Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies take the classic favorite and elevate it to something out of this world! Nutty brown butter and warm brown sugar are a truly amazing combo in what is now my new favorite cookie. 

I tried this combo at this cute local bakery in my town and they call it a “Brown Butter Sugar Cookie,” it was definitely made with brown sugar- that  I knew for sure, but it was much thicker than the cookies I normally make, with crispy edges and a really soft middle. The sprinkle of flaky sea salt of course added the perfect touch and I just couldn’t get enough of this cookie.

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

What do you need for Brown Butter Sugar Cookies:

  • Butter (of course!)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Baking Soda
  • Flaky Sea Salt

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Do I really need Cream of Tartar?

Flavor wise? No. All Cream of Tartar does is create the crackly texture I love on these cookies. It will affect the look but not the taste.

I don’t have brown sugar- can I use white sugar?

The brown sugar adds a chewy, caramelized flavor to these cookies and I really don’t recommend changing anything. But did you know you can make brown sugar by adding a touch of molasses to white sugar and processing in a blender?

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Yield: 9 large cookies


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1½ cup dark brown sugar* (lightly packed)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar*
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Place butter in a medium-sized saucepan allow it to melt, and then brown- getting golden around the edges and then a nice rich brown color. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar.
  3. Pour the butter into a large bowl with the brown sugar and stir until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, egg, and egg yolk and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix slowly until well incorporated but don't over-mix.
  5. For large, thick cookies- divide dough into about 9 portions, rolled into balls and flattened slightly. I just eye balled it, but I'd say about ⅓ cup of dough went into each one. You can of course portion them smaller for more average sized cookies.
  6. Freeze dough rounds for 5-10 minutes before baking, then bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes or until the edges feel done and the tops have cracked a bit. (Bake less for smaller cookies.)


*Regular brown sugar would work too but I like the richer flavor from the dark.

*Cream of tarter helps add the crackled texture to the tops of the cookies, but is optional.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


  1. Do you think this would work with egg substitute? My son is allergic to eggs and I usually try to replace the eggs for the substitute from Red Mills if the recipe call for just one egg.
    What does the extra yolk do?

    1. I’ve never baked with egg sub so I’m not sure! The extra yolk makes the cookies chewy without making them cakey. If you try post your results! I’m sure the flavor will be great!

  2. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can’t wait to try them!

  3. How long do these cookies last? And what is the best way to store them for freshness? They are my go to now. Love them!

  4. I just made these this afternoon. They are my new favorite! I may not be able to make them very often though… I will eat them all! (I hid them from my 2 year-old!). I didn’t use the cream of tartar and only had salted butter on hand, so I omitted the extra salt. I did top with course salt flakes though! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. He wanted something sweet so I started looking for a recipe that didn’t use granulated sugar or shortening. He fell asleep and then when he woke up, I said, “I actually baked and it turned out good!” Then he kept asking for more and said, “If you really made these …”. He said they were good enough to believe they came from a bakery.

    OMG these are good!!!

  6. I just made these last night. What a treat! I was looking for an excuse to use the European butter I bought on sale and these cookies fit the bill! I didn’t have everything on hand, but the cookies still came out great. (I substituted 1 tsp baking powder for the baking soda and cream of tartar, made my own brown sugar with molasses and plain sugar, and left out the vanilla because I didn’t have any.) The result was still an awesome cookie. Thank you for sharing this recipe – it’s definitely going on my cookies-to-impress list.

  7. Just tried this recipe and it is AMAZING
    I substituded the 1/2tsp of baking soda nd 1/2tsp of cream of tartar for 1tsp or baking powder
    I also substituted the salt both in the cookies and on top with Himalayan pink salts.
    Another great technique for that beautiful crackly look is to use a flat spatula to push the cookies down 2 min before end of baking.

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