These 3-Ingredient Brown Sugar Cookies are crunchy, cut-out sugar cookies made from brown sugar.
Plus, they are also allergy friendly, made without eggs, and nut-free and dairy-free options are provided.
My kids love making cut-out cookies, especially sugar cookies. But recently, we started using soft brown sugar to add moisture and golden brown color to the cookies.
It come out so good, so crunchy and beautiful that we had to share this recipe.
How To Make 3-Ingredient Brown Sugar Cookies
It’s very easy to make sugar cookies from brown sugar. Let me share this cookie recipe:
All you need to make crunchy easy dark brown sugar cookies are:
- All-Purpose Flour – sifted
- Soft Brown Sugar – or brown sugar but soft brown sugar adds a lovely texture, keeping the center a bit soft, not overly dry or hard to bite on.
- Softened Unsalted Butter or unsalted margarine if dairy-free. Avoid salted butter, or the cookies get very salty.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter and brown sugar.
Beat for about 2 minutes, until the butter and sugar come together into a creamy, smooth texture.
Stir in the flour gradually, in 2 or 3 additions, while beating on low speed until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter.
If too dry, make sure you scrape down the side of the bowl to gather any butter that might have burst on the side of the bowl.
Eventually, add a little water if too crumbly, but add one teaspoon at a time, beat to incorporate, and stop when a lovely cookie dough forms.
If too wet, add more wheat flour, one tablespoon at a time. The dough should be creamy, soft, and buttery with a light brown color.
Warp the dough in plastic wrap and flatten it into a disc shape and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
Rolling Brown Sugar Cookies
Remove the dough from the fridge and remove it from its plastic wrap.
The cookie dough should be very soft, and that’s why you must roll the dough on a floured surface with a dust of flour on top of the disc.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness. If too sticky, you can roll the cookie dough encased between two pieces of parchment paper.
Then, use any cookie cutter you love to cut out shapes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the rolled brown sugar cookies onto the baking sheet.
Bake on the center rack of the oven for 8 to 9 minutes or until the top is dry.
Remove from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
Then, slide a spatula or under each brown sugar shortbread cookie to transfer them to a cooling rack.
Like many of my 3-ingredient recipes, you can enhance its flavors by adding optional ingredients.
For example try to add:
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to make the cookies less hard.
You can store the brown sugar cookies in an airtight cookie jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
You can also refrigerate the cookies if you added frosting. It’s safer, especially if yours contain egg whites like with my royal icing.
Also, sugar cookies freeze very well in zip-lock bags and can be thawed the day before at room temperature.
You can frost these easy brown sugar cookies with royal icing. Use my royal icing without meringue powder if you like.
This is by far the easiest royal icing recipe, made without egg whites.
Spread the frosting with a teaspoon, using a toothpick to spread it around the edges.
Air dry the royal icing for a few hours at room temperature before eating.
This brown sugar cookie recipe is naturally:
But if you have other food allergies, try some of the substitutions listed below:
- Sugar-Free – Natural sugar-free brown sweeteners like brown erythritol work very well. Don’t use xylitol. It makes cookies ultra soft.
- Gluten-Free – I didn’t try all-purpose gluten-free flour for this recipe, but I am confident that a 1:1 blend with xanthan gum will work well.
- Dairy-Free – Replace the softened butter with softened pant-based butter or margarine.
- Brown Sugar Swap – The recipe works with white granulated sugar or light brown sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fine below my answers to your most frequent questions about these sugar cookies made from brown sugar:
Can I Use Coconut Sugar?
You can replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar, but the cookie will be darker, harder, and crunchier.
Can I Replace Butter With Oil?
You can’t swap butter for any kind of oil or the cookies will be oily and softer.
Can I Use Healthier Flour Like Almond Flour Or Coconut Flour?
No, you must use wheat flour for this recipe. This is because low-starch flour won’t bind into cookie dough.
Can I Skip The Chilling Time?
This is a must. Non Chilled sugar cookie dough shrinks in the oven, and the cookies would look bad.
More Easy Cookie Recipes
If you like these cookies, you’ll love these other easy cookie recipes.
Have you tried these light brown sugar cookies? Leave a comment or review below.
3-Ingredient Brown Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
- ⅓ cup Soft Brown Sugar
- 1 ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour sifted
- In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add softened butter and soft brown sugar.
- Using an electric beater or the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy – about 1-2 minutes.
- Then, sift in the flour and beat on low-speed – speed 2-3 of a stand mixer – until fully incorporated.
- If too dry or crumbly – add 1-2 teaspoons of milk or water. If too wet, add 1-2 tablespoons of extra flour. The texture should be soft and creamy but not overly sticky.
- Transfer the creamy cookie dough to a plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- After the chilling time, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly oil paper with cooking oil spray, Set aside.
- Flour a work surface, remove the disc of dough from the fridge, unwrap it, add some flour on top, and knead for a few seconds.
- Place the dough on the floured surface, then sprinkle extra flour on top.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, then cut it out into any shape you like.
- Gently side a spatula under each rolled cookie to transfer them to the baking sheet. Be gentle! The dough is soft and fragile. You can also roll and cut out the dough directly on a piece of parchment paper. Then slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
- Leave a thumb space between each – they won't expand, but it's easier to remove them from the tray later.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until just crispy on the edge and golden brown.
- Cool down on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- Cool completely before decorating.
- Store in a cookie jar at room temperature up to 1 week.