Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

No butter, no white sugar, no complaints.

Just dark and rich cookies so soft that they bend rather than break.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

Growing up I loved Soft Batch Cookies. Although there was never a shortage of homemade cookies around, something about those uber-soft storebought cookies, almost flexible and pliable they’re so soft, was something I’d pester my mom to buy.

These cookies are my ode to Soft Batch cookies, using a more robust flavor palette. I love the dark, rich, robust flavors of dark brown sugar and molasses, and pairing them with coconut oil was the best flavor pairing decision I’ve made in ages. But pairing coconut oil with almost anything is a good call.


Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

I tried to convey in the Coconut Oil White Chocolate Cookies recipe that the coconut oil doesn’t make the cookies taste like tanning lotion. In fact, the coconut flavor when baking with coconut oil is much less overt than if using shredded or flaked coconut, which can often be quite powerful and almost off-putting. Instead, I liken coconut oil to amped up, flavored butter. Just as browned butter is an enhanced, tastier version of butter, coconut oil in many ways is the same.

Interestingly, I’ve found when baking with coconut oil that the smell is more pronounced than the actual flavor. Instead, what is pronounced is the richness and deeply satisfying density. The lusciousness of coconut oil on your lips and tongue supercedes the coconut taste. Cookies baked with it have an immense richness that is so luxurious. I don’t bite into them and say oh wow, this tastes like coconut, which is my way of saying if you’re on the fence about coconut in general, to give coconut oil a whirl in baking. You’ll still be able to taste it, but it’s not as powerful as you’d think. Plus, dark brown sugar and molasses are two flavors that can stand up to it.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

I’ve been craving molasses cookies and rather than being seasonally inappropriate with a straight up molasses cookie in the almost springtime, I allowed the natural molasses undertones in dark brown sugar to work for me. Dark brown sugar is really just light brown sugar with triple the amount of molasses. Approximately 3 tablespoons molasses to 1 cup granulated sugar in dark brown sugar, versus 1 tablespoon to 1 cup granulated sugar for light brown sugar. Plus, I supplemented the dough with 1 tablespoon molasses, enough to add that extra pop I love.

Please don’t write to tell me that brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added. I’ve been told that about 500 times. I am making a taste claim about dark brown sugar, not a health claim. You cannot get the flavor from white sugar that brown sugar lends.

Make the cookies by combining coconut oil with dark brown sugar, an egg, vanilla and cream the ingredients until they’re soft and fluffy, about five minutes. It’s important to use coconut oil that’s softened to the consistency of softened butter. The same consistency you’d use for creaming butter, sugars, and eggs in traditional cookie dough.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

If your coconut oil is rock hard, microwave it in a small bowl for five or ten seconds, or just until it begins to soften. If it’s runny or melted, place it in the freezer momentarily until it firms up. A tiny amount of runniness is fine; it’s an oil and that happens. But do not use melted or purely liquid coconut oil because you can’t effectively cream a liquid; it would be like trying to cream liquid butter. Doesn’t work.

I used 2 tablespoons vanilla, because I love it and this dough is bold and can stand up to it, but if you prefer less, add to taste. I used Homemade Vanilla Extract, full of vanilla bean flecks and specks.

I bake cookies and bread with unsulphered molasses, not blackstrap, which is too bitter for me to enjoy. Even though it’s only a tablespoon, I caution against using it in this recipe unless you prefer a pungent and bitter bite.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

Add the flour, corn starch, baking soda, salt, and mix to just incorporate. I normally use a combination of bread and all-prose flour in cookies, but for these, I stuck with AP because cookies made with it are softer, although not quite as chewy. I was going for that extreme Soft Batch softness.

And for that reason, I also added cornstarch. Cornstarch is a workhorse and I used it in my favorite chocolate chip cookies. It does the job of both softening and tenderizing dough, and cookies made with it bake up extremely soft. One of the reasons I think the Pudding Cookies craze has taken off is because one of the first ingredients in pudding mix is ‘modified food starches’, code for cornstarch. And cookies made with it are super soft and people love a soft cookie. The same is true of Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies or Mounds Bar Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookies. The cornstarch in the mix helps them bake up so soft that they’re bendy.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

The cookie dough will be soft and it’s not sticky or tacky like traditional chocolate chip cookie dough. It reminds me of a peanut butter-based cookie dough because it seems a little on the oily side, thanks to the coconut oil. It has that Play-Doh like consistency and you can pinch it together and it sticks to itself but not to your hands.

