Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 14 mins
Freeze: 60 mins
Total: 89 mins
Servings: 18 to 20 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
198 Calories
10g Fat
26g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 178mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 43mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These cookies will become a go-to for every season. They are packed with the delicious caramel notes of brown sugar that, in conjunction with butter, give these cookies outstanding flavor. The ratio of butter and sugar to flour and baking soda leave these cookies crispy on the outside and gooey in the center.

The secret to the soft center of this cookie is in the freezing. Be sure not to skip the one-hour freeze time or the cookies will spread, leaving you a cookie more flat and crispy without a soft center. If you prefer to roll the cookies in a mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar that is totally fine, just use a 1 to 1 ratio when making your rolling mixture.

Bake them to celebrate the holidays or use them to make ice cream sandwiches all summer long. No matter the occasion, everyone is sure to enjoy these crowd-pleasing cookies.

"These cookies are for all of those with a major sweet tooth. Just as the name suggests, these cookies are chewy all around, soft in the center, and are strongly flavored with the caramel notes characteristic of brown sugar. The dough comes together quickly and stores easily for fresh cookies in a pinch." —Kayla Hoang

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, divided

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray.

    Parchment paper lined baking sheets

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Cream the butter in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

    Creamed butter in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Add 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and cream again on medium-high speed until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

    Creamed butter and brown sugar mixture in a bowl, with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium-low until combined.

    Butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Be careful not to overmix.

    Flour, baking soda, and salt added to the butter mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar to a plate.

    Brown sugar on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the dough into your hand and roll into a ball.

    Cookie dough ball in a hand and cookie dough in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  9. Dip the top of each ball in the brown sugar and place it on the prepared baking sheet with the sugar-side up. Repeat with the remaining dough.

    Cookie dough ball in a bowl with brown sugar, cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  10. Place the prepared baking sheets with the cookie dough balls in the freezer for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Cookie dough balls on parchment paper lined baking sheets

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  11. Once chilled, bake the cookies until the cookies begin to set on the edges, 10 to 14 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.

    Cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheets

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  12. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

    Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Recipe Variations

  • The addition of cinnamon to the brown sugar for rolling will give them a snickerdoodle vibe.
  • You could add 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for a great fall cookie.
  • You can opt to leave off the brown sugar topping if you prefer less sugary cookies. The cookies will still taste great and have a nice chewy texture.

How to Store and Freeze

  • These cookies benefit from a longer rest in the freezer, so they are great for preparing a day or even a week in advance. Just scoop them out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, making sure to leave no open spaces for air to get in, and freeze for up to a month. Doing this makes your holiday cookie plans so much easier.
  • Store leftover cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to four days. If leftover cookies are starting to feel a little stale, just pop them in the microwave for about 10 seconds to revitalize them.
  • If you’d rather freeze the already baked cookies, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them inside a gallon freezer bag. Remove from the freezer and microwave for about 20 seconds for hot fresh cookies whenever you desire.