Regular sugar cookies get an upgrade! These soft brown sugar cookies are made with dark brown sugar, for a more warm, caramel-y flavor.

Brown sugar cookies piled high on a pink glass plate.

Today I’m bringing you another great cookie recipe: Brown Sugar Cookies!

In my mind, fall is for cookies, and sugar cookies are a big favorite at my house. I’ve got several different types of sugar cookie recipes on this site, including Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Sugar Cookies, and Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies, just to name a few.

But this latest brown sugar cookie recipe is so nice for fall and winter!

The warm, caramel-y brown sugar flavor is so nice and cozy! And they bake up soft as can be, buttery, and just the teensiest bit chewy around the edges.

Cookies piled on a plate with a text overlay that reads "Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe."

WHAT ARE BROWN SUGAR COOKIES?

Brown sugar cookies are just like your favorite sugar cookies, but they’re made with brown sugar instead of white.

Brown sugar has a more complex flavor, and it also makes these cookies softer and more moist.

This is a drop cookie recipe, so it’s really quick and easy to make and you don’t need to mess around with a rolling pin or cookie cutters.

They bake up super-soft and moist, and they stay that way for days! Thanks to a few secret ingredients, combined in the perfect ratio.

HOW TO MAKE THIS BROWN SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE

Start by whipping softened butter together with dark brown sugar until very pale and fluffy.

Creaming butter and dark brown sugar together in a stand mixer.

This is a really important step. You want to incorporate lots of air into the mixture, so the cookies come out melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Set a timer and allow the butter and sugar to cream together for a minimum of 5 full minutes, on high speed.

Next, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and add the whole egg, the additional egg yolk, and the vanilla extract.

Adding eggs and vanilla to brown sugar cookie dough.

The additional egg yolk helps to keep the cookies soft!

Brown sugar cookie dough wet ingredients in a stand mixer.

Mix these ingredients in until well incorporated.

Then add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

Cornstarch is another special ingredient that helps the cookies to stay soft. Make sure you’re using cornstarch and not cornmeal. Cornstarch is a white powder that is odorless and flavorless. Cornmeal is a gritty, yellow substance that tastes like corn chips.

Brown sugar cookie dough in a stand mixer.

Stir these dry ingredients in on the lowest speed. If you overwork the dough at this stage, your cookies could come out tough. So go slow and stop just as soon as the dough is combined.

Scooping brown sugar cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Next just scoop the dough out onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Here is a link to the kind of baking sheets I like best: Baker’s Half Sheet Pans.

Sprinkling raw sugar on unbaked brown sugar cookies.

The final flourish is a little sprinkling of raw sugar on top. This makes a pretty garnish, but it also adds a little extra sweetness and crunch.

BAKING

Bake these cookies in a preheated oven just until they’re barely set around the edges and still looking quite doughy in the center. It’s ok if the middles of the cookies still look a little wet.

The brownsugar cookies will cool on the baking sheet, and as they cool they will continue to cook and firm up. This is what’s known as “carry-over cooking.”

You want to take the cookies out of the oven just slightly shy of being done, to allow for this continued rise in temperature, even after the food is no longer exposed to a heat source.

If you overbake your brown sugar cookies, they will not be soft and they could even be too dry.

THE BROWN SUGAR

I prefer dark brown sugar for this brown sugar cookies recipe, but light brown sugar would work equally well. Your final result would just be a little paler in color and more subtle in flavor.

When you are measuring the brown sugar out, you don’t need to pack it tightly into the measuring cup. Allow it to be more loose. If there’s too much brown sugar, your cookies will spread out a lot thinner and the texture will be more chewy than soft.

For more info on how to properly measure ingredients, click here: How to Measure Ingredients for Baking.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Although I haven’t tested it so I can’t say for sure, I do think that this recipe could adapt well to a gluten-free version. Just use a good quality gluten-free flour blend that subs cup-for-cup for regular all-purpose flour.

Here are a few that I would recommend:

For a dairy-free option use a vegan butter product that swaps 1:1 for regular butter.

I’m not 100% sure how well this would work, but if you’d like to try to make egg-free, vegan brown sugar cookies, try using chia or flax seed eggs. Stir 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia or flax seeds into 3 tablespoons of water, then set the mixture aside for 5 minutes and allow it to gel.

Brown sugar cookies recipe baked and topped with raw sugar.

HOW TO STORE

Once the cookies have cooled completely, slip them into an airtight container and they should stay soft at room temperature for about 5 days or so.

You can also freeze them! Thaw in the microwave for a few seconds, or at room temperature.

The dough can also be frozen. I love doing cookies this way, because then you can have a warm cookie straight from the oven, any time the craving strikes!

When you scoop out the dough, place the unbaked cookies close together on the sheet pan. Pop them into the freezer until they’re frozen solid, then transfer them to a zip-top bag.

Take out a few at a time and bake them according to the recipe instructions. You don’t even have to thaw them out before you bake them!

Extreme close-up of brown sugar sugar cookies with a bite taken out.

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Brown Sugar Cookies
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
32 mins
 

Regular sugar cookies get an upgrade! These soft brown sugar cookies are made with dark brown sugar, for a more warm, caramel-y flavor.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown sugar cookie recipe, brown sugar cookies, brown sugar cookies recipe, brown sugar sugar cookies, brownsugar cookies
Servings: 28 cookies
Calories: 130 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Whip the softened butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy (at least 5 minutes on high speed).

  3. Mix in the whole egg, additional egg yolk, and vanilla extract until combined.

  4. Stir in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt until just barely combined.

  5. Use a 1.5-tablespoon scoop to portion balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

  6. Sprinkle the tops of the unbaked cookies with raw sugar, if desired.

  7. Bake until the cookies are set around the edges but still very doughy towards their centers (approximately 5 to 9 minutes).

  8. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 48mg2%
Potassium 44mg1%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.