These soft and chewy vegan chocolate chip cookies are so easy to make with no weird ingredients, and incredibly more-ish!
Biting in to a soft and chewy choc chip cookie, still warm from the oven, is one of life's simple pleasures. And with everything that's going on in the world at the moment we all need to create as many of those little moments as possible, don't we.
Everyone has their own idea of a 'perfect' cookie recipe. I don't like any snap in my cookies at all, the softer the better, with a bit of chew. I like my chocolate to be in big chunks, which stay whole and a bit melty in the middle, (see photo below).
The key to soft and chewy cookies is taking them out of the oven early enough. Wait for them to brown all over and you're too late. Wait for them to feel cooked through and you're too late. You need to take them out of the oven when they are still very soft - so you couldn't even pick them up from the baking tray without them falling apart. Trust me. Within minutes of coming out of the oven they will be firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack, and minutes after that they will be just perfect and ready to eat.
My starting point for this recipe was in fact a recipe for sour cherry cookies from the Observer Food Monthly by the incredible master baker Dan Lepard. I veganised it some years ago by fiddling with the basic ingredients and working out how best to replace the eggs, and since then have used it to make all sorts of vegan cookie variations, including this chocolate chip one. More of my favourite variations are listed below.
What you need to make your Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dairy-free margarine Make sure you use good quality block margarine (rather than a tub of spread) - my favourites are Flora Plant butter and Naturli Vegan Block which are both available in most supermarkets. Block margarine has a much lower water content than spread, which is so much better for baking.
Sugars I've used a combination of soft light brown sugar and a little caster sugar, which work together to give that classic cookie chewiness with a lovely crackly top. But if you don't have one or the other you will still get delicious cookies using caster or all light brown sugar.
Vanilla extract Good quality vanilla extract makes such a difference in baking compared to synthetic vanilla 'essence'. Do treat yourself to a bottle of something nice if you can!
Dairy-free yoghurt Make sure you use unsweetened yoghurt, these cookies are sweet enough already!
Rolled oats These add a delicious chewy texture to the cookies without them tasting 'oaty' - you won't notice they are there other than a wonderful soft cookie dough. You want fairly small oats, not the jumbo type. If you only have jumbo oats to hand just blitz them for a couple of seconds in a blender or mini-chopper.
Dark chocolate chips Do check labels to make sure these are vegan - there are many that contain milk. I often make my own 'chunks' rather than chips from a bar of dark chocolate roughly chopped. Tiny chocolate chips tend to melt down and blend in to the dough in the oven, whereas big chunks of chocolate will stay in tact and be deliciously gooey when eaten whilst still warm from the oven!
Variations on your Vegan Cookies
I love using this basic cookie dough to make all sorts of delicious combinations. My favourites so far have been:
- Mango and Cashew Substitute the chocolate chips for 50g dried mango and 70g cashew nuts, both roughly chopped.
- Cranberry and Pistachio These have quite a Christmassy flavour - substitute the chocolate chips for 50g dried cranberries and 70g unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon for a particularly festive feel.
- Raspberry and White Chocolate Both of these ingredients are harder to come by but worth the the effort if you can find them! Make chunks out of vegan white chocolate (I like Vego bars), and add 50g freeze-dried raspberries. Totally delicious!
Can I freeze my Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
This cookie dough freezes well, you need to get up to the point of spooning small dollops onto lined baking trays, then put them straight into the freezer.
Once they have frozen solid you can pop them all into a freezer bag, then just remove a few at a time to have freshly baked cookies whenever you need them!
If you baking them from frozen you will need to add a few minutes to the cooking time, and they may also need a little help in spreading as the middle will be the last bit to cook. After 5 minutes in the oven, give them a bit of a squash with a fork to help them spread.
What other vegan cookies can I bake?
Cookies are one of my favourite things to bake with the kids - there's no faffing around with icing and they can enjoy them almost straight from the oven!
Some of my favourite vegan recipes include Jac's Easy Almond and Raisin Cookies from Tinned Tomatoes, Helen's Seeded Maple Spice Cookies from Family Friends Food, and Andrea's amazing 2-Ingredient Cookies from The Petite Cook. We also make my Peanut Butter Cookies quite a lot, as well as Jammy Star Biscuits (though more often these become Jammy Batman Biscuits since we bought a pair of batman biscuit cutters some years ago!!).
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 110 g dairy-free block margarine
- 180 g light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp dairy-free yoghurt unsweetened
- 150 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100 g rolled oats
- 100 g dark chocolate chips or chunks check they are vegan
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan) / 325°F / gas mark 3.
- Line two large baking trays with parchment or greaseproof paper.
- In a food mixer or large bowl, beat together the margarine, sugars and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the dairy-free yoghurt.
- Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir through the mixture.
- Add the oats and chocolate chips and stir through until fully combined.
- Spoon dollops of mixture (about a dessertspoon-full at a time) onto the baking trays, with enough space between them to spread quite a bit.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until just starting to colour - they should still be soft when you take them out of the oven, they will firm up as they cool. Leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Make sure you try one whilst they are still warm!
I'm linking this recipe with the CookBlogShare challenge, hosted this week by Rebecca at Glutarama.