Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies without brown sugar are extremely easy to make and just as delicious as the classic version. Perfect for when you’ve run out of brown sugar and can’t wait to get your hands on some gooey homemade cookies.
Even though I am very partial to my brown butter chocolate chip cookies, I have to admit that these Chocolate Chip Cookies without brown sugar are so simple and delicious. They are:
- Crispy on the edges
- Slightly chewy
- Soft and gooey in the middle
- Loaded with chocolate chips and a hint of vanilla
- Convenient for when you happen to run out of brown sugar
Just about everyone loves a batch of warm cookies with melty chocolate chips fresh out of the oven. Whether you prefer crispy edges or gooey center, these cookies have it all.
In this post, you’ll learn how to make these easy homemade no brown sugar chocolate chip cookies. And if you want to use brown sugar in this recipe, go right ahead, it will work just fine!
Ingredients and Substitutions
This easy chocolate chip cookie recipe without brown sugar is made with 9 simple ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry and refrigerator.
Below are some notes and applicable substitution tips. See the recipe card at the end of the post for more details and quantities.
- Butter – this is a major ingredient in this recipe so if you can splurge, use good quality butter for the best results. I used unsalted butter but you can use salted butter in a pinch, just make sure to reduce the amount of salt added by ½ teaspoon.
- Granulated sugar – since this recipe is for chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar, we’ll be using just granulated sugar here. But you can substitute light brown sugar or dark brown sugar of course if you want to make chocolate chip cookies with brown sugar.
- Eggs – I use 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk in this recipe. Eggs are used to add structure to the dough, but egg white has a drying effect so an additional egg yolk is used to make these cookies more moist and tender.
- Vanilla – since these cookies don’t have the complex flavor from brown sugar, good quality pure vanilla extract is important to elevate them.
- Flour – simple all-purpose flour will work for this recipe.
- Salt – I use kosher salt, if you’re using table salt, only use about ⅔ teaspoon.
- Leavening agents – both baking soda and baking powder are used in this recipe. Baking soda will contribute to browning of the cookies as well as making them more chewy, while baking powder will add a little bit of lift.
- Chocolate chip – I usually love using milk chocolate chips for my chocolate chip cookies but for this recipe, I love the more bitter taste of semisweet chocolate chips.
How to make chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar
First, add cooled melted butter and granulated sugar to your stand mixer and beat with a paddle attached for at least 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Using melted butter in cookies will give you chewy chocolate chip cookies rather than soft cake-like cookies when using softened butter.
Next, add egg, egg yolk and vanilla to the beaten butter and continue to beat for at least another 2 minutes until light and fluffy again. Don’t be afraid to beat the wet ingredients really well at this stage, even longer than 2 minutes to allow the eggs to emulsify into the butter.
Sift together the dry ingredients or simply whisk everything together. Add it to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. You may want to stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl in this step to make sure everything is well combined but don’t over mix here.
Finally, add the semi sweet chocolate chips and just stir to distribute them evenly throughout the cookie dough. Pop the cookie dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
I like to portion out all of the dough with a large cookie scoop before baking. Once portioned, keep the cookie dough balls refrigerated and bake only one baking sheet at a time. You could also keep the cookie dough for a few days in the fridge before baking or freeze them for another day.
Variations with mix-ins
You can use this chocolate chip cookie dough as a base and add different mix-ins to customize your cookies to your heart’s desire!
- Chocolate chips: use semi sweet, milk, dark, white chocolate chips, even peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips. Mix and match to your liking as long as you keep the total at 2 cups.
- Nuts: replace some of the chocolate chips with chopped nuts, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts.
- Dried fruits: similarly replace some of the chocolate chips with dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins, apricots. For larger dried fruits like apricots, make sure to chop them.
- Flavor: add lemon zest or orange zest for a refreshing citrus flavor, or use different extracts like almond or Fiore di Sicilia.
- Chilling the cookie dough is recommended for this recipe to allow the flavor to develop as well as to prevent too much spreading.
- If spreading occurs, do this as soon as the cookies come out of the oven: take a round cookie cutter, larger than your cookies, place it over the freshly baked cookies and swirl it around in a circular motion to gather the cookies up and make them perfectly round.
