Copycat State Fair Cookies Recipe (2024)

August 24, 2013

posted by Haley


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This chocolate chip cookie recipe is inspired by my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies, Sweet Martha’s at the Minnesota State Fair.

If you go to the Minnesota State Fair, you’re probably familiar with Sweet Martha’s Cookies.

Getting a bucket of these melt-in-your-mouth cookies is on most fair-goers’ bucket lists. No pun intended.

But guess what?

You don’t have to go to the fair – and you don’t have to wait until August in Minnesota – to enjoy these bite-sized cookies.

What Are Sweet Martha’s Cookies?

The line is always deep, the crowd enthusiastic, and the cookies fresh from the oven at Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar.

A few words to describe the cookies:

  • Bite sized
  • Warm from the oven
  • Somehow crispy and chewy at the same time

In short, they’re just the perfect little chocolate chip cookies. And you don’t have to go to the Minnesota State Fairto appreciate that.

About The Recipe

Since the Minnesota State Fair is only around for 12 days, my only option for getting my cookie fix year-round was to come up witha copycat Sweet Martha’s cookie recipe.

Thankfully, this wasn’t too hard, thanks to the ever-fabulous New York Timeschocolate chip cookie recipe.

I made a few small tweaks to the recipe and was very happy with the results.

Tips: Copycat Sweet Martha’s Cookies

Here are a few notes to get your copycat Sweet Martha’s cookies just right:

  • Load them with chocolate chips
  • Refrigerate the cookie dough overnight (or up to 3 days)
  • Make them small (about half the size of a regular chocolate chip cookie)
  • Use a Silpat or parchment paper when baking
  • Under-bake them ever so slightly
  • Serve them warm with a glass of milk

Please note: This is not the Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar recipe. This is an adaption of the New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe that tastes a lot like Sweet Martha’s cookies.

Did you know that Sweet Martha’s cookies are available in the freezer section at select grocery stores in Minnesota?

How To Make Cake Flour And Bread Flour

This is a general guide for making cake flour and bread flour at home, so you can avoid buying it in the store.

  • Cake flour: Measure out one cup of all-purpose flour. Remove two tablespoons of flour, set aside, and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch.
  • Bread flour: Measure out one cup of all-purpose flour. Add 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.

Are you a fan of Sweet Martha’s cookies? Then we already have something in common! Please follow me on Instagram. I’ll update you on the latest cheap recipe posts and share lots of photos of Minnesota!

Did you like this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review on the recipe card, below. Thank you!

Copycat State Fair Cookies Recipe (5)

Yield: 100+ mini cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes

You will save a lot of money by making your own cookies at home. If you have extras, place them in the freezer for a rainy day. Or freeze the dough balls so you can have fresh-from-the-oven cookies whenever you want.


  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups chocolate chips


  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients together.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Don't over mix. Add chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the fridge overnight, or up to 3 days.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F*. To get the cookies just the right size, use a standard cookie scooper - then divide that amount in half. Place cookie dough balls evenly onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until barely done. You want to under-baked these cookies slightly so they turn out soft and gooey.
  5. *Some readers reported better results baking the cookies at 375F instead of 350F. This results in a cookie that is more crispy on the outside with a slightly soft center.

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Please give it a 5-star review on the recipe card above!

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posted by Haley on August 24, 2013 (updated August 31, 2023)

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54 comments on “Copycat State Fair Cookies Recipe”

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  1. violet Reply

    Two hundred miles away from the MN State Fair doesn’t make it easy to attend and taste all of the good food. Recipes like this help my cravings quite a bit. Thanks.

  2. Karen Harris Reply

    Your photos are beautiful. I’ve never had these cookies, but thankfully I don’t have to get in the car and drive to have them. I’ll just use your recipe. I can’t wait!

  3. Medora Schou Reply

    These cookies look amazing! I always crave Sweet Martha’s especially at this time of the year. I will definitely have to try out this recipe. I really like how you present your food recipes. The napkin, bowl, and drink make the cookies that much better.

    • Haley Reply

      Thanks Medora 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  4. Kathy Reply

    These look so good! I’m looking forward to trying it!

  5. Kat B. Reply

    I bet you just can’t have one of these, either!

  6. Kelly Reply

    Just watched the MNSF episode on Bizarre Foods. Haven’t had Sweet Martha’s cookies in… 13 years? Now I need some badly. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  7. Amy Harrison Reply

    Uh…I could have sworn they used shortening in their recipe???

  8. Teenie Reply

    Or… you could just buy frozen sweet martha’s dough since they sell it at lunds/byerlys and other grocery stores….

