My Brown Sugar Cookies are SO soft and chewy! They have an incredibly rich and buttery flavor and are easy to make without a mixer. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Super Soft Sugar Cookies
If you’re a thin & crispy kind of cookie lover, hop over to my butter crunch cookies, because you won’t find anything of the sort here! My brown sugar cookies are some of the softest, chewiest cookies you’ll ever try. Made with all brown sugar for a rich flavor and added moisture, these cookies are great all year around but I’ll definitely be saving a spot for them on my Christmas cookie platter.
This recipe is a close cousin to my super soft molasses cookies, only with a much, much lighter molasses flavor from the brown sugar. They’re simple to make (no mixer required) and are rolled through a coarse sugar coating before baking for sweet and sparkly results.
Why you’ll love them:
- Easy: no mixer needed!
- So soft: thanks to carefully selected ingredients.
- Simple: just 10 ingredients.
What You Need
Here are the ingredients that make these brown sugar cookies super soft and chewy:
- Brown sugar. Generally I default to using light brown sugar in most of my recipes, but I like using a 50/50 split of light and dark brown sugar in this recipe. I talk more about using each type and the results you’ll have in the FAQ section below.
- Egg + egg yolk. An extra egg yolk makes these cookies so tender. Adding a full egg (instead of just the yolk) could dry the cookies out, so stick with just the yolk. If you don’t want to waste the white, use it to make candied pecans!
- Corn starch. One of my favorite ingredients in cookies, corn starch prevents the cookies from spreading too much and adds to their softness.
- Coarse sugar. You can use either regular white granulated sugar or a coarse granulated sugar for rolling. My grocery store sells an organic cane sugar that has big crystals, so I just use that.
SAM’S TIP: Let your butter cool before adding your sugar! Adding your sugar while the butter is still hot could melt the sugar and ruin your cookies (they’ll be greasy and spread all over the baking sheet).
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Brown Sugar Cookies
- Combine butter and sugar – Melt your butter, let it cool, then stir in your brown sugar.
- Stir in the eggs – Stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients – Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients.
- Chill the dough – Cover and chill your dough for at least 45 minutes.
- Coat in sugar – Scoop 2-tablespoon sized dough balls and roll them between your palms before rolling in sugar.
- Bake and enjoy! Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes and let them cool completely on their baking sheet before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: Don’t over-bake your cookies! If you do, they’ll end up dry and crumbly instead of soft and chewy. I recommend taking them out of the oven when they look slightly underdone in the center so they can finish baking on the cookie sheet outside of the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
The difference between light and dark brown lies in the molasses content (which, you might already know if you recall my post on how to make brown sugar). Dark brown sugar has approximately twice the molasses in it that light brown sugar does.
Using all light brown sugar will yield cookies with a lighter flavor (that’s not a bad thing!). They’ll be buttery with accents of vanilla and a soft interior, but a lighter molasses flavor. Opting for all dark brown sugar will give you a richer flavor and ever-so-slightly softer centers.
Use whichever you prefer, or a mix of the two!
This most often happens from having too much flour in the dough. Make sure you know how to measure your flour properly (using weights is more accurate than cups!) to avoid this happening in the future. However, hang onto your extra egg white. If you notice your dough is too stiff and crumbly after adding all the flour, it can often be saved with a bit of moisture and you can stir in that reserved egg white.
Yes! You can follow the instructions for sugar coated cookies in my how to freeze cookie dough post. They’ll keep for several months stored this way.
If you’re a big fan of soft cookies, you will also love my soft and chewy butter pecan cookies or my soft and chewy gingersnaps.
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Brown Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled at least 10 minutes or until nearly back to room temperature, about 10 minutes (226g)
- 1 ¾ cup brown sugar* tightly packed (350g)
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (350g)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Granulated sugar for rolling
- Combine your melted (and cooled) butter and sugar in a large bowl and stir until well-combined.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir well.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (if you don’t have parchment paper, bake directly on an ungreased cookie sheet).
- Once oven has preheated, remove your chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator and roll dough into approximately 2-Tablespoon-sized scoops. Roll gently to form a ball and roll through granulated sugar until completely coated with sugar.
- Place on prepared cookie sheet (space cookies at least 2″ apart).
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 11-12 minutes. The centers of the cookies may still seem slightly underbaked — allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet to finish cooking there, cookies will be too fragile to move while hot.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Note: This recipe was originally published in 2018. The recipe remains the same but I have updated the post to include more information and be more helpful in 2022.
This website is a rare gem for providing consistently delicious recipes. These cookies are amazing; the flavors are so well-balanced. I made them with my three year old, and he was so proud of the outcome. My husband loves chocolate, so I added a few chocolate chips to some of the dough with fantastic results. This may be my favorite cookie recipe. Thanks!
Thank you so much, Jana! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed everything. 🙂
These cookies are absolutely delicious! My third Sugar Spun Run recipe and it was a hit with my family, including my mom who is typically not a fan of sweets. Super easy to put together in one bowl with just a whisk and spatula. I used two medium eggs because I didn’t have large, and everything was just fine. Thanks for another winner!
Just pulled these out of the oven… My husband couldn’t wait to try them! They’re a huge hit so far! I used a 1 Tbsp scoop and baked about 10 minutes. Made 45 slightly smaller cookies. Perfect for taking to a party. Thanks for another great recipe, Sam!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy they were such a hit for you, Maureen! Thanks for giving our recipe a try 😊
The texture of these cookies is perfect!!!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy you like them, Melissa! Thanks for your review 🙂
Can I use this recipe for roll out cookies?
Hi Bridgette! Unfortunately this recipe is not ideal for cut-out cookies.
Hi. Amazing flavored cookies. I want to add finely, chopped toasted pecans to it. How much? Or would this make it too dry? Thx!
Hi Lori! I would say about 1.5 cups of chopped pecans would work well here. 🙂
Stumbled on these while searching for a Fall cookie recipe and I’m wondering if cinnamon and nutmeg would be a possible add in? If so, do you have any recommendations on how much of each to put in?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Rachel! Absolutely! You could start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each and go from there. It really depends on how much spice you like 🙂