Easy chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar! This recipe is quick and uses simple ingredients. The cookies have crispy edges and soft, chewy centers, loaded with tons of chocolate, and are topped with a touch of flaky sea salt.
Why Make This Recipe
What I love about this recipe is how easy it is. You get a great cookie with not a lot of effort or time. These cookies require no crazy ingredients and no chill time! They’re versatile so feel free to throw in a mixture of chocolate chips (let’s get wild!).
My all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe are my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies—but they do take a little more time and effort with browning the butter and chilling the butter back to solid state.
These cookies have no brown sugar in them. They are great to make for those days you run out of brown sugar, or maybe you’re allergic, or maybe you just want to try out a delicious new cookie recipe. With their crispy edges, crackly tops, and soft, chewy centers you will love these chocolate chip cookies!
- Butter. Butter is nearly always my preferred fat when it comes to baking. It adds amazing flavor and makes these cookies moist and tender.
- Sugar. We use white, granulated sugar in this recipe (because they are chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar, after all). This adds sweetness and caramelizes the cookie giving it a crisp exterior.
- Eggs. Eggs are a binder and help bind the dough together. They also expand when they have air whipped into them and cooked. Eggs help lift the cookie and give it a great texture.
- Vanilla. Vanilla adds flavor and pairs perfectly with the other flavors for a rich, complex cookie flavor.
- Baking powder. Baking powder is our leavening agent and helps these cookies rise and spread. After experimenting with both baking powder and baking soda I preferred the results of the baking powder. Baking soda made the cookies spread too much and the texture was off.
- Cornstarch. Cornstarch adds softness to these cookies. Brown sugar usually help cookies with their soft and chewy texture. I found the white sugar alone made these chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar too crispy. The cornstarch balances that out.
- Flour. Stick with all-purpose flour with these cookies. Simple and effective.
- Chocolate chips. I prefer semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies, but use whatever you like, or a combination of chocolate chips!
- Salt & Flaky Sea Salt. Salt helps enhance flavors in this cookie. We add a little bit of salt into the dough and hit them with a little bit of flaky sea salt when they come out of the oven for an extra little salty punch.
How to Make this Recipe:
- Cream the butter and sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together the butter and sugar for one minute until smooth. Then add in the vanilla and eggs, continue creaming for another 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will give chocolate chip cookies a great texture.
- Mix in the Dry Ingredients. Gently stir in the flour, salt, baking powder, and cornstarch. Just stir in until the dry mixture disappears—do not over mix the dough. Over mixing the dough will create tough, overworked cookies.
- Add the chocolate chips. Stir in the chocolate chips—again, not over mixing.
- Scoop & Bake. Scoop your cookies 3-4 tablespoons big. I use this cookie scoop for even sized cookies. Size is important with these cookies as it affects the spread and texture of the cookies. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Leave plenty of room for them to spread and bake for 11-13 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can double of halve this recipe quite easily, it just requires some basic math.
I do not recommend you triple or quadruple this recipe. Unless you have an industrial sized mixer and are weighing out every ingredient, I find that ingredients don’t get mixed in well and the measurements start to get skewed.
Nope! One of my favorite things about these cookies is that there is nothing complicated about them. No chill, no wait time, no fuss, just deliciousness.
You can, but I do not recommend it. These cookies have the perfect ratio of crispy edges and soft, chewy centers when they are made 3-4 tablespoons big. If you make them smaller they won’t have that same texture. If you decide to make them smaller anyways, you will need to reduce the bake time on them.
Remember this recipe contains no brown sugar. Brown sugar often gives cookies a golden color to them. These chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar are designed to be pale in color. If you try to bake these cookies long enough to give them that golden color, you have probably over baked them.
You can absolutely make cookies if you do not have brown sugar. Brown sugar is not necessary for cookies. This chocolate chip cookie recipe without brown sugar has been specially developed to have an amazing flavor and texture even without brown sugar.
If you substitute white sugar for brown sugar a baking recipe you probably won’t achieve the best results. Brown sugar has molasses in it which is acidic and has moisture. Your cookies may turn out dry, and flat, and the sugar wont react as well with the leavening agent in the recipe.
White sugar is a neutral flavored sweetener with a neutral pH. It absorbs moisture which can lead to thinner and crispier cookies if the recipe has not added enough butter, flour, etc. to balance it all out.