  9. Teenie Reply

    Or… you could just buy frozen sweet martha’s dough since they sell it at lunds/byerlys and other grocery stores…

    • Haley Reply

      Yep, I mentioned that in the post. I find that the frozen cookie dough doesn’t taste too much like the State Fair cookies. Namely, they’re regular size and the State Fair ones are bite sized.

  10. Anna Reply

    Hi! thank you for your recipe, I’ve just tried it.
    However, the cookies turned out to be crispy and basically just sugar cookies with chocolate chips in them. I think it’s due to the fact that your recipe uses light brown sugar, instead of dark brown (aka muscovado). As far as I remember, NYT recipe does have muscovado. In my opinion that is the only way to make your cookies chewy. From my experience ight brown sugar gives any cookies even more crispiness.
    Also, for chewy cookies you have to melt the butter, not whip it with sugars. The more you whip, the more it gets cake-like crispy texture.
    I guess the recipe is still good for those who likes their chocolate chip cookies not chewy and soft.

  11. Anna Reply

    Or, I might just take back everything I’ve said before. The second batch of the same dough was underbaked, and, served warmed it was very close to perfection! I would still add some muscovado sugar, just for it’s aroma.
    Thank you again for the recipe!

    • Haley Reply

      Ok good, Anna! I was at a loss, because these cookies turned out so great for me. Glad your second batch worked out better than the first!

  12. Melody Reply

    Hi Haley, Ive just seen Bizarre Foods tonight in Australia and my husband loves a good choc chip cookie which prompted me to do a search for the nearest recipe. The recipe you gave is looking fine for me but Im at a loss as to what amount a ‘stick’ of butter would be. Our butter comes in 250gms and 500gms blocks. Could you please clarify (pun intended!) what the amount is? And Merry Christmas to all for next week.

    • Haley Reply

      Hi Melody!
      So sorry for the confusion! I just googled this and one stick of butter is equal to 1/2 cup or 113 grams. I hope that helps!
      Awesome that they’re showing Bizarre Foods in Australia… I love that show! Hope you enjoy the cookies. Send a photo once you’re done, if you want. I’d love to see how your batch turned out 🙂

  13. J P Willingham Reply

    The original recipe does use shortening. Unlike butter, shortening has no water in it.

  14. Cali Sandra Reply

    I had just bought sweet mart has cookies at the store and I have two left in my freezer. Most of them I just ate without cooking and now thanks to you I can eat them without worrying where I can get sweet mart has without spending 5.95 on 18 cookies 🙂

  15. Jodie Reply

    They showed on Bizarre Foods that she uses shortening also.

  16. Rebecca Reply

    Hi Melody
    We’ve never been to Minnesota but saw The State Fair on Food Paradise today and oh my goodness those cookies! I love to bake and I can’t wait to try this recipe Could you clarify whether to use shortening vs butter since so many are saying the original uses shortening? Having never tasted the originals I won’t have anything to compare to but hoping there are going to come out great!

  17. Rebecca Reply

    Hi Haley
    We’ve never been to Minnesota but saw The State Fair on Food Paradise today and oh my goodness those cookies! I love to bake and I can’t wait to try this recipe Could you clarify whether to use shortening vs butter since so many are saying the original uses shortening? Having never tasted the originals I won’t have anything to compare to but hoping there are going to come out great!

    • Haley Reply

      I have always used butter and I think they taste a lot like the original. I have always been pleased with the finished product so I have felt no need to try using shortening (sort of a “if it’s not broke don’t fix it idea…) I know the actual state fair cookies are made from a mix and this recipe is (obviously) homemade. I hope you like them!

  18. Jamie @ Medium Sized Family Reply

    I’m a sucker for chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never been to Minnesota, but those lines sure don’t lie! They must be delicious. 🙂

  19. Danae Reply

    I am confused with the flour. What is the cake and what is the bread flour? Can I use normal flour or something similar? And what is the sticks for the butter?

    • Haley Reply

      Hey Danae – I always have to Google the recipes for cake and bread flour. Cake flour contains some cornstarch, and bread flour contains some vital wheat gluten. If all else fails, you can purchase individual bags of cake and bread flour in the store.

      As for the butter, 2.5 sticks equals 1 and 1/4 cups of butter.

  20. CY Reply

    Is it a must to sit the dough in fridge overnight or up to 3 days?

    • Haley Reply

      Nope. If you can’t do this, try rolling the dough into balls and freezing for 30 minutes (or more). Or you could just bake them 🙂

  21. Pingback: 15 Fair Foods You Can Make At Home | Sarahs Bake Studio

  22. Janet Esposito Reply

    Someone here at work is looking for a recipe for the Oatmeal Cookies she use to get there at the Minnesota State Fair.

