Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe

24 cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Brown Sugar Cookies are sweet, soft, chewy, and the perfect spin on the traditional cookie – ready in 30 minutes! Click for a yummy cookie!

Brown Sugar Cookies are a great twist on this traditional cookie recipe and get its color and rich flavor from dark brown sugar and butter. They’re soft and chewy and super EASY to make. They also have a prep and cook total time of 30 minutes, which means you’ll be in cookie heaven in almost no time at all. If you’re looking for some classic Cookie Desserts for the holidays, try our Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies and the Ultimate Apple Crisp!

You can use this recipe to cut out cookies in fun shapes, but you can also roll little cookie dough balls and let them drop into circles while they’re baking. You can roll the balls in light brown sugar or granulated sugar, to give the cookies extra sweetness. Spice it up with some cinnamon sugar to top cookies in this recipe for some extra flavor!

Video: How to Make Brown Sugar Cookies

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This classic is a delightful, easy-to-follow treat that’s perfect for family or holiday gatherings and casual get-togethers. The heart of this recipe lies in the browning of the butter, a simple step that adds a rich, nutty flavor to the cookies. Combined with the essential ingredients of sugar, flour, and eggs, this recipe is straightforward yet yields delicious results. The dough is versatile, easily rolled out or shaped into balls, and each cookie can be finished with a sprinkle of sugar for a touch of sweetness. These cookies are not just tasty but also a joy to make, bringing a homemade charm to any occasion. With their inviting aroma and golden appearance, they’re sure to be a hit at any party or family event.

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Ingredients for Brown Sugar Cookies

  • 14 tablespoons Unsalted Butter: The butter is browned to add a rich, nutty flavor to the cookies. 
  • ¼ cup Sugar: This adds sweetness and helps in creating a tender texture. Granulated white sugar is standard.
  • 2 cups packed Dark Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar imparts moisture and a deep molasses flavor, making the cookies chewy. 
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons Flour: Flour forms the structure of the cookies. All-purpose flour works best, but a gluten-free blend can be used for dietary needs.
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda: This leavening agent helps the cookies rise and spread. 
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder: Baking powder also contributes to the rise and texture of the cookies. 
  • ½ teaspoon Salt: Salt balances the sweetness and enhances the flavors. If using salted butter, reduce the added salt accordingly.
  • 1 large Egg + 1 large Egg Yolk: Eggs bind the ingredients and add moisture. The extra yolk makes the cookies richer and chewier. 
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds depth and aroma to the cookies. Pure extract is preferred for the best flavor. If you don’t have vanilla extract, you can try this recipe with a teaspoon of almond extract in its place. It will give them a really indulgent flavor, but only add a teaspoon because it has a stronger flavor than vanilla.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment 

  • Skillet: Used for browning the butter, a skillet provides even heat distribution. A medium-sized, heavy-bottomed skillet works best to prevent the butter from burning.
  • Baking Sheet: This is where you’ll place your cookie dough before baking. Opt for a flat, non-stick baking sheet or line a regular one with parchment paper for easy removal of cookies.
  • Parchment Paper: Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking and ensures even baking.
  • Cooling Rack: After baking, it’s important to let the cookies cool on a wire rack to prevent them from becoming soggy. A cooling rack allows air to circulate around the cookies, cooling them evenly.
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How to Make Brown Sugar Cookies

Time needed: 30 minutes.

  1. Step 1: Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Sheet

    Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper for non-stick baking.

  2. Step 2: Brown and Mix Butter

    Melt 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned (about 3-4 minutes), then add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and set aside.

  3. Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients and Butter Mixture

    In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ¼ cup dark brown sugar. In the butter bowl, add the remaining dark brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla, whisking until smooth.Mixing butter with dry ingredients

  4. Step 4: Form Cookie Dough

    Gradually mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a dough forms.Sha

  5. Step 5: Shape and Bake Cookies

    Shape the dough using a cookie cutter or by rolling into balls, place on the baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheet before moving to a cooling rack.

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 80mg3%
Potassium 44mg1%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 225IU5%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here’s a few extra tips. Feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comments – baking is all about personal touches and creativity!

