Jul 19, 2022

Everyone loves to bake (or eat) cookies, which is why the Guinness Book of World Records has included an entry for the most cookies baked in a single hour. Frank Squeo and Baking Memories for Kids baked 6,018 cookies in an hour on December 7, 2019. Though baking thousands of cookies might not be a goal of many, properly baking cookies can help reduce the time to bake and make cleaning up much more manageable. 

Which brings the question: Can you bake cookies on aluminum foil? The short answer is yes. Plus, baking with foil helps with clean-up because all left to do is remove the foil from the pan and discard it. Using aluminum foil eliminates the need to wash the baking pan, leaving more time to enjoy the fresh cookies. 

Can You Bake Cookies On Aluminum Foil?

chocolate chip cookies on tin foil on a rack

Aluminum foil is a staple in almost everyone’s pantry and can be used to bake cookies. However, when properly used, aluminum foil can be used to line cookie sheets as a replacement for parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. However, baking cookies on aluminum foil does not prevent the cookie from burning or sticking to the foil. 

Should You Bake Cookies On Aluminum Foil? 

cookies placed on aluminum foil in the oven

Now the question - “Can you bake cookies on aluminum foil?” - has been answered; it is time to look to see if you should use aluminum foil for baking cookies. Though baking cookies on the aluminum foil can help save time with clean-up, the foil does not possess any nonstick properties. Therefore, similar to using a cookie sheet, you will need to spray the aluminum foil with a nonstick cooking spray to prevent the cookies from sticking to the foil. 

Additionally, aluminum is a heat conduction, which means it can absorb heat quickly. Using the foil on top of the cookie sheet may mean the baking rate of the cookies will be faster. Be mindful of the cookies and keep a close eye on them to ensure they do not overcook and burn. 

Is It Safe to Use Aluminum Foil to Bake Cookies? 

Although aluminum foil can leach into the cookies during the baking process, the percentage is minimal. The exact rate of aluminum depends upon the type of cookies being baked and the temperature of the oven. For example, aluminum reacts more to foods with high acidity levels, such as cherry cookies and lemon bars. Those worried about the potential dangers aluminum has on their health may want to limit how often they use aluminum foil when baking cookies. 

How to Bake Cookies on Aluminum Foil?

Knowing how to bake cookies on aluminum foil is key to having perfectly baked soft cookies. Since the foil is not nonstick, applying a generous coat of grease to the foil using a baking spray or a brush to spread butter or vegetable oil is necessary. 

Because the aluminum foil will speed up the baking process, it is vital to reduce the cooking time by about ten to 20 percent. If the first batch of cookies comes out too dark or slightly burnt, reduce the cooking time or the oven temperature. 

Do I need a Special Aluminum Foil to Bake Cookies? 

A heavy-duty foil is thicker, providing additional durability and extra strength when baking cookies. This aluminum foil does not tear or rip when placed in the pan. Suggested heavy-duty aluminum foils include Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil and Rhino Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil. 

Best Overall
Our Score 9.5 Out of 10
Check price amazon.com
Best Mid Range
Our Score 8.7 Out of 10
Check price amazon.com
Cheaper Choice
Our Score 8.2 Out of 10
Check price amazon.com

What Side of Foil Do You Use For Cookies?

When looking at aluminum foil, you can see that each side looks different, with one side being shiny and the other appearing dull. Though some say it is best to cook on the shiny side of the foil, there is no real difference between both sides. Therefore, when baking cookies on the aluminum foil, the results are the same regardless of which side you use. 

Which Side Of Aluminum Foil is Nonstick?

cookie cutters next to an aluminum foil sheet

The side technically does not have anything to do with making the aluminum foil nonstick. Nonstick aluminum foil is available, and this foil has a “nonstick” imprint on the right side, which is typically the dull side. 

How Do I Grease or Oil Aluminum Foil for Baking? 

Once the baking sheet is lined with aluminum foil, the best way to prevent cookies from sticking to the foil is to grease it with butter, oil, or a cooking spray. Additionally, the grease or oil can help prevent the cookies from burning. The best method to grease aluminum foil is to use softened butter by evenly spreading it all over the surface of the foil. Additionally, you can use melted butter and a basting brush to grease the foil-lined cookie sheet. 

You can also use canola or vegetable oil to grease the foil by pouring three to four tablespoons of oil onto it and using your hand to spread it around evenly. You can also use baking sprays to coat the foil with a thin layer of oil. 

Can I Use Foil Instead of Parchment Paper for Cookies?

Aluminum foil can be used instead of parchment paper when baking cookies. Parchment paper does have nonstick properties, whereas the foil does not. As previously suggested, it is best to grease or spray the foil to create a nonstick coating to prevent cookies from sticking to the foil. 

Baking Sheet vs. Aluminum foil

aluminum foil, wax paper and parchment paper rolls

Aluminum foil contains the same properties as an aluminum baking sheet. Both must be greased or sprayed with a baking spray to ensure the cookies do not stick. The only significant difference is there is less clean-up when using aluminum foil because all you need to do is lift the foil from the sheet and throw it away. The other difference is you may have to bake the cookies for a shorter amount of time or at a lower heat because the foil is a conductor and absorbs heat quickly. 

It is possible to bake cookies without using the cookie sheet and use only aluminum foil. If you want to bake cookies without a baking pan, you must remove the oven rack and then wrap it with aluminum foil, which needs to be lightly greased. Then, scoop the cookie dough directly onto the foil and place the oven rack back in the preheated oven. 

When using this method, reduce the cooking time and first check the cookies after seven minutes. Without the baking sheet, cookies may bake faster, so keep a close eye on them to help prevent burning. Plus, cookies baked directly on the rack may turn our crispier and browner. Because of this, more delicate cookies, such as shortbread and sugar cookies, should not be baked this way. 

Why Bake Cookies On Aluminum Foil? 

hand placing a sugar cookie on a Reynolds nonstick tin foil

Though some prefer to bake cookies using aluminum foil, it is unnecessary. For more, it is about preference and the idea of not having to wash the baking sheet when done. However, cookies baked on aluminum foil turn out crispier and bake faster than on parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. 

What About Parchment Paper? 

Like aluminum foil, parchment paper makes the clean-up after baking much easier. The biggest difference is that parchment paper does not need to be greased, where aluminum foil does. 

What Type of Cookies Can You Bake Using Aluminum Foil? 

When using aluminum foil to line the baking sheet, it is best to be mindful of what cookies you plan to bake. Cookies baked on aluminum foil have a crispier texture, and not all cookies turn out the way they are supposed to when baked on foil. Using aluminum foil, the best cookies to make include chocolate chip cookies, ginger snap cookies, and oatmeal cookies. It is not recommended to cook sugar cookies using aluminum foil. 

Why Would You Bake Cookies on Aluminum Foil? 

burned cookies on a baking pan next to cookies on aluminum foil

Everyone has their reasons as to what tools and methods they use to bake cookies. Why would one want to use aluminum foil when baking cookies with so many other options available? 

As mentioned earlier, the aluminum foil helps with cleaning up after baking; plus, there are many other reasons why you may find yourself baking with aluminum foil. Some of those reasons may include running out of parchment paper, not having any baking sheets available, or the need to make a large number of cookies in a short time. Additionally, if you prefer cookies with crispier bottoms and chewy centers, baking on the aluminum foil can help you bake the perfect cookie. 

Written by Ginger Cook