These Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies are chewy, soft, & absolutely delicious! Plus, this recipe only requires 8 ingredients and is full of rich cocoa powder for the ultimate dairy-free & eggless chocolate cookie recipe.
For those of you that have been here a while, you may already know that we are bringing joy to 2020 with monthly sugar cookie recipes!
To quickly sum it up so far we have made vegan funfetti cookies, vegan lemon cookies, vegan matcha cookies, vegan earl grey cookies, vegan orange cardamom cookies, vegan coconut lime cookies, and vegan brown sugar chai cookies!
SO MANY COOKIES.
I don't know about you all, but I truly believe that even with all these cookies, we were in need of these chewy & soft chocolate cookies!
How to make vegan chocolate cookies
Sift together dry ingredients
While most of my sugar cookie recipes use one bowl when it comes to cocoa powder I ALWAYS recommend sifting dry ingredients together first. This is because cocoa powder tends to clump up if it's not sifted.
No one wants to find a huge chunk of bitter cocoa powder in their cookies, so always sift dry ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together first!
Cream vegan butter and sugar
ALL of my sugar cookie recipes call for creaming together vegan butter and cane sugar (no brown sugar required!)
Well because it makes a HUGE difference in the cookie texture. Creaming butter and sugar together incorporates air into the batter and leads to cookies that are soft and chewy vs. flat and crisp. Just beat the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy as pictured below.
Add in wet ingredients
After the butter and sugar have been creamed together, add in the flax egg and vanilla bean paste and whip together for another 30 seconds.
I recommend using golden flaxseed meal for the ground flax as the light color ensures it won't show in the final cookies.
Add dry ingredients & mix
Take the bowl of the previously sifted dry ingredients and pour it into the larger mixing bowl with the butter, sugar, flax egg, and vanilla. Then, whip together until a smooth dough forms.
This chocolate cookie dough is MUCH stickier than our usual sugar cookie dough. In fact, it almost reminds me of chocolate fudge! The dough will not be scoopable at this time, but I promise you it will be perfect after some time in the fridge.
Chill chocolate cookie dough
As mentioned above the vegan chocolate cookie dough will be pretty sticky before this step, so chilling the dough for 1 hour makes it easier to scoop into chocolate cookie dough balls.
Also, chilling the dough helps to give these cookies more flavor! As the dough sits the sugar will absorb more moisture making these cookies sweeter.
Roll in sugar before baking
Remove that chocolate sugar cookie dough from the fridge, scoop into 40-45 gram cookies (I used a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop), and roll them around into balls between your palms. Then, roll in a bowl of sugar as pictured below.
Rolling these vegan chocolate cookies in sugar makes them sparkle and look pretty, but it ALSO has a purpose!
Basically, the sugar helps to dry out the outer layer of the dough and it leads to the cookie "cracking" while it spreads in the oven leading to that desirable crinkly cookie texture.
Bake the vegan chocolate cookies
Line an aluminum baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes.
It's REALLY important to take the chocolate sugar cookies out when they are barely cooked and the tops are no longer glossy or else they may overcook.
The #1 question I always get asked is how to make cookies chewier and it's 99% of the time because the cookies were baked for too long or because too much flour was added from not measuring in grams.
Pan bang the cookies after baking
For these cocoa sugar cookies, I follow my usual method of banging the tray of cookies on the counter right out of the oven.
However, I also took the tray out and banged the tray of cookies on the counter halfway through baking as well (about 5-6 minutes in). Then, I added them back to the oven to bake another 5-6 minutes.
These dark chocolate sugar cookies don't spread quite as much as my other recipes because of the cocoa powder, so doing this helped get a bit thinner which is my preferred cookie texture.
Let cookies cool & enjoy
After the cocoa sugar cookies are out of the oven they will be barely cooked in the center. That's why it's really important to let them cool on the baking tray for another 5 minutes. Only after those 5 minutes do you want to remove them from the baking sheet to finish cooling on a wire cookie rack.
These vegan cocoa cookies come out of the oven slightly soft and puffy, but during the cooling period, they will naturally deflate and become firmer so they will be easier to remove.
FAQ & substitutions:
Can I make chocolate sugar cookies gluten-free?
es! For gluten-free cookies, a 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour baking mix may work. Alternative flours such as almond, coconut, or cassava will not work in this recipe as it's not an easy 1:1 substitution.
Can I make vegan chocolate cookies refined sugar-free?
I personally find cane sugar works best in this recipe as it contains more moisture than other sugar alternatives. However, if subbing the cane sugar, make sure to use a granulated sugar substitute like coconut sugar or maple sugar.
Also, do not roll the cookies in sugar before baking unless you are using cane sugar- this step only works with cane sugar!
Troubleshooting: why are my cookies cakey/puffy?
99% of the problems with cookies come from adding too much flour (which is why I recommend measuring in grams) or from overbaking the cookies.
Sugar cookies should be JUST cooked when they are removed from the oven. This means the edges have set, but the center is still soft, yet no longer glossy and raw looking.
Can I freeze cookie dough and bake it later?
Yes! Form the dough into cookie dough balls, add to a parchment-lined pan, and freeze them. Once frozen, the cookie dough balls can be stored in a freezer-safe container.
Frozen cookie dough will likely need 2-3 minutes more baking time and may not spread *quite* as much, but the cookies will still taste great!
How do I store chocolate sugar cookies?
Leftover cookies can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the fridge for 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
My preferred method is to store them in the freezer as it keeps these cookies chewy & it's super easy to defrost them for 30 minutes before eating! In fact- they are also super delicious right out of the freezer.
I truly can't wait for you all to try easy chewy Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies! They are perfect for any celebration, SO simple to make, and only require 1 hour of chill time. Enjoy!
More chocolate-filled vegan cookie recipes you will love:
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Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup+ 2 Tablespoons organic sugar ½ cup for dough, 2 tablespoon for rolling before baking
- 1 flax egg 1 Tablespoon (8 grams) ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- First, sift together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Add the butter and ½ cup sugar to a larger mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Then, add in the flax egg and vanilla bean paste and mix together.
- Next, add in the sifted dry ingredients. Then, mix together until a smooth and thick cookie dough forms. The dough will be very sticky and almost fudge like- this is okay!
- Add the bowl of cookie dough to the fridge, cover, and let chill for 1 hour.
- Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F. Next, remove the dough from the fridge and use a medium cookie scoop to form 9-10 cookie dough balls about 40-45 grams in size. Roll into balls between your palms and then roll each cookie dough ball in a small bowl containing the remaining 2 tablespoon of sugar.
- Place the chocolate sugar cookie dough balls onto the baking sheet. If you want flatter cookies, you can lightly press the dough down with your palm as I did, but this is optional. Make sure that each cookie is kept about 2 inches apart since they will spread slightly while baking.
- Bake for 5-6 minutes, remove the tray, and gently tap it on the counter to help cookies spread and deflate (optional). Add the tray bake to the oven and cook an additional 4-6 minutes until cookies have fully cooked edges and barely cooked centers. The cookies will continue baking after they are removed from the oven so the centers should still be soft, but not glossy or raw, when they are removed from the oven.
- Remove the cookie tray from the oven and immediately tap the tray on the counter again to produce a more “wrinkly” cookie. Then, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. The cookies will be soft and puffy out of the oven and will naturally deflate a little while cooling.
- Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely and then serve. Enjoy!
- To make cookies gluten-free you can use a 1:1 GF all-purpose baking flour. Alternative flours such as almond, coconut, or cassava will not work in this recipe as it's not an easy 1:1 substitution.
- Flax eggs can be subbed for a chia egg (1 Tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 Tablespoons water).
- To freeze cookie dough, form the dough into cookie dough balls, add to a parchment-lined pan, and freeze them. Once frozen, the cookie dough balls can be stored in a freezer-safe container. Frozen cookie dough will likely need 2-3 minutes more baking time and may not spread *quite* as much, but they will still taste great!
- Leftover cookies can be stored at room temperature for 3-4days, in the fridge for 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.