no, I didn't burn them) studded with chocolate chips.<br /><br />Really vague recipe in places (lightly packed brown sugar - who on Earth measures brown sugar like that?!), has you turn the oven on even though you chill them first, etc.<br /><br />Think the guy doesn't want people nailing his recipe so he withheld a few things. The dough is also super dry and hard to work with (and I'm a very good baker, I think croissants are easy).
Jordan B. December 8, 2018
wait so does each cookie have like a quarter stick of butter in it?.<br />
SlowLorus December 29, 2018
Mathwise, each cookie contains 1 TBS + 1 tsp of butter.
Shari November 25, 2018
I made these cookies exactly as directed using bitter sweet chocolate chips. I had no problem with the dough or with baking the cookies. I took them out of the oven just after they began to crack. We are used to buckwheat baking as we make an apple cake with buckwheat. Although not bitter, as another reviewer said, you have to like buckwheat. The cookies are beautiful after cooling, especially with a second dusting of sugar. As we have a family member with celiac, we are always looking for gluten free recipes. Thanks.<br />
BigA July 27, 2018
Sorry, I hate to write this, but these are just terrible. This is the only thing I've ever made from Food52 that was not good. I had reservations when I saw a gluten free cookie with only one type of flour... and the most bitter flour of any I've used, but it was a featured recipe so I threw caution to the wind and tried it. Unfortunately, they were crumbly and bitter (surprise). My guests wouldn't even eat them. I had to throw them all away, it was very embarassing. I was really hoping for an "a ha" moment.... but alas, no.
Amy W. June 21, 2018
The first time I made this with volume measurements, I had a crumbly dough that still came together after some kneading. This dough, I had mixed by hand. These baked up as I believe they should have (minimal spreading, cracked tops).<br /><br />My second attempt, I also measured by volume but took extra care to spoon the ingredients into the measuring cups to weigh each and used my stand mixer. The butter, I believe was slightly softer this time around and the butter creamed with the sugar was much lighter. The resulting dough was stiff but much more workable than the first. I baked off a couple<br /><br />For anyone interested, here are the weights I came up with.<br /><br />200g brown sugar<br />30g cocoa<br />265g buckwheat flour*<br />13g baking powder<br /><br />*prior to using the flour in the dough, I played around with how the flour gets weighed out, if you "fluff and scoop" the flour, 1 cup weighs significantly more than if you "lightly spoon" the flour into the cup.<br /><br />Buckwheat flour was a very fine, stone ground from a windmill in Illinois that I had picked up as a souvenir on a trip.<br />All other ingredients were generic store brand.
Amy W. June 21, 2018
Forgot to finish a sentence in there<br /><br />I baked off a couple prior to chilling to see what the result would be and they spread only slightly more than when I had chilled the dough.
LagunaGreg June 18, 2018
Any chance of getting a weight measure for the flour? I had some buckwheat groats lying around so made flour in my blender - which results in a super airy flour. My cookies spread into lacy discs so I'm guessing my 2 c wasn't the same amount. Thanks! The flavor is great and I love the use of buckwheat.
Ken K. June 19, 2018
The bag of buckwheat flour I used (Arrowhead Mills) says the "Serving Size" is 1/4 cup = 30 gm. So that would mean 2 cups = 240 gm = 8.46 oz. But FYI, I measured the Arrowhead product by grams and ended up with an unworkable mess - too dry and crumbly to form into decent logs, which broke into bits after they were chilled. But maybe someone else can let us know the proper weight.
Stacy June 18, 2018
I loved these! Very crumbly but in a good way. I made sure my butter was room temp and followed the directions and ended up with a pretty solid log of dough. I'm wonder if the variance has to do with the absorption of buckwheat flour or cocoa - Arrowhead buckwheat flour and dutched cocoa powder worked for me. Good luck, all! Very worthwhile for GF and honestly I wouldn't have known if I hadn't made them myself. <br />P.S. These made a mean cookies and cream milkshake ; )
Trishington June 15, 2018
Oh, these are really very good and they came out looking just like the photo! This is my first time baking with buckwheat flour (I used Anita's Organic Mill Sprouted Buckwheat Flour, the only brand at my local grocery store) and followed the recipe exactly except for the addition of a scant ½ teaspoon each of salt and xanthan gum. The former because the batter tasted a little flat without it and the latter because, well, just because. I also used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips and a generous pinch of Maldon sea salt on top, plus a bit more of a dusting of confectioners sugar after the cookies had cooled. I'll definitely be baking these again!
Andrea M. June 7, 2018
So tasty! Good on the buckwheat haters for trying it out, but don't say it's gross just because it's not your taste. Personally I love buckwheat, and it's so good in this! I would warn to be careful not to overcook or it gets a bit bitter.
Stephanie June 4, 2018
These cookies, in my opinion, were the BEST EVER! I used chocolate buttons instead of chocolate chips and they were divine!<br />
Melissa G. June 3, 2018
Would this recipe work if I used all-purpose flour instead of buckwheat?
Dawn D. June 3, 2018
They worked for me! I did refrigerate overnight, and I made the 12 cookies as directed, and they are huge. I cut them in to quarters because they are soft, and I like them with a little bit of crunchy peanut-butter on top. Although not overwhelming, you do have to like the flavor of buckwheat flour. I would make them again especially if I need to bring a special treat to a gluten-free friend.
