Vegan brown sugar cookies are perfectly soft, chewy, buttery, and sweet! They’re deliciously flavored with dark brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and cinnamon. The recipe is easy, eggless, dairy-free, gluten-free friendly, and requires no chilling. Rolled in granulated sugar with a sparkly coating, they’re a beautiful cookie for the holidays!

a pile of vegan brown sugar cookies on a wire cooling rack

If you think you loved sugar cookies before, just wait until you try these Vegan Brown Sugar Cookies. I’m convinced these will change your life. Although you can’t go wrong with my classic white sugar cookies recipe, I truly believe this flavor is even better than the original!

Sweetened exclusively with dark brown sugar, these cookies are incredibly soft, moist, rich, and chewy. They’re flavored with molasses, vanilla, and cinnamon. The exterior is perfectly-crispy, golden brown, and coated in granulated sugar. The interior is deliciously tender and gooey.

What’s more, they’re so quick and easy to make. The cookie dough is made with one bowl, requires no chilling, and is ready in about 15 minutes. While they’re a delicious dessert all year round, they’re absolutely perfect during the holiday season. Enjoy them for Christmas, holiday parties, gifting, and more!

PS: If you’re a sugar cookie lover, you’ll also want to try my Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies!

These brown sugar cookies are:

  • Vegan, eggless, dairy-free, and gluten-free friendly
  • Sweetened with brown sugar and molasses
  • Subtly spiced with a hint of cinnamon
  • Soft, moist, and chewy in the center
  • Perfectly crispy on the outside
  • An easy Christmas cookie recipe
a stack of vegan brown sugar cookies with a bite taken out of the top one

Ingredients in vegan brown sugar cookies

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour, otherwise known as plain flour. If you need a gluten-free version, simply replace it with gluten-free all-purpose flour.
  • Vegan butter: I recommend vegan buttery spread rather than butter sticks. I like to use the Earth Balance brand.
  • Brown sugar: Dark brown sugar creates the richest flavor and a super moist texture. However, light brown sugar works well too.
  • Granulated sugar: The brown sugar cookie dough balls are coated in regular sugar before baking. This makes them extra festive for the holidays.
  • Non-dairy milk: Use any type of non-dairy milk, such as almond milk or oat milk.
  • Vanilla extract: An entire tablespoon of vanilla extract creates a deep vanilla flavor. It complements the dark brown sugar so well.
  • Molasses: Molasses makes cookies more moist and chewy. It adds a rich brown color, too. Be sure to use unsulfured molasses. I use the popular Grandma’s brand.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: These two leavening agents help the dough rise and spread while baking.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a healthy anti-inflammatory spice. It adds a warm flavor and aroma.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the overall sweetness.
bowls of ingredients for vegan brown sugar cookies

How to make eggless brown sugar cookies

For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

vegan butter and dark brown sugar in a glass mixing bowl
In a large bowl, add the vegan butter and dark brown sugar.
a kitchenaid handheld electric mixer creaming dark brown sugar and vegan butter together
Using an electric handheld mixer or a stand mixer, cream the ingredients together until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
almond milk, molasses, and vanilla extract added to creamed butter and brown sugar in a glass bowl
Add the non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, and molasses to the bowl.
a kitchenaid handheld electric mixer creaming dark brown sugar, molasses, almond milk, and vegan butter together
Cream together until combined.
flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt added to the wet ingredients for vegan brown sugar cookies
Add all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Fold the ingredients together until evenly combined.
a cookie scoop scooping a ball of vegan brown sugar cookie dough
Using a cookie scoop, scoop and roll the cookie dough into balls.
rolling balls of vegan brown sugar cookie dough in granulated sugar
Add the granulated sugar to a bowl. Gently roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar, evenly coating the surface. Transfer to the baking sheet.
vegan brown sugar cookies on a baking sheet
Bake cookies for 12 minutes on the middle rack in your oven. Remove them from the oven while the center still appears underbaked. They will de-puff and firm up while cooling. Enjoy!

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between white sugar and brown sugar?

The key difference between these two sugars is the presence of molasses. White sugar does not contain molasses, while brown sugar does contain molasses.

