These Old-Fashioned Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies have delicious crispy edges and tasty soft chewy textures. Each cookie is packed with dark chocolate chips and sweet vanilla flavour. Our home-baked cookies are similar to the US Toll House chocolate chip cookies as they are a vintage style cookie. However, no eggs or butter are required for these easy and quick chocolate chip cookies which are prepared with everyday pantry ingredients.
This vegan chocolate chip cookies recipe is a keeper as they always bake wonderfully chunky cookies that won't last long! You can use any vegan-friendly chocolate drops, chips, chunks, bars, as well as vegan candy such as chocolate covered peanuts or chocolate covered raisins, that you prefer so do switch up the chocolate flavours and bake different flavours of cookies.
Origin of chocolate chip cookies
The first chocolate chip cookies date back to the 1930s and were first baked by the cookbook author Ruth Wakefield, who also worked at the Toll House restaurant in Massachusetts.
The menu at the Toll House already contained an option for a butterscotch chip cookie that was served with ice cream, and so Wakefield was looking for a tasty change. Butterscotch was replaced with a bar of broken up Nestle chocolate and the new cookie was a huge success.
The cookies were titled chocolate crunch cookies and were featured within Wakefield's 1938 edition of her recipe book Toll House Tried and True Recipes.
Wakefield eventually sold the rights to the chocolate chip cookie recipe to the food manufacturer Nestle. As payment Wakefield received $1 and a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate! Soon after, Nestle began publishing the Toll House cookie recipe on the back of the packaging for Nestle chocolate chips or morsels.
Nowadays, there are many recipes and variations for the Toll House chocolate chip cookies, with some recipes adding nuts, different types of chocolate, and some cookies being more crisp or softer than others, with various degrees of thickness and thinness.
Vegan chocolate chip cookies
Our recipe for chocolate chip cookies is more chunkier than the original Toll House cookie as we were aiming for a chunkier softer texture while still retaining the crispy chewy edges, similar to homely cookies that Grandma would have lovingly baked for her family.
Of course being vegan cookies, no eggs or butter is required yet neither are special egg replacers. You'll only need a few everyday pantry ingredients for the best home-baked chocolate chip cookie - plain flour, baking powder, sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla, margarine, plant-based milk, dark chocolate chips, and golden syrup [or maple syrup or a similar syrup].
How to prepare
These vegan chocolate chip cookies are so easy to prepare and quick to bake. They can be enjoyed warm after allowing them a few minutes out of the oven to firm up.
Step 1: Cream the margarine, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract together by beating with a mixing spoon for a few minutes or whizz the ingredients together with an electric hand whisk. If you mix with a mixing spoon the mixture may curdle but that doesn't matter as it will fix itself after the flour is added.
Step 2: Stir through the golden syrup and plant-based milk.
Step 3: Next, sift in the plain flour and baking powder, and add the salt and chocolate chips.
Step 4: Mix everything together with a mixing spoon.
Step 5: Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop up heaped spoonfuls of mixture and place on the lined baking trays.
Step 6: Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden.
Step 7: After 10-15 minutes resting on the baking tray the cookies should be firm enough to remove and transfer to a cooling rack.
Chocolate chip cookies will store well within a cookie jar or tin for about 5 days, possibly a few days longer. We like to store these cookies in a glass cookie jar.
Or freeze for up to 3-4 months. Cookies defrost very quickly at room temperature so are ideal to store within the freezer for when those unexpected visitors show up.
Cookies can be enjoyed warm or refreshed, by popping into in a warm oven for a few minutes. Or air-fry on a medium heat for a few minutes or until warmed through.
Any margarine designed for baking or cooking, that does not contain animal-based ingredients, is perfect for vegan cookies. Vegan butter is also fine as long as it states on the packaging that it can be used for baking or cooking.
Many supermarkets own brand of baking spread or margarine are also suitable for vegans and are usually less expensive, so can be a good choice as they usually work just as well compared to branded margarines.
However, margarines or spreads that are diet or reduced fat are generally not that great for baking and cooking, as usually some of the fat has been replaced with additional water or other ingredients which could affect the texture of the bake.
For mostly all our bakes we use Stork baking spread as its vegan and consistently produces good results for our recipes.
Golden syrup is a common baking ingredient in the UK, but if your outwith the UK it may be found in British themed stores, the international food section of some food stores [such as Walmart] either instore or their online store, or on Amazon. Alternatively, brown rice syrup, date syrup, agave syrup, or maple syrup or a similar syrup are good alternatives.
