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Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

These brown butter sugar cookies are soft, chewy, and have an incredible caramel flavor. The brown sugar, hint of cinnamon, and vanilla extract gives these cookies depth and a rich flavor. If you’re looking for an elevated version of the classic sugar cookie, this is the recipe for you!

Brown butter sugar cookies with sprinkles. One cookie has a bite out of it.

These brown butter sugar cookies are great any time of year, but since I’m writing this in October, we decided to add some Halloween sprinkles and make them festive! While the sprinkles are totally optional, browning the butter beforehand is not.

Browned butter is the star of these cookies. It gives them a caramelly flavor that makes them So. Dang. Good. They were gone within a day at our house.

If you’ve never browned butter before, I promise it’s not difficult. You simply add cubed butter to a saucepan on the stove and stir frequently as it melts, bubbles up, and then eventually turns brown. A full breakdown of the steps I took to make these cookies is below!

If you’re looking for more delicious cookie recipes, check out these caramel chocolate chip cookies or tahini pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

Why You’ll Love These Cookies

  • Caramel Flavor – The browned butter in these cookies bring out a caramelly flavor. Soo good!
  • Brown Sugar – The brown sugar adds depth, chewiness, and rich flavor.
  • Only One Bowl is Needed – You don’t need a lot of equipment to make these cookies. You can add all of them into the bowl.
  • Perfect For the Holidays! – You don’t need to add any sprinkles to make these bad boys great. But if you do want to add them, you can make them work for any holiday – Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter, birthday parties!

Ingredients

Ingredient shot of the brown butter sugar cookies: butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, and a bowl of sprinkles.
  • Browned Butter – This will need to be browned on the stovetop. I use salted butter in almost all my baking and cooking. If you use unsalted butter, you’ll want to add a teaspoon of salt to the dough.
  • Brown Sugar – I used dark-brown sugar for this recipe, but light-brown sugar works as well. This adds to the caramel flavor. We use twice the amount of brown sugar than granulated sugar in this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar – This helps balance out the brown sugar.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract – A tablespoon of vanilla extract is added to the dough which adds to the depth of flavor in this cookie!
  • Baking Powder – I added more of this to the cookie recipe than baking soda because it helps keep them soft and puffy!
  • Baking Soda – Helps the cookies rise.
  • Cinnamon – A little dash of it to add an autumnal flavor. Though you could keep this out of the cookie and still get a bangin’ flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour

See recipe card for quantities.

Stack of brown Butter sugar cookies with sprinkles and other cookies around the stack.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Cubed butter in a saucepan on the stove.

Step 1: Cube the butter and add it to a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. The butter will start to melt. Continue stirring with a spatula for about five minutes while it browns.

Browned butter in a saucepan on the stove.

Step 2: You’ll know the butter is browned when there’s a lot of foam and the butter is, you guessed it, brown! Allow the browned butter to cool slightly before mixing with the other ingredients.

Wet ingredients for brown butter sugar cookies in a mixing bowl mixed together.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.

All ingredients in a mixing bowl mixed together.

Step 4: Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt (if you are using unsalted butter). Gradually add the flour as you mix the dough with a hand mixer.

All ingredients mixed together with a spatula.

Step 5: Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl making sure to incorporate all the ingredients.

Scooped cookie dough on a baking sheet ready to be chilled.

Step 6: Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough on to a baking sheet. Chill the dough for 20-30 minutes. Chilling the dough is imperative to help prevent the cookies from spreading!

Chilled dough getting rolled in balls and then rolled in a bowl of sprinkles.

Step 7: Once chilled, you can roll the dough into a bowl of sprinkles if you wish to decorate them. Pictured is one of the little hands that helped me make these! Getting the kiddos involved makes it more fun and also way messier. Worth it.

Six cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet ready to be baked.

Step 8: Roll the dough into 2-tablespoon balls and bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet 6 cookies at a time for 11 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the outside of the cookies are golden brown and the middle of them are still soft. They will bake more as they sit on the hot baking sheet. This recipe makes 18-24 cookies depending on size and amount of cookie dough eaten beforehand. 😉

A child's hand reaching towards a cookie with other cookies and sprinkles around the cookie being grabbed.

