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These are the best chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar! This easy cookie recipe starts with melted butter, doesn’t require chilling, is made in one bowl and you don’t even need to use a mixer. If you find yourself craving chocolate chip cookies and you have no brown sugar, do not fear! This is the recipe you've been searching for and there really isn’t much more than mixing together some simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry!
Do you find yourself craving chocolate chip cookies, but you don't have any brown sugar?
Don't worry - this is the recipe you've been searching for!
This easy cookie recipe starts with melted butter, doesn't require chilling, is made in one bowl and you don't even need to use a mixer.
Plus, it yields the best chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar that you'll ever taste! So go ahead and indulge yourself - these homemade chocolate chip cookies are worth it.
Who can relate to this scene?
You're standing there in front of your cupboard, all ready to make chocolate chip cookies but find that you're out of brown sugar.
It's 8:00pm on a Tuesday night and you're already in your PJ's and you are most definitely NOT making a trip to the grocery store.
You ask yourself...
"Is brown sugar really necessary in chocolate chip cookies?"
"Can I just swap white sugar for the amount of brown sugar in the cookie recipe?"
"What's the difference between white and brown sugar anyway ?"
You close the cupboard door - all of your hopes and dreams are completely crushed. You end up having a sad and soggy bowl of cereal instead as you hunker down for the next episode on Netflix.
My dear fellow baker, I have been in this situation more times than I can count. I feel you!!
I've got your back! I've developed the best recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar so we never have to be in that horrible situation ever again. And they're absolutely delicious!
What is Brown Sugar?
Turbinado sugar, muscovado sugar, demerara sugar, raw sugar... they all fall into the category of brown sugars.
So what exactly is brown sugar when it comes to baking?
It's simply white granulated sugar that has been combined with molasses.
Molasses is a by-product of the sugar making process and it gives brown sugar its characteristic color and flavor.
Brown sugar actually comes in two forms - light brown and dark brown. The only difference between the two is the amount of molasses that has been added to the white granulated sugar.
What Does Brown Sugar Do For Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Bakers often use brown sugar in chocolate chip cookies because it helps to create a softer, moist, more chewy cookie.
Brown sugar is an ingredient you'll find in pretty much every great chocolate chip cookie recipe (except for this one of course ;-)).
Light brown sugar has 3.5% molasses while dark brown sugar has 6.5% and dark brown sugar gives off more of that caramel taste. The molasses in brown sugar also gives cookies a lovely depth of flavor that you just don't get with white sugar.
This variety of sugar is soft, packable and has a higher moisture level than regular white granulated sugar.
This makes your baked goods chewier, more moist, and lends some caramel flavor and undertones.
On the other hand, white sugar makes cookies more crisp.
Many chocolate chip cookie recipes without brown sugar yield a very crispy cookie, instead of a soft texture, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're a classic chocolate chip cookie person you probably want some chew in there!
For chocolate chip cookies, I typically use a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar.
What is a Good Substitute for Brown Sugar in Chocolate Chip Cookies?
My recipe here does not require a direct substitute for brown sugar.
But, if you are keen to try some experimenting, you can use these ideas for substituting brown sugar.
How to Make Brown Sugar At Home
I know you're here because you don't have any brown sugar on hand, but I figured I'd also share a segment on how to make your own brown sugar at home, in case you want to give it a try! If you do, then you can make my regular recipe for easy chocolate chip cookies.
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
Place the sugar in a food processor. Add the molasses and pulse until the molasses is evenly distributed and the mixture is the color of brown sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
Other Substitutes: I Don’t Have Brown Sugar, Can I Use Something Else?
Yes! I've got you covered because this recipe does not call for any brown sugar.
Standard chocolate chip cookies are made with brown sugar, but what if you don't have any brown sugar on hand? There are several types of sugar that can be used as substitutes for brown sugar in chocolate chip cookies.
This recipe uses white granulated sugar, but feel free to swap that with coconut sugar, or other types of raw sugar. Just keep in mind that the cookies will have a different flavor and color depending on what type of sugar you use.
Here is some more info about different types of sugars.
Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar is the most common type of sugar used in baking. It is also known as white sugar or table sugar.
If you don't have brown sugar, you can use granulated sugar as a substitute although the texture of your chocolate chip cookies will be slightly different, but they will still taste delicious. This recipe here was developed to use granulated sugar as a substitute for brown sugar, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep them chewy!
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar has a very similar taste and texture to brown sugar. However, keep in mind that coconut sugar lacks molasses and will not retain as much moisture as baked products prepared with brown sugar.
