These chocolate chip cookies are made without brown sugar for when you’re in a pinch. They’re quick and easy to make with a deliciously soft and chewy texture.
If you’ve ever gone to make chocolate chip cookies only to realize that you’ve run out of brown sugar – then this is the recipe for you. The recipe requires just 8 ingredients and there’s no need to chill the dough. The cookies end up soft and chewy with slightly crispy edges. They satisfy any cookie craving, but require very little effort, so they’re great when you’re short on time too.
Readers always ask me if they can adjust my cookie recipes to be made without brown sugar, so I figured it was time to develop the perfect cookie recipe to account for only using white sugar. If you’re looking for the most flavorful chocolate chip cookies around then I recommend my bakery-style version, but these chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar are perfect for when you need a simple, super easy recipe.
What Does Brown Sugar Do in Cookies?
Brown sugar adds an almost caramel undertone to chocolate chip cookies. It also gives cookies a darker, more golden brown color. Because brown sugar has more moisture than white sugar, it also adds chewiness.
Because this recipe only uses white sugar – I made a few adjustments to the amount of vanilla to ensure that there was enough flavor. I also slightly adjusted the amount of flour to make the cookies chewy, even without the brown sugar. You’ll notice that the cookies are a little paler in color than other chocolate chip cookies made with brown sugar, but that’s only to be expected.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies without Brown Sugar
For step-by-step photos and more details on each step, keep reading. Or if you want to get straight to the recipe, feel free to scroll down.
- You’ll start by beating together the butter and sugar until fluffy. This recipe uses softened butter for easy mixing. The butter shouldn’t be cold, but it shouldn’t be melting either.
- Then mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on a low speed, carefully add in the flour, baking soda and salt. I often do a few stirs by hand first to ensure that the flour doesn’t puff up when you turn on the mixer.
- Then carefully stir in the ¾ cup chocolate chips. You’ll reserve ¼ cup extra chocolate chips for later.
- Form the dough into balls with about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of dough each. I use a cookie scoop of uniform cookies. Each cookie dough ball is somewhere between the size of a ping pong ball and a golf ball. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on a lined cookie sheets.
- Then bake the cookie sheets 1 at a time in the middle rack of the oven. They’ll bake for about 9-11 minutes at 350F or until the tops are golden brown around the edges. When the cookies come out of the oven, place a few extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie with the remaining ¼ cup. This gives them that perfect “eat me” look.
Freezing & Make Ahead Tips
Chocolate chip cookies are the perfect recipe to make ahead of time and freeze. You can make the dough, form it into balls, then place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Then bake the cookies from frozen, as directed in the recipe. They’ll just need 1-2 minutes extra.
Baked and cooled cookies can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag. I always recommend freezing the cookies in a single layer, or with a piece of parchment paper between layers so that they don’t stick together.
So – if you need a chocolate chip cookie recipe made without brown sugar that turns out soft, chewy and takes very little effort – then this is the recipe for you. And if you need more chocolate chip cookies to explore, then be sure to try:
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie for One
- Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies without Brown Sugar
- Cookie Sheets
- ½ cup unsalted butter (112 grams) softened, but not melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (208 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips (180 grams) divided into ¾ cup and ¼ cup
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on a low speed, mix in the flour, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in ¾ cup chocolate chips (you'll save the remaining ¼ cup for dotting on top of the cookies).
- For the dough into balls with about 1 - 1 ½ tablespoons of dough each. They'll be in between the size of a ping pong ball and a golf ball. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time in the preheated oven for about 9-11 minutes or until the tops look set. Note that when they're done baking they won't be quite as golden brown as other chocolate chip cookies, because they don't have the brown sugar.
- Remove from the oven and place a few extra chocolate chips from the reserved ¼ cup on top of each cookie. Cool on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Butter: Using salted butter is ok. If using salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
- Measuring Flour: If using cup measurements (instead of a scale) be sure to whisk the flour first. Then spoon into dry measuring cups and level off the top.
- Storage: Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Baked and cooled cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Doubling the Recipe: To double the recipe, you'll need:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips - divided into 1 ½ cups and ½ cup for dotting on top of each cookie
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields 22 equal-sized cookies.