Soya, oat, or almond milk are good choices for vegan cookies but it doesn't matter too much whether your milk is sweetened or unsweetened. Alternatively, use whatever type of milk that you normally use for cooking, baking, or drinking.
Any chocolate chips, drops, buttons or morsels, or bars, that are labelled vegan can be used for our cookie recipe. Although, some supermarket own-brand of chocolate may not actually be labelled vegan but still contain vegan-friendly ingredients. So, it's always worth checking the labels as some chocolate that has the vegan label are much more expensive compared with unlabelled accidently vegan chocolate. For chocolate chip cookies we especially like to use a dark or semi-sweet chocolate and if its a bar of chocolate we just slice it up into smaller chunks.
'Accidently vegan' chocolate contains no animal-based ingredients yet is not officially labelled as vegan and it may or may not have a vegetarian label. A company has to pay extra money for a vegan label so some prefer not to have the added expense or they may not wish to identify their product as dairy-free in case of issues with consumers allergies, etc.
When looking for 'accidently vegan' chocolate in the supermarket or food stores, look out for these ingredients that indicate the chocolate has animal ingredients:
* whey powder
* milk solids
* milk powder
* milk fat
* anything stating as from or derivative of *dairy* or *milk*
* lecithin [that derives from animal products] [although soy lecithin is vegan]
* goat or sheep milk
**This is not an exhaustive list and there are likely other animal based ingredients that are found in chocolate that are not listed here**
Some accidently vegan chocolate may state 'may also contain milk' which is generally an allergy disclaimer, as the product was prepared in a factory where milk products are also being manufactured so cross-contamination may occur. Unless dairy allergies are an issue then the chocolate can generally be deemed safe for vegans although this is personal preference.
* soy lecithin [emulsifier]
* cocoa butter
* cocoa mass
* cocoa solids
* fat-reduced cocoa powder
* raw cacao butter
* raw cacao powder
* cacao nibs
* essential oils such as orange or mint
**This list is not exhaustive and other vegan-friendly ingredients not listed here are likely to be found in chocolate**
In some countries, such as the US, some sugar products are refined using bone char which is obtained from ground cattle bones, so is not regarded as vegan.
Although in the UK, most of the sugar brands do not use bone char so most UK sugar varieties can be regarded as fine for vegan diets. Brands such as Tate and Lyle, Silver Spoon and Billington's different types of sugar are all vegan. However, some icing sugar or royal icing sugar may contain dried eggs so do check the ingredient list. For a vegan icing [powdered] sugar try Tate and Lyle icing sugar.
If your from the US or outwith the UK, and are concerned about bone char in sugar, then it is best to check with the the sugar manufacturers to see if they use bone char in the sugar refining process. Or source organic sugar products which are not processed using bone char. Also coconut and beet sugar do not use bone char.
For more information check out peta.org Is sugar vegan post for a list of US sugar manufacturers that do not use bone char.
Using baking paper (parchment paper) to line your baking tray or cookie sheet is always a good idea when baking cookies as it provides a non-stick surface for easy cookie removal, ensures even heat distribution to prevent burning, and makes clean-up easier as it catches any burnt on crumbs and other cookie debris! Also, it means that the baking trays do not need greasing with margarine or oil which can affect the bottom of the cookies texture and colour. We often re-use the baking paper for several batches of cookies as it doesn't always need discarded after each use.
For this batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies we used a bar of Wicked Kitchen Chunky Chocolate that we sliced up into nice big chunks so the cookies were more like chocolate chunk cookies than chocolate chip.
Ten top tips for preparing the best chunky cookies
The secret to baking thick and chunky cookies involves a combination of the right ingredients, how the dough is prepped, and the baking method. Here are a few of our top tips for preparing the best vegan chunky chocolate chip cookies:
- For our recipe the cookie dough does not need to be chilled before baking but for other recipes chilling the cookie dough before baking is an important step as cold dough spreads less in the oven, resulting in thicker cookies. So if necessary chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or even overnight for the best results. If you are unable to bake the cookie dough for our recipe straight away after preparing the cookie dough balls then you can chill the cookies along with the baking tray in the refrigerator until ready to bake as this will prevent the ingredients within the cookie dough from becoming too warm.
- Using brown sugar in a cookie recipe results in a cookie that is denser and thicker.
