Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar Recipe

Chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 19 mins
Total: 34 mins
Servings: 18 to 20 servings
Yield: 18 to 20 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
139 Calories
8g Fat
16g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 139
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 50mg 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.)

Chocolate chip cookies are simple to make, and they're definitely a classic recipe. But just because you're out of brown sugar doesn't mean you can't make these treats. This chocolate chip cookie recipe without brown sugar uses confectioners' sugar instead of granulated sugar in its place. It makes for a different taste and texture, but it's nonetheless delicious.

Brown sugar is known to add sweetness and moisture to recipes, but this change of ingredients brings a soft and delicious cookie into the realm of the many chocolate chip cookie recipes. Similar to shortbread cookies, they are tender and melt in your mouth and will bring you all of the familiar comforts of biting into a chocolate chip cookie.

The next time you're whipping up a batch of cookies but are out of brown sugar, don't fret. Make this tasty take on the chocolate chip cookie. Or try this recipe if you're curious, and see if your tasters can tell the difference.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Position a rack in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

    Baking sheets lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

    Flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined.

    Butter and powdered sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the lemon zest, vanilla, and egg yolk, and beat until incorporated. Add the cream and beat until well combined.

    Lemon zest, vanilla, and egg yolk added to the butter mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Gradually add the reserved flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    Chocolate chips added to the batter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Drop the chocolate chip cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving an inch between each cookie.

    Cookie dough balls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Bake 17 to 19 minutes until cookies are just starting to turn brown. Do not overbake.

    Chocolate chip cookies baked on baking sheets

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Let the chocolate chip cookies cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.

    Chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wire rack

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


When the cookies are turning brown on the top and edges, take them out of the oven, do not overbake.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Once baked, cookies will keep for two to three days in a sealed container at room temperature. If they start to stale a little bit, you can always pop one into the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up.
  • Cookies are excellent candidates for the freezer. You can make this batch, bake some of them, and freeze the rest. All you need to do is to add another minute or so to the total bake time when you're ready to take them out of the freezer. No need to defrost them. Simply drop them onto a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, and freeze. Once they're frozen, transfer them to a zip-close plastic bag.