As part of our ongoing SGTO sugar cookie series we are making these chewy, soft, & absolutely delicious Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies next! These cookies only require 8 ingredients and are full of rich cocoa powder for the ultimate dairy-free & eggless chocolate cookie recipe.
For those of you that have been here awhile, 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, there are still so many flavor combos we have yet to try! One cookie that has been missing from the list was a really solid Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookie.
These homemade cookies are super soft and have a chewy almost brownie-like texture inside that makes them absolutely AMAZING!
While the full list of ingredients with the quantities is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, here is a quick overview of what we need for this recipe:
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (NOT dutch cocoa powder- must be natural cocoa powder which is acidic and interacts with the baking soda in this recipe. I used Ghiradelli cocoa powder)
- Baking soda
- Vegan butter (I prefer Earth Balance buttery sticks for all of my cookie recipes, see recipe notes if using Miyokos butter)
- Organic sugar
- Flax egg (Ground flax seed mixed with water)
- Vanilla bean paste (or extract)
Steps make chocolate sugar cookies
At this point we have made out fair share of sugar cookies. However, let’s quickly go over the steps, tips, and tricks to make this recipe perfect every time!
First, 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 want to find a huge chunk of bitter cocoa powder in their cookies, so always sift dry ingredients like the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together first! I used an antique sifter, but here is a great flour sifter to use.
Also, here is my plug to please measure this cookie recipe in grams! Even 1 -2Tbsp of flour can make a difference between a soft & chewy cookie or cakey cookie that doesn’t spread enough.
Then cream butter & 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 like pictured below.
Add in the additional wet ingredients
After the butter and sugar has been creamed together, add in the flax egg and vanilla bean paste and whip together 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 sifted dry ingredients & mix into thick dough
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 dough is MUCH stickier than our usual sugar cookie dough. In fact, it almost reminds me of a chocolate fudge! The dough will not be scoop-able at this time, but I promise you it will be perfect after some time in the fridge.
Chill dough 1 hour
As mentioned above the dough will be pretty sticky before this step, so chilling the dough makes it easier to scoop into chocolate cookie dough balls. For this recipe, I chill my dough for a full hour.
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.
Rolling in sugar- aka crinkly cookies!
Remove that chocolate sugar cookie dough from the fridge, scoop into 40-45 gram balls (I used a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop) and roll into round balls between your palms. Then, roll in a bowl of sugar as pictured below.
Rolling the 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 cookies
Line an aluminum baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the cookies 10-11 minutes. It’s REALLY important to take the 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.
The pan banging method
For these 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 half way through baking as well (about 5-6 minutes in). Then, add bake to the oven and 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 completely before digging in
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.
Also, these cookies will come out of the oven slightly soft and puffy, but during the cooling period they will naturally deflate and become more firm so they will be easier to remove.
FAQ & Substitutions:
Can I make these cookies refined sugar-free or gluten-free?
I haven’t tried either of these variations, but it may work! 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!
For gluten-free, 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.
My cookies turned out too cakey or puffy- what happened?
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.
Any substitutes for a flax egg?
You can sub ground flax for chia seeds, but do know the chia seeds will be visible in the final cookie. I do not bake with eggs so I cannot say if an actual egg works as a substitute.
How do I store leftover chocolate cookies?
Leftover cookies can be stored at room temperature for 3-4days, in the fridge for 7 days, or in the freezer up to to 1 month. My preferred method is to store in the freezer as it keeps these cookies chewy & it’s super easy to defrost them for 30 minutes before eating!
Can I store unbaked cookie dough?
Yes! Just remove from the freezer when you are ready to bake. Cookies will likely need 2-3 minutes more baking time and may not spread *quite* as much, but they will still taste great!
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!
Looking for more vegan cookie & brownie recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (125 grams)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (30 grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
- 1/4 tsp salt (1 gram)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (57 grams)
- 1/2 cup+ 2 Tbsp organic sugar (108 grams or 1/2 cup for the cookies and 2 Tbsp or 26 grams for rolling the cookies in sugar before baking)
- 1 flax egg (9 grams golden flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (6 grams, or 2 tsp 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 1/2 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 Tbsp 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!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
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