I share a lot of vegan recipes around here, but I’m not actually a vegan. Basically, I’m a vegetarian who no longer eats dairy (most of the time) for health reasons.
And oftentimes, by the time I’ve altered a recipe to be dairy-free, it just makes sense to go all the way and make it 100% plant-based. Not because I have to personally, but because I want to!
But I also want everyone around me – meat-eaters and vegans alike – to love my recipes. So it’s kind of a personal challenge for me to make awesome-tasting vegan recipes for all.
Take these Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. All I really needed to do was start with a solid recipe and swap the eggs for a vegan-friendly binder. Okay, so I made a couple other changes, too, but the eggs are the most important. My first choice for vegan baking is usually flax eggs – simply ground flaxseeds (or flax meal) and water mixed together. After the mixture sits for a few minutes, the flaxseed gels, and voila! Instant binder, no eggs needed!
Because the flax eggs alter the recipe, I also found a needed to make another couple of tweaks in order to achieve those perfect crinkles that we know and love in chocolate crinkle cookies.
First, I added a bit of baking soda just to really help the cookies expand and make those nice big cracks we expect from perfect chocolate crinkle cookies. Second, I roll the cookies in granulated sugar first, before the powdered sugar. The granulated sugar helps soak up some of the excess moisture that the vegan dough has in it. Both of these tips I got from this page – I have no idea who these people are, but I found the info to be incredibly useful!
Oh, and I added a bit more vanilla. Because vanilla.
And boom! Christmas-cookie-platter-worthy chocolate crinkle cookies right here, baby! Honestly, we can’t even tell the difference between these vegan chocolate crinkle cookies and their traditional counterpart.
They’re sweet, with a bit of crunch on the outside thanks to the sugar, and then soft, fudgy, and almost brownie-like inside.
The perfect holiday cookie, vegan style. But you don’t have to be a vegan to love ’em – promise!
Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar (divided; the additional 1/4 cup is for rolling)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar (for rolling))
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flaxseed meal and water. Set aside - it will need to sit for about 5 minutes to gel.
- To another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
- To the flaxseed mixture, add the canola oil and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour to the wet ingredients, about 1/3 at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula until just until combined. The dough will be very stiff.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
- When it's time to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar to a small bowl and powdered sugar to a second small bowl.
- Okay, ready to get messy? It's worth it! Scoop dough in 1.5 tablespoon increments (I use a medium #40 cookie scoop [affiliate link] and highly recommend it) and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll the ball in the granulated sugar and then liberally in the powdered sugar. Really coat that thing in the powdered sugar! Set 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
- Bake until the cookie spreads and the edges are set, about 9 minutes. The cookies will still seem somewhat wet; that's okay, they will set when they cool.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- Cookies keep for several days at room temperature (you can cover them partially but leave a bit of room for air circulation so that moisture doesn't destroy the powdered sugar look).