- We only use baking powder in our cookies as baking powder helps give the cookies a little rise without spreading too much. We don't use bicarbonate of soda [baking soda] as this tends to helps cookies spread while baking.
- The cookie dough should be thick and stiff and easy to form into cookie dough balls so if it's too sticky or wet add a bit more flour.
- The dough should be thick and stiff; if it's too sticky or soft, add a bit more flour.
- Incorporating add-ins like chocolate chips, candy or sweeties, nuts, or dried fruits can bulk up the cookies helping to make them chunkier.
- Always aim for larger dough balls! As large cookie scoops result in chunkier cookies. Use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to create uniformly sized dough balls and always follow the recipe if it states how many cookies the dough should be enough for.
- Baking cookies at a higher temperature for a shorter time causes the edges to set quickly which prevents the cookies from spreading too much, and helps the middle of the cookie to remain soft and thick.
- Pulling cookies out of the oven just before they are fully done (when they still look a bit under-baked in the middle) allows them to finish cooking on the baking sheet while cooling, resulting in a chewier, thicker center. So just bake until the cookies are lightly golden and the outsides have set.
More vegan cookie recipes
It's cookie season every day with our family rather than just during the festive season! Old-fashioned, vintage, classic family favourite cookies are just the best and what can be better than a freshly baked batch of home-baked cookies?
Our family love these soft and water iced Gingerbread cookies especially during the chillier months, and for Christmas our Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies are ideal, and for every-day cookies our Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are a copy-cat Subway cookie! And for our kids all-time favourite these Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are in our oven at least every few weeks!
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Old-Fashioned Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Baking tray [cookie sheet]
- Baking paper. [parchment paper]
- electric hand whisk or a mixing spoon
- Mixing bowl
- ice cream scoop [or a cutlery tablespoon]
- cooling rack
- 90 grams margarine [we use Stork baking spread, or vegan butter -softened]
- 75 grams granulated sugar [or caster sugar]
- 55 grams dark brown sugar [or light brown sugar]
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract [or vanilla essence]
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup [or maple syrup]
- 2 tablespoons plant-based milk [such as soya or oat milk or your usual milk]
- 225 grams plain flour [all-purpose flour]
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt [we use sea salt]
- 150 grams dark chocolate chips [semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate] [or a vegan chocolate bar sliced into smaller pieces]
- Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180C / 356 Fahrenheit / Gas 4.
- Line the baking tray with baking paper.
- Add the margarine, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla to a mixing bowl and cream together until well combined with a mixing spoon or an electric hand whisk.This should take a few minutes of brisk mixing if using a mixing spoon but if using an electric hand whisk it will take less than 60 seconds.90 grams margarine, 75 grams granulated sugar, 55 grams dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the golden syrup and milk and give it all a good mix either with a mixing spoon or an electric hand whisk. If mixing with a mixing spoon the mixture may look curdled or split but it will be fine and will fix itself once the flour is added.2 tablespoons golden syrup, 2 tablespoons plant-based milk
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl on top of the mixture. Sprinkle in the salt.225 grams plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Next, add the chocolate chips and using a mixing spoon stir everything together until just combined.150 grams dark chocolate chips [semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate]
- Using an ice cream scoop or a cutlery tablespoon scoop up some heaped cookie dough and place onto the baking tray in mounds. Leave about 2-3cm between each cookie.[for large chunky cookies each scoop will weigh around 55-60 grams and the dough should be enough for 10-11 cookies].[There is no need to press the cookie dough down as chunky is what we're going for, so if there is some dough left share it out by just topping the cookies with a little extra dough]
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly golden.If using a fan oven check the cookies at the 11-12 minutes mark as fan ovens tend to bake a few minutes faster.Our cookies were ready between the 13-14 minute mark using an electric oven [180C].
- Leave to cool on the baking tray until the cookies are firm enough to remove [about 10-15 minutes] and place onto a cooling rack.
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients can vary.
- Store chocolate chip cookies within a cake or biscuit tin or jar, for around 5 days.
- Cookies can be frozen for up to 3-4 months.
- Warm cookies crumbled over a scoop of vegan ice-cream is a tasty easy pudding or dessert.
- We used Stork baking spread which is a type of margarine specially produced for baking.
- Golden syrup can be replaced with maple syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup, agave syrup or similar.
Baked our Old-Fashioned Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies? We would love to know how you got on with the recipe so do pop back and drop us a comment below and click the star ratings. It's very much appreciated. Thanks so much, Jacq x