Every Tate's Bake Shop Cookie, Ranked

Tate's Bake Shop is renowned for thin and crispy cookies. Company founder Kathleen King was only 21 years old when she launched her first bakery in 1980, though she began making and selling cookies years before as a child. You can visit the original Tate's Bake Shop in Southampton, New York, or buy the company's treats online, but the easiest way to enjoy Tate's is by grabbing a bag of the brand's cookies at stores nationwide. 

Chocolate chip was the first type of cookie that King baked, and today the Tate's version of this remains one of the best-ranked chocolate chip cookie brands. However, Tate's has expanded to include many other cookie types, along with gluten-free and bite-size varieties, cookie bark, and rotating seasonal specialties. We wanted to see how Tate's signature style worked across the line, so I received all 16 varieties from the company for a taste test.

As a professional recipe developer, I have created and sampled more cookies than I can recall. I've even developed a duplicate of Tate's cookies, and I can assure you that it's not easy to get them right. This ranking was based on overall flavor and texture, and how closely the cookie matched its packaging description.

All recommendations are based on firsthand impressions of promotional products provided by the manufacturer. 

16. Gluten Free Lemon Cookies

Before even opening the sleeves of cookies, the smell of lemon was palpable. Tate's gluten-free lemon cookies are smaller and thicker than some other varieties, but this is only noticeable if comparing them side by side. Perhaps due to the rice flour base, these crisp cookies are sandy and crumbly between your teeth, leaving a shower of crumbs after each bite.

The flavor of lemon is very strong. It starts out fruity, but fades into bitterness, as if you had recently taken a bite from a fresh, whole lemon. This makes sense, because lemon oil is a flavoring agent in the ingredient list, and lemon oil comes from the peel, which has bitter qualities. The strong lemon flavor and aftertaste detract from the buttery base of the cookie, rather than blending harmoniously. I could see this being a sophisticated pairing with a cup of Earl Grey tea, but overall, the flavor missed the mark, causing this variety to rank last.

15. Snickerdoodle Cookies

This is an interesting cookie type to choose for a thin and crispy profile, because one hallmark of a traditional snickerdoodles recipe is the resulting soft and chewy texture, along with a cinnamon-sugar coating. My first impression of Tate's snickerdoodles was underwhelming. The tan color lacks the glistening cinnamon sugar or pale-yellow hue of a classic snickerdoodle. There is a hefty punch of cinnamon, but the caramely notes of brown sugar are strong and dominating.

These cookies do not snap cleanly when broken. They are neither chewy nor crisp, but somewhere in the middle; they almost taste stale, even though the package was sealed and freshly opened. There is a strong butter and cinnamon taste to the cookies, but it's not quite right. The cinnamon flavor is closer to cinnamon gum or candy, rather than fresh-ground cinnamon. It's just not a snickerdoodle in flavor or texture, and coupled with the off texture, it dropped toward the bottom of this ranking. 

14. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The best oatmeal raisin cookies tend to be soft, chewy, or cake-like from the combination of oats, brown sugar, raisins, and sometimes molasses. But I've had plenty of crunchy and buttery oatmeal cookies before, so I was optimistic about what this version could offer. These Tate's Bake Shop cookies have a lovely nubby appearance, with toasty aromas of butter and sugar, and big chunks of raisins. However, the cookies did not pass the snap test. They bent slowly before breaking, foreshadowing their chewy — not crunchy — texture.

The flavor is delicious. It's buttery and redolent of oats. This is very much a cookie, and not an oat-based sweet pretending to be dessert. There is a subtle hint of cinnamon that lifts up the flavor of the raisins and brown sugar without being too intense. The only issue with these cookies, and why they could not rank higher, is that they're labeled as crispy cookies, and they simply are not. 

13. Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was curious to see how the flavor of salted caramel would be incorporated into a cookie, but was disappointed to discover that this was achieved through the addition of butterscotch chips. The difference between butterscotch and caramel is distinct in both ingredients and taste. Butterscotch chips are even further away in taste from the dessert sauce that they are based on, which doesn't taste like salted caramel, anyway.

The cookie texture is perfectly crisp, and the butterscotch chips, in addition to the chocolate chips, make the cookies feel loaded. They are not too sweet, but I also can't say they are more salted than other Tate's cookies. As someone who loves the taste of butterscotch chips, I thought they were a great addition to the cookie base and chocolate. But I could not rank these higher because they are butterscotch chip cookies, and not salted caramel cookies, as they are labeled; that disconnect could lead to confusion or disappointment for the customer. 

12. Lemon Cookies

The buttery, lemony smell of these cookies is inviting and warm, like little yellow circles of sunshine. These baked goods benefit from lemon oil flavoring the cookies, and happily this variety lacks the bitterness that was present in the gluten-free version. The flavor overall is milder than the aroma, and dissipates quickly, leaving you wondering what you just ate. In addition to the initial taste of butter and lemon, there was a hint of something else, reminiscent of nutmeg. It was a subtle but distracting intruder to the lemon flavor.

