Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
First things first: I am not a vegan. I love butter more than the average bear and go through an ungodly amount of eggs each week. Give me heavy cream and regular ice cream any day, okay? But sometimes we want options. We want to share food with our health-concious friends and make desserts that those on diet restrictions can enjoy too. I started working on these vegan chocolate chip cookies for my sister who had been following a vegan diet for a few years. In a strange turn of events, she liberalized her diet right around the time that I finally nailed these cookies, but I’m thrilled either way because these cookies are the bomb. They’re just really good. Let me give you the scoop on them.
These vegan chocolate chip cookies are a coconut oil-based treat made with organic sugars, all-purpose flour, and dark vegan chocolate. A flaxseed egg (flaxseed meal mixed with a bit of water) holds the whole thing together to create a cookie that is chewy throughout and slightly caramel in flavor. In creating these cookies, I knew I wanted them to be adaptable for a number of scenarios, so I tested one million (well, more like 25) versions of these cookies to identify which were the most pleasing. I had several road bumps along the way, but I think I’ve ironed out enough of the wrinkles so that you can enjoy delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies in your own home kitchen.
This recipe calls for organic sugar and organic brown sugar. You can use regular granulated and brown sugar, although you may find that your final cookie spreads differently than the ones pictured here. A lot of people are unaware that most processed sugars are not actually vegan, so organic sugars are your best bet if you want to stay on the safe side.
I chose coconut oil for this recipe because vegan butters are hard to come by in my local grocery store. It’s important to buy coconut oil that is solid at room temperature and not the liquid variety. I did not test this recipe with vegan butter or other plant-based fats, but if you try it let me know how they turn out!
I tested this recipe both with regular all-purpose flour and gluten free cup-for-cup flour. I noticed that the GF flour cookies were a bit thicker than the original recipe, but you may also notice differences from brand to brand. For reference, I typically use King Arthur Flours. I opted to not use alternative grains here, primarily because I wanted to create a cookie that tasted like a classic chocolate chipper. Please note that even just a small change in the amount of flour can alter this dough. If you find that your cookies are consistently way too thick or a little dry, it could be that you need to add a tablespoon or two less flour. If they spread way too much, you may benefit from adding an extra tablespoon or two of flour the next time around. Every person measures flour differently, so for best results you may want to weigh your ingredients.
After quite a bit of research on vegan chocolate, I learned that some varieties of chocolate are “accidentally” vegan. Lindt baking bars and Trader Joe’s Pound Plus baking bars are two options for people not wanting to spend crazy dollars on fancy chocolate. I did find that the Lindt chocolate bubbled oddly on the tops of the cookies, but they still tasted terrific. I shot for 68-72% cacao chocolate, but you can use whatever works for you. Please note that if you use chocolate chips, your final cookie will turn out differently. The chips are not meant to melt as easily as the baking bars, so expect cookies that are thicker with less spread. One of the things I love about these cookies are the pools of chocolate on top. If you like this look too, chop up most of your chocolate into 1/4″-1/2″ pieces to incorporate into the dough and save a few larger 3/4″-1″ chunks to press on top of the cookie dough balls before baking. Just a little bit of chunky chocolate on top (or near the top!) of each ball should do the trick.
This is the least predictable variable here. I almost lost sleep over these cookies due to problems with oven temp. Here’s the deal: in a super hot oven, the cookies will melt and spread like crazy, making little puddles of greasy dough with weirdly crispy edges. If you know your oven bakes hot, I’d encourage you to do a test run cookie and adjust the temp by 10 or so degrees as needed. If your cookie melts insanely, just notch the heat down and bake the rest at a slightly lower temperature. You can also chill your dough a bit, but I found that adjusting the heat was the best bet. For best results, use a heavy, non-insulated pan lined with a sheet of parchment paper.
Just when I think I’ve figured baking out, something surprises me and I learn something new. If you have interesting results with these cookies, please tell me about it! We can troubleshoot issues or celebrate triumphs, because at the end of the day everyone learns a little bit more when they share their experience. So if you make these, tell me about it! I think you’ll love them, and I can’t wait to hear all about it. Happy baking, friends!
If you like these vegan chocolate chip cookies you should check out:
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
These vegan chocolate chip cookies are a coconut oil based cookie made with a flaxseed meal egg, organic sugars, and vegan dark chocolate. Option for gluten free cookie is available as well.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 11
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ cup (120 gm) coconut oil, firm not liquid
- ¼ cup (50 gm) organic cane sugar
- ½ cup (100 gm) organic brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-1/4 cups (160 gm) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces coarsely chopped (1/4″-1/2″ pieces) semisweet or bittersweet vegan baking chocolate (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare one or two large baking sheets with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Combine the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and set aside for at least five minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, cane sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, beating on medium speed until smooth for about 30 seconds. Add the flaxseed mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt and stir just to combine. Add the chopped chocolate and fold to combine.
- Scoop out large balls (I use a large cookie scoop or about 3 tablespoons) of dough and place them two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. If you want large pools of chocolate on top of your cookies, make sure there are some large chunks of chocolate close to the top of the cookie rounds. If you notice your dough is really soft and melty, place in the fridge or freezer to firm up about 30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven about 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and set around the edges.
- If you don’t have a problem with using regular granulated or brown sugar, you can substitute that here, however, most standard sugars are not truly vegan. I used Wholesome Cane and Brown Sugar for these cookies.
- Be sure that your coconut oil is not liquidy or melted. This recipe was tested using solid coconut oil, although there were some small differences between brands.
- If you choose to use chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips instead of large chopped chocolate, the shape of your cookie will differ. I prefer to pat my dough balls down a bit when using chocolate chips as they will not spread quite as much as with the large chunks.
- You can substitute GF flour here, although the cookies may spread slightly differently. Test the baking out on one or two to verify that they will bake as you’d like. If they spread too much, refrigerate the dough, and if they stay more puffed than you’d like, slightly press down on the dough balls.
- I use Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Baking bar which is accidentally vegan. If you don’t have a variety you love, standard chocolate can be used. Please read my tips above regarding chocolate chips vs. baking bars.