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Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!

brown sugar cookies on a white plate

brown sugar cookies

Sometimes I like cookies with a lot going on. Chips of chocolate, swirls of peanut butter, butterscotch morsels, chunks of nuts, stuffed with caramel, and other delightful candies. Sprinkle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, frosted cookies – the more stuff going on, the better.

But not all the time.

Sometimes I prefer a pure, simple cookie like sugar cookies without the icing. (I can’t believe I’m saying that because I love icing!) Today’s recipe highlights my favorite flavor: brown sugar. Moist, molasses-spiked brown sugar in every single bite. Soft, chewy, and kissed with cinnamon. These simple brown sugar cookies are undeniably impressive.

They’re not at all “plain” – rather, today’s cookies are exploding with flavor.

You’re going to recognize today’s cookie recipe. It’s a spin-off recipe of my chewy chocolate chip cookies. I used a few of the same ingredient ratios and recipe techniques in today’s brown sugar cookies.

brown sugar cookies on a cooling rack

Start with melted butter. Most of the cookies I make call for creaming softened butter with the sugars. However, sometimes I prefer to use melted butter instead of creaming it. Melted butter, when paired with the correct ratio of dry ingredients, increases the chewy factor in the baked cookie. Since you are using melted butter, you don’t need a mixer for this cookie recipe!

You’re also going to use only brown sugar in this cookie recipe (except for the rolling… more on that below). 1 and 1/4 cups of dark brown sugar bring so much moisture to these baked cookies, as well as a modest molasses flavor. Light brown sugar may easily be substituted here!

In the original chocolate chunk cookie from which this recipe is adapted, I call for 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Today, you just need 1 egg. 1 egg and less flour than the original recipe. Don’t worry, these cookies are still just as chewy! You’ll also add a touch of cinnamon to the cookie dough. The cinnamon is completely optional, but the pronounced brown sugar flavor paired with the slight kiss of cinnamon spice really takes these cookies to the next level!

Look at how thick these cookies are. To achieve their thick texture, chill the cookie dough. Also, I make sure there is enough flour to soak up the melted butter. Melted butter is greasy and unless there is enough dry ingredients to soak it all up, you’re going to have some cookie spreading sadness!

stack of brown sugar cookies

I also add a bit of cornstarch to the cookie dough. Cornstarch thickens cookie dough just as it thickens gravies, soups, and jams. It’s a miracle worker in cookie recipes!

Don’t you love the brown sugar cookies’ crinkled tops? That’s achieved by slightly pressing the cookies down. After chilling the cookie dough and rolling the dough in a bit of sugar, you’ll bake them. Now, pay attention to this: Remove the cookies from the oven after 8-9 minutes, gently press down on the tops with the back of a spoon or fork, and then place them back into the oven for 1-2 more minutes. Why are you doing that? Not only so you can achieve some crinkly tops, but also because the cookies need a little help spreading during bake time. You could always just press the cookie tops down after the entire bake time, but then your cookies may just look like you carelessly smashed them down. I feel that they looked better when put back into the oven for 1-2 minutes after pressing down. I’m all about pretty cookies, ok?

I have a confession. We’re heading to a work holiday party and clearly, I can’t go empty handed. However, I made these cookies two days ago. And guess what? They are STILL just as soft on day 3 as they were on day 1. And to be completely honest, their cinnamon and brown sugar flavors are heavily pronounced today. You know a cookie recipe is a winner when its softness isn’t compromised as the days go by. I just love that about this recipe! True “soft-batch” style, just like the cookies you get at bakeries and those tempting mall kiosks.

brown sugar cookies

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brown sugar cookies on a white plate

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!