Heather June 1, 2018
I prefer smaller cookies, but after reading the comments, I was afraid to make any changes! The recipe said 12 cookies from a 10" roll so I sliced them a little less than an inch thick. (I got 14 cookies) After 12 minutes, they still looked the same; I wound up baking them for about 20 minutes and the tops cracked, but they still had vertical sides. Anyway, they taste great! A little crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty, and very chocolatey. Next time I will dare to make them smaller. btw, I used Miyoko's cultured vegan butter.
Millie G. May 31, 2018
Wow! It's amazing that this recipe got such varying results. Perhaps we need a super specific recipe to have repeatable success. Weight, rather than volume measurements for ingredients might help, brand/type of brown sugar, brand of flour, etc. But humidity, elevation and temperature of dough are perhaps factors we haven't considered and can't do much to compensate for. Keep experimenting, dear cooks and new recipe creaters. A recipe failure now and then is a pretty small loss in comparison to other hobby flubs we've all had! Thanks, Megan, for trying to solve our problems!
Ken K. May 31, 2018
I don't know what I've done wrong. When I made the dough, it was a crumbly mess that kept falling apart while I was trying to fall apart. I finally got it to hold together enough so I could get plastic wrap around it. After overnight in the fridge, it was just like a (very short) baseball bat that crumbled when I tried to slice it. Any thoughts?
anne M. May 31, 2018
same with me... I finally got it all pulled together (rolled it into balls and flattened them) and they looked fine but they taste AWFUL. I am so mad that I used my good chocolate chips in this terrible dough. I'm going back to my old stand by!
reddragon February 11, 2019
Same here. Made it twice for my GF daughter, don't think there'll be a third time. I wouldn't make them for myself, even though I like buckwheat. Weird texture. Impossible to cut cleanly after chilling - chunks kept falling off. After baking, sank slightly but still looked more like a cake than a cookie.
anne M. May 30, 2018
ICK! these cookies are possibly the worst that have come out of my cookie-happy kitchen in 20 years. I got sucked in by the story of the woman crossing a bridge to get these... but the buckwheat is not very tasty at all (even with a whole lot of my good quality chocolate chips). 3 friends tried them and we all spit them out - this is a super disappointing recipe.
Millie G. May 25, 2018
I ended up with one huge cookie--all the cookies became formless, melting into eachother and covering the whole pan. I cut them into squares. They are like chewy brownies. I wonder if there is a misprint in the amount of sugar, or if the chocolate chips need to be a specific brand for these to hold their shape.
Megan H. May 25, 2018
I don't think it's about the amount of sugar or the chocolate chip. I followed it exactly and used different brands of chocolate chips, and they turned out each time (used Trader Joe's the first time, Guittard the second, and Whole Foods 365 brand the third). I used the same amount of sugar each time. They need to be pretty thick and should have a lot of space between them. Maybe try that?
Millie G. May 25, 2018
Thanks for your thoughts. Someone else in this thread had a similar problem. I followed the recipe instructions exactly, my cookies were very thick and spaced out on the pan. They turned into one big mass, like hot lava, haha. 1 & 1/2 cups sugar is a lot for a shortbread, which is why I suspected that being the problem, but I also used a dairy and soy free chocolate chip, and I ground my own buckwheat flour. Before my next bake I am going to check that my oven temp is accurate. The up side of this is that even the molten lava cookie blob tastes good!
Megan H. May 25, 2018
Ha! Yes - nothing wrong with molten lava cookie blob! Good luck!<br />
Amy W. June 15, 2018
I know this was three weeks ago but I've found that the consistency of flour will sometimes affect the amount of moisture it will soak up. The spreading issue sounds like you didn't chill it long enough. If you used a dairy/soy free chip did you use a butter substitute? Just trying to help narrow down what could be the issue! :)
Millie G. June 16, 2018
Hi, thanks for your ideas! It's never too late to solve a mystery, especially for such a tasty cookie! I did refrigerate the dough overnight, so I don't think that was an issue. I also used regular Darigold butter. But your flour idea is worth considering. I ground my own and perhaps I didn't grind it fine enough. I'm having my daughter try the recipe and see how it works for her. Best wishes to you as you bake adventurously!
Amy W. June 19, 2018
I’ll be interested to know if you give the recipe another go; love that you grind your own flour! I had inadvertently sliced and baked from frozen (was going to save the dough for later but then got impatient) and it worked out really well. You could always try that as well. :)
monica May 22, 2018
These cookies are so wonderful! I did refrigerate them overnight as I did not have time to bake them the same day that I mixed up the dough. Baked them for 13 minutes in my convection oven at 375 and I think they just lovely! Especially with a glass of red wine! Monica D.
Sandy S. May 22, 2018
I was also disappointed with how my cookies turned out. I did everything according to the recipe. I’m wondering if it could be the brand of cocoa powder? I recently read how different fat, ph and starch levels in cocoa powders can greatly affect the results. I’m not sure I can even describe how they turned out. Nothing like shortbread. I would love to try them again if I could figure out what went wrong!
Megan H. May 22, 2018
Interesting! I used Trader Joe's cocoa powder. I'm sure that could make a difference. Mine definitely weren't like shortbread. They were like chocolate chip cookies but nuttier and slightly crumblier. I'm trying to figure out what else could be different...