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Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Without Brown Sugar

My Nana’s chocolate chip cookie recipe without brown sugar
Chocolate Chip Cookies without Brown Sugar Recipe - the cookies are stacked on top of each other and tied with twine

Jump to Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe without Brown Sugar

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? They might be my absolute favourite cookie! But cookies without brown sugar do not need to be lacking in anything!

These cookies are super soft, chewy, gooey and ready in less than 15 minutes!

The other day I was going to make some cookies to bring to my neighbour and I pulled everything out of my pantry and realized that I don’t have brown sugar. I was still determined to make something sweet for her and knowing that chocolate chip was something I promised her, I did not want to disappoint!

I remember my mom always telling me that there is no decent chocolate chip cookie without brown sugar so you could imagine my frustrations, but I was determined! It adds that not-so-secret touch!

Brown sugar in a cookie is one of those secret ingredients that make it taste so sweet and add a depth of flavour.

These are my Nana’s cookie recipe and I cherish all the recipes that she has passed down to me. She has many, but the reason why there is no brown sugar in this one is because when she was younger, brown sugar wasn’t as available. I’m so excited to share it with you too!

Raw chocolate chip cookie dough balls without brown sugar

I love the idea of bringing cookies to friends and family. They put an instant smile on everyone’s face because who doesn’t love homemade cookies. This is one of my BIGGEST elegant tips! When you are wanting to make a good impression on someone or just make someone’s day, make them these cookies!

I have yet to find someone who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies!

Elegant Tip:

Buy a beautiful (but inexpensive) dish from the dollar store, or go to a thrift store and buy a bake dish and put the cookies in there to bring it to others. I feel that it puts an extra touch on the gift rather than a plastic dish or tray. Little details like this make all the difference.

This is one of those tips to “romanticize your life” tips!

Don’t forget to add a nice little card too!

Understanding the Role of Brown Sugar in Baking

Before we start mixing the batter and preheating our ovens, I wanted to know WHY we need brown sugar anyways. So after some research I found out why brown sugar is a nice touch in chocolate chip cookies.

Brown sugar isn’t just for a sweetness addition (although it does help!); it contributes to both the taste and texture of your treats. Most importantly, it holds moisture, which results in chewier cookies and softer baked goods.

The molasses content of brown sugar helps cookies with that characteristic caramel flavor. When replaced, the taste profile of your final creation will alter, and it’s not just about sweetness — the very essence of the cookie will change.

Yet, it’s not impossible and I figured it out!

My Nana’s chocolate chip cookie recipe without brown sugar

Taste and Texture: The Experience of Baking Without Brown Sugar

These cookies showcase a slightly lighter appearance because there is no brown sugar in them. I enjoy them because they have a crisper edge, and slightly softer inside than if I made them with brown sugar.

Customization Options to Sweeten the Deal

One of the joys of creating any cookie from scratch is the ability to experiment with it. You can add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the batter for a deeper sweetness. Or, for a lighter twist, try using applesauce or mashed bananas to act as both sweetener and binder.

I have used apple sauce and also a “flax egg”, but I prefer the good ol’ traditional sugar!

And don’t forget about extras!

Nuts, coconut flakes, or even a sprinkle of salt before popping them in the oven can elevate your cookies into gourmet status. If you’re feeling really crazy, mix in your favorite candy pieces or chopped up dried fruits. The power is in your hands (or in this case, in your mixing bowl 😉 ).

Chocolate Chip Cookies without Brown Sugar Recipe - the cookies are stacked on top of each other and tied with twine
Yield: 32-40 cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Without Brown Sugar

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Despite the lack of brown sugar, these cookies are still incredibly soft, chewy, and packed with flavor. The key is in the creaming of the butter and sugar, and careful mixing to ensure you don't overwork the dough.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (Start with 2 1/4 cup and add more if too wet)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


    1) Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    2) Cream together the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. This may take about 3-5 minutes.

    3) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.

    4) Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    5) Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

    6) Fold in the chocolate chips.

    7) Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

    8) Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned but the centers are still soft.

    9) Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


1) Ensure your butter is soft but still cool to the touch. This helps with the creaming process and the resulting texture.

2) Incorporate the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully mixed before adding the next. This ensures a smoother batter.

3) Don't over-mix once the dry ingredients are added. Over-working the dough can result in tough cookies rather than the desired tenderness.

4) Use good quality chocolate for the best tasting cookies.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:16

Frequently Asked Questions about Brown Sugar in Cookies

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