Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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, 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
  • 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. Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps promise a softer, thicker cookie. I highly recommend it. I use it in my chocolate chip 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


Comments are closed.

  1. Would you be able to make this recipe into a skillet cookie?

    1. Yes, definitely! I would follow the time + instructions found in this skillet cookie recipe:
      No need to chill the cookie dough before pressing into the skillet.

  2. I made these cookies, with baking powder instead of soda and I dropped them instead of chilling and rolling. THESE WERE THE BEST COOKIES I EVER MADE MYSELF. Chewy, sweet and flavorful.

  3. Sheri. Dreghorn says:

    Can you use bobs red mill gluten. Free 1 to 1 flour blend in the place of flour? Do you need to add 1 teaspoon Statham gum too.

    1. I don’t have any first hand experience subbing this flour but if it’s 1:1 I wouldn’t think anything extra would be necessary. Perhaps someone with experience using this can chime in!

  4. Hi! Do you have to use cinnamon in these cookies?


    1. 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!

  5. I ran out of cinnamon so I used pumpkin pie spice instead. Perfect for fall! I also added a little bit of coarse salt to the top of each cookie before baking. Delish!

    1. I’m getting ready for an open house and was planning on baking these to leave out. I looked at the comments to see if anyone else had switched cinnamon for pumpkin spice, so I’m glad you commented! Excited to try it!

  6. I LOVE these cookies. I haven’t made them in while and was so bummed when I couldn’t remember where I’d gotten the recipe from. Then I remembered I Pinned it! Shoutout to Pinterest! Anywho, I thought I’d come give some appreciation. This is my favorite cookie recipe and whenever I make them for others, I’m always a hit.

    1. I’m so glad you remembered where you saved it and that you enjoy them so much!

  7. I’m so glad that you showed the gram amounts for some of the ingredients. I’m making these this week as I have workers coming to do repairs.

  8. I made these cookies but mine got flat. But they are still awesome . Don’t if it’s because I cook with electric instead of gas. Next time I’m going to try the pumpkin spice instead.

  9. Alisha Zimmerman says:

    These cookies are my new favorite!!! I love how much vanilla is used and hubby loves brown sugar!!! Fantastic!!!

  10. Hi Sally! These cookies are amazing! I have a question… I’ve made these about 10 times now (every weekend) and they’ve always come out perfectly except for this last time. The only thing that was different was the brand of brown sugar I used. I normally use a brand that’s the texture of organic cane sugar but this last time the brand I used was very fine. My cookies were flat and a different texture. Could the type of brown sugar I used be the issue? Thank you for all your amazing recipes!!

    1. Hi Candis! A finer sugar means a thinner cookie dough– which means extra spread! That is so interesting that the sugar was the only variable. I recommend sticking to your regular brown sugar.

      1. Thank you so much Sally! I have since made 3 of your other cookie recipes and I’m in cookie heaven! You are amazing!! And I’m only using my regular brown sugar from now on! Tonight’s cookie…your brown butter sugar cookies ☺

  11. I was super excited to try these, I love brown sugar anything! But sadly they didn’t turn out for me. It was, dare I say, a hot mess! The dough looked more like cake batter, it was super loose. And while it did firm up in the fridge a bit, it still didn’t look quite right. They fell flat and spread in the oven. The edges crisped ok, but the middles were so soft and wouldn’t firm up. They taste good, but they’re not firm at all so I kept the crumbled and broken bits and my husband has been nibbling on them. I have no idea what went wrong.

  12. Monique Gonzalez says:

    I followed the recipe to a T and my cookies came out flat. How can I fix that problem, these cookies r sooo good, but I want them to look like the picture?

  13. I made these along with the chocolate chunk cookies and they both turned out perfect just like the pictures! So soft and chewy (especially a day after) I chilled overnight and baked for 15 minutes exactly as they were still raw inside at lower times. I did bake more the next day and they didn’t turn out quite the same…wondering where I went wrong. Could be the chill time. However these will be my go to cookie recipes!

  14. I made these today and they turned out perfectly! The entire family loved them. Definitely cookies that I will be making again!

