Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

These Easy Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies are made with plenty of brown sugar for a soft and chewy cookie that’s a delicious spin on the classic! Perfect for when you want an easy, simple cookie – with a twist!

I love how chewy these cookies are! You can also try these Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies for a more classic recipe, or these Cut Out Sugar Cookies if you’re looking to do some cookie decorating.

collage of brown sugar cookies for Pinterest

Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

After sharing my Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies earlier this year, I decided it’d be a fun twist to try a sugar cookie with all brown sugar. Brown sugar is amazing for a couple reasons – it adds moisture to baked goods and has molasses in it that adds great flavor. When you’re talking about a sugar cookie, brown sugar is a great way to spice things up a bit and add even more greatness to an already great cookie.

So naturally I started off by testing my regular sugar cookie with a straight swap for brown sugar. As I expected, the added moisture from the brown sugar had the cookies spreading until they were far too thin. Adjustments had to be made.

What makes brown sugar cookies chewy?

To keep these cookies soft and chewy, but not have them be too thin, I needed to make sure there was a balance of moisture and dry ingredients. In the end I reduced the butter a bit, reduced the flour but the added some cornstarch, added an extra egg yolk and then added a touch more brown sugar and a little less baking powder.

Reducing the butter a bit helped with the cookies not spreading too much. You want to have enough butter to add flavor, but since the brown sugar is the most important flavor I reduce the butter a bit in favor of the brown sugar. There’s still plenty of butter, but just a little less than my classic sugar cookies.

I then needed to potentially add more flour to the dough. The problem with adding too much flour is that it will actually dry out your cookies if you add too much. To keep the amount of flour down, but still have the controlling powder of the ingredient, I added cornstarch instead. Since cornstarch acts as a thickener, it works well in place of the flour. You can add less and get the same result, meaning your cookie doesn’t spread too much in the oven or get too dry. You get a nice, chewy, soft cookie.

stack of brown sugar cookies
cookies broken in half

Egg yolks add tenderness, structure and moisture to cookies, so I decided to add an extra one to these cookies. They not only build the structure of the cookie, but helped to make them extra chewy. The final bit of adding less baking powder helped to ensure that these cookies didn’t end up too cakey and dry.

The final Brown Sugar Cookie was total perfection. Soft, chewy with crisp edges – just like you’d expect. And of course all that good brown sugar flavor! It was tough looking over at them on the counter and not just eating them all. I’m trying to lose my extra baby weight after all!

How long do brown sugar cookies last?

These sugar cookies should last for up to a week when stored in an air tight container. To store them for longer, you can freeze them for 2-3 months.

Tips for brown sugar cookies

– Make sure your butter is the right temperature. Room temperature can be a little misleading if your house is too warm or too cool. Your butter shouldn’t be so soft that your finger goes right through it if you press on it, but it should also be able to make an imprint. If it won’t, or it barely does, it’s likely too cold still.

– I rolled my cookie dough in course sugar, but you could also roll it in sprinkles for a fun look or celebration.

– Be sure to make balls of cookie dough that are 1 1/2 tablespoons in size for the baking time to be correct. If you make larger or smaller balls, you’ll need to adjust the time.

brown sugar cookies
stack of cookies with one of them broken in half

More great cookie recipes:

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
Classic Chewy Snickerdoodles
Cutout Sugar Cookies
Coconut Sugar Cookies
Butter Pecan Cookies
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Gluten Free Toffee Almond Cookies

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Easy Brown Sugar Cookies image
Recipe

Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 39 minutes
  • Yield: 24-26 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Easy Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies are made with plenty of brown sugar for a soft and chewy cookie that’s a delicious spin on the classic!


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (337g) light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coarse sugar (additional for rolling)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. You should be able to see the change in color and texture happen and know it’s ready.
4. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
5. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together and is combined. Do not over mix.
7. Create 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Gently roll into a ball, then roll each ball in the additional sugar to coat. Set the balls on the baking sheet.
8. Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes. The cookies will spread and the centers will look soft, but should look done. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden. Don’t over bake.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Keywords: brown sugar cookie recipe, brown sugar cookie, best brown sugar cookies, easy brown sugar cookies

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Recipe rating

57 Comments
  1. K

    Hi! I am having a problem with my measuring cups because they aren’t as exact as a scale, but I don’t have a scale at home. Any recommendations on how to measure the ingredients without it?

