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!
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.
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.
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.
Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip 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.