I've said it once, and I'll say it again: these chewy vegan chocolate chip cookies are one of the best recipes I've ever created. People ask me for these ALL. THE. TIME.
These vegan cookies convinced E that we could still eat all the foods we love on a plant-based diet. They're seriously better than regular chocolate chip cookies. Do I have your attention? Good.
What makes this take on a classic chocolate chip cookies so fantastic, you ask?
Well first, they are so. simple. Using some basic techniques like softening the butter and chilling the dough overnight, you're getting a lot of flavor for minimal effort.
Second, I'm not asking you to use any crazy ingredients like flax egg, coconut sugar, or soy milk. The hardest thing to find is the vegan butter, and it's becoming more mainstream by the hour.
The chewiness of the cookie, combined with the melty chocolate and rich flavor combo of butter, sugar and vanilla is enough to make anyone go vegan. I've served these to a group of teenage boys, and they did not know the difference. THAT friends, is the power of my chewy vegan chocolate chip cookies.
There are a few simple ingredients that make the best vegan chocolate chip cookies.
First, we need the right vegan butter. I've said it before, I'll say it again - Miyoko's reigns supreme for this kind of baking. You can't tell the difference. Soften for an hour or two, but not too long! Its melting point is much lower than regular butter.
Pro tip: place butter into bowl to soften instead of softening in the wrapper.
Next, we're talking sugars. We use a combination of dark brown sugar for richness, and granulated sugar for lightness. You can sub the dark brown sugar for light brown sugar, but the cookie will have a slightly different taste and texture.
We're also adding some good vanilla extract for flavor. Make your own or buy the good stuff. I love some good Madagascar bourbon vanilla, but have been really into Tahitian vanilla lately too. Fun fact: did you know those are the only two places in the world where vanilla beans grow?
Throw in a little ground coffee to complement the chocolate and molasses in the brown sugar.
Since eggs are a no-go, we need a good binder. Enter the vegan binder of all vegan binders: aquafaba, aka the juice from a can of chickpeas or light beans. This stuff is magical. (Psst: the original recipe called for 2 eggs...this simple substitution has worked in all my vegan cookie recipes!)
Pro tip: the thicker the juice, the better the cookies. The aquafaba from the white beans tends to be a little thicker than chickpeas.
For dry ingredients, we have the usual suspects: all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Gently mix the flour mixture before adding to the wet ingredients in parts.
Finally we'll add our chopped chocolate. Vegan chocolate chips, or a chopped vegan chocolate bar works. Contrary to popular belief, dairy-free chocolate is more widely available than you think! Stick to something in the 55-65% cacao range. Personally, I love a chocolate with some sea salt or hazelnuts, but you do you!
If you're really feeling fancy, top warm cookies with a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt, and try not to eat them all in one sitting.
First, we'll cream the butter, sugar and vanilla using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment. Make sure to soften the butter for at least 30-60 minutes on the counter. If you're short on time, cut it up so there's more surface area to soften.
Once the mixture is homogenous, mix until the batter lightens a couple of shades (2-3 mins). This incorporates air, and creates a lighter, chewier and fluffier cookie.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and toss gently with a fork or spoon to combine.
Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in parts, scraping down the bowl between additions to ensure no flour is left behind.
This technique has two benefits:
- Your kitchen won't be covered in flour
- It will keep the dough in one piece. If your dough ends up crumbly, keep mixing.
Pro tip: if the dough ends up crumbly, you can also try to bring it together with your hands. If all else fails, make vegan cookie dough ice cream.
Finally, gently stir in the chopped chocolate. Scoop into balls, place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. For best results, let the dough chill for 24-48 hours so the flavors meld.
Pro tip: The more time they sit, the better they taste. Even three hours are better than one!
Place dough balls onto a prepared baking sheets lined with parchment paper. In a pinch, a nonstick cookie sheet will also work. Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.
The edges should be lightly golden brown. It's ok if they're a little gooey in the center...that's the chewy middle! We don't want crispy edges - watch the color closely in the last few minutes so there's a soft crunch.
Substitutions & Variations
These cookies are naturally vegan, dairy free and egg free, and can be made gluten free easily.
If you have a nut allergy, you can try other nut free vegan butters. However, I highly recommend Miyoko's if you're ok with nuts.
Make these chocolate chip cookies vegan AND gluten free by substituting chickpea flour 1:1 vs all purpose flour. Just don't eat the dough and you'll never know (it tastes a little bean-y but the cookies are perfect).
If you're feeling fancy, you can add all kinds of other treats to these cookies like nuts, dried fruit, oreos, and other vegan treats. There are tons of flavor combo ideas in this post.
These cookies are super simple, but we will need a couple pieces of special equipment. required.
- Mixing bowls - one large bowl for wet ingredients, and another medium bowl for dry.