    1. Lindsay

      For dry ingredients you want to use a measuring scoop, not the measuring cup that you use for liquids. For measuring your flour, I recommend giving it a good stir and then scooping out your flour and leveling it off. You don’t want to pack it in there.

  2. Keith Kowalsky

    Only had time to make the dough and bake just a few as it’s late. They look perfect – tops cracked late and just right. I could tell by the instructions and your answers to the comments that you know your way around cookie baking. Thanks.

  3. Danielle Johnson

    I currently have these in the oven now. I found the recipe very easy to read and follow! These are the ONLY cookie recipe that I have found that I can have on a cinnamon and benzoate free diet! Thank you!!!

  4. Monica M

    My daughter and I tried baking for the first time! They were Great tasting cookies! Although made them smaller than the usual and they are ok. One question though does the sprinkles really dont stick well with the dough? I noticed the baking time was a little different because some doughs are smaller than the others? Can I send you how they look like?

  5. Greg

    These cookies are delicious and addictive. Multiple people have begged me for the recipe they are so good. Key is not over cooking them and getting that perfect soft chewiness you crave. This recipe will be a staple in our kitchen. Thanks 

  6. Pegga

    I made this recipe with only 1/2 a cup of butter and they turned out perfect. They didn’t need the 3/4 cup butter at all! I also didn’t have cornstarch or baking powder, so I subbed the baking powder for extra baking soda and didn’t use the cornstarch. I added 1/2 of Pecans, 3 tsp of Pumpkin pie spice, 3 tsp of cinnamon, and 5 smashed whole cloves. If you add the mix-ins I did, the cookies taste like Gingerbread cookies!!! And FYI I only eat Organic and If you sub all the ingredients for Organic, its better for your body! If you can reply, I have a question. ???Who eats Organic??? I also cooked my cookies for 10 minutes.

  7. Danielle

    I’m not sure what happened as I followed the instructions exactly but these just tasted like melted butter. They had virtually no flavor and my cookies didn’t spread at all. Pretty disappointed after seeing all the good reviews. Ended up being a waste of time and ingredients. 

    1. Lindsay

      I can’t speak to the lack of flavor – as you mention, the other reviewers didn’t have that problem and the flavor should easily be there from the brown sugar – but as for them not spreading enough, I’m guessing something was mis-measured. It’s typically the flour. Just a little too much can give that result.

  8. Letitia A

    Your sugar cookie recipes are fantastic! I share them far and wide. I use dark brown sugar in mine, but I’ve made them with light brown sugar and both were amazing.

  9. Julie

    These cookies were wonderful! My only complaint is that they don’t last very long. I added choco chips, walnuts and bourbon soaked raisins as a means to clean out my pantry. A minute before they were done I hit the top of each one with a fork to flatten them somewhat. Thanks for sharing this great recipe which is one of my favorites!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t heard from anyone having that issue. There are a few possibilities if they didn’t spread properly. It could be that an ingredient was mis-measured. Did you use a food scale or cups? A small difference in the flour can make a big difference in the way they turn out. Did you refrigerate the dough? That can make a difference. But if they were dry, I’m guessing it’s an ingredient or they were over baked.

  10. Anne

    I was looking for a brown sugar cookie recipe as the hoarders have bought up all the white sugar panic buying because of the current scare. I need to save my white for hummingbird feeders.

    Very good recipe! I used dark brown sugar. Weighed each at 20 grams. Rolled into balls and pressed into raw sugar. Flattened them a wee bit. Turned out perfect at bake time of 9 minutes. Recipe is a keeper.

    1. Lindsay

      Oh my gosh, yes. The panic buying is making it hard for me to get things too. Great idea to make the brown sugar cookies and I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  11. Jennifer Samuels

    Help… I added the sugar into the recipe on accident cuz I don’t pay attention a lot LOL. So how much flour do I add to it to make it right cuz it’s too liquidy?

    1. Lindsay

      Do you mean you added the sugar that’s for rolling the cookies into the dough? It’s really not as simple as just adding more flour. It would ultimately change the final texture of the cookie. If you really want them to be right, I’d redo the cookie dough.

  12. Theresa Cassidy

    My new Favorite cookie! Everyone at work is binging on them.  Thanks so much for this recipe!  I used different coloured sugars to roll them in and the cookies were perfectly chewy and not undercooked at all. 