I used my medium 2-inch cookie scoop and made 16 mounds, about two heaping tablespoons of dough each. I didn’t flatten them, shape them, or touch them in any way. I let the tops stay ‘feathered’, which is the impression the wire-release mechanism on my cookie scoop makes.

Place the dough mounds on a large plate, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days before baking. The dough is too warm, limp, and soft and is unsuitable for baking until it has been chilled. If you bake with warm, soft, dough your cookies will spread into a big puddle. You don’t want that.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

Bake the cookies at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes, but I strongly encourage the lower end of the range. My dough was rock hard coming out of the refrigerator after two days chilling, and I allowed it to sit on baking sheets at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. I baked for 8 minutes, rotating trays midway through. The tops should barely be set, and will be glossy and appear underdone, but they firm up as they cool. Any longer than 10 minutes and you run the risk of the bottoms browning too much and you don’t want Hard Batch Cookies. Everyone’s coconut oil, oven, climate, and personal preferences are different, but they taste best when they’re soft and not overbaked.

The cookies are so very soft and chewy. They bend and flex before they break and crumble. They’re moist and dense without being heavy. The coconut oil, cornstarch, molasses, and dark brown sugar keeps them so soft and and they soft for days. Brown sugar absorbs atmospheric moisture so the cookies actually get softer over time, rather than drying out.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

The dark brown sugar and molasses take on caramelized flavors while baking and the depth of flavor created is sublime, especially paired with the coconut oil and abundant vanilla. They have a rustic, earthier, bolder flavor that’s sweet enough, but not too sweet. Serve them with a tall glass of milk if you wish, but two shots of espresso or a glass of red wine are more of what I have in mind.

They’re the best possible cookie combination in the whole family of soft batch-ish and vanilla (Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies), brown sugar (Brown Sugar Maple Cookies), molasses (Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies), and coconut oil (Coconut Oil White Chocolate Cookies) cookies I’ve been creating the past 6 months. I think I just found the holy grail of combinations.

If you like brown sugar, molasses, caramel, vanilla, browned butter, snickerdoodles, or cookies where the focus is on scrumptious cookie dough itself, not on all kinds of add-ins and chocolate chips, these are the cookies for you.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

They are insanely good and I have to hide them from myself.

Unfortunately, I know all my own hiding places.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies - NO butter, NO white sugar. Made with coconut oil. So soft that they're bendable!

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

No butter, no white sugar, no problem. These are some of the softest and most flavorful cookies I’ve had in ages and remind me of Soft Batch Cookies, with a bolder flavor palette. They’re sweetened entirely with dark brown sugar, and because it has a higher concentration of molasses as well as a bit of molasses added to the dough, these cookies are rich, deep and caramely, with molasses undertones. Those ingredients, and the secret ingredient – a bit of cornstarch – help the cookies stay soft for days and they actually get softer over time. The coconut oil flavors the dough very subtly, and although you can ‘taste it’, it’s much milder and more subtle than coconut flakes, for example. If you’ve never tried baking with coconut oil and replacing it one-for-one with butter in cookies, this small batch recipe is a great place to start.


1/2 cup coconut oil, softened (softened to the consistency of soft butter; not rock hard and not runny or melted, see below)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (yes tablespoons, not teaspoons), or to taste
1 tablespoon unsulphered mild to medium molasses (use very dark or Blackstrap at your own risk because its very pungent and bitter for baking)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, egg, sugar and beat on medium-high speed to cream until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Note – Coconut oil should be the consistency of soft butter like you’d use to cream with sugar and eggs in traditional cookies. If coconut oil is rock hard, microwave it in a small bowl for 5 to 10 seconds or just until it begins to soften. If coconut oil is runny or melted, place it in the freezer momentarily until it firms up. A tiny amount of runniness is fine; it’s an oil and that happens. But do not use melted or purely liquid coconut oil because you can’t effectively cream a liquid; it would be like trying to cream liquid butter.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla, molasses, and beat to incorporate, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour, corn starch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop, form mounds that are 2 heaping tablespoons in size; or divide dough into approximately 15 to 16 equal-sized pieces. Place dough mounds on a large plate, and slightly flatten each mound. Very important to get the dough mounds in the exact shape you want to bake them in because after chilling, flattening or re-shaping them is very difficult. Cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; up to 5 days. Do not bake these cookies with dough that has not been properly chilled because they will spread.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Place dough on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake a maximum of 8 per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops have just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. They firm up as they cool and I recommend the lower end of the baking range because they taste best when softer. The cookies in the photos were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated once midway through baking.
  5. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before moving. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Adapted from Coconut Oil White Chocolate Cookies and Brown Sugar Maple Cookies

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Coconut Oil White Chocolate Cookies – The flavors of coconut and white chocolate are tailor-made for each other in these soft and chewy cookies with vanilla undertones. My first true baked cookie experience with coconut oil and after these, I was hooked

Brown Sugar Maple Cookies – Made with only brown sugar and no white sugar because sometimes darker is the way to go. The cookies have a rich depth flavor with notes of caramel, molasses and the maple pairs perfectly with those flavors

Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies – Soft, tender, yet chewy molasses cookies that are robustly flavored and these cookies fit the bill. They’re very amply flavored with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Chocolate is used three times- cocoa powder and both chocolate chips and chocolate chunks are used, making these perfect for chocolate lovers and it’s all made in one bowl, no mixer required

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies inspired both today’s recipe and Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies because the dough base is just so scrumptious. There’s nothing fancy in the ingredients, but they combine so wonderfully to produce soft, chewy, and moist cookies with fragrant vanilla notes

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies

Browned Butter Caramel and Butterscotch Bars – Nutty and aromatic browned butter is paired with dark brown sugar, sweet butterscotch chips, and creamy caramel to create a dense, comforting, and rich treat. The bars are moist and packed with an incredible depth of flavor. Between the butterscotch chips and the caramels, there’s plenty of texture in these easy-to-make, buttery bars

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – If you’ve ever had a problem with cookies spreading while baking, it’s impossible with these because they’re baked in a muffin pan. Between the nuttiness and richness from the browned butter, and brown sugar used in the dough, there’s great flavor depth. They’re dense and rich, with the perfect balance of chewy edges, squishy in the middle, and loaded with melted chocolate

Homemade Vanilla Extract – Make it effortlessly at home for pennies on the dollar and never need storebought again

Coconut and Coconut Oil Recipes – 40+ recipes included that either use coconut oil, coconut milk, or shredded coconut. Everything from knockoff Girl Scout Homemade Samoas Bars that taste like the popular cookies to Coconut Milk Kefir to Roasted Fennel with Coconut Oil

Do you like coconut and coconut oil? Do you bake or cook with it?

Dark brown sugar or molasses fan?

If you have favorite recipes, feel free to share the links.

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290 comments on “Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies”

  1. These have a very interesting crinkly top, that looks unique! I baked with coconut oil for the first time, and I was extremely happy with the results. These will most likely be recipe #2 with coconut oil, because I just love molasses and chewy cookies!

    • It’s from the cookie scoop! I alluded to that in the post but normally I smooth the dough out, but with these, I didn’t. I just let them fall off the cookie scoop and onto a plate to chill, then the baking trays, no hand molding or shaping, and left the ruffled/feathery top intact. LMK if you try these! If you love molasses and chewy cookies, these are your cookie!

  2. Coconut oil works so well in baked goods! It keeps everything so moist, it’s wonderful! I think soft cookies are probably my favorite baked good in the whole world. Well, except for maybe a French Napoleon, but cookies are way easier to make! haha

  3. Oh my, these look delicious. Like you, I loved soft batch cookies when I was a kid, partly because the cookies my mother made or bought were always crunchy and I only got soft, chewy cookies at other kids’ houses or at school. Using coconut oil in these sounds so brilliant, I can’t wait to make them!

  4. Pingback: Coconut & Coconut Oil Recipes

  5. Looking at these pictures gives me a bad cookie craving! They look so yummy. I love the ‘feathered’, cracked look on top.
    Now I am off to find a cookie to satisfy my craving ;)

  6. YUM!! I love using coconut oil in cookies because I think that makes the cookies softer too!! I will have to try your corn starch trick…and these cookies of course :)

  7. Oh boy, your description of these was making my mouth water. Soft cookies are definitely the way to go, imo. I’ve been using coconut oil more and more . . . . and really liking it! So far, it’s been more for cooking, but I have used it in a couple of baking experiments, and it’s been fantastic.

  8. YAY for more coconut oil recipes! These look absolutely fabulous and SO soft. I love simple cookies like this – can’t wait to try!!

  9. As usual, these look amazing! Absolute perfection.

    Yeah, it’s not easy hiding cookies from oneself when you know all the hiding places, eh? :)

  10. stop with all the sinful cookie recipes! These look so good!

  11. Oh I haven’t thought about soft batch cookies in eons. I’ve finally started using coconut oil. Sometimes it can be a little too coconutty so I try to use it sparingly.

  12. What a perfect waiting-for-spring treat. I’m such a sucker for soft cookies too, and love anything with maple flavor. Yes, yes, yes all around!

