Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

With big flavor, crisp edges, and mega chewy centers, these maple brown sugar cookies are a definite favorite. Top with maple icing for the ultimate fall cookie! Chilling the cookie dough is imperative, so set aside 2 hours or prepare the cookie dough the day before.

maple brown sugar cookies with maple icing

We’re approaching a new season, so a new cookie recipe is in order. 🙂

I may say this a lot, but nothing has been truer than in this very moment… (dramatic? who me?) … these maple brown sugar cookies are the best cookies I’ve ever made. And that statement holds big weight considering I authored an entire cookbook of JUST cookies.

Maple brown sugar cookies > every other cookie.

I know a good one when I bite it!

stack of maple cookies with maple icing

These Maple Brown Sugar Cookies Are:

  • Not cakey
  • Brown sugared and buttery
  • Unbelievably chewy and soft in the center
  • Crisp on the edges
  • Filled with pure maple syrup
  • Topped with luscious maple icing

The maple icing sets, so these are perfect for stacking and transporting. Because, trust me, you’ll want to bring these everywhere you go. Football game? Bring them. Party? Bring them. Bake sale? Sell them. No occasion at all? Make them.

maple brown sugar cookies on a white plate

10 Ingredients in Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

  1. All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of the cookie. I played around with different amounts. 2 and 1/4 cups wasn’t enough and 2 and 1/2 cups was too much. 2 and 1/3 cups was the perfect amount to hold up to the liquid maple syrup.
  2. Baking Soda: Baking soda provides lift.
  3. Salt: Salt adds flavor and offsets the sweetness.
  4. Butter: 1 stick (1/2 cup) is plenty for the maple cookies and be sure you use room temperature butter. It should be cool to touch and not melted in the slightest.
  5. Dark Brown Sugar: Ditch basic white sugar. For optimal flavor and texture, reach for brown sugar instead. I highly recommend dark brown sugar for extra flavor, but light brown sugar works too. You need 1 packed cup.
  6. Egg: 1 egg provides structure, stability, and richness.
  7. Pure Maple Syrup: We can’t make maple cookies without pure maple syrup. Avoid “breakfast syrup” which doesn’t have the same robust maple flavor that pure syrup contains. I played around with different amounts and 1/3 cup is plenty. And, as a bonus, the pure syrup helps create slightly crisp edges. So good!
  8. Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor. Have you tried homemade vanilla extract yet?
  9. Maple Extract: Pure maple syrup isn’t enough to guarantee mega maple flavor. Without the crutch of maple extract, the cookies were lacking. Pure maple extract is difficult to find, so reach for imitation. I prefer McCormick brand because the flavor doesn’t taste fake.
  10. Pecans: Nuts are an optional ingredient, but they add awesome (and complementary!) flavor and texture.

Which Pure Maple Syrup is Best?

Grade A is good, but Grade B is darker and more flavorful because it’s produced later in the season. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either here!

2 images of maple cookie dough in a glass bowl and in a cookie scoop

maple brown sugar cookie dough balls on cookie sheet

How to Make Brown Sugar Maple Cookies

Minimal effort, mega results. ♥

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.
  3. Beat in the egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract.
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Add the pecans.
  6. Chill the cookie dough. This cookie dough contains an additional liquid (maple syrup), so chilling the dough is crucial. Set aside 2 hours to chill this cookie dough. Without chilling, the cookies will spread into a greasy puddle.
  7. Roll cookie dough into balls. Each dough ball is about 1.5 Tablespoons.
  8. Bake until the edges are set. Cookies are done in about 13 minutes.

Then we’ll obviously drizzle maple icing all over the tops!

2 images of maple cookies without icing and maple icing in a glass bowl

maple brown sugar cookies

That Irresistible Maple Icing!!

You only need 3 ingredients for this super easy maple icing: butter, maple syrup, and confectioners’ sugar. To avoid any lumps, sift the confectioners’ sugar. If desired, a pinch of salt adds exceptional depth of flavor. The wonderful thing about this maple icing is that it eventually sets, so these cookies aren’t sticky or difficult to store.

You have my full support to use this maple icing for anything and everything. Some ideas: banana scones and pumpkin scones, obviously.

