Butterscotch Cookies

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Chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, these Butterscotch Cookies only get better with time! You’ll love the sugar coating and rich butterscotch flavor.

If you’re obsessed with baking cookies, these Chocolate Macadamia Cookies need to be on your list! If you want to stick with butterscotch flavor, try our Butterscotch Blondies for an easy recipe!

Butterscotch cookies with a bite taken out of one.
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Why these Cookies are Best

These cookies are chewy and crunchy, especially the day after baking. They taste great as a dessert, snack, dipped in your morning coffee–whatever! Just like a buttercotch candy baked into delicious cookies.

With brown sugar and browned butter, this recipe creates perfect butterscotch flavored treats in no time.

The brown sugar coating is similar to the cinnamon sugar coating on snickerdoodles!

Why brown butter?

One of the keys to creating that authentic butterscotch taste in this cookie recipe is using browned butter.

Heating butter on the stove brings out a toasty, almost nutty flavor in the unsalted butter. That added dimension of flavor and aroma interacts with the brown sugar to create a taste that can only be described as “heavenly.”

Take the next step and try my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies next!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make butterscotch cookies.

Today’s cookies use your basic ingredients, but make note that you will brown the butter first.

  • Butter- we choose unsalted butter for best results and control of flavor. Follow our guide on how to brown butter (we answer any questions you may have about this process). No time to brown the butter, you can use melted butter too, just know that you’ll miss out on some of the nutty flavor.
  • Brown sugar- gives the chewy texture.
  • Baking soda and baking powder- make sure these are not expired.
  • Vanilla- use pure vanilla extract or make your own homemade vanilla.

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make butterscotch cookies.
  1. Make the browned butter.
  2. Make the cookie dough.
  3. Roll cookie dough in brown sugar topping.
  4. Bake.

Fresh from the oven, Butterscotch Cookies are delightfully chewy with a little crunch thanks to the sugar topping.

They are even better on day two!

The outsides get crispy, making them perfect for dipping into my coffee. You have my full permission to enjoy cookies for breakfast. And make yourself an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon for more cookies!

Cookie on a spatula.

How to Store Cookies

Once cooled, keep these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container or ziploc bags. They’ll keep for a week, but good luck not eating them all within a couple of days.

Can you freeze butterscotch cookies?

Yes, Butterscotch Cookies keep beautifully in the freezer! They’ll lose some of their crunchiness after thawing but the flavor will still be good.

Use our guide on how to freeze cookies.

Recipe FAQs

Can you substitute the brown sugar for white sugar in cookies?

Not in this butterscotch cookie recipe. The molasses in the brown sugar is essential for creating the caramel-y, buttery flavor.

Can I leave off the sugar topping for butterscotch cookies?

Yes, but I love the added element of texture it adds to Butterscotch Cookies.

Can you substitute the butter for margarine, vegan butter or shortening?

I do not recommend this as other fats won’t brown like butter does and the flavor won’t be the same. Browning happens when the milk proteins in butter begin to cook, so non-dairy substitutions won’t recreate the taste the same way.

Can cookies be made without a stand mixer?

Sure thing! You can use electric handheld beaters for cookies or use a heavy wooden spoon to cream everything together really well.

Butterscotch cookies stacked on top of each other.

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Butterscotch Cookie Recipe

4.71 from 17 votes
By: Aimee
Chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, these Butterscotch Cookies only get better with time! You'll love the sugar coating and rich butterscotch flavor.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 dozen cookies


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar packed (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
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  • Heat butter in small skillet on medium heat. Allow to froth up, then brown. Here is a great article on how to brown butter (for today's cookies you want the butter to JUST begin the browning process) Remove from heat.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl, add browned butter plus 1 3/4 cups brown sugar. Mix on medium speed, add salt, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  • In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup reserved brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar together. Using a 1 Tablespoon small scoop, scoop up dough (will be consistency of play-doh) and roll into a ball. Then roll in sugar mixture.
  • Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.


  • Store cooled cookies in airtight container for up to one week.
  • Freeze cookies for up to 3 months.


Calories: 83kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 42mg, Sugar: 8g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Pour yourself a glass of milk and get ready to enjoy the best ever Butterscotch Cookies you’ve ever tasted!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on April 23, 2022

Comments & Reviews

  1. I must have done something wrong. My cookie dough was way too soft and wet and I know I measured carefully. I haven’t baked them yet, but it was such a lot of work I’m very disappointed.

    1. The dough did firm up after a bit, so it wasn’t a
      problem. I also found that refrigerating the dough overnight and then baking made them better – more flavorful and better texture.

  2. Uh…… Under “How to Make…” you have us rolling the cookie dough balls in a brown sugar /cinnamon mixture – yet there is NO cinnamon listed in the ingredients.

    How much would you recommend adding? The recipe looks scrumptious & at the cost of ingredients I’d hate to blow it by over/under flavoring them.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.
    Confused in Alberta, Canada LOL

  3. Do you think I can add macadamian nuts & white choclate. Or would they be too heavy. 

  4. You don’t have to defend yourself to us! We love your cookies! These look delicious – they’re full of my favorite ingredients. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  5. WOW ! this is great blog ,delicious recipe . butter scotch is my favorite recipe thanks for sharing this blog…………gluten free

  6. I just made these! It was on another blog and she called them “Brown Sugar Cookies” but they DO taste like butterscotch and they are the BOMB!!! SO good!


4.71 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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