Brown sugar is just white sugar combined with molasses. The addition of the molasses in the sugar gives cookies a caramel-y and butterscotch flavor. Molasses is acidic, meaning it will react with the leavening agents more than the neutral white sugar will. Brown sugar is denser than sugar and contains more moisture than white sugar. That combination creates less air pockets in cookie dough. Less air pockets = less rise and moist and chewy cookies
If you do not have brown sugar try making your own homemade brown sugar: white sugar + molasses.
For Light Brown: 1 cup white sugar + 1 teaspoon molasses
For Dark Brown Sugar: 1 cup white sugar + 2 teaspoons molasses
You can mix the two together with a hand mixer or using your fingers to rub the molasses into the white sugar until it turns brown and is evenly dispersed.
- Measure your flour. Incorrectly measured flour can make your cookies dry, tough, crumbly, etc. I always use a scale, if you don’t have one, I highly recommend you invest in one. But in the meantime, check out our post on how to properly measure flour (spoon and level method).
- Don’t over mix the cookie dough. Once you add your dry ingredients into the creamed mixture you want to be very careful not to over mix the dough. Stir the flour in until it just barely disappears and then leave it! The more you mix the dough the more gluten will start to develop as you work the flour. The more gluten in the dough less tender and tougher your cookies will be.
- Preheat your oven. Preheat your oven for 15-20 minutes before putting your cookie dough in the oven. The reason for this is that your oven goes through waves of higher and lower temperatures and it tries to settle into the temperature you’ve set the oven to. The longer the oven is one, the less it fluctuates. This will give you a more accurate and even bake.
- Make your cookies pretty. These cookies will taste amazing whether you take this extra step of not. But I’m a perfectionist so I always want my cookies to look perfect! The first thing I do is reserve some chocolate chips. Top your cookie dough with lots of extra chocolate chips before baking them. The second thing I do, is bang the pan on the counter. This gives your cookies beautiful wrinkles on top. The last thing I do is round out the edges. Immediately after pulling the cookies out of the oven, take a small spatula and push in any irregular edges, or take a large round biscuit cutter or even a large glass cup and circle around the cookies, making them perfectly round. You can watch us round them out on our Instagram page.
Storage and Freezing Tips
How to Store These Cookies
Room Temperature. These cookies are best eaten within 3-4 days. Once cooled completely, You can store them in an airtight container, however I feel like the texture gets a little chewier stored this way. I like to store mine just loosely covered with a dish towel. I’ve found this is the best way to store them to maintain their crisp edges and soft center. Keep in mind, I live in a dry climate. If you live somewhere humid this method may not work well for you.
Freezer. Once the cookies are cooled you can also store them in the freezer. Transfer them to freezer bag or to a large Tupperware. Thaw and bring the cookies back to room temperature before eating. They are best eaten within 3 months.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
You can count on me to almost always have stash of cookie dough in my freezer. I love doubling whatever batch of cookies I’m making and freezing half of the dough for any time I need to bring cookies somewhere last minute or I just have a sugar craving and need a cookie ASAP! Follow the instructions below or check out our video on how to freeze cookie dough on instagram.
- Scoop the cookie dough into ¼ cup balls and place them up on a lined cookie sheet. Freeze the entire cookie sheet in the freezer for 30-60 minutes. This is going to make sure they maintain and do not lose their shape in the freezer.
- Then place the cookie dough balls in a freezer-safe gallon bag or stack them on top of each other in a tupperware container. I like to place a piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or even plastic wrap in between the layers of cookie dough so that they don't stick to each other. Best if used within 3 months.
- Before baking, pull out however many cookie dough balls you want and let them sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then bake according to normal instructions, you may need to add a minute to the baking time.
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Without Brown Sugar)
- 1 cup butter (227 grams) (room temperature)
- 2 cups granulated white sugar (400 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups flour (390 grams)
- 2 cups chocolate chips (360 grams)
- Flaky Sea Salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease baking sheets.
- Place room temperature butter (not melted) and sugar in a mixing bowl or stand mixer. Cream together with hand mixer (or stand mixer paddle attachment) for 1 minute. Add in eggs and vanilla and continue creaming for another 3 minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
- Add the salt, cornstarch, baking powder, and flour and stir in gently. Do not over mix. Stir in your chocolate chips.
- Scoop cookie dough into 3-4 tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheet leaving plenty of room for them to spread. I typically place 6 on a pan.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes (mine were perfect after 12 minutes). The edges should be golden, the tops will still be pale. Sprinkle with sea salt after the cookies come out of the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
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