By the way! Today’s cookies differ from the Soft Glaze Maple Cookies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction. Those are ultra cakey (think pancakes!) with moderate maple flavor. These are more similar to chewy chocolate chip cookies in terms of texture.

maple brown sugar cookies with maple icing

Loving These Cookies Too

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maple brown sugar cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 28-30 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


With big flavor, crisp edges, mega chewy centers, and maple icing, these maple brown sugar cookies are a definite favorite. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative, so set aside 2 hours or prepare the cookie dough the day before.


  • 2 and 1/3 cups (290g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark brown sugar*
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract*
  • 1 cup (130g) chopped pecans*

Maple Icing

  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar*
  • pinch salt, to taste


  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract, then beat on high speed until combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix on low until combined. Add the pecans, then beat on low speed until combined. Dough will be creamy and soft.
  4. Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator (and up to 3-4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. This cookie scoop is helpful. Bake each batch for 12-13 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven. If your warm cookies look puffy, lightly bang the pan on the counter when you remove it from the oven. That will help slightly deflate the cookies, creating lovely cracks as you see in the pictured cookies. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Make the icing: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Icing will set after about 1 hour.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies, with or without icing, freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Brown Sugar: I recommend dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor, but you can use 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar instead if needed.
  3. Maple Syrup: Avoid “breakfast syrup” which doesn’t have the same robust maple flavor that pure syrup contains. Grade A is good, but Grade B is darker and more flavorful because it’s produced later in the season. You can’t go wrong with either in these cookies.
  4. Maple Extract: Pure maple syrup isn’t enough to guarantee mega maple flavor. Without the crutch of maple extract, the cookies were lacking. I use McCormick maple extract. You can find it in the baking aisle.
  5. Pecans: The pecans are optional, but add wonderful flavor and texture. I recommend unsalted, un-roasted pecans but feel free to use salted roasted pecans. Or feel free to leave them out or replace with chopped walnuts.
  6. Confectioners’ Sugar: To avoid any lumps, sift the confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: cookies, maple syrup, fall dessert


  1. These cookies look AMAZING! I have got to go out to the store and get that maple extract 🙂 These will be very well-recieved at our connect group!

    1. I’m so happy you’re excited about these, Erin! Hope they are a hit- let me know what you think 🙂

  2. I love maple and brown sugar together! These cookies look so delicious ♥

    1. Such a winning combination! 🙂

  3. These look so good. I have to agree about the maple extract. I’ve been trying to improve the flavor of maple granola that I make, and even with lots of maple syrup, you need maple extract to give you a real maple taste. If anyone wants a different all natural source of maple extract, I highly recommend the maple flavor blend from The Spice House. It is delicious and does not contain anything artificial.

    1. Great find, thanks for the recommendation, Alison!

  4. What an awesome way to say HELLO to Fall!! I’ll be baking these this weekend since it’s set to feel like Fall too. I’m sad to see Summer (and my tan) go but I think these cookies are just the thing to cheer me up. 🙂 And I hope you don’t mind my asking but how is sweet Jude feeling? I pray for him daily and my little Dulce sends healing wet kisses his way!

    1. Angela, thank you so much for asking about Jude. He’s doing pretty well. He had the stitches removed yesterday and we are looking into further treatments to help prevent the cancer from spreading any further. His spirits are high and he’s back to his normal happy self!

  5. Love these and can’t wait to make them! Thinking of putting in cinnamon chips? Would the dough hold those well? Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Hi Regan! You can definitely use cinnamon chips. I recommend heaping 1/2 cup chopped pecans and heaping 1/2 cup cinnamon chips or ALL 1 cup cinnamon chips.

  6. Wow! Definitely on my to make list this weekend along with the monthly challenge:-)

    1. YAY! What a fun baking weekend you have ahead 🙂

  7. I’m definitely making these today! I’ve been searching for the perfect chewy maple cookie (btw love the shortbread one from the all cookie cookbook)!

    1. I hope you love them! Happy baking, Danielle 🙂

  8. RedHairedLady (Laura) says:

    Omg, I must make these asap!! Your maple star cookies are fabulous, so I know I’ll love these too!

    McCormick does make a pure maple extract too. I’ve found it at the Giant Eagle near me.

    So sorry to hear your puppy has cancer (I call all dogs puppies)! My sister is dealing with her dog having cancer as well. I know how hard it is to have a beloved pet be seriously ill.

    1. I hope you love these, Laura! Thank you so much for the kind words.

  9. These look divine – can’t wait to make! I can’t eat nuts, but would love put in something else to give it some texture differences. Would pretzels work? Also considered cinnamon chips (tis the season!) but worried that would be too sweet. What do you think?


