Magical brownie cookies, flourless, yet chewy and fudgy, like a brownie! Yet no eggs and no flour and no oil, and a small batch recipe! Also called Flourless Chocolate Cookies, Crinkle Cookies, or Mudslide Cookies. Say hello to your new favorite vegan brownie cookie.
Chocolate Brownie Cookies (flourless, egg-free, oil-free)
A super fudgy chewy dream of a brownie cookie. My family keeps walking by our platter of them on the table, and staring longingly, haha.
You probably have heard of these cookies by other names as well, such as flourless chocolate cookies or crinkle cookies or mudslide cookies. Well, I wanted to make them but they all require eggs.
Egg whites are key to get that chewy texture and tell-tale crackle top. But I don’t do eggs on my plant-based blog, and yet I wanted to DO flourless brownie cookies.
So I went for the obvious, swapping aquafaba instead of the egg whites.
Easy peasy, right? Aquafaba is the perfect plant-based egg substitute. Wrong.
Yes, to aquafaba being a great egg substitute. A big fat WRONG to the swap working easily in these traditional brownie cookies.
In the interest of full transparency, while the cookies always taste great, this beautiful crinkle isn’t always a sure thing. That’s why I kept it small batch. Now, to be sure, the recipe ALWAYS produces a delicious cookie, just not always as instagramable. But when it works, WOW! Delicious AND beautiful.
Before we dive into the mysteries of these brownie cookies, I’d like to invite you to sign up for my free chocolate course. Five lessons hit your inbox with detail on how to create your own simple healthy chocolate desserts.
Okay, so let’s get started…
Replacing Eggs with Aquafaba in Flourless Brownie Cookies
The first time I tried the aquafaba version, I was mystified because my cookies bubbled scarily in the oven and spread like they were going to take over my kitchen. I ran screaming from the room. Haha, okay, I didn’t run screaming from the room.
But I did try the recipe again, and again, and again, and again. More bubbling and spreading, or brick-like cookies or blobs. Fail. Fail. Fail. I was obsessed. I would not give up.
Controlling the Moisture is Key in These Brownie Cookies
Okay, so slowly I learned how to make aquafaba work in this cookie. I changed temperatures and measurement and finally got to this recipe.
I learned that if you add too much moisture, they spread into a dinner-plate-size, amorphous bubbly mess.
And if you add too little or happen to use an ingredient straight out of the refrigerator, forget it – you’ll have bricks. Some of the fails were rather scary. I was going to post them but didn’t want to scare anyone away, haha.
Also when this last version came out and repeated and repeated, I was so excited. Because they are beautiful and DELICIOUS.
How Do These Flourless Brownie Cookies Taste?
These huge chocolate dream cookies are:
Did I say chewy?
Make These Flourless Brownie Cookies In Small Batches
Because the recipe was so finicky, I kept it small batch. It works perfectly to produce three large cookies, about 3-4 inches in diameter. If you want to multiple the recipe, you can!
But I strongly recommend you actually bake each batch separately. That’s because of two reasons:
1. the cookies need to be baked pretty much as soon as you mix the batter so the batter doesn’t dry out and change the texture (as in fail!),
2. AND they need spacing on the cookie sheet, several inches. Think social distancing for cookies. So if you are using a quarter-sized cookie sheet you will only have room for three cookies. If you use a full-size cookie sheet, you might be able to double the recipe and fit six – let me know if you try this!
How to Make Flourless Brownie Cookies
Just mix up the cacao powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. I just used a hand mixer.
Then add in the aquafaba and vanilla, and again use the hand mixer. The batter is wet and shiny, like brownie batter. My batter in the measuring cup is a great example of what your batter should look like.
Divide the batter into three by dropping equal sized blobs onto the parchment paper. In my successful batches, my blobs looked stiff as pictured here but I also had successful batches where the blogs were a bit more runny.
Bake for 6-10 minutes, watching through the oven window to decide when to remove them. Once the cookies crack and fall, you can pretty much remove them.
Then let them cool for 3 minutes, and gently peel them off the paper. And you will be peeling because these are sticky cookies, meringue-like, you see? But that very meringue-like texture is what keeps them chewy so that’s a plus.
