These soft chocolate sugar cookies are made with cocoa and turn out chewy and round with a crackle sugar top. This classic drop cookie bakes as balls rolled in a crunchy sugar coating, is lighter without eggs and can be made in under 20 minutes.
This recipe for soft chocolate sugar cookies is eggless and so easy to follow, it is the perfect recipe for beginner bakers who want to make cookies quickly and with a strong chocolate flavor. Also, no chilling is needed so you can have cookies on the table in under half an hour.
These sugar cookies are also lighter without eggs and oil, and chewier than my vegan chocolate chip cookies but firmer than my healthy edible brownie batter. If you love sugar cookies, you might like my other cookie recipes, including my 2 Ingredient sugar cookies , my matcha green tea cookies, and my almond sugar cookies.
Why You'll Love This Cookie
An easy drop cookie. This cookie is not a cut out cookie. It is a drop cookie that you roll in a ball, roll in sugar and bake into a circle which also helps these cookies quick to bake.
Perfect for all diets. This recipe for chocolate sugar cookies are dairy free and vegan with chia seeds instead of eggs, making these cookies higher in fiber and protein than the traditional recipe. They can be made gluten free with gluten free flour, and nut free by using sunflower seed butter. I also removed cornstarch which can trigger allergies and is found in similar recipes for texture because chia seeds do the job.
Puffy, soft cookies. These sugar cookies with cocoa used brown sugar instead of white sugar to create softer edges and an even fudgier middle.
flour : Use all-purpose flour or gluten free baking flour. You can use oat flour but use ½ cup more as it is more absorbent.
cocoa powder : For a oreo-cookie dark color use dutch cocoa; for a lighter chocolate color use regular processed cocoa powder. I used regular Hershey's cocoa here.
baking soda : Needed to react with the sugar and lift the cookie. Do not use baking powder as it will not provide the needed reaction for chewy cookies.
butter : Only a little, not the normal amount found in sugar cookies, less because nut butter replaces most. Use unsalted to be sure to control the salt levels.
nut butter : I used almond butter, but cashew butter or sunflower seed butter can be used.
brown sugar : Here is your brown sugar to help create the soft texture. I used coconut palm sugar to reduce the refined sugar but regular brown sugar works too.
chia seed egg : Instead of a traditional egg, use a chia seed egg, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoon of water. A flaxseed egg is also fine.
And you'll also need some dairy free milk, vanilla, a pinch of salt, and white cane sugar for rolling.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Steps to Make
Here is a quick summary of the steps to make this sugar cookie recipe, but the detailed recipe and video can be found below in the recipe card below.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the butter out 1 hour prior to reach room temperature or microwave a chilled stick for 10 seconds.
- Make a chia seed egg - add 1 tablespoon of seed to 4 tablespoon of water and let it gel for about ten minutes.
- If your peanut butter is hard or clumpy, also microwave and stir in intervals of 10 seconds.
2. Mix the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to cream butter and sugar into a smooth texture and encourage the sugar to dissolve.
3. Add the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt - to a fine mesh strainer over the wet ingredient bowl and move a spoon back in forth to encourage the powder to push through the screen.
4. Mix the batter with a hand mixer until well combined but for only 1 minute or so, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Don't over mix and do not chill this batter.
5. Use a 2-tbsp cookie scoop to scoop batter and roll into balls. Pour ½ cup of cane sugar in a bowl, and roll each ball then line them on a baking sheet. You will have about 16-18 balls.
6. Line them in a pan two inches apart because these cookies will spread.
7. Bake for 12 minutes if your oven runs hot, 13 minutes if it is accurate. Remove the cookies from the oven and flatten with a spatula instantly. Cool 10 minutes on the pan and transfer to cooking rack. Repeat the process until all cookies are baked.
8. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
These sugar cookies are easy to make fast and generally forgiving but the rise and fall that creates the crinkle can be a bit elusive so here is what to watch for:
1. Measure your flour carefully. Some people swear by weighing it but I have never had an issue using the fluff and spoon method. Just fluff the flour in its container with a fork, then spoon the amount into your measuring cup(s) and level off.
2. Press the cookie balls flat after they have baked.
3. Don't over-bake. Remove the cookies after 12 minutes if your oven runs hot, 13 minutes if it is correct. It's worth buying an oven thermometer to check from time to time. Once you remove the cookies, right away press flat with a spatula. The cookies will crack on the edges and be fudgy inside.
How to Serve
These cookies are ready to eat once cooled completely. You'll find the flavor is awesome as the days go by, and sometimes more deeply chocolatey. Here are four ways to enjoy them .
- Eat them straight.
- Sandwich frosting or ice cream in between two.
- Dunk them in coffee, tea or milk.
These cookies taste soft, chewy and deeply chocolatey. They also have a chocolate-peanut-butter flavor. For a buttery sugar cookies, you can replace the peanut butter with butter.
No, this dough does better not chilled as chilling hampers spreading by solidifying fats.
More Healthy Cookie Recipes
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Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies (egg free)
- 2 cups all purpose flour or gluten free baking flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- ½ cup butter unsalted and softened
- ½ cup nut butter
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 chia seed 4 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon seed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- cane sugar for rolling
- Make a chia seed egg - add 1 tablespoon of seed to 4 tablespoon of water and let it gel for about ten minutes.1 chia seed
- Put the butter out 1 hour prior to reach room temperature or microwave a chilled stick for 10 seconds. If your peanut butter is hard or clumpy, also microwave and stir in intervals of 10 seconds.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to cream the butters and sugar into a smooth texture and encourage the sugar to dissolve.½ cup butter, ½ cup nut butter, 1 ½ cups brown sugar, ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt - to a fine mesh strainer over the wet ingredient bowl and move a spoon back in forth to encourage the powder to push through the screen.2 cups all purpose flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, pinch salt, ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Mix the batter with a hand mixer until well combined but for only 1 minute or so, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Don't over mix and do not chill this batter.
- The batter will be on the dry side. Add an additional tablespoon or 2 of milk if needed to get a smooth scoopable texture.
- Use a 2-tbsp scoop to scoop batter and roll into balls. Coat them in a bowl of organic cane sugar. You will have about 16-18 balls.cane sugar for rolling
- Line them to a pan two inches apart because the cookies will spread.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes. Remove them at 12 minutes if your oven runs hot. Once you have removed them from the oven, instantly press them gently with a spatula to allow edges to crack.
- Allow cookies to cool 10 minutes on the pan and transfer to cooking rack. Repeat the process until all cookies are baked.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
3. Don't over-bake. Remove the cookies after 12 minutes if your oven runs hot, 13 minutes if it is correct. It's worth buying an oven thermometer to check from time to time.