Maple sugar - sugar made from pure maple syrup (it's amazing!) - my Maple Oatmeal Cookies recipe uses maple sugar too!
Turbinado sugar gives these cookies a nice crunch and the large crystals help to create a chewy texture in the cookies.
You could also use muscovado sugar, demerara sugar or raw sugar - they would all work great in this recipe!
Substitutes That Will NOT Work With This Recipe
Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners' sugar or icing sugar, is another type of sugar that is frequently used in baking. It is NOT a good substitute in cookie recipes as it will completely change the texture of the cookie and likely make the batter more liquidy.
Molasses: Molasses is a type of syrup that is made from boiled-down cane or beet juice. It is darker in color than brown sugar and has a strong flavor. Using straight up molasses as a substitute for sugar would not work that well in cookies, but if you do have molasses on hand, keep scrolling to see how you can make your own brown sugar!
Stevia: When making cookies, stevia is ideal in crisp cookie doughs like shortbread. It is not ideal for chewy cookies.
Making Chewy Cookies Without Brown Sugar
Even though we're not using brown sugar, I was able to create great texture and flavor by making a few tweaks to my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. and keeping to basic ingredients.
What Makes These Cookies Chewy?
A important ingredient to chewy chocolate chip cookies is using melted butter. Melted butter keeps cookies softer during the baking process, therefore yielding a chewier cookie.
I added an extra egg yolk to this recipe which adds more fat and richness to the cookies, which helps offset some of that crispness you get from only using white sugar and gives it that more classic, chewy texture.
I also reduced the bake time for these cookies, baking them until only the edges were a slight golden brown. This had the most impact and helped retain moisture and chewiness.
In one of my last test batches, I ended up adding 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to see if that had any effect as well. I found that it helped add a little more bend and chew to the cookies, but I was also very happy with the results not using it.
That's why the final recipe lists it as optional.
If you have pure maple syrup on hand, I recommend adding it but you'll still get great cookies without it!
Do I Need to Use an Electric Mixer For This Recipe?
Nope! This chocolate chip cookie recipe can be easily mixed by hand which is great because it can be annoying to have to pull out a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Whenever I develop recipes, I do my best to keep them as easy as possible. Especially for one like this where chocolate chip cookie cravings can strike at any time of day!
How to Make This Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar Recipe
As mentioned, this recipe is knock-your-socks-off easy. That's the way I like to keep my chocolate chip cookie recipes.
You don't even need to wait for softened butter because this recipe starts off with melted butter!
Do I use Salted or Unsalted Butter?
It is important to use unsalted butter in this recipe so that you can control the amount of salt. If you only have salted butter on hand, you'll likely want to omit the additional salt called for in the recipe.
I do have to admit, sometimes I like to keep the salt as is because the extra amount adds really good flavor! Or, sometimes I might leave the salt out of the recipe, use salted butter, and then top the cookies with flaky sea salt right when they come out of the oven.
These delicious cookies require just a few other ingredients to come together. There is egg and vanilla extract, all purpose flour (avoid swapping with bread flour, or other flours, and be sure to measure flour correctly), baking soda (not baking powder), salt, granulated white sugar, and maple syrup (which is optional).
This chocolate chip cookie dough literally comes together in just a few moments and you'll be enjoying warm, fresh cookies out of the oven in under 30 minutes. The best chocolate chip recipe is the quickest one you've got when you get that craving!
I like to use semi sweet chocolate chips but any kind of chocolate works well with this recipe.
Once the dough ingredients are mixed together, use a cookie scoop to create perfect sized balls of dough to place on a parchment lined baking sheet
My Top Tips For Making Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar
Since we are leaving out brown sugar from this recipe and replacing it with granulated sugar, it's important to remember that granulated sugar will produce cookies that are more crispy.
To avoid this (if you love soft and chewy cookies like me), my top tip is to ensure you do not overbake the cookies. chocolate chip cookies should be baked until the edges are set and the center is still soft.
Overbaking chocolate chip cookies will result in dry, crumbly cookies--so be sure to keep an eye on them while they're in the oven!
Another important tip is to not overmix the dough. Overmixing will produce tough cookies. Simply mix the dough until the ingredients are combined.
And finally, one last tip for making perfect chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar is to use high-quality chocolate chips. I always recommend using semi-sweet chocolate chips because they have the perfect balance of sweetness and chocolate flavor. However, feel free to use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips depending on your preference.
If you love a crispy chocolate chip cookie, feel free to bake these until they are medium to dark golden brown.
How Do I Know When the Cookies Are Done?
The cookies are done when they are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.
These soft chocolate chip cookies bake for a little less than 15 minutes and I suggest to pull them out of the oven when they are just turning golden brown on the edges.
This is the secret to keeping these cookies as chewy as possible.
Because they do not have any brown sugar to retain moisture, you'll need to keep an eye on the bake time, as overbaking will yield a crispy cookie.
If you're looking for a crispier cookie, bake longer until they turn golden brown.
How to Make Instagram-worthy Cookies
My favorite trick to making chocolate chip cookies look more beautiful is by strategically placing some semi sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips on the top AFTER the dough balls are formed and on the baking sheet.
This not only adds more chocolate (yum!), but the extra chocolate chips also give your cookies a professional, finished look!
You can also use chopped chocolate in these, but chocolate chips or white chocolate chips are more preferable and classic.
The Best Chocolate Chips To Use
This is not sponsored, but I really do love using Guittard brand chocolate chips. Ghirardelli is also a good runner up.
Nestle of course is a solid brand and is the brand I grew up with using and always delicious!
What is the Difference Between Types of Chocolate Chips?
Milk, semi-sweet, dark...each will have their own flavor. The main difference between the them is the amount of sugar that is in each chocolate chip.
Dark chocolate is closer to pure chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips have less sugar, while milk chocolate chocolate chips have more sugar.
What kind of chocolate chips should I use for this recipe?
For this chocolate chip cookie recipe, we recommend using semi-sweet chocolate chips. However, if you prefer milk or dark chocolate chips, those will work too!
Using chocolate chips of high quality will take make these extra delicious chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate chunks or chopped up chocolate bar will also work well!
It's important to use high quality chocolate for this recipe because it does help to make up for the loss in brown sugar.
Can I Freeze the Cookies?
Yes! If you'd like to freeze the finished cookies you certainly can. Simply place in large gallon zip lock bag and freeze.
If you'd like to freeze the raw dough, you can do that as well. Scoop dough balls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to bake cookies, no need to thaw the frozen cookie dough, simply place frozen dough balls on a baking sheet and bake as directed. You may need to add an additional minute or two to the bake time.
How Do I Store Chocolate Chip Cookies?
You can store chocolate chip cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. If you 'd like them to last longer, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Chocolate chip cookies are a classic treat that are perfect for any occasion.
Whether you're hosting a party or just want a tasty snack, these chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar will be a hit!
This easy cookie recipe starts with melted butter, doesn't require chilling, is made in one bowl and you don't even need to use a mixer. If you find yourself craving chocolate chip cookies and you do not own brown sugar, do not fear! This is the recipe you've been searching for!
I hope you enjoy this chocolate chip cookie recipe without brown sugar!
When you do pick up more brown sugar, check out my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies here!
Try My Other Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe & More
- 1 c butter, melted (unsalted or salted is fine. If you are sensitive to salt, you may want to decrease or omit the added salt below)
- 2 c white, granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk
- 3 c all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 c chocolate chips for the dough, + ½ c reserved (dark or semi-sweet work best)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the melted unsalted butter or salted butter and sugar using a spoon or spatula. Mix thoroughly until all the sugar is incorporated, about 1 minute.
- To the butter mixture, add the maple syrup (if using), vanilla and eggs; mix well until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Next, add the flour into the bowl (do not mix yet). On top of the flour, stir in the baking soda and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture until all of the flour is absorbed. Do not over mix.
- Gently add chocolate chips until well mixed.
- Scoop out cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets using a 1-2 tablespoon size scoop. Leave plenty of room as these will spread a bit. I keep it to about 9-10 cookies per each of the baking sheets.
- Top the cookie dough balls with some of the reserved chocolate chips.
- Bake for about 10-13 minutes in the preheated oven. Since all ovens vary, do not set the timer and walk away. Begin to check the cookies at the 8/9 minute mark. Cookies are done when they are light golden brown on the edges. Be sure to not overbake for the most soft and chewy texture.
- Allow the baked cookies to cool completely on the tray.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days after baking cookies. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a large zip lock freezer bag.
Recipe by Owlbbaking.com
- The addition of maple syrup will help to make these cookies more chewy. Honey can also be used as a substitute for the syrup. If you don't have either, this recipe will still work well without it.
- Increase bake time for a more crispy cookie!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar, no brown sugar, 30 minute recipes, no chill cookies