  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (use 1 teaspoon if you love cinnamon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled*
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling


  1. Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
  3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes if you had it chilling for more than 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Take 2 scant Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a utensil or even use your fingers. You’re trying to obtain a crinkly top. Place back into the oven for 2-4 more minutes. The total time these cookies are in the the oven is 10-13 minutes. The cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They will continue to cook in the center on the baking sheet after being removed from the oven.
  7.  Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Butter: Simply melt the butter in the microwave. Let it cool down for about 5-10 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients. Don’t want to cook that egg with the hot butter!
  3. Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps promise a softer, thicker cookie. I highly recommend it. I use it in my chocolate chip cookies and shortbread cookies, too. Feel free to leave it out if needed.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: brown sugar cookies, chewy brown sugar cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Not sure what I did wrong….. had a difficult time rolling into a ball. Dough was too creamy

    1. One of the easiest recipes to make…fantastic result the first time. Great job! So glad you shared it.

  2. Can I avoid using the sugar and rolling? I have no sugar just brown sugar

  3. My cookies spread, following directions as written. What adjustments can I make? Will a cooler over help? Freeze before cooking?

  4. Came out exactly right following the instructions, very tasty.

  5. Soft, chewy and tasty! I had to 2/3 the recipe because I was low on butter but still used the full egg. Cookies came out great. Perfect texture and sweetness. Thanks!

  6. This is my absolute favorite brown sugar cookies recipe (and probably in my top 3 favorite cookies ever). They are delicious and very easy to make. I have a small personal blog and I would like to share your recipe, but my blog is in French. I can follow a recipe in English, but not everyone can, and I’d really like them to try your recipe, but I would have to translate it. I would translate it exactly as it is, use my own pictures, and of course give you credit for it. I would post a link to your recipe and to your entire website. I can even show you the translation before posting it. Would you be OK with this? Please let me know! Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Roxanne, Can you send this request to us at

  7. These cookies are DELICIOUS!!! And soooo much better than traditional sugar cookies. I made this recipe exactly as the instructions stated. The only change I made was I didn’t have granulated sugar so I just rolled the cookies in brown sugar before baking them. They came out perfectly crisp with a cracked top, but soft and chewy in the center. Definitely chill them for the full 2 hours. It’ll be worth it!

  8. This is by far my favorite cookie recipe. I followed the directions to the t and made sure I read all your tips. They came out amazingly soft and chewy. Love the flavor. I make them for anyone who comes over and they all LOVE it! I recommend it so much. I have tried other recipes from this site and they are also very great. I just happen to have a special place for these because they taste amazing.

  9. I made these following the recipe to the T, and let me say DELICIOUS I made the dough Sunday night with the intention to bake on mi day but life happened. So I baked them today. Simply perfection! Today I’m making a batch with peppermint extract and peppermint candies ground to a very fine dust. As always, perfection Sally and team!

    1. Hi Amy, we haven’t tested this recipe with vegan butter so we’re unsure of the results. Let us know if you give it a try!

  10. I have several sugar cookie recipes that I love, but this one just trumped all of them – these are SO GOOD! Perfect chewiness and depth of flavor. I brought some to my coworker and she said they’re the best cookies she’s had in her life!

  11. Can these cookies be frozen after baking? I’m thinking of making a batch for daughter’s lunches. Any specific directions for freezing/thawing them? Thanks!

    1. Absolutely! See recipe notes for freezing instructions.

  12. Hello! This cookies look so pretty and yummy. Can’t wait to try this recipe! However, I would like to know If I could substitute the brown sugar for caster sugar. Is it possible? In my country it’s very difficult to find the brown one. Thanks in advance. Have a lovely day 🙂

    1. Hi Romy, for a drop-style sugar cookie that uses white sugar, we recommend these favorite drop sugar cookies instead (you can leave out the sprinkles if desired).

  13. I’m sorry I meant regular sugar in my previous comment! Thank u

  14. I loved this recipe. I work at an assisted living center. Soft cookies are perfect. I added coconut & raisins for fun. Thank you for this recipe.

  15. I followed this recipe to a T, weighed the ingredients, and chilled the cookies for 3 hours and they still spread so thin.

    1. Hi Jane, we’re happy to help troubleshoot. When cookies over spread, there is usually not enough flour to help soak up the wet ingredients. It may be helpful to review our tips to prevent cookies from spreading, and you could even try adding a few additional tablespoons of flour for next time.

  16. AMAZING! I ate so much already.. made lots. I’m a beginner baker and this recipe was nice and easy :p