  1. Butter Browning: The essence of these cookies lies in perfectly browned butter. Maintain a medium-high heat and constantly whisk to avoid burning. The butter is ready when it has a golden-brown hue and emits a nutty aroma.
  2. Measuring Flour Correctly: For the ideal cookie texture, measure flour accurately. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off without packing it down. This ensures your cookies are light and not overly dense. Add all-purpose flour as needed if your dough is too sticky to work with. You can also flour your rolling pin, and just dust the extra flour off of the cookies before baking. Be careful not to add too much flour, or your cookies may turn out too dry after you bake them.
  3. Rolling Dough: Place a piece of parchment paper under your dough when you’re rolling it out. It’ll make it easier to pick up and prevent it from sticking to your surface. You can also add parchment paper to an ungreased baking sheet to make cleanup easier. 
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How to Store Brown Sugar Cookies

To maintain freshness, store leftover Sugar Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

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Freezing Brown Sugar Cookies

To freeze Brown Sugar Cookies, wrap them individually in cling film and place them in a freezer-safe bag. Freezing is an excellent way to preserve their flavor and texture for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving to enjoy them as if they were freshly baked.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?

Yes, you can use salted butter in place of unsalted. Just reduce the added salt in the recipe to compensate for the salt in the butter.

What if my dough is too sticky to handle?

If the cookie dough is too sticky, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out or shape.

My cookies didn’t spread much while baking. What went wrong?

If your cookies didn’t spread, it might be due to over-measured flour. Next time, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off for accuracy.

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

Yes, you can make Sabrina’s Sugar Cookies gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend designed for baking. 

How do you know when cookies are done? 

You’re going to want to take them out when the edge just barely starts to brown and the middles still look wet.

How do you make Brown Sugar Cookies soft and chewy?

For soft and chewy brown sugar cookies you want to add ingredients that have a lot of moisture in them. Dark brown sugar contains some molasses, so combining that with butter makes these cookies have an amazingly soft and chewy texture.

This recipe will also work with light brown sugar or white sugar, but the cookies may turn out less chewy and more crumbly. If your cookies are too crispy, try less baking time and make sure your oven is at the right temperature with an oven thermometer.

For a deeper flavor, try brown butter instead of regular. You can make brown butter by cooking butter over medium heat until it melts. Let it keep cooking until the butter turns brown and smells slightly nutty. Let the brown butter cool before adding it to the cookie dough.

closeup of brown sugar cookies
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Recipe Card

Brown Sugar Cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies are sweet, soft, chewy, and the perfect spin on the traditional cookie – ready in 30 minutes! Click for a yummy cookie!
Yield 24 cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour , plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a skillet melt 10 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until butter starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Pour into bowl, add remaining butter to same bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Add remaining brown sugar and salt to butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  • Combine butter mixture with dry ingredients, stirring until a dough forms.
  • Either roll dough out to 1/2-inch thick and use a cookie cutter, or roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies begin to set.



Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
Click on the “yield” amount to increase the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update! 


Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 44mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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Variations on Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Chocolate Chip Twist: Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips to the dough for a classic chocolate chip cookie experience.
  • Spiced Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a mix of nutmeg and ginger for a spiced version, perfect for the holiday season.
  • Lemon or Orange Zest: Grate the zest of one lemon or orange into the dough for a citrusy twist, ideal for summer gatherings.
  • Nutty Delight: Incorporate ½ cup of finely chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans to add a crunchy texture and rich flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend to cater to gluten-sensitive diets. Ensure the blend is suitable for baking.
  • Vegan Adaptation: Use vegan butter and a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water) to make vegan-friendly cookies.
Brown Sugar Cookies Pin

Photos used in previous versions of this post.

Brown Sugar Cookies collage
Brown Sugar Cookies
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Brown Sugar Cookies

Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Above you say 2 cups of brown sugar in the ingredients but in the method it says 1/4 cup brown sugar! Which is it please?

    1. It is both! Brown sugar goes into both wet and dry ingredients (see How to make steps 1 and 2) and then you fold the wet and dry ingredients together until it forms a dough that can be rolled into a ball.

    1. Hi Gigi,
      The Nutritional value is at the bottom of the recipe card 🙂
      Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 44mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.7mg

  2. I have been making these cookies for years! They are sooo good. I use a Cookie scoop and roll them in sugar before baking! Always a hit!

  3. These cookies are absolutely amazing, my neighbor asked for a whole batch after I gave her a couple. People are asking me for the recipe. I also can not eat just one. I do cook them only 10-11 minutes though because I think my oven runs hot. Thanks for my new favorite cookie!

    1. I have been looking for this recipe for forty years. I had it as a child and knew it by heart. I lost it as an adult. This is a wonderful cookie! Thank you!

  4. I made these and sprinkled some smoked sugar on top, just a slight sprinkle and that added a new layer of flavor! They were delicious! I am making them again to share with the family for Christmas! Thank you for the recipe!

  5. This batter was very wet for me, but I trusted the process and the cookies came out great! I used dark brown sugar and browned all of the butter. They are very sweet, so I sprinkled some salt on them before they went into the oven, and they were amazing!

    1. Good for you Keira! I hope your comment is read by others who are baking these cookies! Thanks so much for the 5 star review.

  6. I’ve had this recipe pinned for a couple years. I thought it was too complicated to make, but actually, it was quite easy. These cookies are delicious. It’s almost like eating a caramel cookie. With the large amount of sugar in the recipe, I didn’t think I’d need to sprinkle sugar on them before baking, and I was right. This recipe could actually be adjusted to add less sugar and still be delicious.

    1. yes! Use the “yield” bar to increase the number of servings and recipe will automatically update! Let us know what you think if you get a chance!

  7. Wonderful, tasty cookie. Had to substitute almond extract for the vanilla, about a teaspoon. Had to roll them as no rolling pin; as per another’s comment, the baking time had to be increased to almost 20″. Cookies looked great but stiffened up quickly. Crunchy but great for dunking. Will try again and press the rolled balls down with fork tines (as with classic peanut butter cookies). No need for extra sugar on top. Happy Holidays (or Happy whenever you read this!)

  8. Recipe is amazing ! if you try it though please roll it out, do not i repeat do not roll it by hand as it does not bake or turn out the same! 10/10 recommend

    1. If your cookies are too crispy, try less baking time and making sure your oven is at the right temperature with an oven thermometer. Also, we’ve found that dark brown sugar make for a chewier brown sugar cookie over light brown sugar. Sorry they didn’t work for you 🙁

  9. Wicked delicious! Just make sure you space them out a ton on your cookie sheet otherwise they will spread into each other

  10. These were exactly what I was looking for. Somewhere between a praline and a cookie. Very sweet and rich. Perfect chewy consistency. Great recipe – fast and easy. You don’t even have to pull out the mixer!

  11. How come the video does not look like the big picture? I would like my cookies to look like the big picture if it all possible. So I was just curious how they were going to turn out like which picture? Thank you.

  12. These were amazing. I took some over to my grandparents and they asked for more. The whole batch went in the first night between 4 of us lol. Definitely adding these to one of my go-to’s when I want to practice my baking and eat something delicious after.

  13. A question to add to my rave review below: Do you think adding 1 tsp of cornstarch will give these cookies a little more “lift”? Maybe give them a little more thickness?

    1. Hi Paula, I haven’t tested this recipe using cornstarch. Brown sugar cookies are traditionally thin and almost crispy.

  14. Yum!!!! Very, very delicious cookie. My husband asked me for a brown sugar cookie and man, this is the recipe. I am super familiar with browning butter, so no prob. I chose to use a scooper and roll each cookie into a ball. I experimented by rolling some in white sugar and some in no sugar. The ones rolled in sugar, in our opinions were too sweet, and changed the look of the cookie. The had a nice brown edge, but the tops were smooth. The dough balls NOT rolled in white sugar, came out like the “flat” crinkle top cookies that are in the pic. 11 minutes on parchment lined sheets. Brava!

  15. These cookies have a wonderful flavor, but I was really disappointed that they were thick and puffy – not as pictured. I was hoping they would be like the photo and spread with crinkled tops.

    1. Hi Kathie, glad you enjoyed the taste of the cookies. I double checked the photos because these cookies are not thick and puffy. Sorry for that. They do however have crinkled tops.