    1. Hi Sidney! You can try cinnamon chips, white chocolate chips, pretzel pieces (yum!), or even Heath toffee bits!

    2. Hi sally
      These sound absolutely delicious/ the butter is on the bench getting ready for me to make it! I’m planning to freeze some of the unbaked balls- but wondering- how the icing will keep? Will it freeze well?

      1. The icing will freeze just fine, but it’s definitely better fresh!

  10. What are your thoughts on self rising flour…(southern girl here)? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Robin! I don’t recommend it. Stick with all-purpose for these.

  11. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    Oh my goodness, these look amazing! I’m a sucker for anything maple, so we’re totally trying these over the weekend!


    1. Happy baking, Paige!

  12. Hi!
    I’m so happy you put this recipe up! I’m baking cookies for a baby shower Sunday. I wanted to get some fall flavors in and then you posted this. I just made the batter since I needed to prep ahead of time. I love all things maple so I’m very excited for these. Thank you again and we are also thinking of Jude and so happy to hear his spirits are high. Our pets are family❤️

    1. These would be PERFECT for a fall baby shower! How fun 🙂

  13. I will definitely have to try these out!! YUMMY! Last year, Trader Joe had maple syrup butter….something like that. OMG. It was the best thing ever. I keep looking for it and haven’t seen it yet this season. I’ll have to ask if they will be getting that again this year. Thanks as always for sharing such amazing treats with us Sally!

    1. Sounds amazing! I’ll have to be on the lookout for that! 🙂

  14. A good friend sent me a little care package the other day, including some baking things and maple extract! These cookies sound like the perfect recipe to try it out with! Perfect timing, Sally- thank you!!

    1. What a sweet friend!! Perfect timing, indeed 🙂 Happy baking!

  15. I have a maple cookie I love to make every fall that came from Parade magazine or section of the Sunday newspaper a few years ago. It calls for walnuts and we love them! Great reminder that fall is to come!

    1. Love all things maple!!

  16. King Arthur website offers a very good maple extract

    1. Great suggestion, I’ll check it out!

  17. These cookies look soooo yummy. I know I will be baking a batch this weekend.
    I have a quick question. I was gifted a bottle of maple vanilla. I have not used it yet and was wondering if you think it might work in this recipe to replace the maple extract or should I just substitute it for the regular vanilla and still use the extract ?
    On another note…I had to bake/make dessert for a small impromptu gathering of neighbors on my the deck Tuesday evening. I looked through the bazillion recipes I have saved on my computer but then decided the best thing to do would be to check out your website because I knew I would find just the right thing . Sure enough, I found the perfect thing …your skinny chocolate chip cheesecake squares. I had everything I needed…substituted chocolate graham crackers for the base…and had them in and out of the oven in no time.Once cooled, I dressed them up a bit with a drizzle of chocolate ganache and they were good to go. They were a big hit…so delicious and so easy .
    Your website is truly my go to place for just about any baked good I might need.
    Thanks, Sally…for gifting all your followers with your knowledge, talent and wonderful creations.

    1. Hi Nancy, I bet maple vanilla is delicious! I would use it in place of the actual vanilla extract. Without tasting it I wouldn’t think it would have as strong of a maple flavor as the maple extract.
      I’m so glad you made the skinny cheesecake bars and that they were a hit! The chocolate graham crust sounds so good!

  18. Sally, These cookies look amazing! I am so excited to try them! I live in Va. now, but grew up in upstate NY where fresh Maple Syrup is plentiful and so delicious! We travel back to NY every year and bring lots of Maple Syrup home with us. It will taste wonderful in these cookies! Thank you so much for this recipe and for all the great recipes you publish for us all! We are blessed to have a wonderful baker like yourself to follow!

    1. These are going to be absolutely delicious with NY pure maple syrup! YUM! Let me know how they turn out 🙂

  19. They changed the grading system for maple syrup so what used to be Grade B is now Grade A very dark color. Just a heads up if you go looking for it.

  20. I love these cookies! As soon as colder weather kicks in, I’m all about fall baking. Last night I promised my daughter we will bake at least 3 desserts together every week and when I saw these, it was the perfect recipe for today. They turned out so delish!

