Cookies Holidays

Chewy Brown Sugar Toasted Sesame Cookies

brown sugar sesame cookies
toasted sesame cookies on cooling rack

While my Pan-banging Chocolate Chip Cookies are the most-made cookies on this site (thank you!), quite a number of you also love two others: Sesame Chocolate Chip Pan-banging Cookies, and Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies. I also love making both of those cookies, and thought it might be a good idea to combine their flavor profiles. So I took the dark brown sugar from the sugar cookies and the toasted sesame oil and seeds from the pan-banging cookies, and rolled them into a new version of my Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.0.

These cookies have crisp edges and a gooey, chewy center. The caramel-y notes from the dark brown sugar and toasted sesame oil are delicious together, and the sesame seeds add the right amount of crunch. I did leave out the chocolate here, finding that the flavor was perfect without it. They are just right for an after school treat, or tucked away in a holiday cookie gift box.

Using Toasted Sesame Oil in Baking

I love an entire tablespoon of toasted sesame oil in my cookies, but if you haven’t baked with it before you may want to start with a smaller amount and gradually add more; some people find the oil overpowering. The nutty oil is sweetened by the brown sugar in the cookie, and I roll the dough in sesame seeds (you can use white, black, or a mix) for a bit of crunch, and even more toasty, nutty flavor. 

Can the cookie dough be frozen?

This cookie dough can be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks; let the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen. Also, cookie dough can be formed and refrigerated overnight, then baked the next day; the cookies may need an extra minute if chilled.

brown sugar toasted sesame cookies on white plates
brown sugar toasted sesame cookies on marble board

Why I Use an Oven Thermometer:

If your cookies don’t turn out like you were hoping, there is a good chance it could be related to your oven temperature. Most of the time, an oven’s temperature will read different than what it actually is inside. That’s why I use an oven thermometer, so I can assess if my oven bakes hot or cool. Sometimes it can be off by 15 to 20 degrees F. Oven thermometers are an inexpensive way to bake more accurately.

More Cookie Recipes:

brown sugar sesame cookies

Chewy Brown Sugar Toasted Sesame Cookies

Servings: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
These delicious cookies have crisp edges and a gooey, chewy center with caramel-y notes from the dark brown sugar and a touch of nutty, toasted sesame oil. Rolling them in sesame seeds also adds a lovely crunch. Easy to make, no chilling time required!
Sarah Kieffer
4.87 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 9 tablespoons [126 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup [200 g] dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup [100 g] granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil see note*
  • ½ cup sesame seeds black, white, or a combination, for rolling
  • Flaky salt for sprinkling, if desired


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the dark brown and granulated sugars and salt and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, yolk, vanilla, and sesame oil and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final mix and make sure it is completely combined.
  • Form the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each [50 g], and roll into the sesame seeds, covering the whole ball of dough. Place 8 cookies on each sheet pan. Sprinkle each cookie with a little flaky salt, if desired.
  • Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake the cookies until the tops are golden brown and the cookies are slightly puffed and starting to crinkle, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use the back of a spatula to gently press the top of each cookie to flatten it. Let the cookies rest on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Cookies are best slightly warm but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Cookies will soften the longer they sit. Cookie dough can be formed and refrigerated overnight, then baked the next day; the cookies may need an extra minute if chilled. Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks; let the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.


