Make these vegan chocolate chip cookies with applesauce so they are light and chewy, and delicious to both vegans and non-vegans alike. These are soft cookies, like a healthier Trader Joe's or Entenmann's.
These are vegan chocolate chip cookies, gluten free and rival any classic version. The list of ingredients is short and simple, no eggs or oil, and produces cookies in under half an hour and with a tender crumb. Plus a troubleshooting trick ensures your plant based cookies turn out perfectly every time. If you like these, you'll likely enjoy my other easy vegan cookie recipes especially my cinnamon chocolate chip cookies and chocolate sugar cookies.
Why You'll Love These
Great for all diets. This chocolate chip cookies fit into any diet because they are egg free, dairy free, and can be gluten-free. They don't use nuts, and I recommend a chocolate chip brand free of allergens.
Fool-proof method. This plant based cookie recipe is easy to replicate because even if your flour measurement is a bit off, I have a troubleshooting method that will help you get the recipe back on track, producing perfect cookies every time.
Crispy outside, chewy inside. These tasty vegan cookies have a crisp exterior and a soft, chewy interior that is hard to resist. The applesauce in the recipe helps keep the cookies moist and tender.
Flour. Use an all-purpose flour or 1 to 1 baking gluten free flour if you need to avoid gluten.
Leaveners. Baking powder and baking soda.
Sugars. You'll need a brown and a white sugar. I used light brown sugar and organic cane sugar which tastes better than ordinary cane sugar.
Butter. Use a vegan butter from a stick and softened. If you only have access to butter in a tub, add 1 tablespoon of flour because the butter from the tub has added moisture. Make sure the butter is at room temperature.
Applesauce. Use applesauce to replace the egg found in a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe. It add moisture and structure along with the leaveners.
Flavor support. Add vanilla and salt for the classic chocolate chip cookie flavor.
Chocolate chips. I used vegan chocolate chips . Or you can use my homemade chocolate chips recipe and make your own.
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- large mixing bowl
- hand-mixer or use a spoon
- cookie scoop set
- quarter-sized cookie sheet
- parchment paper for quarter-sized cookie sheet
Steps to Make
Below find general steps and step-by-step pictures of the process of how to make vegan chocolate chip cookies. Find detailed instructions and measurements are in the recipe at the bottom of the post.
Step 1: Cream together the butter and sugars, stirring or mixing about 2 minutes to full dissolve the sugar.
Step 2: Then stir in the applesauce and vanilla for about 1 minute.
Step 3: Sift the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredient mixture. Be sure to measure the flour exactly - I used the spoon and level method. If you don't want to sift, simple stir the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and then dump that on top of the wet ingredient mixture.
Step 4: Mix the batter well either with a spoon, or with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Don't overmix, especially using all purpose flour, or you'll create a rubbery batter.
Step 5: Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
Step 6: Chill the batter for at least 20 minutes to increase flavor and decrease spreading.
Step 7: Scoop using a 1 tablespoon size small scoop and space the dough balls 2 inches apart. This will make 24 small cookies.
Step 8: Bake 350 F for 10 minutes. Do not over-bake these cookies! They might not look done when you pull them out of the oven. Look for golden brown edges, and centers that look just dry, and beginning to show slight cracks.
Step 9: Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Troubleshooting Vegan Cookies
1. Check your cookie dough after you've chilled it. Does it look like the picture below? After 20 minutes of chilling, the cookie dough should be soft, slightly sticky, and easy to scoop. Flour brands or measurements or humidity can create differences. If your vegan cookie dough does not have the same texture as mine, here's your chance to correct it for perfect cookies.
2.If the dough is too wet and doesn't hold a scoop ball form, then add more flour in ¼ cup increments, not going over ½ cup, and mixing well between each addition with spoon so you don't break up the chips.
3.If your dough is dry and crumbly, you can add milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, not exceeding ¼ cup, until you reach the texture you want.
Testing tip: After applying the guidance above, if you're still unsure about the texture of the dough, you can always test it by baking two cookies to see how they turn out. If the cookies have no rise and are flat, the batter is likely too wet; if they are too puffy and cakey, the batter is too dry.
Here are some recipe tips to ensure that your vegan chocolate chip cookies turn out perfectly:
Soften the butter. Make sure the vegan butter is softened to room temperature. This will help it cream more easily with the sugar and create a light, fluffy texture. You can microwave it for 10 seconds to help it along, but letting it sit out for 2 hours is more advisable.
Measure the flour accurately. Make sure to measure the flour accurately by carefully loosening the flour in its bag with a fork, then spooning the flour into a measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife. Too much flour can make the cookies dry and crumbly. You can also use a scale if you are accustomed to that method.
Pack the brown sugar. The ½ cup of brown sugar should be packed when measuring it. Brown sugar is often packed into a measuring cup to ensure that you get an accurate measurement. To pack the brown sugar, use a spoon to scoop the sugar into the measuring cup, then press it down firmly with the back of the spoon or your fingers until it's tightly packed.
Chill the dough. Chilling the dough for at least 20 minutes before baking will help prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven and will give them a better texture.
Don't over bake the cookies. Keep a close eye on the cookies while they are baking and remove them from the oven as soon as the edges start to turn golden brown. Over baking the cookies can make them dry and hard.
Let the cookies cool before serving. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This will help them set and prevent them from falling apart.