What is the difference between dark brown sugar and light brown sugar?

There are two types of brown sugar: dark and light. Dark brown sugar contains more molasses (6.5%) while light brown sugar contains less molasses (3.5%). This means dark brown sugar will produce a deeper, richer flavor and has a darker color.

What does brown sugar do for cookies?

Simply put, brown sugar creates cookies that are more moist and chewy. This type of sugar is more dense than white sugar. When it’s creamed with butter, it creates fewer air pockets. This results in cookies that spread more while baking.

Which brown sugar is best for cookies?

Typically, dark brown sugar and light brown sugar can be used interchangeably. For this particular recipe, I prefer dark brown sugar because it produces the richest and deepest flavor.

Can you use just brown sugar in cookies?

Yes, of course! The cookie dough in this recipe is sweetened with only brown sugar. However, we’ll roll the dough in some granulated sugar for decoration and added sweetness.

a close up of vegan brown sugar cookies on a wire cooling rack

Tips for making the best brown sugar cookies

Use slightly softened butter. Slightly softened butter is best for making cookies. It should take a subtle imprint when you gently press it with your finger.

Measure the flour accurately. The most accurate way to measure flour is using a food scale. This recipe requires 238g of flour. If you don’t have a food scale, make sure you do not scoop and pack flour into the measuring cup. Instead, gently spoon flour into the measuring cup and scrape off any excess with a flat surface (like the back of a knife).

Use the middle rack in your oven. For the best results, bake these brown sugar cookies one tray at a time on the middle rack in your oven. This leads to even baking. If you use the top or lower racks, you’ll notice the cookies don’t bake as evenly or often become burnt.

Remove them while they’re still underbaked. If you love a soft, moist, and chewy texture, don’t over-bake them. Remove the cookies while the edges begin to firm up but the center still appears underbaked. They will continue to cook, de-puff, and firm up as they cool on the baking sheet.

vegan brown sugar cookies on a wire cooling rack with a bite taken out of one

How to store vegan brown sugar cookies

Store these eggless brown sugar cookies inside a sealed container at room temperature. Enjoy within 3-5 days. If you would like to store them longterm, you can either freeze the cookie dough or the baked cookies. Follow the steps below.

  • How to freeze brown sugar cookie dough: Place balls of cookie dough (before rolling in sugar) inside a ziplock bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw to room temperature before rolling in sugar, then bake as instructed.
  • How to freeze brown sugar cookies: Place the baked cookies inside a sealed ziplock bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw to room temperature before consuming.
a stack of vegan brown sugar cookies with the top two showing the cross section

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a close up of vegan brown sugar cookies on a wire cooling rack

Vegan Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Vegan brown sugar cookies are soft, moist, buttery, and chewy! They’re sweetened with dark brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, and vanilla. The easy recipe is eggless, dairy-free, and gluten-free friendly. Although they’re delicious all year round, these cookies are perfect for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, slightly softened (112g)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed (213g)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (238g) (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add the vegan butter and dark brown sugar. Using an electric handheld mixer or a stand mixer, cream the ingredients together until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, and molasses. Cream together until combined.
  3. Add all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Fold the ingredients together until evenly combined.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop and roll the cookie dough into balls. Add the granulated sugar to a bowl. Gently roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar, evenly coating the surface. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  5. Bake cookies for 12 minutes on the middle rack in your oven. Remove them from the oven while the center still appears underbaked. Once you remove them from the oven, let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. They will continue to cook, de-puff, and firm up while cooling. Enjoy!

Notes

  • How to measure flour: Flour should never be scooped or packed into a measuring cup. Instead, gently spoon the flour into a measuring cup and scrape off any excess. For accurate measurements, I strongly recommend weighing the flour using a food scale. This recipe uses 238g of flour.
  • How to store cookies: Store cookies inside a sealer container at room temperature for 3-5 days. If saving longterm, store inside a sealed ziplock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Brown sugar: I recommend using dark brown sugar, but light brown sugar will work too.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 169
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1g

Keywords: vegan brown sugar cookies, eggless brown sugar cookies

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