  13. Soft cookies totally rock my world! Especially brown sugar-infused soft cookies. These sound amazing!

  14. LOVE…. the ripply tops of those sweet little babies!

  15. Don’t these look amazing?! Soft cookies are always welcome around my house, too! :)

  16. I love the crinkly, slightly cracked tops on these cookies–you just know they’ll be soft! Coconut oil and butter (especially browned butter) are my favorite fats. I just replenished my coconut oil stash so I need to give these a try. Dark brown sugar and molasses probably give these some serious flavor depth! I have used coconut oil in brownies because I happened to be out of butter, and those turned out well. I remember those browned butter butterscotch caramel bars–rich and yummy!

    • The ice cream/cookie scooper wire release contributed to those feathery tops…I loved that! And if you just replenished your coconut oil, break into it with these! They remind me of a cookie form of those browned butter butterscotch caramel bars, but with coconut oil. And yes, serious!! depth of flavor. I just loved these. LMK of you try them!

  17. Wow, these look crazy delicious! I will have to try with some gluten-free flour!

  18. I adore coconut oil cookies! Well, any soft cookie actually. In my opinion, a soft cookie holds more flavor than one that is allowed to bake longer. These look incredible, as is everything that you do Averie.

  19. Okay, so HOW did you know I bought coconut oil, white chips and coconut chips from TJ’s and was planning on making coconut oil cookies from your site today? And viola, here’s a new recipe with dark brown sugar? You must be a mind reader.. and a good one at that! Between these and the white chocolate coconut cookies, I am in coconut HEAVEN. And this will be my first time baking with the oil today, so wish me luck! Actually, I’m sure the luck won’t be needed for the cookies to turn out, but for me to successfully avoid eating the entire batch of them :)

    • Hayley they are soooo good. Both versions are really good – so different and both so good in their own regard. I am jealous that your TJs has white choc all year round. Mine only has it in Nov and Dec in advance of holiday baking season and it’s a real bummer. I love their white choc chips and they are a good price$$ and I stock up but always run out far too early in the year. This year that happened like…10 months too soon! It’s amazing that their N Cal and SoCal distribution is that different!

  20. Averie, I love brown sugar cookies! But I’ve actually never baked cookies with coconut oil. (I’ve done some other stuff, but never cookies, oddly enough.) This is a great idea, I can’t wait to try it!

  21. I cannot handle these cookies. I literally want to reach through my work computer screen right now! Your photography really accentuates how rich and delicious they must be! I love the combination of butter and brown sugar but coconut oil is just so good for you. I’m wondering if butter extract would be a good addition? I’m going to make these tonight using white spelt flour and maybe some butter extract. I have a few jars of Trader Joe’s coconut oil in my pantry and this will be a great excuse to use it!!

    • Butter extract would be fine but there is already a lot going on with the molasses and vanilla. I may just leave it out; can’t really hurt I suppose but it’s not necessary and may become overwhelmed. I do love butter extract and use it frequently but this is not a recipe that screams to me…toss some in.

      Spelt flour – unless you have a reason to use it, I would stick with traditional AP. The cookies are so divine as is and spelt flour can change the consistency and flavor of things and will definitely alter your results and the taste and texture of these.

      LMK what you end up doing!

      • Gotcha! I’m sure both the molasses and vanilla add a wonderful depth of richness. I’ll definitely NOT use butter extract. I may still experiment with the white spelt flour… I have found that it works very well for soft cookies or I may use whole wheat pastry flour. I will most certainly let you know! :D

  22. Averie, you are seriously the queen of soft cookies. I swear I’ve never seen so many yummy, soft cookies that I want to grab through my computer screen as I have on your blog. I still need to try baking cookies with coconut oil. You’ve inspired me to try this!

  23. These cookies look great. Very excited about a good cookie recipe with coconut oil. Hoping not to be picky, but after seeing the top of the page that said ‘no white sugar’, I didn’t expect to see brown sugar in the recipe…since brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added to it. Always looking for ways to cut refined sugar, so I was hoping these would be a way! Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

    • That was my first thought – how it was brown sugar without white sugar, since it’s just the added molasses that makes it brown. I was hoping for a secret. :)

      HOWEVER! These do look amazing and I’m definitely going to give them a try as a sugar splurge anyway. Making my mouth water looking at them. I love baking/cooking with coconut oil!

      Thanks for sharing an amazing recipe!

  24. These look wonderful with an interesting and unique look. I like that they use coconut oil, yum!

  25. I LOVE coconut oil. Never used it in cookies before, so I’m excited to try that

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