Skip to Content

Easy Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (with mayonnaise)

This is a simple but tasty recipe for dark brown sugar cookies with pecans. It calls for no butter or shortening. Instead, this recipe calls for something you’ve likely got in your pantry right now. . .mayonnaise.

I’ve been on a kick coming up with mayonnaise-infused recipes over the past couple of weeks. I’ve got a chocolate cake, biscuits/rolls, Cheddar Bay biscuits, cornbread, banana bread, and even muffins.

But, until today I didn’t have cookies.

Honestly? I wasn’t sure how mayo would bake up in cookie form because it causes a light, fluffy texture.

Mayonnaise Cookies? Is that a Thing?

mayonnaise

In earlier posts I covered the why’s and wherefores of baking with mayonnaise. It was popularized after WWII when certain foods were rationed. These days people add it to their recipes to add moisture to the final product.

I’ve learned that mayo makes terrific baked goods! (Imagine my surprise!)

There are a host of Mayonnaise Cookie recipes out there, but none seemed terribly appealing to me. Most call for white sugar and I was hoping for an opportunity to use up some dark brown sugar in my cupboard. (You could use light brown sugar if that’s all you have on hand.)

I also had a bag of pecans on hand and decided that pecans and brown sugar were probably going to be the perfect combination.

So, as I often do, I tweaked the recipes I found online and created an original!

What do these Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies taste like?

Fluffy brown sugar pecan cookies

They have a soft, light texture. They’re rich with dark brown sugar and nutty goodness. I also added a half teaspoon of maple extract (which is totally optional). It paired perfect with the finely chopped pecans.

These cookies aren’t overly sweet and I think they’d be great as a breakfast cookie or afternoon snack. The nuts are optional, of course. I thought about throwing in some caramel chips, but decided pecans were more to my taste on this particular day.

This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies. I only baked five and scooped the rest into balls to freeze so that I have options when company stops by.

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookie Ingredients:

cookie ingredients

Wondering what you’ll need to make these Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies? These are all very simple ingredients. You’ve probably got most on hand!

You’ll find a full printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need:

  • all purpose flour
  • dark brown sugar
  • mayonnaise (full fat)
  • egg (optional, not pictured)
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
  • maple extract (optional)
  • finely chopped pecans

Let’s pause for a minute to talk about the addition of the egg that’s not pictured. When I mixed up this recipe I thought the dough looked a little odd–way too dry and somewhat coarse. I decided an extra egg would pull it all together….and it did.

How to Make These Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies

This is truly the easiest cookie recipe I’ve ever made. It came together in one mixing bowl. (You can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment if you choose!)

I started by whisking my brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

I then added my mayonnaise to the dry ingredients. This is also when I decided I needed the addition of the egg, so I tossed it in.

I used my electric mixer to incorporate the wet ingredients.

Add pecans and mix thoroughly but don’t over mix.

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of cookie dough. 

dough balls on cookie sheet

As I mentioned above, I only baked a few to sample but you can fit 12 per cookie sheet. The recipe makes 24 cookies.

This recipe will make 24 cookies. 

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until golden brown and set.

baked cookies

When you remove your tray from the oven, place it on a wire cooling rack. It won’t take long for your cookies to cool down.

baked cookies

My Thoughts

This batter looks (and feels) different from any other cookie batter I’ve ever used. The mayo has a lot of oil in it, so I noticed while scooping that the dough balls were moister than I had expected. And (weirdly) they have a buttery flavor, even though there’s no butter in them.

After seeing the texture of the dough I did wonder if they would bake up greasy. They were anything but! These easy pecan cookies were light and fluffy.

Variations on this Recipe

baked cookies

I’m so excited to learn that mayo works for most all baked products. Cakes, breads, muffins, and cookies! (Talk about versatile!) I can see this as a basic recipe I could use as a foundation for many cookies in the future. Here are a few I’m thinking of making:

  • White Chocolate: Use light brown sugar in place of dark and add a cup of white chocolate chips in place of pecans.
  • Cranberry-Orange: Add a quarter cup of diced Craisins and the zest of one orange.
  • Banana Walnut: I will have to test this one to make sure the texture works but I think the light fluffy texture would be lovely with a mashed banana and some walnuts.
  • Substitute peanut butter for half of the mayonnaise.
  • Sandwich some vanilla ice cream between two of these cookies!

Other Recipes from Out of the Box Baking:

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Look for all of my mayonnaise-based posts. I’ve got a ton of other cookie recipes you might enjoy, as well. Here are just a few!


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (with Mayonnaise)

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (with Mayonnaise)

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This is a simple but tasty recipe for dark brown sugar cookies with pecans. It calls for no butter or shortening. Instead, this recipe calls for something you've likely got in your pantry right now. . .mayonnaise.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (full fat)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Start whisking your brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. (This is when I decided I needed the addition of the egg, so I tossed it in.)
  3. Use your electric mixer to incorporate the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir in chopped pecans.
  5. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of cookie dough.
  7. Place 12 per cookie sheet. This recipe will make 24 cookies.
  8. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until set.
  9. When you remove your tray from the oven, place it on a wire cooling rack. It won't take long for your cookies to cool down.
  10. This batter looks (and feels) different from any other cookie batter I've ever used. The mayo has a lot of oil in it, so I noticed while scooping that the dough balls were moister than I had expected.
  11. I wondered if they would bake up greasy. They were anything but! They were light and fluffy.

Easy Pecan Butter Cookies - Out of the Box Baking

Monday 12th of February 2024

[…] say yes every single time. I used pecans in my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used pecans in my Easy Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (with mayonnaise). I also used them in my favorites, my brown butter pecan cookies. (Yum!) And, of […]

Glenda Pierce

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Where are the pecans? Amount?

booksbyjanice

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Of all things to leave out! I can't believe I did that. Thank you SO much for catching that. You'll want to add a cup of finely chopped pecans. I've updated the recipe to reflect this. I'm so grateful to you for catching this.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies - Out of the Box Baking

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

[…] Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies: This is a delicious twist on a simple sugar cookie, loaded with pecans and brown sugar in place of granulated and powdered. […]

Simple Pecan Sandies (4-Ingredient Cookies) - Out of the Box Baking

Friday 5th of May 2023

[…] my surprise when I realized I had not! Oh, I had a recipe for Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies. Those are amazing. . .but they’re not […]

How to Bake with Mayonnaise: 7 Terrific Recipes! - Out of the Box Baking

Sunday 4th of September 2022

[…] 7. Easy Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (with mayonnaise) […]

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!