Hint: There will be tiny brown specks at the bottom of the saucepan once you’ve browned the butter. Make sure to add those into the mixing bowl when you prepare the cookie dough!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Sugar – If you’re looking for a cookie that’s closer to a classic sugar cookie, you can use 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon Flavor – If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, you can leave it out and still get a great tasting cookie! If you’re looking to up the cinnamon spice flavor, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 a teaspoon ginger, and 1/2 a teaspoon nutmeg for a truly cozy autumn cookie.
  • Decoration – These cookies are so darn tasty with or without the sprinkles. So leave them out if you wish. You can also decorate them with other sprinkles to fit the holiday you’re in. You could also frost these cookies with a vanilla or caramel frosting for the ultimate indulgent cookie.

Equipment

Storage

Storing already baked cookies:

  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. In the fridge for up to 7 days.
  • You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months by storing them in an airtight container. Allow them to thaw at room temperature before consuming.

Storing the cookie dough:

  • You can make the dough ahead of time and store in the fridge overnight.
  • If you wish to freeze the dough, keep the dough in an airtight container or gallon-sized bag for up to 3 months. You can also roll them into balls before freezing, but make sure to chill the dough balls for 30 minutes beforehand. Scoop them on to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake them for an extra minute or two if going into the oven frozen.
  • You can also take the cookie dough out of the freezer the night before baking and store them in the fridge overnight to thaw.

Top tip

To ensure these cookies turn out perfect, you must chill the dough! Chilling the cookies keeps them from spreading and getting too thin or crispy. We are looking for soft, chewy, puffy cookies and chilling them is the way to get there!

Twelve cookies lined up on a counter.

FAQ

Do I have to brown the butter to make this recipe?

Yes! The browned butter is the magic behind these delicious tasting cookies.

Are these cookies gluten-free?

No, they are not. These cookies call for all-purpose flour and I have not tested them with a gluten-free flour. If you want to give it a go with a gluten-free flour, please do! Then let me know how they turned out.

Could I add any mix-ins to these cookies?

Absolutely! You can eat these cookies plain or with sprinkles. You could add nuts like chopped pecans or walnuts. You could add semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips (those would be great with these brown butter cookies!). You could also frost the cookies with a vanilla or caramel frosting.

How many cookies does this recipe make?

About 18-24 depending on size of cookies and amount of cookie dough eaten beforehand. 😉

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

Brown butter sugar cookies with sprinkles. One cookie has a bite out of it.

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

These brown butter sugar cookies have a caramel flavor and are soft and so chewy. The brown sugar, hint of cinnamon, and vanilla extract gives these cookies depth and a rich flavor. If you're looking for an elevated version of the classic sugar cookie, this is the recipe for you!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 51 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 242kcal
Author: Jamie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup browned butter 2 sticks of butter (I use salted)
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar light-brown sugar also works
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt only if using unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sprinkles optional

Instructions

Brown the Butter

  • Cut the butter into about 1 tablespoon cubes. Add the cubed butter to a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. Use a spatula to mix continuously as the butter melts, bubbles up, and starts to brown. This can take 5-7 minutes.
  • The butter will be browned when there is foam on top and the butter is, you guessed it, brown! Tiny brown specks are normal and should be included when you combine all the ingredients. Allow the browned butter to cool off before making the dough.

Make the Cookies

  • Add the browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until fully combined.
  • With a hand mixer, mix the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt (if using unsalted butter) into the wet ingredients. Gradually add the flour as you mix the dough. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop (or your hands) to scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the dough balls have chilled, roll them into round balls with your hand. Then roll them in a bowl of sprinkles (if adding sprinkles).
  • Place six balls of cookie dough on the baking sheet, separating them about 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 11 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown and the center is still soft and a little uncooked. They will cook more on the hot baking sheet.
  • Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

It’s important that you chill the dough before baking these cookies to prevent them from spreading too thin or turning up crispy and hard.
Storing already-baked cookies:
    • Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. In the fridge for up to 7 days.
    • You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months by storing them in an airtight container. Allow them to thaw at room temperature before consuming.
Storing the cookie dough: 
    • You can make the dough ahead of time and store in the fridge overnight.
    • If you wish to freeze the dough, keep the dough in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can also roll them into balls before freezing, but make sure to chill the dough balls for 30 minutes before transferring to the freezer. Scoop them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake them for an extra minute or two if going into the oven frozen.
    • You can also take the cookie dough out of the freezer the night before baking and store them in the fridge overnight to thaw.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 0.002mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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