Bake or Break

A Baker’s Guide to Cookie Scoops

Make your drop cookies the best they can be with cookie scoops!

Cookie scoops filled with cookie dough

Cookie scoops are among my most recommended baking tools. I have several in different sizes, and they get used quite frequently. For those of you unfamiliar with cookie scoops, they are spring-loaded scoops that help you scoop and measure batters and dough.

Despite referring to them as cookie scoops, they aren’t just for cookies! I also use for portioning muffins, cupcakes, and other times I need to portion dough evenly. I even use them for transferring cake batter to Bundt pans with less mess. They’re also great for scooping ice cream (of course) and whipped cream. (Don’t forget them for cooking, too. They’re so helpful for making things like meatballs!)

Cookie scoops come in lots of sizes to suit whatever you need. They are available in tablespoon sizes, but you may also find them available in disher sizes. (Look for the size on the inside of the scoop.) Those sizes are a reference for ice cream scooping. For instance, a #20 scoop would give you 20 scoops from a quart of ice cream. So, the bigger the number, the more scoops you’ll get and the smaller they’ll be. Those numbers aren’t necessarily all that helpful if you’re scooping cookie dough, though. So, here is a guide that shows those disher sizes in tablespoons as well as their volume in ounces.

A guide to cookie scoop sizes

All that data is wonderful, isn’t it? You are now armed with plenty of info to get you scooping. What all of that can’t tell you, though, is how big your baked cookies will be. There are just too many factors involved to make that kind of prediction. Different doughs spread differently due to ingredients, temperature, pans, and many other things. You can have a rough idea, though, with some common sense. A tablespoon of dough isn’t likely to give you a huge 4-inch cookie, right?

There are other sizes, too, but these are the most likely to be helpful in baking. I have a range of sizes to fit lots of uses. As you can see, most of the sizes don’t fit a perfect tablespoon size, so just choose something that’s close. If you need 2 tablespoons of cookie dough, then a #30 scoop is just fine. These are the cookie scoops that I use most:

Cookie Scoop Sizes in My Kitchen

Here’s one more tip for you about using a cookie scoop. Don’t make a rounded scoop. You want to make a dome shape that’s flat on the bottom to make sure you’re using the correct amount of dough. If your recipe directs you to make balls of the dough, I recommend scooping first and then forming a ball.

There are so many advantages to using cookie scoops. They’ll easily give you the same size cookies, muffins, or whatever you’re scooping. Keeping everything the same size and portion will help those things bake evenly. If you have some portions smaller or larger, they will not need the same baking time and can create inconsistent results. Having every cookie or muffin or cupcake the same size is also visually appealing and satisfies the perfectionist in me.

Now that you’re armed with all this knowledge of cookie scoops, I hope you’re inspired to get baking. Once you’ve used scoops for making cookies or muffins or whatever else you’re scooping, I think you’ll come to find them indispensable!

Great Ways to Use Cookie Scoops

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    43 Comments on “A Baker’s Guide to Cookie Scoops”

  1. THANK YOU!!!!! You have NO idea how many times I have to look up various cookie scoop sizes!! You’d think by now I’d have it all memorized but I definitely don’t!! NOW I have the definitive guide!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  2. What size is recommended for cupcakes (level top)? I have one and want to order another 2, but don’t know what size. Thanks!

  3. What brand of scoops have you found that are the strongest/last the longest? I’ve gone through quite a few!

  4. Thanks for the info. I use the very smallest of mine for so many things. It’s 2 tsp and the largest one I use is 1 1/2 tbsp. I guess a bigger one might be used but those are all pretty good size. I might order the 3 tbsp and see if I could use it. I love my scoops!!

    • The person asked for the brand name of scoops you recommend, not the size.  I’m interested to know as well since I’ve also gone through so many. They’ve broken with little use or don’t work that great. I want to order some and I’m thinking you know best

  5. Could you please help with what size scoop a 1” would be?  Cookie recipe says that and no other info.!  Thank you!

  6. I make Peanut Butter Balls and Martha Washington candies at Christmas time. What size scoop would you recommend?

    • Hi, Darlene. It depends on how big you like to make those. I’ve seen them from small to fairly large. Depending on your preference, I’d probably pick one in the 1 to 2 tablespoon range.