    • Haley Reply

      Sorry, I can’t think of any oatmeal cookies from the State Fair.

  23. Kristin Kopec Reply

    I have made these several times and this is now my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Last month I made them for an event and a woman in her 70s said they were the best cookies she has ever had! The best trick is to slightly undertake them and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Best cookies ever. I’m done trying other recipes.

    • Haley Reply

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, and also thanks for sharing your tip about under-baking the cookies. That really makes a difference!

  24. Jen Reply

    These worked so well for me! Thank you so much for posting!

  25. Cynthia Reply

    These are incredible! Thank you so much for this great recipe. I have made this recipe, following exact directions and ingredients, about 4 times in the last month and people love them. These are by far my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, they are crispy, gooey and absolute heaven.

    • Haley Reply

      Aah, wonderful! They’re so good, aren’t they? Thanks for your comment!

  26. Lizzie Reply

    Sweet Martha’s Cookies are made with shortening. I have a recipe I’ve used for several years and have been compared to Sweet Martha’s many times -my recipe also calls for shortening, but I use the butter flavored kind or add some butter flavoring. As such, they need to be baked at 375. Mixing butter and shortening is also a good go for flavor.

    • Paul Reply

      Would you be willing to give me your recipe for the cookies I’m located in Georgia and wanting to try these thanks in advance

  27. Joe Reply

    These turned out great, thanks!
    I noticed that this recipe calls for a mix of bread flour and cake flour. Cake flour has less protein and bread flour has more protein, why not just use all purpose. Seems like a mix of the two would end up being close to all-purpose, so why not just use that?

  28. CSN Reply

    The butter/sugar to flour ratio was way too high! My cookeis sprawled out and got super thin. I should have known better when I noticed the massive amount of butter and sugar compared to the little amount of flour. The best ccc recipe I have has 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 white sugar and 2 1/2 cups flour. As some people mentioned above perhaps replacing some butter with shortening might help since shortening has a higher melting temperature.

    • Haley Reply

      I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. As stated above, it is the New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, modified in that the cookies are made to be bite-sized. There are a lot of specific steps to take in the recipe and specific ingredients to use – so I recommend reading the instructions closely before diving in. Thanks!

  29. Athena Reply

    Will the cookies still turn out good if don’t put em in the fridge for 3 days?

    • Haley Reply


  30. Linda Erickson Reply

    Regarding the instructions to make your own bread flour, do you replace 1 3/4 tsp of the cup of all purpose flour as you do with the cake flour? Or is it in addition to and remeasure?
    Thanks, I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • Haley Reply

      Hi Linda – Replace 1 3/4 teaspoon. Thanks!

  31. Tom Myers Reply

    What is a standard cookie scoop amount?

    • Haley Reply

      Hi Tom – I used a medium cookie dough scoop, which is equivalent to 1.5 tablespoons.

  32. Jack Reply

    Hi Hayley,

    I have made your recipe in the past a few times and it is amazing, however sometimes the cookies come out a bit fatter than I would like as they don’t spread enough (I like them then with a crunchy outside and chewy inside).

    Have you got any tips to make more like that? or perhaps something I may be doing incorrectly as the ones in your photos look perfect.



    • Haley Reply

      Hi Jack – Glad to hear you like the recipe! A couple of ideas for you to try:
      1: Try using a little less dough for one batch – and be aware of baking time. These will need to be in the oven for a shorter time if you’re using less dough.
      2: Try pressing down on the cookie slightly to flatten. Don’t press down too far.. just enough to help spread them out a little.
      Let me know if these work – if not I’ll test it out myself!

  33. eli Reply

    i made these thanks for your website

  34. Dave Samsonite Reply

    Haley – your instructions for making your own bread flour should include adding wheat gluten, as the main difference is that bread flour has higher protein. I bake sourdough all the time, so I am certain of that. I realize this web page is 7 yrs old, but I love Sweet Marthas so I am going through all copycats online and I spotted the error. I do not think they use bread flour by the way, and in videos online from the fair it is clear they use shortening and they also use choc chips from Cargill.

    • Haley Reply

      Thanks for the great info, Dave!

  35. Emily Reply

    Just made this cookie recipe and wow they’re really salty! i know i used teaspoons and not tablespoons, but all i could taste was salt!

    • Haley Reply

      Hi Emily – Thanks for the comment. Did you use salted butter? That would definitely make it more salty. A teaspoon and a half of salt shouldn’t affect the taste much at all. But next time you could try reducing it to a teaspoon. Thanks!

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