Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies are thick and extra chewy, and they’re perfect if you’re out of eggs or just don’t eat them. No chilling required!

Vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies with a view of the crisp edges and extra chewy inside.

Why do we need a separate recipe for vegan cookies?

I’m not a vegan, and this isn’t a vegan gluten free food blog. But I may be more dedicated than ever to ensuring that, regardless of any additional dietary restrictions, you can bake what you and your family love to eat.

Readers make fun of food blogs for all the talk talk talk before the recipe. Food bloggers (well some food bloggers) make fun of readers for asking if they can substitute this or that ingredient.

Years ago, I decided to embrace the challenge of ingredient substitutions rather than shying away from it. Ever since, I’ve included a section in each recipe on this blog called “Ingredients and substitutions” in which I provide as much additional ingredient information as possible.

I can’t possibly test every recipe with every possible substitution. But I won’t let that stop me from telling you what I know so together we can make educated guesses. The alternative is that you’re left behind, and that goes against every single reason I began this blog in the first place.

These vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies are thick and extra chewy, and they're perfect if you're out of eggs or just don't eat them.

What makes this cookie recipe different?

I never want anything we bake to just be “good enough.” I want the recipes I share to produce baked goods that are really good, shareable, pride-inducing works of art. 

Any additional substitution, like removing butter and eggs from a recipe for thick and chewy gluten free chocolate chip cookies, really alters the recipe and not generally in a good way. So a recipe for vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies only tastes great if I develop a separate recipe.

This is that recipe. Like our recipe for vegan gluten free pancakes, this recipe relies on a combination of baking powder, xanthan gum, and applesauce.

The result is a thick and extra chewy chocolate chip cookie that browns beautifully, creating a crisp-tender crust on the bottom. This recipe has considerably less added fat than a cookie made with butter, since baking with coconut oil or non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening has a tendency to make baked goods oily if you’re not careful. We were very careful.

Source ingredients carefully

One last note before we get to that all-important discussion of ingredient questions you may have: be sure all of your ingredients are vegan if making these cookies strictly vegan is important to you.

Trader Joe’s brand and Enjoy Life brand are my two favorite dairy-free chocolate chips. Wholesome Sweeteners brand brown sugar is vegan. Trader Joe’s granulated sugar is vegan, too.

Raw cookie dough for vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients and substitutions

Coconut oil: The fat you use in these cookies must be solid at room temperature, not liquid. I use triple-filtered virgin coconut oil from Trader Joe’s, which has absolutely no coconut flavor or aroma.

It must be solid when you use it in the recipe, but should not be cold. When solid coconut oil is cold, it crumbles and won’t combine properly with the other ingredients.

I’ve also made these cookies with Spectrum brand non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. It’s not Crisco, which is hydrogenated vegetable oil. The cookies don’t brown as much, but the recipe still works beautifully.

You can almost certainly use vegan butter, like Melt or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand. If you use Earth Balance buttery sticks, reduce the salt in the recipe by half since they’re quite salty.

Applesauce: I find unsweetened, smooth commercially prepared applesauce really useful in baking (often in WW-style recipes). The pectin in the apples helps give structure to the cookies, in addition to the applesauce’s adding some of the moisture that butter and eggs would help provide.

Non-dairy milk: I like unsweetened almond milk best since it has some fat and is not too watery. But it’s such a small amount of milk that any nondairy milk would work just fine.


Just baked vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies, with texture visible close up.

These vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies are thick and extra chewy, and they are perfect if you are out of eggs or just do not eat them.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 20 cookies


2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar (make sure it’s vegan if that’s important to you)

3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar (make sure it’s vegan if that’s important to you)

5 tablespoons (70 g) coconut oil, slightly softened

1/4 cup (64 g) smooth applesauce

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) unsweetened nondairy milk (any kind)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

8 ounces nondairy semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and mix to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the coconut oil. Mix to distribute the coconut oil evenly, pressing down on the mixture with the back of the mixing spoon. Add the applesauce, milk, and vanilla, and mix to combine. The cookie dough may seem a bit crumbly. Add most of the chocolate chips (reserving a few for pressing into the top of shaped cookies, if desired), and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Knead the cookie dough with clean hands until it holds together well.

  • Divide the cookie dough into 20 to 21 portions, and roll each tightly into a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Press each of the balls of dough into a disk about 1/2-inch thick and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a few reserved chips, if any, into the top of each shaped cookie.

  • Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown all over and set in the center (10 to 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes or until firm before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Comments are closed.

  • Amanda
    May 21, 2020 at 6:03 PM

    These are BY FAR the best gluten free chocolate chip cookies I have found yet! I’ve been on the search for a perfect gf chocolate chip recipe for years, and I don’t have to search one more second. This will be the recipe I use forever. Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 21, 2020 at 8:15 PM

      Well, Amanda, it sounds like your search really is over! So glad you’re so pleased. It’s important to have a favorite CCC recipe, for sure. ?

  • Kristen
    April 22, 2020 at 9:39 PM

    These are yummy! Even my husband and kids who don’t need to avoid anything but gluten found them delicious and said to make them again. Thanks, Nicole!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 23, 2020 at 9:32 AM

      That’s so great, Kristen. I consider it very important to have a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe that everyone can eat, and it sounds like you now have yours!

  • Cathy
    April 22, 2020 at 7:03 PM

    I made these today. I can’t have eggs or wheat. It is a strange looking recipe, and I wanted to see if it worked. These cookies are great. I had to substitute some of the flour out since I didn’t have enough rice, but they turned out perfectly anyway. They taste so wonderful. They hold together well. I will be making them again and again.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 22, 2020 at 7:40 PM

      Haha I guess it is kind of a strange-looking recipe, Cathy! I’m glad you proved to yourself that it works. I wouldn’t post it if it didn’t, but you didn’t know that. :)

  • Victoria
    April 21, 2020 at 3:20 AM

    I have just made these for the first time today. Can’t wait to try them. Can I just check whether it is a teaspoon or Tablespoon of Vanilla as listed? Thanks

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 21, 2020 at 8:10 AM

      There’s no error in the recipe, Victoria. It’s correct as written!

  • Barbara
    April 20, 2020 at 6:09 PM

    This is great! I recently went in search of GF eggless snack recipes to add to my GF recipes (I’m neither GF nor vegan, but I love being able to feed friends who have diet restrictions) and have not been having a lot of luck. When we can share food again, I’ll add these in. :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 21, 2020 at 8:09 AM

      Aw, that sounds really lovely, Barbara. On all counts!

  • Janet
    April 20, 2020 at 10:39 AM

    I am highly allergic to apples. (I know, strange, right). Do you think pear sauce would have a similiar pectin content?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 20, 2020 at 11:09 AM

      Wow, Janet. That is unusual! I think pear sauce would work, actually. Great idea!

  • Kathryn Thomas
    April 20, 2020 at 10:13 AM

    Does it have to be coconut oil? Can I use vegetable or olive oil instead?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 20, 2020 at 11:08 AM

      Please see the ingredients and substitutions section, Kathryn!

  • Jeannetta Stokes
    April 19, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    Oh hooray! I’m so excited to try these! I have multiple food allergies and almost all baking requires eggs; egg substitutes are sometimes barely passable. Thank you for this!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 19, 2020 at 6:37 PM

      Although I do always provide suggestions for replacing the eggs in any given recipe on the site that calls for them, I do that knowing that it simply won’t be the same. And that’s exactly why it’s nice to have a recipe that’s designed to be egg-free sometimes, Jeannetta. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Jacqueline E Koscheski
    April 19, 2020 at 1:45 PM

    Is there anything I can use to replace the applesauce? What does the applesauce do for the recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 19, 2020 at 3:45 PM

      Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section, Jacqueline, for information on the applesauce.

  • Diane
    April 19, 2020 at 1:38 PM

    Hi Nicole, I’m interested in making the sour dough starter. I have almond flour and tapioca flour/starch. Will these work?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 19, 2020 at 3:45 PM

      I’m afraid not, Diane. You really need a whole grain flour. If you don’t have anything other than almond flour and tapioca starch, I’m afraid you won’t be able to make the bread either.

  • Jillian
    April 19, 2020 at 1:37 PM

    We don’t need vegan but my son’s girlfriend can’t have eggs. I think I’ll try these tonight using butter and dairy milk because it’s what I have. Finding egg free baking recipes is new for me, adding it to gluten free is an added challenge.

    I can’t wait to taste them!
    Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 19, 2020 at 3:55 PM

      Egg-free baking is quite a challenge, Jillian, especially when you add in dairy-free. I’m honestly not sure how this recipe will work with butter in place of coconut oil, because butter has more moisture than coconut oil. Keep an eye on the texture as compared to the video and photos. You may not need to add much milk at all. It will definitely taste richer with butter. Butter really does make everything better!

  • MarySue Fortner
    April 19, 2020 at 12:51 PM

    Hi Nicole. I love your recipes and I love to bake. Of course I’ll gluten intolerant and lots of things dairy have to be careful, no onion no garlic no xanthan gum or guar gum those are worse than gluten and no chia seeds. I can do flax seeds. Do you have any suggestion for a substitute for the gums in baking.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 19, 2020 at 3:48 PM

      I’m afraid I don’t have a suggestion for a substitute for xanthan gum other than guar gum, MarySue. I do have a number of recipes that are made with my gum-free gluten free flour blend, though. Those would suit you, as well as the Paleo recipes.

  • joan oberthur
    April 17, 2020 at 7:11 PM

    Is that much sugar really necessary? It’s an awful lot. I use rapadura sugar. Would that work?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 17, 2020 at 7:22 PM

      It’s a pretty normal amount of sugar for cookies that are a dessert, Joan. I’m not familiar with that sugar, but I can only recommend the sugars that I used in this recipe. If you’re looking for sugar free foods, a keto food blog would probably suit your needs best.

  • Vicki
    April 17, 2020 at 4:09 PM

    I like your many options for different people’s dietary needs. Have you tried to make this with Stevia instead of the sugars? That’s where my baking takes a dive. First of all, Stevia is never as sweet as people want, and if I increase the Stevia, it tastes bitter or otherwise weird. Second, the cookie doesn’t hold together well because, I guess it’s the volume of Stevia is of course way less than the volume of sugar would be.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 17, 2020 at 4:24 PM

      I haven’t tried to make these cookie with an alternative sugar no, Vicki, but I have made other cookies with alternative sugars. My favorite is Lankato monkfruit sugar alternatives. They have both granulated and brown sugar alternatives. They’re not inexpensive, but they work better than anything else I’ve tried. They do tend to be drying, though, so you might need to add a bit more milk. Sugars are tenderizers, not just sweeteners in baking, which is one reason why it’s so difficult to replace them.

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