Believe it or not, you can make delicious chocolate chip cookies with no brown sugar!
Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar are easy to make and disappear fast!
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Chocolate chip cookies should quality as a love language, don’t you think? Especially when they’re slightly crispy around the edges, but soft and chewy in the middle.
I love making these perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookies whenever I get the chance. But I’ve also learned some workarounds for when I don’t have certain ingredients on hand.
And when I don’t have flour on hand, I make these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!
In the rare instance when I don’t have butter on hand, I make no butter chocolate chip cookies.
So when I recently found myself with no brown sugar on hand, I knew I needed to find a way to make chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar!
I’m happy to report that it is entirely possible to make delicious cookies this way! As a bonus, you don’t even have to chill the dough!
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe without Brown Sugar
Before we talk about good substitutes for brown sugar in a cookie recipe, it’s important to know what it does and why it’s included in recipes in the first place.
Brown sugar serves a few purposes in typical chocolate chip cookie recipes.
First, it lends a golden-brown color that we all recognize. It makes the cookies chewier and moister, and also gives a depth of flavor as it caramelizes during baking.
But that doesn’t mean you absolutely have to have it in your cookies.
Substitutes for Brown Sugar in Cookies
There are a few easy substitutes you can make if you don’t have brown sugar on hand. My absolute favorite is to add a little bit of molasses to white granulated sugar.
Most people don’t realize that brown sugar is actually white refined sugar with molasses added back in. So if you have molasses on hand, you’re in great shape!
If you don’t have molasses, I like to add some corn syrup (you can use light or dark corn syrup).
This is because both molasses and corn syrup are invert sugars, so they don’t recrystallize after baking. I use corn syrup in my pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies for this very reason.
This helps to give a softer and chewier texture, which is particularly helpful if you’re omitting brown sugar.
If you don’t have molasses or corn syrup on hand, that’s okay–you can simply use white granulated sugar by itself.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies if You Don’t Have Brown Sugar
It’s really easy to make these delicious cookies!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Optional: molasses or corn syrup
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Combine wet ingredients. First, you’ll use a stand mixer (or handheld mixer) to cream together some softened butter, white granulated sugar, and if you have it, some molasses or corn syrup.
Then you’ll add an egg and an egg yolk, plus some vanilla extract, mixing to combine.
Add dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing only until incorporated.
Add the chocolate chips and mix just to combine.
Bake. Last, you’ll scoop out a scant 1/2 cup of cookie dough. Roll it in your hands to form a ball, then tear the ball in half. Place each half on a prepared baking sheet, with the craggy torn side facing up.
Repeat until you have 9 cookies on the baking sheet (you want to space them a couple inches apart).
Bake at 325F for about 14-15 minutes, or until the edges and craggy tips are golden brown but the centers aren’t quite set yet.
As you can see below, the craggy tips are golden-brown but the center still looks a little wet–that’s when you want to pull them out of the oven, even if you think they might not be done yet.
You don’t want to over-bake these cookies or they won’t be soft and chewy.
Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Storing Chocolate Chip Cookies
Once cooled, your chocolate chip cookies should be stored in an airtight container. They will typically stay fresh this way for at least 3-5 days.
You can refrigerate cookies in an airtight container as well, which typically extends their shelf life to 1-2 weeks. However, the texture may change over time.
You can also freeze baked chocolate chip cookies. I recommend “flash freezing” them.
You can put them on a baking sheet in a single layer, then pop them in the freezer until they’re frozen. Then you can transfer them to an airtight container in the freezer.
Notes and Adaptations:
- I do not recommend using blackstrap molasses, as it can impart a bitter flavor.
- Feel free to use whatever type of chocolate chips you like! Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, or semi-sweet. I’m partial to Nestle Toll House chocolate chips or Ghirardelli chocolate chips.
- 12 TBSP unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Optional: 2 tsp molasses or corn syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, and molasses or corn syrup (if using). Mix to combine.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, mixing to combine.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
- Add chocolate chips, mixing just to combine.
- Scoop out a scant 1/2-cup of dough, rolling it in your hands to form a ball. Tear the ball in half, placing each half on the prepared baking sheet with the craggy torn edges facing up. Repeat (I can usually fit 9 on a baking sheet).
- Bake for 14-15 minutes, until edges are golden-brown but centers are still not yet set. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Feel free to use any kind of chocolate chips you prefer.
- I do not recommend using blackstrap molasses.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.