- Hand mixer for combining ingredients. A stand mixer with paddle attachment works too, but is more trouble than it's worth given the constant need to scrape down sides.
- Spatula for folding in chocolate and, ahem, "cleaning" the dishes
- Cookie scoop for portioning cookie dough. If you're looking for a "do it all" scoop from ice cream to cupcakes, I recommend a 2 oz disher scoop (or ~¼ cup). You can slice these dough balls in half for the perfect cookie, or use a slightly smaller scoop. I don't recommend baking cookies any larger than 2 oz. This is optional, but will produce more uniform cookies.
- Cookie sheet and silicon liner. Alternatively, you could line the baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a non-stick cookie sheet.
- Wire rack for cooling cookies
Pro tip: Keep in mind that every oven is different, so the baking times that work for my oven may not work for yours. Always start with the minimum cooking time and check every couple minutes after. Trust your nose above all!
Store baked cookies at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Store cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a closed container. To freeze, store in a freezer bag for up to 6 months
To bake frozen cookies, remove from freezer and cut in half. Cover and leave on the counter to warm up for 30-60 minutes before baking.
Frequently asked questions
I've found it at The Fresh Market, Publix, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Kroger, and Harris Teeter between North Carolina, New York, and Florida. Local health food markets also may carry.
Miyoko's vegan butter is the best for baked goods. Between the cashews, plant milk and cultures, it tastes, melts, and bakes like regular butter. It doesn't taste ultra processed like some vegan butters and margarines can. I use it in all my recipes.
If you can't find Miyoko's, Earth Balance will do, though it's not my favorite.
If you have another vegan butter you love, please let me know in the comments so I can check it out! (PS - not sponsored)
You can mix the dough by hand with a whisk, switching to a rubber spatula before adding flour. Prepare yourself for an arm workout - you're earning those cookies! Make sure you leave your butter out for at least 3 hours so it's extra soft.
However, an electric mixer is highly recommended so you can properly cream the butter & sugar for extra fluffy and chewy cookies. They're relatively inexpensive, and so worth it.
I apply "the cooking wine" theory to chocolate...if I wouldn't eat the chocolate on its own, I won't put it in my cookies. Simple as that.
Enjoy Life is great if you have allergies. If you try another chocolate brand, watch out for cross contamination. Many dark chocolate bars are technically vegan, but are processed on equipment with milk and nuts.
Otherwise, I like a good dark chocolate sea salt bar (Lindt and the Fresh Market's private label are both great options). More "accidentally vegan" chocolates are here.
Let the cookies chill in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally 24-48. This is where the magic happens, if you can resist snacking.
Looking for more vegan cookie recipes? Or just have a sweet tooth in general? We've got you covered.
The best cookies ever, vegan or not. You will not know the difference between these and regular chocolate chip cookies, tried and tested on a group of teenage boys, my parents, and my carnivorous brothers.
- 1 package softened Miyokos Vegan Butter (plain, salted - if you can find unsalted, add an extra tsp of salt. Soften for at least 2-3 hours)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp good vanilla extract
- 6 Tbsp aquafaba (the juice that comes in a can of chickpeas or white beans)
- 2 and ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking SODA
- 1 tsp baking POWDER (yes, this is different than baking SODA, and yes, you need both)
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules (such as Cafe Bustelo)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 cups chocolate chips or chunks (I like using two good dark chocolate sea salt bars, just check the ingredients to ensure it's dairy free)
- If you like nuts in your cookies, go for it! Chop into similar size pieces as chocolate
- Flaky sea salt for topping
- Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and stir thoroughly to distribute.
- In bowl of stand mixer (or mixing bowl), combine softened butter, sugars, and vanilla. Once mixture if homogenous, take note of the color and mix until 2-3 shades lighter, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Add aquafaba/bean juice in increments of 2 Tbsp, mixing in between.
- Once the wet ingredients are well combined, add dry ingredients in 3 parts. Start your mixer on lowest power first to keep from making a mess. Once combined, add the next third, scraping down sides between sets.
- Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chunks and/or nuts. Get ready for an arm workout, this dough is thick.
- Scoop dough into balls using an ice cream scoop, and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- To bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Cut dough ball in half, and place onto sheet (mine fits 6 half dough balls at a time). Bake for 10-13 mins, or until edges are slightly brown. Don't bake too long - vegan butter doesn't brown as thoroughly as regular butter.
- Let cookies rest on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Once on rack, add a small pinch of flaky sea salt. For best results, let cool for an additional 10-20 minutes. They'll still be warm, but the flavors will meld a bit more.
WARNING: Yield may be less than prescribed if you have an insatiable sweet tooth like me. The dough is delicious in its own right.
Keywords: Vegan chocolate chip cookie, Vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cookie dough, plant based
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove