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Brown Sugar Cookies, Perfectly Chewy

These Brown Sugar Cookies are deliciously chewy, easy to make, and freeze beautifully. Dress them up with powdered sugar and sprinkles, or relish them just as they are – simply perfect.

Brown Sugar Cookies stacked vertically on a marble countertop
Brown Sugar Cookies are super easy and can be decorated or enjoyed as-is!

Perfect Brown Sugar Cookies

We make no pretense when it comes to our massive cookie infatuation. We are unanimously undivided about the legendary greatness of all the cookies (have you seen The Best Cookies list?)

It should come as no surprise that we have at least a dozen versions of chocolate chip cookies alone. In fact, that’s how these brown sugar cookies were born. After episodes of obsessive baking in 2020 – we know you know – we decided to walk on the wild side one day and skip the chocolate chips in our chewy chocolate chip cookies. The results were eye-opening-amazing.

That’s the story of our serendipitous first encounter with these remarkably delicious brown sugar cookies, which we’re thrilled to share with all you cookie lovers. Trust: you’ll want to experience these for yourself.

brown sugar cookies on a cooling rack
Brown Sugar Cookies are extra chewy and taste extraordinary.

How to make Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

Once you nail down these simple brown sugar cookies, you’ll have the only basic sugar cookie you’ll ever need. This brown sugar cookie recipe is the foundation of our favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies, and are the core of numerous flavor variations.

  • With only 7 basic pantry ingredients in these brown sugar cookies, be sure all your ingredients are fresh. You’ll want to double check that your baking soda is fresh, as it’s the key for excellent texture and rise of cookies. Brown sugar should be super fresh and contain a bit of moisture; be sure it hasn’t dried out.
  • Our recipe calls for salted butter; if you prefer to use unsalted, add few pinches of extra salt to the mixture.
  • Use cold butter, not softened. This is a bit different from most other cookie recipes, but it will allow you to bake cookies without needing to chill the dough, and helps provide a thick, chewy texture.
  • Still on the subject of butter, it’s imperative to aerate it well, so be sure to beat cold butter for the full 2 minutes, followed by another 1-2 minutes after adding brown sugar. Butter should be “light and fluffy” looking — otherwise, they won’t bake up correctly.
  • You’ll notice this recipe calls for 1 egg + 1 extra yolk. The additional yolk provides extra moisture, binding, and chewy texture.

Scoop and Level Method

In baking, accurate measurement is key. Many cookie doughs come out dry or crumbly, due to over-measuring the flour. Aside from using a kitchen scale to accurately measure flour, the simplest method for measuring dry flour is to “scoop and level.”

  • You’ll want a stainless steel measuring cup that does not have excess top margin. These are designed for measuring DRY ingredients.
  • Avoid those glass Pyrex type measuring cups with top margins/spouts, as those are designed for measuring liquids.
  • Either use your dry measuring cup to very gently scoop up the flour, OR use a large spoon and gently scoop spoonfuls of flour into your dry measure cup. Do NOT tap down on the cup or try to settle the flour in any way.
  • Then use the flat end of a butter knife (or any other flat edge) to gently scrape straight across the top of your measuring cup to remove excess flour. You’re doing this to gently level out the flour.
  • Worth repeating: Do not pack down the flour nor tap it down at any time. You want “fluffy flour,” so to speak.
Brown Sugar Cookie halves
Once you sink your teeth into these sugar cookies, you’ll see why we bake them on repeat.

Optional Add-ins

Here’s where your cookie party begins, if you like mixing things up. After folding the flour into the cookie dough, your blank canvas is ready.

  • Gently fold in chocolate chips, as in our forever chewy chocolate chip cookies.
  • Work in some toasted chopped nuts for a bit of crunch (pecans are a favorite.)
  • Drizzle with thick caramel sauce, once cookies are cooled.
  • Fold M&Ms into the cookie dough with colors that match the holiday or occasion.
  • If you love the idea of cookies and sprinkles, here’s our favorite way to do it: pour sprinkles into a small dish and roll top/sides of dough balls in the sprinkles to coat. Then, bake as usual. You’ll get sprinkles in every bite, they’re evenly distributed, and no messy bleeding of colors.

In the end, you may decide your favorite way to relish these fabulous brown sugar cookies is with a light dusting of powdered sugar… or simply as they are. ♡

Common Questions

Can I substitute white sugar for brown sugar in cookies?

In some cases, you can use half white sugar and half brown sugar. However, completely using white sugar instead of brown sugar in cookies will change the flavor and texture of the cookies. Brown sugar has a caramel-like flavor and adds a bit of extra moisture to the cookies.

Does brown sugar make cookies more chewy?

Fresh brown sugar is more dense than granulated sugar and can easily be packed tightly, creating fewer air pockets during mixing. Thus, brown sugar cookies will be more chewy than regular sugar cookies.

Can I freeze brown sugar cookie dough?

Yes, you can freeze brown sugar cookie dough for up to 2 months. To freeze, roll the dough into a tight ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in an airtight freezer bag. When ready to bake, defrost cookie dough in fridge overnight; once dough is fully defrosted, bake as directed.

Can I add chocolate chips to brown sugar cookies?

Yes, you can add chocolate chips to brown sugar cookies for a delicious twist. Simply fold in desired amount of chocolate chips to the finished cookie dough before chilling and baking.

Try these white chocolate macadamia cookies, too:

More to Bake and Eat

Did you make this?

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Brown Sugar Cookies stacked vertically on a marble countertop

Brown Sugar Cookies, Soft and Chewy

5 from 62 ratings
These Brown Sugar Cookies are deliciously chewy, easy to make, and freeze beautifully. Dress them up with powdered sugar and sprinkles, or relish them just as they are – simply perfect.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 30 servings
Author: Amy Dong



  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • In a bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Hand-whisk to combine well. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sliced/cold butter with paddle attachment on medium speed, 2 min. Use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add brown sugar and continue beating until smooth, 1 min. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed just until mixture is fully incorporated, scraping down sides.
  • Gently add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until no flour streaks remain and mixture is combined; don’t over mix. Use rubber spatula to fully scrape down sides/paddle.
  • Form a large dough ball with hands. If dough is somehow too sticky, cover and chill a bit until dough is manageable; this shouldn’t take long. Typically, no chill time is needed if kitchen temperature is cool and dough is not overworked.
  • Form 1 1/4 inch dough balls and place 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets. Bake about 8 minutes or just until golden; keep remaining dough chilled while in between batches. Cookies will seem under-baked, but will set upon cooling. Don’t over-bake. Let cookies cool 10 min on baking pan before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling.


  • If cookies accidentally spread into one another, use a rubber spatula to gently push edges of each cookie back towards its center, while cookies are hot.
  • These cookies keep wonderfully for days when sealed airtight at room temp.
  • Unused cookie dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for several weeks. Baked cookies can be frozen, too.
  • If dough is very cold, or if your cookies are a bit larger, you may need to bake an extra minute.
  • See original article for fun ideas for add-ins. 
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating♡

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: baking

** Several of the recipes here are part of our 25 Best Cookies Collection 🍪

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