These soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar are the best homemade cookies. They are easy to make in one bowl and every bite is full of delicious chocolate chips. No brown sugar is necessary for amazing flavor!
If you're craving chocolate chip cookies but suddenly realize you're out of brown sugar, don't panic! These cookies made without brown sugar taste just as good, if not better, than typical chocolate chip cookies.
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- Soft & chewy - These cookies are the epitome of soft and chewy. They are thin cookies with firm edges and buttery soft centers that melt in your mouth.
- No brown sugar - You only need granulated sugar to make these cookies.
- Easy recipe - You only need one mixing bowl and these cookies are baked and ready to enjoy in just 20 minutes. Seriously easy!
- Homemade - Forget plain store-bought cookie dough. Homemade cookies are the best, and these chocolate chip cookies are no exception.
Why do chocolate chip cookies need brown sugar?
Brown sugar is often used in chocolate chip cookies because it provides moisture and flavor to the cookies. Brown sugar contains more moisture than granulated sugar, which contributes to soft, chewy cookies. The caramel-like flavor of brown sugar compliments the chocolate flavor and gives cookies a beautiful golden-brown color.
Do chocolate chip cookies need brown sugar to taste good? Nope! These cookies taste amazing without brown sugar, and you bet they are still super soft and chewy.
You only need 8 ingredients to make these cookies. Below are helpful notes about the ingredients to help you have great results with the recipe:
- Butter - Use unsalted butter that is slightly softened. You may also use vegan butter to make the cookies dairy-free.
- Sugar - You only need granulated sugar, no brown sugar, to make these cookies.
- Egg - Egg binds the ingredients and helps give the cookies their chewy texture.
- Vanilla - Pure vanilla extract adds rich and delicious flavor to the cookies.
- Flour - All-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour work well. Be sure to measure the flour properly to avoid dry cookies.
- Baking Soda - This is a leavening agent that helps the cookies spread. Don't leave this out or you'll have thick and puffy cookies.
- Salt - Salt is important to balance the flavors and enhance the taste.
- Chocolate Chips - I recommend semi-sweet chocolate chips, but milk and dark chocolate also work well. Use vegan chocolate chips for a dairy-free version.
Remember to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for ingredient quantities.
These cookies are easy to mix in one bowl. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to make chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar:
STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl, beat the slightly softened butter and sugar together for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes light and fluffy.
STEP 2: Add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl. Mix together on medium speed until just incorporated.
STEP 3: With the mixer off, add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are just combined into the dough.
STEP 4: Use a rubber spatula (or mixer on the lowest speed) to gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over-mix the dough!
STEP 5: Use a cookie scoop to form the cookie dough into evenly-sized balls. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2-3 inches between each ball.
STEP 6: Gently press additional chocolate chips into the top of the cookie dough balls before baking. The chips will show through the top of the cookies nicely after baking.
STEP 7: Bake the cookies at 350°F for 8-11 minutes, or until the cookies spread and the edges just barely turn golden. Be very cautious not to over-bake the cookies! They may not look done because of their pale color without brown sugar, but it is better to slightly under-bake the cookies so they have a soft, chewy texture.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. They will continue to bake and set up as they cool. They taste amazing while they are still warm!
Expert Baking Tips
- Properly measure flour - For thin and chewy cookies, it is critical to measure the flour properly. Use a spoon to sprinkle flour into the measuring cup and then level the top with the straight edge of a knife. This ensures you do not accidentally overmeasure the flour.
- Don't over-mix - Mix the dough until the ingredients are just combined. Don't mix too long or the cookies will become crispier and flatter.
- Top with extra chocolate - Before baking, press additional chocolate chips into the top of the cookie dough balls. They will peek through the top and look pretty!
- Watch baking time - With no brown sugar, these cookies remain very light and pale in color. Be careful not to over-bake them! Remove them from the oven when the edges are just beginning to darken. They will continue to bake while they cool.
If you have dietary restrictions, you can easily make these cookies work for you. Below are helpful notes on how to make the cookies gluten-free and dairy-free:
- Dairy-Free - Use vegan butter and vegan chocolate chips. A stick of butter is better than using a vegan butter spread.
- Gluten-Free - Use gluten-free all-purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free 1:1 flour blend. Be sure it includes xanthan gum!
- Vegan - I have yet to try making these cookies vegan. If you try making the recipe with a flax egg, please let me know how it turns out.
These homemade vegan oreos are a dietary-friendly chocolate cookie recipe to try!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! While traditional chocolate chip cookies have brown sugar, you can make cookies with granulated sugar and have great results when made as instructed.
Depending on what type of cookies you are making, different types of sugar are needed. White sugar is not as moist as brown sugar, so you have to be mindful when making substitutions. For chocolate chip cookies, white sugar can replace brown sugar with good results.
Do not use melted butter for chocolate chip cookies unless the recipe explicitly calls for it. Butter that is slightly softened is ideal. Not so soft that it is super greasy and flexible, but soft enough to beat easily with the sugar.
Using only white sugar in cookies can alter the taste and texture of the cookies. Cookies with white sugar will be pale in color and taste more like sugar cookies. They will be flatter and crispier since they do not have the added moisture that brown sugar provides.
Storing & Freezing
Store leftover chocolate chip cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days. This keeps them moist and fresh-tasting for multiple days.
These cookies are easy to freeze! Place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container and store them frozen for up to three months. Allow them to thaw at room temperature before enjoying them again.
More Chocolate Cookie Recipes
Did you make these chewy chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar? Please leave a star rating and review below. This supports my blog and helps other readers a lot. If you post a photo of your cookies on Instagram and tag me, I'd love to share it! To stay updated with the newest recipes, please join my email list and follow me on Pinterest. Happy baking!
Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- 2 Medium-Large Baking Sheets
- 1 Cookie Scoop
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, slightly softened or dairy-free butter*
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour*
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips plus extra for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two medium-large baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream together the slightly softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 1-2 minutes.¾ cup unsalted butter, slightly softened, ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until just combined.1 egg, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are just combined. Be very careful not to over-mix.1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated. A rubber spatula is great for this.1 cup chocolate chips
- Use a cookie scoop to form evenly-sized balls of dough, about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Place each dough ball on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. The cookies will spread while baking, so be sure they have enough room.
- Gently press additional chocolate chips into the top of each cookie dough ball before baking. The chips will show through the tops of the cookies and look pretty once baked.
- Bake the cookies for 8-11 minutes, or until the edges barely start to turn lightly golden. Without brown sugar, the cookies will look very pale, but do not over-bake them! For soft and chewy cookies, it is better to slightly under-bake them. They will continue to set up as they cool.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy!