These rich, sweet, irresistible brown sugar desserts are something special. Made with dense brown sugar, they all feature its treacle-like, caramel taste.
If you’re used to baking with white sugar, it’s time to mix things up.
Soft and crumbly, brown sugar isn’t just delicious, it also gives you superbly moist baked goods with a deep molasses flavor.
This list of 20 brown sugar desserts makes the most of this magical ingredient, with crumbly cookies, spongy cakes, and fudgy brownies.
But it’s not just baked goods that benefit from brown sugar. It’s also great with fruit.
Sprinkle it over bananas for an amazing Bananas Foster, dust over grilled peaches for a fresh and fruity snack.
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a big bag of brown sugar. Then get baking, and eating!
1. Brown Sugar Brownies
I’ve eaten a shameful amount of brownies in my life, so you can trust me when I say this recipe will more than satisfy your chocolate cravings.
They’re everything you want in a brownie – soft and fudgy with a crispy crust.
Made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, this is an easy recipe perfect for those times when you need chocolate.
2. Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bars
The dark molasses flavor of brown sugar works really well with spicy-sweet cinnamon.
Especially in this recipe for moist cake slices topped with crunchy cinnamon sugar.
Delicately spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, these are a great choice for fall parties or your Thanksgiving feast.
3. Cowboy Cookies
Cowboy cookies originated as a sweet snack for ranchers who needed a quick energy boost after a hard day in the saddle. Or at least that’s one theory.
Whatever their history, these cookies are simply amazing. They’re rich, buttery, and loaded with chocolate chips.
They’re also delightfully chewy and crispy thanks to a scoop of oatmeal in the batter.
You don’t have to be heading out on the trail to enjoy these addictive treats!
4. Brown Sugar Butter Cookies
This recipe takes the classic vanilla cookie and adds brown sugar.
It’s a genius move. Brown sugar keeps these amazingly moist while giving them a subtle toffee flavor.
You can make these buttery cookies with dark brown sugar, but they’re best with a lighter variety to keep them soft.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookies
These classic cookies are truly melt-in-the-mouth.
The secret is an extra egg yolk in the dough and plenty of brown sugar.
You can add nuts for extra crunch, or enjoy them as-is in all their chocolatey glory.
The only problem with these scrumptious treats is getting them in the oven without eating the dough.
Note – don’t actually eat this dough, as there are raw eggs in there, and salmonella is not fun.
Blondies are brownies, without the chocolate.
Even the most committed chocoholic won’t miss it though with these buttery, rich blondies.
Flavored with vanilla, chopped walnuts, and brown sugar, they’re nutty, soft, and simply delicious.
7. Refrigerator Cookies
Refrigerator cookies are a great weekend project.
You’ll just mix together a simple dough, then store it in the fridge until needed.
Pull it out and bake during the week for instant cookie goodness.
This recipe gives you thin and crispy cinnamon sugar cookies, a bit like snickerdoodles.
And, if that weren’t enough, the combo of spicy cinnamon and sweet brown sugar will make your kitchen smell like cookie heaven.
8. Brown Sugar Pound Cake
This is a moist, spongy, pound cake topped with a buttery glaze.
With plenty of brown sugar in the batter, this classic cake gets a caramel makeover.
Drizzle with a thick glaze and sprinkled with candied pecans, it’s an elegant dessert perfect for parties.
9. Apple Crisp
Old-fashioned apple crisp is my ultimate fall dessert.
It has a bit of everything – juicy, tart apples, crunchy toasted oatmeal, buttery crumb.
This recipe calls for two different types of sugar.
White sugar makes the soft apple filling sweet and syrupy, while brown sugar gives the crisp topping treacle-like notes.
10. Baked Apples
Baked apples are a great go-to when you need a quick dessert that looks impressive but doesn’t require much planning.
In this bright, fall-flavored recipe, apples are hollowed out and stuffed with cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, and walnuts.
They’re then baked to squishy, delicious perfection.
11. Granny Cake
Grandmothers are the best. Not only are they constantly baking delicious treats, but they’re also constantly ‘forcing’ you to eat those delicious treats.
Give granny a break with this delicious DIY recipe for classic sponge cake flavored with fruit and nuts.
You’ll start with a basic white cake batter, then add in tangy chunks of pineapple.
Top it off with brown sugar, walnuts, and a buttery glaze for a cake that would make granny proud.
12. Brown Sugar Pie
A dessert from our neighbors to the north, this Canadian brown sugar pie is also known as caramel cake.
Simple but sweet, it’s a basic cake with complicated flavors.
Rich and buttery, this sponge is made with brown sugar, vanilla, and evaporated milk.
Oh, and if you’re eating this in Quebec, it’s a tarte au sucre brun.
13. Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe for cinnamon rolls is based on the classic Cinnabon version. And they’re even better than the real thing.
So if you’re in the mood for soft and chewy cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, this is your lucky day!
It takes a little bit of prep to pull these ravishing rolls together, but it’s well worth the work.
They’re a fun weekend project, and/or a great activity to do with the kids.
14. Irish Potato Candy
Don’t worry, there’s no actual potato in this fun candy.
But these sweet dough balls do look a little like baby potatoes.
They’re made with butter, coconut, cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix everything together, shape into tiny nuggets, and chill.
With a plate of these in the fridge, every day is St Patrick’s Day!
15. Pizza Hut Cookie Dough
Served warm in a skillet, this cookie dough isn’t technically a dough.
But you won’t care about the name when you’re busy devouring it with ice cream.
Based on the legendary Pizza Hut dessert, this is a decadent treat perfect for special family dinners.
It’s best enjoyed warm, but you can let it cool.
Just be aware that it’ll continue to cook as it cools so you may lose some of the gooey, melty center.
16. Maple Brown Sugar Cinnamon Scones
These pillowy scones are the perfect breakfast treat.
Flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon, they’re topped with a buttery, maple syrup glaze.
These can be made in advance and frozen until you need them.
I’m heading to the kitchen now to make a big batch for my next brunch!
17. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Sweet, delicious, and packed with energy-boosting peanut butter, these cute cookies will fast become a family favorite.
Rich, nutty peanut butter is dolloped into a soft cookie shell and chilled until firm.
These candy cups are so cute and tasty, they’d make great gifts.
Package up a few and give to loved ones. If you’re really lucky, maybe they’ll share.
18. Brown Sugar Cupcakes
These cupcakes are a cook’s delight. Why? Because they look fancy and elegant, but they’re actually really easy to make.
Oh, and they taste amazingly moist and spicy-sweet, too!
Made with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla, and sour cream, these airy cakes will melt in your mouth.
They’re topped with a simple brown sugar frosting. You can also dress these up a bit more with a sprinkling of chopped nuts or shaved chocolate.
19. Brown Sugar Grilled Peaches
Sometimes dessert takes a lot of work. And sometimes it’s as easy as throwing fruit on the grill.
Juicy peaches are the star in this hassle-free recipe.
They’re brushed with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon then grilled until they turn into sticky sweet goodness.
This is the ultimate summer dessert and ideal for backyard BBQs.
If you have the grill going anyway, throw on some peaches and make life easy.
20. Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster is a traditional Southern classic, first invented in New Orleans.
Much like that great city, it’s punchy, fun, and a little bit boozy.
Bananas are cooked in butter and brown sugar with rum. This recipe adds a pinch of cinnamon to spice up the rich, caramel taste.
If you’re feeding a crowd, make a big pan and serve it with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.
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