Though these cookies have a good snap, they border on being hard. The more delicate consistency of other Tate's cookie varieties would have been a better match for the light lemon flavor. This cookie ended up getting a middle-of-the-pack ranking because it's was good, but not great. I couldn't decide if I like that the flavor is mild, or if I wish it were bolder. Would I eat this cookie again? Yes. Would I buy it? Probably not. 

11. Tiny Tate's Snickerdoodle Cookies

Tiny Tate's cookies are a line of bite-size alternatives to the full-size cookies, and are currently offered in snickerdoodle and chocolate chip varieties. These mini snickerdoodles have the same ingredients as the regular-sized ones, and the same aroma.

The tiny cookies are a little bigger than a quarter. They are also thinner, with a wafer-like texture. They have a strong buttery flavor that edges into butter extract territory, though the ingredients do not list butter extract. The cinnamon taste is the same as in the large snickerdoodle, and still channels cinnamon candy more than ground cinnamon. But these rank better than the bigger snickerdoodle cookies because of their wonderful crunch, and because there is something charming and delightful about popping such petite cookies. However, they did not rank higher on this list because they remain too far apart from bearing the flavors and textures of a classic snickerdoodle.

10. Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Both the look of these cookies and the ingredient list are very similar to Tate's regular chocolate chip cookies. Rice flour replaces unbleached flour here, and there is the addition of xanthan gum. Though the color is more of a muted tan than golden brown, the cookies are still thin and studded with a good amount of chocolate chips.

The texture is crisp and airy. Rice flour is a great gluten-free choice due to its neutral flavor, but it can also impart a rough, gritty mouthfeel, and that is very apparent in this cookie. This was the grittiest of the three gluten-free cookie varieties, with some dust getting caught in my throat. Still, it satisfies a craving for a chocolate chip cookie, and is a great option for a gluten-free consumer. This ranked in the middle because the texture was challenging, and there are better cookies in the mix. 

9. Tiny Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies

The ingredients in these bite-size treats are similar to those in Tate's full-size chocolate chip cookies, although in the smaller version, flour is the first ingredient, followed by butter and chocolate chips; the larger cookies have chocolate chips listed first. This change has a clear impact on the cookies.

Similarly to Tiny Tate's snickerdoodles, these are very thin and easy to pop in your mouth, one after the other. Their thin structure contributes to them being crumblier and sandier than the full-size version, and quite a few cookies in my bag were broken. As the ingredients indicated, these cookies have fewer chocolate chips, both in size and quantity. I found myself wishing and looking for a bigger hit of chocolate against the base. This was challenging to rank, because these are undeniably adorable and delicious, but other varieties — including the full-size chocolate chip cookies — were more successful in balancing their ingredients. 

8. Milk Chocolate with White Chocolate Cookie Bark

Tate's now offers two versions of what the brand calls cookie bark. Chocolate bark is a classic treat that consists of melted chocolate and any number of add-ins, including dried fruit, candy, or nuts. There is even a swirling trick for an even richer chocolate bark. To make cookie bark, Tate's has taken broken chocolate chip cookies and coated them in chocolate. What's not to love?

This type of cookie bark has only three primary ingredients: cookies, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. The chocolate-coated cookie bits stick to each other to form irregular clusters. The white chocolate is lightly drizzled over the milk chocolate, offering more of a visual contrast than flavor. I appreciate that the chocolate coating is thick, yet the cookies don't absorb moisture to become soggy. The cookies are not completely covered, so you can still taste them through all the chocolate. While this cookie bark was good, the milk chocolate makes it overly sweet, so it ranks in the top 10, but is not the winner. 

7. Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I firmly believe that there are two camps of cookie fans — those who prefer them with nuts or without nuts. While I'm a no-nut purist at heart, I understand the appeal nuts can have, and acknowledge that they can be a transformative addition to a cookie. By adding walnuts to the classic chocolate chip cookie base, Tate's did just that, and it makes this cookie unique.

Wavy edges of walnuts poke from the surface of the cookie along with the chips, though you can't tell by looking that the walnuts are impressively sized nuggets. Walnuts are not a hard nut, and their gentle, buttery bite fits in well with the cookie, being softer than the base but firmer than the chips. The walnuts do not dominate the cookie, but add something special, landing this cookie toward the top of this ranking. It would have ranked higher, but some of the other varieties were more exceptional. 

6. Coconut Crisp Cookies

Calling all coconut lovers! As a recipe developer, I've learned that coconut is a divisive ingredient. Between the flavor and texture, it's not for everyone. I love it. I recall sampling these cookies years ago when they were first launched, and I was looking forward to finding out if they lived up to my taste memory.

