Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on

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, 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.

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on

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!

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on

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.

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on

So what’s not to love about today’s cookie recipe? There are so many wow factors! You have an abundance of brown sugar flavor, a white sugar sparkle on the outside, a chewy exterior, a kiss of cinnamon spice, and beautiful crinkles on top. Plus, they are soft, thick, and make one heck of a coffee companion. And tall-glass-of-milk-accompaniment. Ok, these cookies totally go with everything.

Brown sugar lovers unite!


Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing 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. 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

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on


  1. Never mind Sally :). A little extra butter (.25 cup) fixed this batter right up! Next time I’ll be sure not to remove the air from my flour…Thanks for a great recipe!!!!

  2. So I was having a really bad day, and decided to make cookies. I wanted to make sugar cookies but apparently we were lacking on white sugar, so I looked up something I could make with brown sugar since we had plenty of this and I found this little blog. I didn’t use cornstarch because I was lacking that as well so I just used a bit more flour and they came out perfect! Honestly these cookies tasted so good and I even got the perfect crinkle top. Thank you, they were great!

  3. This recipe is a keeper! I made some modifications bc I am lactose intolerant and my boyfriend is vegan. This recipe was so easy to make vegan and I can’t imagine them tasting any better! I mixed white and wheat flour, I used Ener-g egg replacer (I also used 1/4 cup of applesauce in place of the egg in another batch with a bit of baking powder and it turned out just as good). For butter I melted earth balance vegan butter but once I get more coconut oil I’d like to try the recipe with that!! Other than those things the recipe is the same. I’m making them again tonight!

  4. Hey Sally, I don’t know what happened but this particular cookie didn’t stay puffy for me either, as your other recipes usually do. I think it’s the melted butter? Personally, I would recommend adding more flour to this recipe. My dough was quite wet before I refrigerated it.

    I know it wasn’t from using hot dough because I left it in the refrigerator last night and only left the rolled balls on the counter for max 15 minutes before they went into the oven. They stayed thick until I took them out of the oven and let them sit on the counter. Then they spread some and dropped.

    Of course, they were still delicious and super rich (surprisingly). 🙂 I used browned butter and added toasted almonds to the top just before baking.

    Thank you for all of your amazing recipes! I always turn to your website first if I want to make a show-stopper. 🙂

    1. Hey Mary BEth! This is the same base cookie recipe that I use for my popular Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies – with melted butter! I have an idea for you though. How about you add 2-3 Tablespoons more flour? That should help them keep their shape. Enjoy!!

  5. Hi these cookies look awsome. But i dont have unsalted butter mines are salted. Can i still use it? Do i add more sugar to cover the saltiness of the butter?

    1. I’ve used both salted and unsalted in this particular recipe and have not changed the added salt at all. I never notice a difference. Try using salted butter, do not add the salt, then taste the cookie dough. If you want to add a pinch of salt, go ahead.

  6. Hi again! I commented before on how perfect and amazing these lil beauty’s are and about adding Carmel bits…but now I have a question I could really use your opinion… I need to make hundreds old these so I was thinking of scooping the dough and rolling them in sugar and then freezing them on a cookie sheet before putting them in a bag to keep frozen…then just popping them in the oven from the freezer! Think that would work?? Just maybe a bit longer cooking time? I was just hoping to make them ahead when I’m up to it so I can have lots ready to go the night before. Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Hi Jade! Yes, absolutely that would work. Making them in advance is a great idea. Make the dough, roll into the sugar, freeze on the baking sheet, then put in a bag to freeze until ready to use. The cookie dough can be frozen up to 3 months!

      1. Thank you so so so much for your help and such a fast response! I really appreciate it!!! I’m so excited to get started! I’m making these and your soft funfetti sugar cookies and freezing!! Plus a couple others…I know yours will be so loved!!! Thanks again for all your help and amazing recipes!!! 🙂
        Jade 😉

  7. Hi Sally! First off, congrats on your TV appearance over the weekend, SO incredibly happy for you!

    I’ve wanted to try these cookies for a long time and finally had the chance to over the weekend. The dough turned out thick and soft just as expected. I refridgerated it for 5+ hours and then rolled it into balls and baked it as suggested. I noticed towards the end of rolling the balls that some of the dough was stuck to my hands so I’m wondering if my hands were too warm which in turn warmed up the dough because after packing they came out really flat. As you know, I’ve made your chocolate chunk cookies a bunch of times and they’ve always turned out perfect and since this dough is pretty much the same recipe, I don’t know what I did wrong. They taste AMAZING and are still super soft despite being really flat. I just don’t know what to change for next time. Any ideas? I’m wondering if I shouldn’t flatten them at all with the back of the spoon since they really didn’t need any help spreading?

    1. You know what might help, Sarah? Try adding 2-4 Tablespoons of flour to the recipe. That will definitely prevent the cookies from spreading. And sticking to your hands.

  8. I was in the mood to bake cookies and stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. Just made them afternoon and I have to say they might be the best cookies I have ever made–and I bake a lot! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  9. This is, hands down, my husband’s and my favorite cookie recipe!! So much so that I typically double or triple the recipe– I keep the dough in the fridge for days and just bake a batch once we finish the previous. It never lasts more than 3 days in our house! I’ll be adding caramel chips to them today. 🙂 Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe!!!

