Home Fermentation RecipesSourdough Sourdough Brown Butter Sugar Cookies With Cinnamon

Sourdough Brown Butter Sugar Cookies With Cinnamon

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Santa will love these Sourdough Brown Butter Sugar Cookies! These sourdough sugar cookies with a hint of cinnamon have the perfect blend of warmth and sweetness.

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette, is a magical ingredient that elevates the flavor of sugar cookies to a whole new level. When you gently cook the butter until it turns a rich, nutty brown, it undergoes a transformative process known as the Maillard reaction, where the milk solids in the butter caramelize and develop a complex, deep flavor profile.

The nuttiness of the brown butter adds a new dimension to the simple sweetness of sugar cookies, infusing them with layers of rich, toasty, and almost caramel-like undertones.

The subtle bitterness of brown butter balances the sweetness of the cookies, making them more sophisticated in taste. Additionally, brown butter imparts a unique aroma that is both warm and inviting.

It’s not just a flavor booster; it also affects the texture, contributing to a slightly denser, more tender crumb. Incorporating brown butter transforms ordinary sugar cookies into a gourmet treat.

The most important part to remember when using browned butter is to allow it to cool to room temperature before you use it in the recipe. If you dip a finger in the butter, it should not feel warm at all.

Sourdough Sugar Cookies

Sourdough starter, a mixture of flour and water fermented by wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria, is typically used in bread-making. However, it can also be employed in various baked goods, including cookies, to add moisture and a subtle tangy flavor.

You can use an active sourdough starter or sourdough starter discard straight from the fridge.

Long Fermented Sourdough Sugar Cookies

You can also long ferment these brown butter sugar cookies to make them easier to digest. If digestibility concerns you, you’ll want to use an active, bubbly sourdough starter. Once you mix the cookie dough, divide it and wrap it, then ferment it in the fridge for 24-72 hours before you roll it out.

a close up of the snowflake pattern on brown butter sugar cookies

Embossing the Brown Butter Sugar Cookie Dough

If you’ve never used an embossed rolling pin before, follow these directions for the best results:

  1. Make the Dough: Prepare your sugar cookie dough using the recipe below. It is a firm dough, perfect for embossing. 
  2. Chill the Dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Chilled dough holds the embossed design better (more on this in step 7).
  3. Roll Out the Dough: Using the regular rolling pin, roll the dough between two large pieces of parchment paper to an even thickness of about ¼ inch, ideal for most embossed designs.
  4. Emboss the Dough: Switch to the embossed rolling pin. Apply firm and even pressure and roll it over the dough to imprint the design. Roll only once to avoid overlapping designs.
  5. Cut Out Cookies: Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes from the embossed dough. If you don’t have a cutter, a regular mouth mason jar works great for round cookies. 
  6. Transfer to Baking Sheet: Carefully transfer the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch space between them.
  7. Chill the Cut Out Cookies Again: place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill the cookies. Chilling helps the design remain defined during baking. 

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon

Adding cinnamon to sugar cookies transforms them from a simple, sweet treat into a warm, aromatic delight.

With its sweet and woody flavor profile, cinnamon infuses the cookies with a depth of flavor that plain sourdough sugar cookies lack. This spice, known for its comforting and homey aroma, creates an inviting scent that enhances the taste before you ever bite into the cookie.

The spicy notes of cinnamon complement the sweetness of the sugar, adding a layer of complexity that balances the cookie’s flavor. Moreover, cinnamon has a slight heat and a touch of bitterness, which cuts through the richness of the cookie, preventing it from becoming overly sweet or cloying.

Cinnamon also contributes to the brown butter sugar cookies’ visual appeal, adding specks of warm brown color that hint at the flavor hidden within. Overall, cinnamon adds a delightful twist to the sourdough sugar cookie and evokes a sense of warmth, perfect for Christmas.

a large pile of sourdough sugar cookies decorated with an embossed snowflake pattern. the Cookies are golden in color from the brown butter and cinnamon.

More Sourdough Cookies Recipes


Sourdough Brown Butter Sugar Cookies With Cinnamon

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5 from 2 reviews

Santa will love these Sourdough Brown Butter Sugar Cookies! These sourdough sugar cookies with a hint of cinnamon have the perfect blend of warmth and sweetness.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 40 cookies
  • Category: sourodugh
  • Method: baking


  • 224 grams salted butter
  • 325 grams organic cane sugar
  • 3 grams cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 grams sourdough discard
  • 10 grams vanilla extract
  • 600 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 grams sea salt


  1. Brown the butter in a small saucepan until bubbly, and dark golden to light brown. Stir it continuously, careful not to burn it.  Remove from heat and allow the butter to cool completely to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the room-temperature brown butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Add the vanilla and sourdough discard to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until evenly incorporated.
  6. Divide the dough into two discs and wrap with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 3 days for a long fermentation.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  8. Place one disc of dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to a 1/4-inch thickness. The dough should be stiff and firm, and it takes a little effort to roll it out. Let the dough come closer to room temperature to make it easier.
  9. After, I remove the parchment paper and roll it again with an embossed rolling pin. Alternatively, you can leave the cookies smooth and decorate them however you’d like.
  10. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. If you use an embossed rolling pin, refrigerate the cut out cookies for about 30 minutes before baking— this helps the design stay prominent.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden.
  12. Allow to cool completely.

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Nutrition information is auto-calculated and estimated as close as possible. We are not responsible for any errors. We have tested the recipe for accuracy, but your results may vary.

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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Melissa December 9, 2023 - 1:17 pm

These look so amazing … would they work with all purpose Einkorn ? Thank you

Kaitlynn Fenley December 9, 2023 - 2:44 pm

Yes! that should work great

Molly December 13, 2023 - 1:56 pm

Absolutely perfect! Soft and chewy with a slightly crisp edge. I used active starter and did a 72 hour ferment in the refrigerator. I did not include the cinnamon but I’m sure it would be delicious with it. Definitely will be maki g these again!