These cookies have a rough, bumpy surface and golden-brown color, with the edges a shade darker than the center. They have a deep buttery and coconutty aroma from the combination of coconut and coconut extract. The crisp cookies snap easily and melt in your mouth. They are studded with plenty of coconut, but the pieces are small and are not overly chewy. These treats are delicate and sturdy at the same time, not too sweet, and utterly delicious. They are also clearly a coconut dessert, which is why they rank highly. They are crisp and coconutty, which is exactly what they should be.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookies

The list of ingredients for this variety is simple, and includes everything you expect in a classic chocolate chip cookie, such as butter, brown sugar, eggs, and semi-sweet chocolate chips. These thin, evenly browned cookies have a lumpy top from the chocolate chips erupting from the base. While no two cookies look exactly the same, each one has a light scattering of chocolate. The aroma is inviting, with notes of toasty sugar, deep chocolate, and rich butter.

These cookies are light and crisp, with just enough chocolate that if you strategically plan your bites, you can get some chips in each mouthful, or nibble around them for a taste of the plain cookie. This variety is not too sweet, and you get little pops of salt from time to time, which offers pleasant contrast to the other flavors. Simple, straightforward, and tasty, these cookies are in the top five for their well-balanced flavor and excellent texture.

4. Gluten Free Ginger Zinger Cookies

These smell absolutely incredible, with rich butter and huge notes of toffee-like brown sugar. The cookies look a little plain, with a dark-brown color and bits of crystallized ginger scattered throughout — but the flavor is anything but plain.

Each cookie breaks with a firm snap, and the base is crisp, but the ginger is chewy. The cookie itself is not spiced, which is a good thing because the crystallized ginger gives a unique kick to baked goods that is sharp and fiery, providing the cookies with the zing in their name. The heat from the ginger is balanced by the fact that this cookie is a little sweeter than other varieties by Tate's, but it's not excessive. The rice flour has some expected dustiness, but the chewy bits of ginger cover that up. Landing at number four, these cookies have big ginger flavor that's spot-on, and it was difficult to stop eating these. They would be perfect with a cup of tea on a cold day, or as an anytime snack in the sunshine. 

3. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tate's Bake Shop offers seasonal cookies, and this summer's limited-edition cookie, mint chocolate chip, was available for this taste test. The ingredients and look of the cookie are the same as the classic chocolate chip cookie, except for the addition of peppermint oil, which you can smell as soon as you open the bag.

The aroma immediately channels mint chocolate chip ice cream, with notes of sugar, chocolate, and peppermint. Peppermint can be challenging to get right, but Tate's nails it. The peppermint is cooling, almost refreshing, and lingers after each bite without overshadowing the chocolate chips or the cookie base. With a satisfying crispy snap, the texture is perfect, and would be amazing in an icebox cake or with ice cream sandwiched between them. These cookies rank in the top three for perfect execution in taste and texture — it's worthwhile to pick up a few bags while they are around. 

2. Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Cookie Bark

Similarly to the milk chocolate cookie bark, this version features pieces of Tate's classic chocolate chip cookies coated with chocolate. It also has three ingredients: cookies, semi-sweet chocolate, and sea salt. Semi-sweet chocolate blankets the cookie fragments before getting sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

This bark tastes like a cookie and candy bar mash-up, and is totally irresistible. It's crunchy and decadent, and the bits of salt cut through the sweetness to keep it from becoming cloying. The semi-sweet chocolate that covers the cookies matches the chips in the cookies (also semi-sweet), so the flavors mingle together seamlessly. The cookie is crisp and the chocolate isn't too soft or melty, even in warm temperatures. This is the perfect choice for someone who loves Tate's chocolate chip cookies but wishes they contained more chocolate. It was a tough call whether this should take the top spot or be the runner-up, and even though it ended up placing second, it was not because this bark was lacking at all. 

1. Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the only cookie in the lineup with a chocolate base. With chocolate chips as the first ingredient, I was looking forward to a deeply flavored cookie, and it delivered. These cookies are very dark, but you can still see the chocolate chips scattered around as they are a shade lighter. The cocoa-forward aroma is not sweet, but complex, fragrant, and earthy.

The taste is deeply chocolaty, but not too intense or rich. I could easily eat several without feeling maxed out. These cookies are dark enough for a chocolate lover, but coupled with their thinness and light texture, they won't overwhelm someone who doesn't have as strong of a passion for all things chocolate. It's a given that the top cookie would be delicious, with the right balance of sugar, butter, and salt. What made these so unique is the depth of flavor that can be so hard to find in a bag of cookies on the supermarket shelf.


The best way to judge a cookie is to eat it, which is why our ranking was largely based on taste. It wasn't just a matter of enjoying the flavor, but determining if the ingredients were balanced to create a harmonious dessert. But since taste is subjective, I also factored in whether the texture was thin and crispy, as each package indicated, and how the flavors reflected the name of each cookie variety. I read the ingredients of each cookie type, and spent some time reading online reviews and other cookie-ranking articles. 

Cookies have always been a special dessert for me. My mother was an excellent and curious baker, always trying new recipes, especially around the holiday season. Her passion was passed on to me, and as a professional recipe developer, I spend a lot of time baking and honing in on the small adjustments of ingredients that ultimately define the size, shape, and texture of each cookie.