Tips To Make This Recipe SUCCEED
1. Be sure to use aquafaba at room temperature. Just open a fresh can from your pantry on baking day. And don’t whip the aquafaba, just pour it into the recipe straight from the can.
2. Be sure to measure the cacao and flour by shaking the bags, spooning the amounts into metal measuring cups like you see below. Then shake the cup to remove air pockets, and gentle level top with a knife. I realize all the best bakers weigh ingredients, but I wanted to make this recipe accessible to those who don’t and don’t have a scale.
3. The recipe hinges on a perfect ratio between the dry and wet, so you’ll see my ingredients are pretty precise in this small batch recipe. For instance, it calls for 2 tbsp + 2 tsp of cacao, written in two different lines of the recipe.
It also calls for 1 tbsp + 1 tsp aquafaba, again written in two different lines of the recipe. I had to write each on two lines because my recipe card on my blog didn’t allow that two measurement option. Just do as I say, and everything will be fine.
4. Don’t overbake. It’s not terrible but a minute or two too long will make them taste a bit burny and this is tricky because your oven temperature will be different then mine. I suggest just watching after the 6 minute mark. If they look puffy but dry and cracked on top, they are probably done. Once you remove them, they will collapse. Let them cool about 3 minutes or a bit longer and gently peel them off the parchment!
I store them in a container on the counter. And they stay chewy day after day!
Trouble Shooting This Recipe
Everyone’s oven and ingredients differ slightly on many levels – acidity, components, moisture, and the recipe is very sensitive to wet and dry ratio and temperature. So you might have to slightly tweak the recipe to make it work in your environment and with your oven and ingredients. So I have two adjustments you can consider if your first batch doesn’t look as you want it to.
1. If your cookies spread and bubble in the oven, you need to slightly reduce the aquafaba. Reduce by 1 to 1/2 tsp.
2. If your cookies are too hard and don’t flatten, you need to slightly reduce the cacao or cocoa powder by 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp or add 1 tsp to 1/2 tsp aquafaba.
3. If the cookies are too hard and burned, take them out sooner, your oven is on the hot side.
4. Check again the tips I provide under “Tips to Make Recipe Succeed” above to be sure you are following them, especially on measuring.
Remember, your batter texture goal should be my picture of the batter in the measuring cup in the how-to steps image above.
I hope these tips help and good luck!
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Flourless Brownie Cookies (egg-free, oil-free)
- 6 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder) (NOTE: you need BOTH the 2 tbsp and 2 tsp of cacao powder for this recipe)
- 2 tsp cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder) (NOTE: you need BOTH the 2 tbsp and 2 tsp of cacao powder for this recipe)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp aquafaba (NOTE: you need BOTH the 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of aquafaba for this recipe)
- 1 tsp aquafaba (NOTE: you need BOTH the 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of aquafaba for this recipe)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Line a quarter-sized cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Mix up the 6 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp + 2 tsp of cacao powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
- Add in the 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of aquafaba and vanilla. I used a hand mixer to blend it to a creamy texture. This batter is not like traditional cookie batter, more like a brownie batter.
- Spoon three equal-sized spoonfuls into three far-apart spots on the cookie sheet. Think social-distancing for cookies.
- Bake the cookies around 6-10 minutes, possibly 12 if your oven is off. But look at them through your oven glass if you can and take them out as soon as they look dry and cracked on top. It's easy to over cook these.Let them cool on the pan for three minutes, and then peel them off carefully. They are like a merignue, so will be a bit sticky.
- We store them for a few days on the counter in a container, and the best news is even after a few days, they remain chewy. Of course, you can freeze them long term. Enjoy!
For instance, it calls for 2 tbsp + 2 tsp of cacao, written in two different lines of the recipe.
It also calls for 1 tbsp + 1 tsp aquafaba, again writeen in two different lines of the recipe. I had to write each on two lines because my recipe card on my blog didn't allow that two measurement option. Just do as I say, and everything will be fine. Troubleshooting: Didn't work for you? Don't give up. You probably only need to slightly tweak your aquafaba, cocoa or oven temp time to work with your ingredients and conditions. Check my Troubleshooting section at the end of my post.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.