  15. These cookies would be great with some whole wheat flour for part of the flour used. Thank you for the recipe.

  16. I made these last weekend and they are delicious! I was bored and wanted to play with a recipe a little bit so I made a few small changes:
    – 200g of AP flour & 50g of white whole wheat flour for a little nuttiness
    – 1 tbsp of milk powder for browning
    – 1/4-1/2 tsp of cardamom (in addition to the cinnamon)
    – 150g of toasted & cooled pecan pieces

    Baked for about 11 minutes and added some sea salt flakes on top at the end. They are so yummy! I left a few in the oven for an extra two minutes for the folks who like a little more crunchy/sandy texture as opposed to chewy (my favorite). I’m sure these are delicious without any add-ins so I’m looking forward to the next batch.

  17. A winner as always! I made these tonight and they came out absolutely perfectly. I browned my butter and the dough came out a little crumbly, but someone else recommended adding an extra tbsp of butter to account for what evaporates when browning, so I’m sure that was the issue. I still found that the cookies did okay when I rolled them a bit in my hands to soften them! I ended up rolling them into balls, covering in sugar, and then refrigerating for 10 minutes before putting them in the oven.

    Mine baked for 9 minutes, were then cross-hatched with a fork, and went back in for another 3 minutes. They came out absolutely soft and heavenly! And SO much more flavorful and satisfying than a regular sugar cookie!

    1. Great save adding the extra butter – I bet they were SO delicious with brown butter!!

  18. Ellie Roselli says:

    I bought maple extract instead! Much cheaper than buying maple syrup out here(a big enough bottle to bother with is over $20, and I trust Mccormick’s extracts WAY more than I trust fake maple syrup lol)

    I made them super small, and sandwiched them with maple buttercream! Excited to share them for my town’s Maplefest this weekend

  19. Priscilla French says:

    Great brown sugar cookies and also love the brown sugar peanut butter cookies

  20. Made these cookies for my class, everyone loved them.

    1. Logan Painter says:

      Made these with the required portions and came out soft and chewy, only downside is you can taste the flour. I thought maybe if you sprinkle some cinnamon on top it would help, what do you think?

  21. How do you think these would do as part of a mini ice cream sandwich? Thinking bake, cool completely and then fill with softened ice cream, wrap in wax and freeze.

    1. I think these would be delicious, Rachel!

    2. The chilled dough seemed really crumbly, and I was super nervous, but they turned out super moist and chewy! Great recipe!

  22. I added chopped candied ginger to these cookies. Oh my goodness. Just a little spice and tons of flavor. Your ratios are spot on. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  23. These were delicious!
    The perfect “comfort cookie”.
    Thank you

  24. I love brown sugar, so much more flavor than white. My 3rd time making these now. I subbed cardamom for the cinnamon since I didn’t have any on hand. The dough tastes amazing!

  25. I love this recipe so much! I immediately became a favorite of all my friends. I’ve definitely made over 10 times at this point. Thank you!!

  26. Hi Sally!
    Looking for something new to send to soldiers (overseas) and college students (in the USA). Do you think these would travel well and stay fresh to their destination? I do have a Food Saver to vacuum seal.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Pam! These brown sugar cookies would be GREAT for shipping since there’s no icing or chocolate.

  27. These cookies are INCREDIBLE! What makes them so chewy?? I would love to duplicate the texture in other cookie recipes, like a chocolate chip cookie. Is it the oven temp? The melted butter? I’m dying to know!

    1. Hi Bailey! Here is this recipe as chocolate chip cookies. The egg yolk, extra brown sugar, and melted butter are KEY!

    2. The cookies taste amazingly good… But are so flat… Where did i go wrong 🙁

  28. This is my favorite cookie recipe. I also added some chopped up candied ginger along with some fresh ginger, and that was a wonderful addition.

    I also found (on accident) that if you want to skip chilling, use softened, not melted butter. They won’t be as chewy but they’re still delicious.

  29. Super easy and delicious. That said I didn’t have any corn starch and no other starches to use besides flour and I did not want to add more flour so I made them with out it. Tasted great but the next day they were hard as a rock! Was this because of the missing corn starch?

    1. Hi Cory, The role of the cornstarch is to keep the cookies nice and soft, so that is likely the culprit!

  30. Could I use browned butter in this recipe?

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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