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Introducing the Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cookies. Chocolate cookies filled with melted chocolate and rolled in a cardamom sugar to tie it all together. Bake these treats up in less than 30 minutes! Gluten-free option.
These Vegan Chocolate Cookies are the ultimate way to satisfy a sweet tooth. They’re made with a rich chocolate cookie dough, stuffed with chocolate squares, then rolled in a warm cardamom sugar. Plus they’re made with simple, pantry-friendly ingredients. Yes, it’s as perfect as it sounds.
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Calling All Chocolate Lovers
As an avid chocolate lover, I wanted to make the ultimate chocolate cookie that checked all the boxes for my fellow chocolate fanatics. This recipe is inspired by Pinch of Yum‘s chocolate cookies, which I made vegan with a few tweaks.
These cookies are soft, puffy, rich, buttery, filled with chocolate then rolled in a cardamom sugar that truly takes things to the next level. Do yourself a favor and eat them hot from the oven while the chocolate center is still melty.
They’re the best quick and easy treat to bring to potlucks, school bake sales, birthday parties, holiday dinners, gift teachers for Valentine’s day, and more. Vegans and nonvegans alike will go wild for these!
Ingredients for Vegan Chocolate Cookies
These chocolate cookies are made with just 9 basic ingredients and a few optional ingredients to take them to the next level! Here are a few key ingredients:
- Flax egg: The egg replacer in our cookie dough. If you’re new to baking without eggs, you’ll definitely want to stock flaxseed meal in your pantry. It’s so versatile and a popular egg substitute for a reason!
- Vegan butter: For the best melt in your mouth chocolate cookies, softened vegan butter is key. I highly recommend using butter sticks over vegan butter spreads. They’re closer in consistency to dairy butter and will prevent the cookies from overspreading.
- Brown sugar: The molasses in brown sugar provides moisture and keeps these cookies soft and fluffy.
- Dairy-free chocolate squares: This is optional, but highly recommended to satisfy a chocolate craving. You won’t be able to resist that melted chocolate center!
- Cardamom sugar: Also optional, but the perfect warm, sugary finish!
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cookies
- Mix the ground flax and water until combined. Set aside.
- Cream the vegan butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add the flax egg and vanilla and mix again.
- Sift in the cocoa powder and all purpose flour. Add the espresso powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with a spatula until a cookie dough forms.
- Mix the cane sugar and cardamom together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal cookie dough balls.
- Take one ball of cookie dough and split it in half. Flatten it, top with chocolate, then press the second half of the cookie dough on top. Shape the cookie into a ball again, making sure the chocolate is sealed in the center.
- Roll the ball in cardamom sugar, then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
- Bake until spread and puffy.
- Serve warm or cool!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Sift the cocoa powder! Cocoa powder has a tendency to clump up in cookie dough batter. For best results, sift the cocoa powder to evenly distribute the cocoa throughout the batter.
- How to get the best chocolate flavor: Use dutch processed cocoa powder and espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor. You can’t taste the coffee!
In my opinion, these vegan chocolate cookies are best served warm so the chocolate center of the cookies is melty and gooey. They’re the perfect vegan dessert or afternoon treat. Serve with a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk.
How to Store Vegan Chocolate Cookies
These vegan chocolate cookies will keep for up to 4 days in a container at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month before or after baking.
Freezing unbaked cookies: If you’d like to freeze your chocolate cookie dough balls before baking, follow the recipe through step 4, but skip rolling in cardamom sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet, then transfer the baking sheet to the freezer to flash freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer safe bag or container and store for up to 1 month.
When ready to bake, roll the cookie dough balls in sugar and bake from frozen for 1-3 minutes longer.
Freezing baked cookies: Leave the baked cookies on the baking sheet and transfer the baking sheet to the freezer to flash freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a freezer safe bag or container and store for up to 1 month. Thaw the cookies at room temperature, then reheat as usual.
Reheating instructions: If you wish to reheat the cookies, bake them at 300F for 3 to 5 minutes to get the melty center again.
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten-free option: I have not tested it, but you can probably substitute a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Single gluten-free flours such as oat flour, almond flour, or coconut flour will bake very differently and is not going to yield a good result.
- Skip the chocolate center or sugar coating: If you want to keep it simple, feel free to skip the chocolate center and sugar coating.
- Vegan butter substitute: If necessary, you can replace the vegan butter with softened coconut oil (not melted!). This will affect the final flavor and texture of the cookies, but will work in a pinch.
- Brown sugar substitute: Substitute the light brown sugar with coconut sugar, as desired but note that the cookies will be on the drier side.
- Chocolate squares substitute: Try a couple of vegan chocolate chips instead!
Vegan cookies simply are made without animal products. This means they are made without eggs, dairy, or animal byproducts such as gelatin or carmine. But don’t worry, vegan cookies are often equally as delicious as their nonvegan counterparts – sometimes you won’t even be able to taste a difference.
If your cookies are hard after baking, it is possible the ingredient ratios were off or they were baked too long. As a general rule of thumb, bake with a baking scale and underbake your cookies. Cookies continue to firm up after you pull them from the oven and result in chewy, soft cookies.
If the cookies have spread and are slightly darker and crispier around the edges, they are ready. I found baking for 9 minutes on the center oven rack to be the perfect amount of time.
I have personally not tested a version without butter and cannot recommend one. If you are interested in oil-free vegan cookies, check out my Healthy Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies or Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. I’ve also got a full oil-free section on the blog with close to 100 recipes!
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cookie
For the Cookie Dough:
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup vegan butter softened to room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional, for a deeper chocolate flavor
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Add-Ins: (optional, but recommended!)
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 12 dairy-free chocolate squares
- Reheat: 300F 3-5 min
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the ground flax with the water, mix well, and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Cream the Butter: Add the butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and use a hand mixer (or bowl of a stand mixer) to cream them together until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thickened flax seed, and vanilla to the butter mixture. Mix again until combined.
- Make the Dough: Add the flour to the mixing bowl and sift the cocoa powder on top to prevent clumps. Add in the espresso powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt to the bowl and mix well with a spatula.
- Roll: Mix the cane sugar and the cardamom together in a small bowl and set aside. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, roughly 2 tablespoons each. Take one ball of cookie dough and split it in half; flatten one half onto the palm of your hand to form the “base” of the cookie. Top the base dough with the chocolate, then top with the remaining dough. Use your hands to press the bottom and top layers together and shape the cookie into a ball, making sure the chocolate is sealed in the center (see video for more detail). Roll the ball in the cardamom sugar, then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the cookies 2” apart on the baking sheet. Do not flatten the cookies on the baking sheet as they will spread when they cook.
- Bake: Bake for 9 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are puffy. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, to allow them to set.
- Serve: Serve warm, or let the cookies cool before serving. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to one month. The chocolate center of the cookies will remain melty for 30 to 40 minutes after baking. If you wish to reheat the cookies, bake them at 300F for 3 to 5 minutes to get the melty center again.
- Gluten-Free: I have not tested this but you can probably sub with a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend
- Other Substitutions: vegan butter can be replaced with softened coconut oil, but this will affect the final flavor of the cookies. Brown sugar can be replaced with coconut sugar, but the cookies will be more dry.
- Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yum!