For gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookies you can’t resist, look no further. These are always a big hit for my family. My vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe gives you that warm, gooey cookie you crave without the tummy troubles afterward.

2 plates of vegan chocolate chip cookies.

These cookies started as an experiment years ago for our recipe creator, Lindsey Johnson. She was adhering to a gluten-free diet as well as slowly switching to more plant-based foods. She needed a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe that was deliciously vegan + gluten-free. So the testing began and here’s the journey…

Table of Contents
  1. What Makes Cookies Vegan?
  2. Cookies Without Processed Sweeteners
  3. Perfect Gluten-Free Recipe
  4. Cookie Add-Ins
  5. Do Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Taste Different?
  6. Tips for the Best Vegan Cookies
  7. More Plant-Based Dessert Recipes
  8. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Ingredients for cookies including gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, almond flour, coconut flakes, coconut oil, chopped almonds, flaxseed, chocolate squares and sea salt.

What Makes Cookies Vegan?

The first switch I employed was swapping virgin coconut oil for butter. I wondered if it was possible to create the same chewy chocolate chip cookies using coconut oil instead of traditional butter. And as it turns out, it wasn’t that hard after all! Ha! Make sure the coconut oil is at room temperature, not completely melted.

Then I needed to find an egg substitute. I think the best egg replacement for chewy cookies is ground flaxseed mixed with water, otherwise known as a flax egg.

Other egg substitutions can make the cookies too soft or can even make them gummy. (By the way, if you use too much ground flaxseed, then your cookies might become too gummy too.) I found the ratio of 2 tablespoons flaxseed combined with 6 tablespoons water to replace 2 large eggs, worked perfectly.

mixing coconut oil and coconut sugar with a hand mixer.

Cookies Without Processed Sweeteners

The amount and type of sugar in cookies determines the way a cookie looks as well as how it tastes. A cookie could be thin and crispy, thick and chewy, light or dark in color, etc.

In this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’ve swapped granulated white sugar and brown sugar for better options: coconut sugar and pure maple syrup.

Coconut sugar is a great natural sweetener option, as it has the color as well as warm, buttery flavor of brown sugar. Maple syrup is also a great natural sweetener, and adds just the right amount of sugary sweetness that perfect chocolate chip cookies need.

Maple syrup adds extra sweetness and flavor, but it also helps with the chewiness. That’s an important part of any chocolate chip cookie, IMHO. Be sure to use pure maple syrup, the darker the better. Pure maple syrup contains vitamins and minerals that aren’t present in refined corn and other highly processed syrups.

pouring maple syrup into a bowl of mixed ingredients.

What is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar. It is derived from coconut palm nectar or sap, very much like maple syrup. The nectar is then dried.

Coconut sugar is a great lower glycemic replacement for brown sugar. You may recall that brown sugar is simply white sugar with some molasses added back in. That’s why the combo of coconut sugar and maple syrup works so well. BUT the flavor of coconut sugar is unmatched. Brown sugar doesn’t hold a candle to it! The deep flavor of the coconut sugar definitely works here. It also helps give the cookies a nice golden color.

When you’re looking for coconut sugar to buy, I recommend using a high-quality one that is organic.

a bowl of flax egg over a bowl of mixed ingredients for a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Perfect Gluten-Free Recipe

My next substitution was to swap out wheat flour for gluten-free flour. I used to make my own with a combination of half a dozen different gluten-free flours and starches. I found that the cookies weren’t coming out the way I wanted them to texture-wise. Too gummy. Too crumbly. Spread too much. Didn’t spread at all.

The solution was to use a combination of a store-bought gluten-free flour blend plus almond flour (or meal). The almond flour adds in a lot of texture and also helps break up any gumminess. It also adds loads of flavor. I think Pamela’s Products and King Arthur make the best gluten-free flour blends, with Cup-4-Cup close behind.

using a blue hand mixer to beat ingredients in a large bowl.

Grain-Free Flour

If you prefer a grain-free flour, I recommend Pamela’s Products or Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Mix. Or sub almond meal or flour for the specified amount of gluten-free flour in the ingredient list, and then add cassava flour or arrowroot starch for the specified amount of almond flour or meal.

cutting board full of chopped chocolate and knife.

Now I don’t know about you, but I love cookies packed with fun things. Sure, chocolate chips or chunks alone are great, but have you ever tried adding toasted coconut and almonds to chocolate chip cookies?! MAGIC, I tell you! Magic!

