Can You Bake Cookies On Just Aluminum Foil? (Follow These Steps)

Can you bake cookies without a baking sheet? Yes, you can! If you don’t have one handy, try using a sheet of aluminum foil instead. 

Wheater you are baking cut-out cookies, drop cookies, shortbread, or snickerdoodles, the aluminum foil can be a super practical and convenient choice for most cookie types. However, this practice does not come without some warnings and adjustments.

So, here is how to do it and a few things to consider. 

How To Bake Cookies On Just Aluminum Foil

baking cookies on just aluminum foil
  1. Take out the oven rack and cover it with one or two layers of food-grade aluminum foil.
  2. Wrap the outer edges around the rack to keep it in place, especially in fan-assisted ovens. Use multiple layers of foil if you need a more stable platform to hold larger cookies.
  3. Lightly grease the surface of the foil with cooking oil or butter to ensure the cookies do not stick.
  4. Portion out the cookie dough equally to the small balls or disk shapes so they would cook evenly.
  5. Distribute the raw cookies to the foil’s surface and place the rack back in the preheated oven.
  6. You may slightly need to reduce the baking time and temperature because aluminum conducts heat very easily, thus speeding up the baking process.
  7. Once done, carefully take out the rack, transfer cookies to the plate or a cooling rack, and discard the aluminum foil. 

Top Tip: Try to go for thicker, heavy-duty, more durable aluminum foil like the Solimo (Amazon Brand). It is perfect for lining oven racks and grill grates. 

More Tips To Bake Cookies Without a Cookie Sheet

Here are some tips and tricks to help make your cookie baking process successful every time, even when you don’t have the baking sheet.

In this video below you can see how I bake these delicious and nutritious 2-ingredient cookies using just aluminum foil.

  • Cookies contain many sticky ingredients and may stick to the surface of the foil when in the hot oven. Apply a little bit of baking spray or butter to grease the aluminum foil before baking to prevent this. If you like using butter, I recommend using clarified butter because it is less likely to burn and give the cookies a burnt taste if this happens.
  • Aluminum foil transfers the heat really fast, so the cookies bake a bit quicker than the time on recipes. Therefore, reducing the cooking time on recipes by 5 to 10% for this technique is recommended. However, do not rely on the cooking time but rather the appearance. So, make sure you keep a close eye on the cookies when baking.
  • Also, you could slightly reduce the baking temperature, as aluminum conducts heat well and will transfer heat to the cookies quickly.
  • When baking cookies with a lot of butter, like shortbread, fold up the edges of the foil to prevent the melted butter from dripping on the oven’s heating element. 
  • Invest in a roll of quality food-grade, heavy-duty, non-stick aluminum foil, especially if you often intend to bake without the baking sheet. The lighter and cheaper foil will tear easily and may not offer enough support to form a sufficiently flat surface for baking.

Pros And Cons This Baking Technique

aluminum foil in a hot oven


Easy Cleanup

Baking cookies on aluminum foil is more efficient than baking them directly on the baking sheet. It helps prevent overcooking and removes any need for cleanup and scrubbing the baking sheet later. The oven’s heat is distributed more evenly when using aluminum foil, giving you an evenly baked batch of cookies. Cookies baked on aluminum foil are crispy and easy to remove.


Uneven Surface

One disadvantage of baking cookies on a foil-covered oven rack is that it may not provide a perfectly smooth surface, and your cookies could turn out uneven. This means that without a proper smooth surface provided by the baking sheet, bakers are confined to biscuits and cookies that may not exceptionally be perfect for birthday gifts and other special occasions. 

May Not Tolerate High Heat

Another disadvantage is that some aluminum foil may not withstand very high temperatures. Unlike durable metal pans and baking sheets designed for high-heat baking, some more flimsy foils may warp and distort at higher temperatures (above 356 degrees Fahrenheit). That could burn the cookies and or cause them to bake unevenly and even give them an unpleasant metallic aftertaste. 

Blocks Heat And Airflow

An oven rack lined with aluminum foil can block heat and obstruct airflow, particularly in fan-assisted ovens. So, monitor your first patch of cookies very closely and adjust the baking time and temperature as needed.

Difference Between Aluminum Foil And Tin Foil

types of aluminum foil

Tin foil and aluminum foil are two different types of food wrapping materials, but tinfoil has become obsolete and has been entirely replaced by aluminum foil. Tin foil, made of tin, is frailer than aluminum foil and may leave a bitter taste in your food. 

Since tinfoil has now been replaced by aluminum foil, it is highly unlikely that you can find it in any shop. The confusion between these two still arises because some people mistakenly refer to aluminum foil as tin foil.

Which Side Of Aluminum Foil Is Non-Stick?

a roll of non-stick aluminum foil

An aluminum foil has a shiny and dull side. According to manufacturers, there is no notable difference in which side is up, whether lining your baking trays or wrapping food. The shiny and dull side is an unintentional result of the manufacturing process. Both sides conduct heat evenly and get equally hot.

However, if you are baking with a non-stick aluminum foil, you want to make sure to place cookies on the dull side because the non-stick coating is only applied on one side. Just check the instruction on the box to make sure which side is non-stick, but generally, it is on the dull side. 

Aluminum Vs Parchment Paper?

Kitchen foil can be a suitable substitute for parchment paper depending on the intended use. Both materials are excellent for lining cooking dishes and baking sheets, which makes cleaning easier.

However, aluminum foil (even the non-stick version) does not have as good non-stick properties as parchment paper (which is coated with silicone), so you will need to add a little oil to the foil’s surface to make it non-stick.

Is It Safe To Bake With Aluminum Foil?

aluminum foil used for lining the oven rack

Aluminum foil is considered safe for general kitchen and culinary use as well as baking in the oven. The quantity of aluminum content that could leach into your food is quite neglectable and not enough to cause any health concerns. 

However, it is recommended that you’d avoid acidic foods on kitchen foil such as rhubarb, lemon, or tomato sauce.

Another thing to watch out for is that there is no foil stuck at the bottom of your cookies when you take them out of the oven so that you won’t eat any by accident. But even if you ingest a small piece by accident is not likely to cause any harm and will just pass through without any difficulty.

If you don’t have a baking sheet or your oven is not working, don’t feel disheartened, you can still enjoy delicious and nutritious cookies. Check out these 11 No-Bake Low Carb Cookie Recipes.

About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.