- Ensure you don’t over bake these cookies if you like the center chewy and gooey. They may look slightly underbaked when you pull them out of the oven but the residual heat will do its job. Over baking these cookies will dry them out and make them very crispy, if that’s what you’re going for.
- Before baking these cookies, you could add a few extra chocolate chips on top if you wish to make them look nicer.
What is brown sugar?
Brown sugar is granulated sugar with molasses added to it. As their names suggest, light brown sugar contains less molasses and dark brown sugar contains more molasses.
If you don’t have brown sugar but you have granulated sugar and molasses, you can make your own brown sugar:
- 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses = light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons molasses = dark brown sugar
What does brown sugar do in cookies?
I love using brown sugar in a lot of my cookie recipes because brown sugar adds moisture to the cookies, making them more moist and chewy. It also adds a caramel note and creates a more complex flavor.
What happens if I don’t use brown sugar in cookies?
Brown sugar is not required in chocolate chip cookies but it does add to the flavor and texture of your cookies. If you don’t have brown sugar, try using granulated sugar and molasses as a substitute or simply use granulated sugar as in this recipe.
Using only granulated sugar will make your cookies crispier especially around the edges but they are still a little bit chewy and gooey in the center.
Do I have to chill this chocolate chip cookie dough?
There are several good reasons to chill this cookie dough before baking:
- Chilling the dough for about 30 minutes will make scooping a lot easier as the dough will have time to firm up a bit.
- Since this recipe uses melted butter, chilling the dough will allow the fat to cool and prevent too much spreading.
- When the dough has time to rest and hydrate properly, the better the flavor will come out.
- And because this cookie dough does not have the flavor depth typically added from brown sugar, I recommend you wait that additional 30 minutes to an hour before baking to get the best chocolate chip cookies.
How to store baked cookies
Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you keep them around longer, the cookies will start to harden, especially because they are made without brown sugar.
You can store these cookies in the refrigerator for up to a week. But again the longer you keep them around, the harder the cookies will become.
You can also freeze cookies for up to 3 months, thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
How to store cookie dough
Unbaked cookie dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if you’re making them ahead of time, or in the freezer for 3-6 months.
To freeze cookie dough, simply portion them out on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until hardened. Then transfer the dough balls to a freezer bag and keep them frozen.
This recipe makes a pretty big batch if you’re only making them for yourself and your family. I recommend freezing the cookie dough unbaked instead of freezing the baked cookies. I much prefer freshly baked cookies every time I need a quick chocolate chip cookie fix.
You can bake frozen cookie dough directly from the freezer without thawing. Simply increase baking time by about 1 – 2 minutes.
More delicious cookies
- Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
- Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
- Pistachio Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
- Biscoff Butter Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 8 oz unsalted butter (227 g, melted and cooled)
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar (300 g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (300 g)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cup chocolate chips (milk or semisweet, 380 g)
- Add cooled melted butter and granulated sugar to the stand mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes until light in color and creamy.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and continue beating for another 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
- In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the kosher salt and give it a good mix to distribute. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture in the stand mixer bowl, stir until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a spatula and give it another good mix as needed. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Portion the cookie dough with a large cookie scoop and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes. (Optional: If you want the cookie to be rounder, roll the portioned dough into balls.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place 6 dough balls on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake 1 batch at a time for 15 minutes, until the outer edges of the cookies turn golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- You can portion the dough right after mixing and refrigerate the dough balls for at least an hour before baking. However, the dough may be soft and sticky at this stage and you won’t be able to roll them into balls just yet.
- You can use a medium cookie scoop to make smaller cookies. Smaller cookies will bake faster, reduce the baking time by 2 – 3 minutes in this case.
- The cookie dough can be kept frozen once portioned. You can bake from frozen and increase baking time by 1 – 2 minutes.
- If spreading occurs, take a round cookie cutter, larger than your cookies, place it over a baked cookie and swirl it around in a circular motion as if swirling a glass of wine. Make sure to do this right when the cookies come out of the oven and are still soft. This will gather the cookies up and make them perfectly round and a bit thicker too.
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