    1. What sweet memories you are creating with your daughter!! So glad these were a hit 🙂

  21. A great recipe! Made today for my daughter when she got home from her first day of school! Didn’t have maple extract so used a bit more of the vanilla and substituted honey in the glaze since I ran out of maple syrup! My daughter wants to add orange sprinkles to the icing for Halloween and red and green at Christmas-a definite make again at out house!

    1. So sweet!! A delicious first day of school treat- hope she had a great day! 🙂

  22. Just made these yesterday after Sally made the comment that these were her best cookies she ever made! We took them to a cookout dinner and they were very well received. I have Boyajian Maple Flavor (can get at King Arthur Flour or Amazon) and had dark syrup and pecans so made as directed. I’d enclose a pic if I could — the flavor was incredible but the cookies didn’t flatten much as they cooked, they stayed puffier looking. Do you flatten the cookies after rolling them into balls? (I just saw the note about banging the tray when they come out, which I didn’t do…..)
    These were a great break from my normal chocolate preference… will def make again!!

    1. Hi Deb! I’m thrilled you made the maple brown sugar cookies already and happy everyone loved them. The pan banging trick really does help flatten those puffy tops out, so I suggest it. Sometimes I even remove the cookies 2 minutes before they’re done, bang the pan once on the counter, then return to the oven to finish baking. Then bang it one more time when they come out. I actually do that for ANY cookie that begins to look too puffy as it bakes. It really helps!

    2. Mine didn’t flatten either and I did bang the pan, and then smacked each individual cookie with my spatula lol. I’ll make some adaptations and try them again. The flavour is amazing and perfect for fall (when you aren’t quite ready for pumpkin yet!)

  23. WOW! These are so good! They have so much yummy flavor packed into them. And the maple glaze that goes on top-delicious! The soft and almost gooey centers are my favorite part. Also, I loved the tip about banging the pan when its out of the oven to deflate the puffy tops.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these cookies, Emily!! 🙂

    2. OMG… I didn’t think these cookies could get much better but made them again and instead of nuts used some chopped up cooked bacon and holy cow!! They are my husbands new favorite cookie! So great!

  24. Oh Sally, you have gone and done it now with these incredible Maple Brown Sugar Cookies! Ultimately divine, these cookies hint of fall, cooler weather, and the soon to be changing leaf colors. Crisp on the outside with soft chewy centers, these delectable cookies are topped with the soft sweetness of maple frosting.

    As you have done, I declare it the best cookie I’ve ever made. And that’s a high position to claim given your Big Fat Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    1. LOVE reading this, Vicki!! Thank you so much for your positive feedback 🙂

  25. Lorraine Fina Stevenski says:

    I made a batch yesterday and my house smelled like Fall. Even though it is a over 95 here in Florida every day. The cookies baked delicious. Nice gooey center like the picture. So very soft with good maple flavor. Great recipe Sally! I used chopped Pecan Pralines and topped the cookies with my Praline/toffee/cinnamon sugar mix and skipped the glaze. Love your recipes.

    1. I’m so happy these were a hit, Lorraine! Chopped pecan pralines sound delicious 🙂

  26. You weren’t kidding! These are the best cookies. Followed the recipe to a T the day you sent out this recipe and there’s hardly any left. I can’t wait to make them [email protected]

    1. I’m so happy you agree! The BEST! Thanks for your positive feedback, Laurie 🙂

  27. Hi Sally, what can I use in place of maple extract? Don’t have that here

    1. Hi Njeri! You can just leave it out. There will be a slight loss of flavor.

  28. Perfect fall recipe! Would it be too sweet if I put in chopped pralines instead of pecans?

    1. Hi Veronica! They’d be very sweet, yes, but try sprinkling a little sea salt on top of the cookies or on top of the icing as it sets.

  29. Made these today! My husband is allergic to pecans so I subbed 1 cup white chocolate chips. They turned out beautiful and delicious! I think pecans or pretzels would be ideal to balance the sweetness, but I still love the batch I made! I like that this is different from the usual pumpkin cookie recipes I make this time of year. This is a recipe I will definitely make multiple times in the fall!

    1. What a delicious substitution! Thrilled these were a hit 🙂

  30. Hi,
    If I don’t have maple extract should I use extra vanilla or syrup or just leave it out?

    1. Hi Emily! I recommend picking it up if you can. It’s sold in the baking aisle. If needed, you can just leave it out. There will be a loss of flavor though.

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