  10. These are one of the best cookies I have ever made! Definitely going to keep this as my go to cookie recipe.. so easy too! Thanks Sally! You inspire me to keep on baking 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t suggest it to this cookie – how about my peanut butter cookies. You can leave off the pb cup.

  11. These cookies look dynamite. I had an idea that I want to experiment with, and these cookies look perfect to start with.

  12. I’ll start off by saying that up until recently I had never had an oven in my life. 23 years old and I had never had an oven. Anyway, I moved in with my boyfriend 7 months ago, and at last, I had an oven. I’ve baked all the dishes I’ve ever wanted to bake but I still have yet to bake anything pastry/cake/cookie related because all those ingredients, and the fact that I don’t have a mixer, were intimidating. I still bought baking stuff here and there whenever I went shopping though, baking soda here, ground cinnamon there, cornstarch over here, etc. So I said, maybe I’ll look up a recipe for something simple, like cookies, that hopefully doesn’t require a mixture. I landed on this recipe, and I’m really glad I found this. The cookies were really easy to bake, simple instructions, and simple ingredients. Stuff that most people have lying around the pantry, even if they don’t bake all the time. They came out delicious, and looking like COOKIES!!! I didn’t burn them, I didn’t overdo them, they are just pristine, and amazing. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe, and now at least you can say that someone that has never baked cookies in HER LIFE, managed to ace these cookies on the first try! Thank you thank you!

  13. Let me start by saying that I’ve baked a lot of cookies on a budget. As a college student on a budget needing to bake cookies for a party of 87 this weekend I was looking for a new recipe I hadn’t tried with this group yet, but that would keep me within budget. I found this on pinterest and cheered as I had everything I needed in my baking basket in the pantry. Finally a baking binge would stay within my budget! And then they came out of the oven and they were amazing. Perfect even. Each is soft, chewy, and delicious which a glass of milk only accentuates. Thank you for a wonderful recipe I’m sure my friends like family will be making me bake again. And that cost me nothing. 😀

  14. Hi,

    I’d just like to say that I made these with brown butter and they turned out great! I’m not sure if you’ve had brown butter if or not but it’s amazing and it goes so well with these cookies.

    1. I have a different sugar cookie recipe if you’d like to try it.

  15. I’ve been on a dark brown sugar kick lately, and googled “brown sugar cookies.” I found your recipe, and wow, these are amazing!! Thank you for the delicious and easy recipe — this has become one of my go-to cookie recipes.

    1. I am unsure how to do that exactly – I’ve never tested it out. Here is a favorite brown sugar loaded oatmeal cookie recipe if you are interested:

  16. I’ve been challenged to create a cheesecake out of a brown sugar fruit dip recipe. I’ve been looking for a cookie that might be a good match to turn into the crust. This cookie looks amazing. Any thoughts on how it might turn out once crumbled and pressed into a springform pan? Do you think it would be ‘crumbly’ enough, if that makes sense?

    1. Hi Sharry. I apologize for the delay; I was on vacation. I feel like this would work! You could also use the raw cookie dough, press that into the pan, pre bake for about 15 minutes, then add the cheesecake batter – unless, of course, you are not baking the fruit dip? I didn’t really understand what you were doing with the cheesecake. Hope this helps!

  17. another fantastic cookie! thank you for the recipe! i make the soft chocolate chip ALL THE TIME it was nice to add another one to the list.

  18. Wow Sally you’ve done it again!
    My new favorite cookie recipe from my favorite blog! thanks for always pleasing my sweet treat cravings xo

  19. Hi Sally,

    Just wanted to say that these are our new go-to cookies. I make them every couple of weeks and we just love them. I use whole-wheat flour instead of the white flour because that is all I have i the house. It works like a charm.

  20. Thank you for the tip about room temp eggs.. Been baking for years and I never remember to take out my butter or eggs to leave out till room temp. I’m getting better but your tip to put the eggs in warm water worked perfectly! THANK YOU!

  21. Hey there.
    Just curious about how my dough turned out. Im pretty sure I followed the recipe but my dough turned out more crumbly like a shortbread dough. The end result seems fine just took a little more time to form the balls. Should I maybe add more butter?

    1. Hi Stephanie– it’s a crumbly dough after chilling. That’s expected. I wouldn’t add more butter, but you can try to reduce the flour ever so slightly next time.

  22. Ab-so-lute-ly delicious! I made no alterations to the recipe and they came out perfect. I’m not into cookies with all the fixins’ so I genuinely gravitate toward a simpler sugar or butter cookie. This brown sugar recipe is a great compromise for my parents and I. They prefer a more decadent cookie!

    Thanks Sally!

  23. 2nd batch is in the oven right now. They’re delicious. I asked my daughter if she’d rather have molasses or brown sugar cookies and she said brown sugar and they are absolutely delicious. We let them chill for a day and a half and the cookie dough was hard even after leaving it out for 10 minutes. But I used a melon baller to scoop out two tablespoons per cookie. And rolled them into sugar. Then as soon as they came out of the oven I ate one. Which fell apart, haha. As soon as it cooled on the sheet for 10 minutes it was good to go and my daughter grabbed one right off the cooling rack. (: delicious.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally