Craving chocolate chip cookies but don't have brown sugar? No problem! This recipe offers a fantastic alternative, delivering cookies with the perfect blend of crispy edges and a chewy, chocolate-rich center, using only white sugar. Ideal for those times when brown sugar isn't on hand, these cookies are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with their classic charm and delightful taste.
These delightful chocolate chip cookies strike the perfect balance between crispy, caramelized edges and a soft, chocolate-rich center, pleasing everyone in the family!
My husband loves cookies with a bit of crunch, while I adore them when they're super soft. This recipe satisfies us both every time they're freshly baked from the oven.
Living in a rural area, I've become quite adept at improvising in the kitchen, especially when certain ingredients are unavailable at our local stores. This skill has been a lifesaver for adapting recipes to what's on hand.
Whether you're missing brown sugar or want to try something new, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is a delightful alternative to the classic. It's been crafted with love and care to ensure every bite brings a smile to your family's faces. Enjoy baking and indulging in these scrumptious treats!
📝 What To Do When You Have No Brown Sugar
The most straightforward way to bake your chocolate chip cookies when you don't have brown sugar on hand is to use white sugar for both sugar portions.
I've made a few adjustments over the years to deal with the resulting problem of only using white sugar...the dreaded spreading cookie!!
In fact, I have not had brown sugar so often this year that I wrote an entire post for brown sugar substitutes!
These are the base ingredients of any chocolate chip cookie! There's one minor variation in the ingredients and a few amounts I have played with to make my cookies. Other ingredient swaps, substitutions, and additions are noted throughout the post.
- Butter - and the choice of salted butter vs. unsalted butter is up to your own personal preferences and what you have on hand. I like using salted butter in most of my cookies unless unsalted is specifically needed.
- Sugar - granulated or white sugar only, in a doubled amount to replace the brown sugar that is usually called for in a chocolate chip cookie recipe.
- Vanilla Extract - just the right amount of delicious vanilla to bring out the best flavors in your cookies!
- Eggs - two large eggs that are beaten lightly will help add body to a cookie that is prone to spreading.
- Salt - between just a pinch and a quarter teaspoon is all you need to balance and highlight the sweet flavors.
- Baking Soda - a bit of baking soda to give your cookies that delightfully chewy texture!
- Flour - a bit more all-purpose flour than your standard recipe to keep the cookie shape. Another workaround for the spreading is to use 1 cup of bread flour with 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
- Chocolate Chips - pick your favorite brand and flavor! I'm a milk chocolate fan, but I also love to use semi-sweet chocolate chips.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
✅ How to Make Your Own Brown Sugar
To make your own brown sugar, combine the two ingredients that brown sugar is based on - granulated sugar and molasses!
My substitution ratio is 1 cup of sugar + 1 tablespoon of molasses. Since many chocolate chip recipes call for ¾ cup of each sugar and brown sugar, you would need ¾ cup of granulated sugar + 2¼ teaspoons of molasses.
Note: molasses is available in many varieties. You will want light molasses (first, mild, sweet, and sometimes Barbados ). However, dark molasses (full, robust, or second ) will work in a pinch.
I DO NOT suggest using blackstrap molasses. It will add a bitter flavor and is best used in savory recipes.
This substitution assumes that you have molasses in your pantry. I've included many other notes for working with whatever you have available!
🔪 How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar
Mix the Cookie Dough
- Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add two large, lightly beaten eggs and mix into the butter mixture until smooth.
- Gradually add the flour until all of the all-purpose flour has been incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout your cookie dough.
- Portion out the dough in 1 - 1 ¼ inch round balls, then place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and chill (see section below).
Bake the Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF ( 175ºC ) and arrange portioned cookie dough onto parchment paper-lined or silicone-lined baking sheets. Leave approximately 2 inches of spacing between the cookies. *Parchment paper or silicone mats will also help to prevent cookies from spreading.
- Place your baking sheets with the cookie dough onto the center of the middle rack of your preheated oven. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or 11 - 13 minutes if baking from frozen. The cookies are done when they get a lightly caramelized golden brown color on the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
🧊 Chilling Cookie Dough Options
There are several options for chilling your dough.
The typical chilling method of covering your mixing bowl with plastic cling film, transferring it to the refrigerator, and chilling for one hour does work.
To try and avoid the 'spreading' that cookies without brown sugar are known for, I suggest a longer chilling time. Better yet, freeze the dough.
You can place all of the portioned dough onto one large cookie sheet and chill or freeze, then transfer to baking sheets to bake with spacing.
If you have room, you can also portion the dough out onto multiple baking sheets with the usual 2-inch spacing.
💭 Tips & Notes
- Chill Baking Sheets: Pre-chilling your baking sheets can help reduce cookie spreading, a useful technique, especially when using only white sugar.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensuring that your butter and eggs are at room temperature aids in smoother mixing and more even baking.
- Mix Chocolate Chip Types: Using a combination of different chocolate chip types, like milk, dark, and white chocolate, can add a delightful variety of flavors to each cookie.
- Uniform Cookie Size: Using a cookie scoop ensures consistently sized cookies for even baking.
Your cookies can be stored exceptionally well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If the cookies are not stored in an airtight container, they do go stale within about three days.
Cookies that are refrigerated in an airtight container can still be served somewhere between 1 and 2 weeks after baking. Plenty of my family members are fine with two-week-old refrigerated cookies. However, I feel the texture difference is noticeable and not quite right.
If you want to freeze your baked cookies, it is best to first freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer them into an airtight container. Pack the frozen, baked cookies in layers with parchment paper sheets between each layer.
How To Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- To freeze your chocolate chip cookie dough for baking cookies later, scoop out your cookie portions and freeze them in a single layer on your baking sheet. The cookie dough can usually be packaged into plastic freezer storage bags within an hour or two of freezing.
- Your cookie dough can also be formed into a log for freezing, then thawed slightly. Allow the log of dough to thaw for 1-2 hours in your refrigerator, then slice and bake according to the directions below in the recipe card.
- Once frozen, transfer the frozen cookie dough into a sealable plastic freezer storage bag. It’s best to label your cookie dough with the date made and the temperature needed for baking. The cookie dough can be kept frozen for up to 3 months but is best used within the first 2 months.
Baking Frozen Cookie Dough
Baking your frozen cookie dough is easy! Bake as noted in the recipe card below, but add 1 - 2 minutes for baking from frozen.
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Yes, most definitely! With these cookies, especially without making any alterations like adding molasses, I wholeheartedly suggest freezing the dough before baking!
You can place all of the portioned dough onto one large cookie sheet and chill or freeze, then transfer it to baking sheets to bake with spacing. If you have room, you can also portion the dough out onto multiple baking sheets with the usual 2-inch spacing.
White sugar dissolves quickly and easily in the cookie dough, providing sweetness and a crisp texture to the finished cookies. Brown sugar, on the other hand, contains molasses, which gives it a moist texture and a rich, caramel-like flavor. Together, they are a perfect balance of flavor and texture. However, you can still achieve a tasty cookie without brown sugar with the right tips and tricks!
Yes, you can make chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar. They may be slightly crispier, but still totally delicious!
🍪 More Great Cookie Recipes!
- Peanut Butter Pecan Cookies - A nutty twist on the classic peanut butter cookie that will make your taste buds go nuts!
- Snickerdoodles - The perfect soft and chewy cinnamon sugar cookie!
- Oatmeal Molasses Raisin Cookies (WWII Cookies) - These comforting, nostalgic cookies blend hearty oats, rich molasses, and plump raisins.
- Sugar Cookies - Everyone loves the classic simplicity of sugar cookies, and they're perfect for decorating!
- Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies - A gluten-free cookie that tastes almost too good to be true!
- No-Bake Haystack Cookies - These classic no-bake cookies are made with crispy chow mein noodles!
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📖 Recipe Card
Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the 1 cup butter, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt until smooth.
- Add the lightly beaten 2 large eggs and combine thoroughly with the butter mixture. Gradually add the 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, mixing until all of the flour is incorporated into your cookie dough. Fold in 2 cups chocolate chips.
- Portion out your cookie dough into roughly 1-1 ¼-inch round balls and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and chill. *See notes for dough chilling options.
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ (175℃) once the chocolate chip cookie dough is chilled or frozen.
- Bake in the center of the middle rack in your preheated oven at 350℉ (175℃) for 10-12 minutes, or 11-13 minutes if baking from frozen. Remove from the oven when the cookie edges are slightly golden.
- Allow your baked cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!