  7. Hi Where do you buy it #20 cookie scoop?

  8. Do you happen to have the diameters for these?  In China they have 4cm, 5cm, and 6cm, but no info on volume.  I’m trying to figure out how big those are.

  9. Please help! I have several cookie recipes that call for making a ball of dough in inches… (for instance, one says make a 1 inch ball of dough & another says make a 1 1/2 inch ball). How do you figure out what size scoop will make a 1 inch ball – and/or a 1 1/2 inch ball??
    What size scoops do you recommend to make those size balls?

    • Hi, Sherry. If the recipe is asking for that diameter for a ball of dough, then you’d probably want to go with a scoop with a little wider width because scoops give you a flat bottom. After you scoop, you can roll the dough into a ball. For instance, the 1-tablespoon scoop linked above is about 1 & 1/3 inches wide. That’s probably what I’d try for a 1-inch ball of dough.

  10. We’ve got one disher—it is 1/4 cup, so it’s a #16—and it’s the perfect size for my drop biscuits. I know I wish I had at least one more, but I’m not sure what size[s] to get. The muffins I made yesterday, for instance, called for 3 Tbsp, but I don’t know that I’ve seen that measurement before. Of the six you have, which do you use most?

    • Hi, Laurie. I use them all quite a bit. I use the 1- and 2-tablespoon scoops frequently for cookies. The 3-tablespoon scoop is usually perfect for filling muffin cups. The rest I use less frequently.

  11. Thanks so much for this information, very helpful.

  12. Thank you so much for this info! I finally figured out how much dough I need to make my peanut cup cookies the size I like but when I use a measuring spoon they tend to grow. LOL Now I know that I need a #70 scoop.

  13. I have scoops that are marked on the release inside the scoop of 60, 30, 12 and 10. I am at a loss which to use for 1/4 c, 1/2 c , etc of cookie dough or muffins. I did not find your list helpful to me. Can you help?
    Thank you.

    • Hi, Lynne. The equivalents for #30 and #60 are on the list above. #10 and #12 are about 6 and 5 tablespoons, respectively. 1/4 cup is 4 tablespoons, so the #16 scoop on the list works for that. For 1/2 cup, you’d need a #8 scoop.

  14. Hi. Once you’ve made the dough, when is the perfect time to scoop?

  15. These scoops, also called. ” dishers” in the restaurant trade are almost always available in their full range of sizes at any restaurant supply store or wholesale food outlets such as Cash and Carry.

  16. I wish your posts like this were set up to print properly. These types of things really come in handy and I would really like to get them to print properly. When I try to print, everything is off and some things are missing. Any suggestions?

    • Hi, Laurie. Are you trying to print the entire post or just the scoop sizes graphic? You should be able to print just the graphic from my desktop by right-clicking the graphic, opening in a new tab, and then printing.

  17. I have 2 OXO scoops I bought a few years ago, but I don’t really know what size they are. Do you know the asiest way to figure that out?

  18. Sorry if you’ve already answered this. My recipes call for 1 tsp scoops and 1 tbsp scoops. Have you talked about the tsp scoop and where I could buy one? My tbsps called for heaping tbsps so I’m not as worried about that one. Also, do you know if they make silicone scoops? After just a few scoops the dough starts sticking to the scoop. Very annoying. Or if you know of one where the dough will not stick, I’d appreciate hearing about it. Thanks.

    • Hi, Trisha. I have a #110 scoop that’s about 1 & 1/2 teaspoons. I’m not sure I’ve seen one smaller. I got mine through Amazon. I generally don’t have trouble with cookie dough sticking to the scoops. You could try spraying them lightly with cooking spray periodically while you’re scooping. I’ve used a silicone scoop previously, but the lack of solid structure didn’t work well for me.

  19. I need to make a dozen 4″ cookies.  What size scoop would that be?  A 16?

    • Hi, Jan. The finished size will depend on how much the cookie spreads while baking. If you’re flattening the cookie before baking, that will increase their diameter, too. A #16 scoop is about 2.25 inches in diameter, but it holds 1/4 cup of dough. Taking the recipe you’re using into consideration, I hope that helps you decide if that’s the right size.

  20. I have a cookie recipe I’d like to try. It says to use a 3 oz. scoop. My cookie scoops are marked in Tablespoon sizes/ How many Tablespoons in a 3 oz. scoop? Thank you!!

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