  • I love an entire tablespoon of toasted sesame oil in my cookies, but if you haven’t baked with it before you may want to start with a smaller amount and gradually add more; some people find the oil overpowering.
  • Light brown sugar will work here if you do not have dark brown sugar, however, the cookies will turn out different. Dark brown sugar has more molasses in it, which gives a deeper flavor (think caramel undertones) to the cookies. It will also give the cookies a darker color.
  • I have not had trouble with the bottoms browning too much, but a few people have. Something to note: using an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven can be helpful; many ovens are off by up to 25 degrees (mine included). If your oven runs hot, you can bake a single cookie first to see how it turns out. If the bottom is too dark for your liking, you can stack two sheet pans on top of each other and bake the cookies on them to slow down browning.
  • I prefer to sprinkle the flaky salt on the tops of the cookies before baking vs after – I think that it helps bring out more flavor without tasting overwhelmingly salty. 
  • Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142g. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142g, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. If I am posting a recipe from another cookbook, I will use whatever gram measure of flour used in that book, which is why you may see a few posts with a different cup measurement. Different brands of flour have varying levels of protein, ranging from low to high, which can result in very different outcomes when baking. I’ve found Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour to be the best option for many of my recipes; I use it in all the baked goods that don’t use yeast. For yeasted doughs that call for all-purpose flour, I like to use King Arthur Brand. If you are using White Lily flour, please note that it is a low protein flour and doesn’t absorb liquid the same as regular all-purpose flours. Check the back of the flour bag for instructions on substituting it for regular all-purpose flours. 
  • Reply
    Friday, May 24, 2024 at 3:08 pm

    3 stars
    The toasted sesame oil gives them a nice flavor, and this recipe was a decent way to use up leftover sesame seeds. The cookies are not too sweet. But the texture is nothing special, especially given the fussiness of the recipe–I expect more if I’m going to bother dividing an egg and adding an extra tbsp of butter in addition to one stick. Might try a simplified version next time (not because I find the cookies particularly craveable, but because I sent my husband to the store for sesame seeds and he came back with a truly preposterous amount.)

  • Reply
    Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 9:11 am

    5 stars
    Every person I make these for asks for the recipe. They are always delicious and always enjoyed!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 7:44 pm

    5 stars
    Another solid cookie recipe by Sarah. These were excellent. So fun & different to try. I went for 2 tsp of sesame oil but will increase next time and consider adding tahini like other reviewers have commented. Thanks so much.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 12:00 am

    5 stars
    I got a random hankering for soft and chewy sesame cookies and found this recipe, but I wanted to amp up the sesame and felt too lazy to separate an egg so I subbed a tablespoon of tahini for the egg yolk. It worked well, the dough came together with no trouble at all – I think it could use even more tahini and sesame oil haha. Delicious and very easy.

  • Reply
    Sunday, August 20, 2023 at 7:55 am

    5 stars
    Really delicious black sesame cookies !! Baked them many times, with a full tablespoon of toasted sesame oil and “fleur de sel” ! Lots of people became addicted to them once they tried ! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. ?

  • Reply
    Friday, February 24, 2023 at 7:43 am

    5 stars
    Seriously amazing. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and I have never had this kind of cookie experience before! I baked half of the batch and then made the other batch into a log that I rolled into the sesame seeds and froze for when I next bake them and I’m super excited to, thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Karissa chappell
    Monday, January 23, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    5 stars
    These are dangerously good! I’ve served these at several family events and everyone became instantly addicted. I now have to make these whenever I see them because they won’t stop talking about them!!

  • Reply
    Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    5 stars
    These turned out great! A new favorite for sure!

  • Reply
    Friday, October 28, 2022 at 11:44 am

    5 stars
    Looking forward to making these! Do you use raw or toasted sesame seeds?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 5:38 pm

      Hello! They are raw sesame seeds.

  • Reply
    Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    These look incredible. They make me want to figure out a way to incorporate tahini! <3

  • Reply
    Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    5 stars
    These are excellent cookies! There are two significant typos in the recipe. 1/2 cup of white sugar is 100g, not 150g. There are no instructions for when to add the sesame oil. I added with the eggs. Loved them!

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 9:10 pm

      Thank you so much for catching, recipe is now updated! I’m so glad you liked them.

      • Reply
        Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 12:33 pm

        5 stars
        They were even better the next day! I brought them to my college students, and they all raved about them.

  • Reply
    Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    5 stars
    wow, nicely different cookie, the sesame and even salt are a nice way to balance the sweetness, thank you!

4.87 from 15 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating