Levain Bakery is a popular bakery chain known for its giant, softball-sized cookies. Their dark chocolate chip cookie is one of their signature items – a chewy, sweet cookie packed with chunks of dark chocolate. But with a cookie that big, many wonder just how many calories are contained in one Levain dark chocolate chip cookie.
The Calorie Count
According to Levain Bakery’s website, one 6 ounce Levain dark chocolate chip cookie contains a whopping 480 calories. That’s quite a lot for just one cookie! Here is a breakdown of the calorie count:
- Total Fat: 24g
- Saturated Fat: 14g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 50mg
- Sodium: 190mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 57g
- Dietary Fiber: 2g
- Sugars: 30g
- Protein: 6g
So in total, a 6 ounce Levain dark chocolate chip cookie contains 480 calories. The majority of those calories come from fat (24g total fat and 14g saturated fat) and carbohydrates (57g total carbs and 30g sugars).
Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional breakdown of a Levain dark chocolate chip cookie:
Each cookie contains 24g of total fat. The main sources of the fat are:
- Butter – Levain uses high quality butter in their cookie dough, which accounts for much of the fat content.
- Eggs – Eggs also contain fat, primarily in their yolks.
- Chocolate – Dark chocolate chips add additional fat to the cookies.
14g comes from saturated fat. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products like butter, cheese, and fatty meats. Eating too much saturated fat has been linked to increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, which raises the risk for heart disease.
There are 57g of total carbohydrates in a Levain dark chocolate chip cookie. These carbs come from:
- 30g of sugars – Sources include the sugar in the dough, chocolate chips, brown sugar, molasses, and corn syrup.
- 2g of fiber – Fiber provides texture to the cookie and also offers some health benefits.
- The remaining carbs come from starch in the flour.
The high sugar content gives the cookie its sweet flavor but also significantly increases the calorie count.
Each cookie contains 6g of protein. The main sources are:
- Eggs – Eggs provide high-quality protein.
- Flour – Flour contains some protein from the wheat.
- Chocolate – Dark chocolate contains small amounts of protein.
While 6g of protein is a decent amount, the other macros like fat and carbs make up a much larger percentage of the cookie’s calories.
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value*|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
It’s important to note that the 480 calorie count is for one whole 6 ounce Levain cookie. Their cookies are quite large – the size of a softball or your hand.
Many people find that a whole cookie is too big for one serving. You can ask for your Levain cookie to be cut in half, which would be around 240 calories per serving.
Levain’s website states that their cookie dough is baked into 6 ounce portions. So even if your cookie looks smaller or larger, the stated calorie count assumes a standard 6 ounce size.
Calories from Different Ingredients
Where do all those calories come from in a Levain Bakery cookie? Here is an estimate breakdown:
- Butter – About 110 calories
- Sugar – About 120 calories
- Flour – About 135 calories
- Chocolate chips – About 80 calories
- Eggs – About 35 calories
As you can see, the butter and sugar are big contributors to the calorie count. The flour also adds a significant number of calories due to the large portion size.
Comparing to Other Cookies
Levain Bakery cookies have significantly more calories than most other cookie brands. Here’s how they compare per cookie:
- Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookie – 160 calories
- Oreo cookie – 140 calories
- Nilla Wafer – 140 calories
- Keebler E.L. Fudge cookie – 140 calories
- Levain Bakery dark chocolate chip cookie – 480 calories
As you can see, Levain cookies contain about 3-4x more calories than other popular cookie brands. This calorie difference is largely due to Levain’s signature huge size.
Tips for Cutting Calories
While Levain cookies are deliciously caloric, there are some tips for reducing the calorie count if you want to indulge:
- Split the cookie in half, and share with a friend. That cuts the calories in half.
- Only eat half the cookie yourself, and save the rest for later.
- Substitute for a lower calorie dessert or snack if you’re trying to limit your calorie intake.
- Pair your cookie with a low calorie beverage like water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee.
- Account for the cookie’s calories by cutting back on other foods and snacks for the day.
- Exercise portion control and enjoy the cookie as an occasional indulgence rather than a daily habit.
While Levain’s cookies are high in calories, you can still enjoy them in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Just be mindful of portion size and how often you indulge.
Health Impact of Ingredients
Beyond just calories, some of the Levain cookie’s ingredients have additional health impacts to consider:
The 30g of sugar adds a lot of calories and spikes your blood sugar. High blood sugar can increase diabetes risk.
The 14g of saturated fat may negatively impact cholesterol levels and heart health when frequently consumed.
Butter & Eggs
These contain cholesterol, which could also negatively impact heart health in large amounts.
Refined flour lacks the fiber and nutrients of whole grains. But Levain does use some whole wheat flour in their cookie recipe.
While the 190mg sodium is not an excessive amount, those sensitive to salt may want to drink extra water after eating the cookie.
Moderation is key – an occasional Levain cookie likely won’t negatively impact health. But regularly consuming multiple cookies could take a toll due to the high sugar, saturated fat, sodium and calories.
Ways to Make Healthier
If you want to lighten up your Levain cookie, here are some ways to make it a bit healthier:
- Ask them to use half whole wheat flour.
- Request less or no butter – the vegan chocolate chip cookie uses margarine instead.
- Replace the chocolate chips with raisins or dried fruit with less fat.
- Order an oatmeal raisin or snickerdoodle cookie instead – these have less chocolate and butter.
- Microwave the cookie for 10-15 seconds to make it soft without having to eat the whole thing.
- Have them scoop out some of the dough before baking so it’s thinner.
- Split with friends or just eat half and save the rest.
While Levain’s cookies will always be an indulgent treat, these tweaks can help reduce some of the calories, fat, sugar and portion size.
Levain Bakery’s dark chocolate chip cookies pack a caloric punch, with each 6 ounce cookie containing 480 calories. The high amount comes mainly from the butter, sugar, eggs, and large portion size. While indulging in moderation can be part of a balanced diet, regularly consuming multiple cookies could lead to excess calories, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
When enjoying these decadent cookies, portion control is key. You can also make small tweaks to create a healthier version. At the end of the day, Levain’s cookies are meant to be an occasional treat to eat mindfully and savor.