  13. Victoria Menchaca

    Can I roll all the dough out and use cookie cutters. If not, do you have a similar recipe that I can use with my cookie cutters? It is Valentine’s Day and I want to make some cookies with my little one.

  14. Mike Barbour

    Fantastic recipe! I am making them for the third time this weekend. By far, the best sugar cookie I have ever eaten!!

      1. Letitia A

        These are great! My husband was doing laps through the kitchen to keep snagging them. I used dark brown sugar (I love that molasses-y flavor!) and split the vanilla into half vanilla/half almond extract (my standard cookie trick.) The dough was pretty stiff and they didn’t spread much probably because I used a smaller cookie scoop, but they did dome and then drop beautifully. These are easily as wonderful as your original sugar cookies (love that recipe too!)

    1. Maya Garcia

      can I used confectionery sugar instead? I’ve ran out of granulated sugar. Do I have to put sugar on at all even? would they still taste good? 

      1. Lindsay

        If you’re just out of sugar to go on the outside of the cookie, you should be able to leave it off and they’d be OK.

  15. Fran Fetters

    I made these cookies today & they are great! My husband was trying to remember some kind of brown sugar cookies his mom used to make many years ago so I searched & found these, he thinks I hit the jackpot! Next time I’m going to try putting pecans in, think they will be really good!

  16. Susan

    I’m anxious to bake these cookies, but I have a question—is the ⅓ cup of coarse sugar added in with the dry ingredients or is it to be used for coating the cookie only?  I didn’t see any reference in the recipe as to where to add it.

    Any help is appreciated.

    1. Lindsay

      The additional sugar is for rolling, as mentioned in the parentheses next to it. The instructions for it are included in number seven. I hope you enjoy them!

      1. Lindsay

        Instructions for the additional sugar are in step seven. I’m not sure how it could be more clear. Do you have a suggestion? I’m happy to try to make it more clear.

      2. clo

        I’m glad I searched for this comment. Lindsay, it might be helpful to put (optional, for rolling) next to it, or optional: before it. As written, it seems like 1/3 c. goes into the recipe, plus more is used for rolling. The specific cup measurment makes it more confusing.

        I was only reading through the ingredients to make sure I had what was necessary before moving onto the steps. Once I read through the steps, I saw that only the butter and *brown* sugar are creamed together, meaning that the coarse sugar was optional.

        Looking forward to eating these cookies!

      3. Lane Davis

        WOW!!! Hubs Loves these cookies-I added chopped walnuts for him. I haven’t tasted yet…guess I should grab one before they are all gone.. Definitely adding these to my cookie recipes. Thanks!!✌❤

    1. Lindsay

      Sure. But that would be a pretty small amount and I’m not sure you’d really taste it. You could try adding a little bit more, but your cookies would spread a little more.

  17. adeline

    These are HEAVENLY!!! Instead of using parchment paper to prevent sticking, I used butter and sprinkled the tops with cinnamon instead of coating in sugar. Absolutely some of my favorites!

  18. Kennz

    I modified this recipe by using 1/4 cup of crisco (because all butter recipes tend to spread waaay too much in my oven) and they are so amazing!

    Rolled a batch in some pumpkin pie spice/ brown sugar too because i really need October lol

    Thank you!!

    1. Lindsay

      Dark brown sugar has a little more molasses in it than light brown sugar. The cookies might spread a little bit more, but you could use it.

  19. Alexandra

    Hi! I made these cookies but they did not spread. What did I do wrong? They flattened out a little but still quite dome shaped.

    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Did you measure the flour with cups or a food scale? I ask because I find cookies are the most sensitive thing to having a little more or less flour and a food scale is definitely the most accurate way to measure. That said, one thing you can do so that you don’t waste the cookie dough is flatten them out a bit before baking so they are able to spread a little more.

    1. Steven B.

      I added some ginger, nutmeg, and allspice to this and used it as an apple pie crust. Absolutely delicious.

  20. Jennifer Pena

    I haven’t made these yet but they look amazing and I will make them. I absolutely love your baking and tips! You are my go to for desserts! Thank you for sharing your passion for baking with the world!

      1. Ashley

        WOW!! Even better than I expected…these are a new staple my recipe book! If you love regular sugar cookies, these will make you swoon!
        💛💛💛

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12