Swaps & Substitutions
There are several ingredient substitutions you can use in this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe, depending on your dietary needs and preferences. Here are some options:
Flour: You can use gluten free flour instead of all purpose flour to make these gluten free vegan cookies. You can try my gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe if you want to try oat flour. Or add ¼ cup of rolled oats to turn them into oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Vegan butter: Theoretically, you can substitute the vegan butter with coconut oil or vegetable shortening or try my recipes that use those ingredients instead, such as these cinnamon chocolate chip cookies which use coconut oil, and these healthy chocolate chip cookies which use a healthier shortening and oat flour.
Sugar: For the light brown sugar, use coconut sugar, and for the white sugar, use organic cane sugar. I haven't tried sugar substitutes but anything that replicates brown and white sugar might work.
Applesauce: If you don't have applesauce, you can substitute it with pumpkin puree, or dairy-free yogurt, or even almond milk although you might have to then increase the flour by a tablespoon or two to achieve the correct texture.
Chocolate chips: You can use any type of chocolate chips you prefer, such as dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can also use chopped dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chunks.
Vegan chocolate chip cookies are admittedly hard to improve, however you could consider these variations:
1. Use coconut oil. Replace the butter with coconut oil, which will make the texture less chewy and more crunchy.
2. Make cookies gluten free. Use a gluten-free baking flour to make these cookies gluten free, or try my gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe made with oat flour.
3. Vary the add-ins. Try butterscotch or white chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, or all of the above.
4. Use tahini instead of applesauce. This swap makes the cookies more chewy and heavier but nuttier in flavor.
5. Frost the top. Choose a chocolate frosting, pipe in a swirl crumbl-style, and make vegan double chocolate chip cookie.
6. Add oatmeal. Mix in ¼ cup of rolled oats to make these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
How to Store
To store at room temperature, let them cool completely to room temperature first. Then, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Make sure the container is completely sealed to prevent air and moisture from getting in, which can cause the cookies to become stale or chewy.
To keep the cookies for longer than 5 days, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze the cookies, let them cool completely and then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Separate the layers of cookies with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. When you're ready to eat them, simply thaw the cookies at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
If you live in a humid climate or are storing the cookies in a warm environment, you may want to add a piece of bread or a slice of apple to the container to help absorb any excess moisture and keep the cookies fresh for longer.
These vegan chocolate chip cookies are delicious on their own with a glass of milk or paired with another dessert, but there are plenty of other ways you can enjoy them. Here are a few ideas:
Sandwich them with ice cream: Make ice cream sandwiches by placing a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream between two cookies.
Crumble them on top of yogurt: Crumble the cookies and use them as a topping for your favorite vegan yogurt or oatmeal.
Dip them in nut butter: Serve the cookies with a side of your favorite nut butter, such as almond or peanut butter, for a delicious and satisfying snack.
Gift them: Package the cookies in a cute gift box or tin and give them as a gift to a friend or family member.
Use them as a crust: Crush the cookies into fine crumbs and use them as a crust for a vegan cheesecake or pie.
How many vegan chocolate chip cookies does this recipe make?
This recipe should make over 2 dozen cookies, if you use a small, 1-tablespoon scoop. If you go larger, watch the cookies closely in the oven, and see if they need a minute more baking time.
Can you eat this raw cookie dough?
While it can be tempting to eat this raw vegan pastry cookie dough, while it is true that it is egg-free, it does contain raw flour and that could possible contain bacteria. You could heat treat the flour by baking or microwaving it or try my other cookie dough recipes, such as these cookie dough bites made with almond flour and this edible cookie dough made from white beans.
Can you bake frozen vegan chocolate chip cookie dough?
Yes, if you freeze it in scoops ready to bake. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 F and put the pan of frozen cookie dough in it. The dough thaws during the preheat stage. Then bake for 15 minutes.
More Vegan Cookie Recipes
- Vegan Brownie Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Vegan Spicy Hermits
- Vegan Thin Mints
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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 Measuring Spoons
- 1 measuring cups
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 Hand-mixer or use a spoon
- 1 quarter-sized cookie sheet
- 1 ½ cups (192g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup (113g) butter softened
- ½ cup (100g) light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup (50g) organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup (62g) applesauce unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (170g) mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180°C) .
- Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Make sure the butter is at room temperature. You can microwave it for 10 seconds to help it along, but letting it sit out for 2 hours is more advisable.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, stirring or mixing about 2-3 minutes with a spoon, hand mixer or stand mixer.½ cup (100g) light brown sugar, ¼ cup (50g) organic cane sugar, ½ cup (113g) butter
- Stir in applesauce and vanilla for another 1 minute or until incorporated.¼ cup (62g) applesauce, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredient mixture. Be sure to measure the flour exactly - I used the spoon and level method. If you don't want to sift, simple stir the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and then dump that on top of the wet ingredient mixture.1 ½ cups (192g) all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt
- Mix the batter until just combined either with a spoon and by hand, or with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Don't overmix or you'll create a rubbery batter.1 cup (170g) mini chocolate chips
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the batter with crinkle wrap and refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Scoop using a 1-tbsp size small scoop and space the dough balls 2 inches apart. This will make 20-24 small cookies.
- Bake 350 F for 10-12 minutes. Do not over-bake these chocolate chip cookies! Look for golden brown edges, and pale centers that look just dry, and are beginning to show slight cracks.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store these chocolate chip cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
I made them last night and they taste even better next day. I double the batch.