If you’re a fan of Almond Joy candy bars, this recipe will knock your socks off.

And if you’re not a coconut-almond fan….? Well, you can totally leave them out for a perfectly suitable, and still very delicious gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. Or you can add some other goodies to make a combination all your own.

I also like adding chopped dates and cashews, pecans or hazelnuts, and dried fruit like blueberries, cranberries, cherries, apricots, etc.

mixing together chopped chocolate and chopped nuts with a hand mixer.

Do Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Taste Different?

The short answer is yes…and no. There are definite differences, but the cookies are just as delicious, maybe more so than those made with traditional wheat flour. I know this is all I need to be happy. 🙂

If this is your first time making gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookies, then know that the dough won’t have the same texture as regular cookie dough. It will feel more gooey or even a little gummy due to the flaxseed and gums in the gluten-free flour. This helps the cookies stay chewy and hold together in the absence of gluten.

vegan chocolate chip cookies with a cookie scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Tips for the Best Vegan Cookies

Gluten-free cookies tend to spread too much or too little. I’ve found 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour, and then 1 cup almond flour to be in perfect harmony with the amount of coconut oil and coconut sugar. Different gluten-free flour blends will behave differently as well due to the variations in amounts or types of gluten-free flours and starches.

One thing I always recommend when making a cookie for the first time, is making the recipe as written, adding the amount of flour specified in the recipe, but baking only one or two testing cookies to see how they spread and bake up. If they spread too much, add a little more GF flour. If they don’t spread enough, gently press the tops of the dough mounds to help them, or even adding a little water. This little bit of tinkering will help prevent a baking fail. 🙂

Another thing I like to do with this recipe is chill the dough for a few hours before baking. This allows the dry ingredients to absorb the wet ingredients or hydrate which results in a better, more uniform texture.

text box saying Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies on top of 2 plates of cookies.

More Plant-Based Dessert Recipes

Looking for more plant-based desserts and snacks that are delicious and easy to make? Check out these favorites:

Plant based eating isn’t all just chomping on carrots. These recipes are delicious enough to bring to parties (which I do!)… and often people think they’re just GOOD. What are your go-to vegan dessert recipes?

Make sure to tell me what you think about this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe by leaving a rating + review below.

Vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are simply THE BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies around! We’ve given them another upgrade by adding in toasted coconut (you can buy it or make it) and toasted almonds for extra flavor and crunch. Use your favorite dark chocolate chips and bake up a batch or two. They make great gifts and store well in the freezer for when a craving hits. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 36 cookies

Ingredients  

  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 ¼ cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 8 oz coconut oil at room temperature (not melted)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut flakes toasted
  • ½ cup sliced almonds toasted
  • 10 oz chocolate chips vegan dark chocolate

Instructions 

  • Adjust oven racks so one is in the center and the other is in the lower third. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • If making your own toasted coconut and almonds, place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes (or until lightly toasted). Remove and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together ground flaxseed with water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, baking powder and sea salt; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat together the semi-solid coconut oil with the coconut sugar and maple syrup. Beat until creamy. Add the flaxseed mixture and beat again until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and beat again on low speed until well-combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  • Using a silicone spatula or the mixer set on low speed, add the toasted coconut and almonds. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Using a mini-ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop dough and form into 2-inch wide by 1/2-inch thick patties. Place 12 patties onto each of the baking sheets leaving a good 1 1/2- to 2-inches between. (You will have extra dough.)
  • Place both sheets in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and back to front. Bake for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the cookies are done around the edges and set in the middle. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Repeat with any remaining dough.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to several months stored in a cool, dry place. Cookies can also be frozen for up to six months.

Notes

  • These cookies have not been tested using paleo or nut flour blends.
  • We recommend Pamela’s Products and King Arthur Flour gluten-free flour blends.
  • Feel free to omit the coconut or nuts, as needed.
  • Gluten-free oat flour can be used in place of the almond meal or flour, if needed.
  • 2 large eggs can be used in place of ground flaxseed and water.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 100mg, Potassium: 50mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. These sound incredible! Could I substitute oat flour for the gf flour? Would it change the amount needed since it’s a different flour?

    1. Awesome question Candis! While we haven’t tried swapping in oat flour yet, we think it’s a great idea! Starting with a 1:1 ratio should work, yet def let us know if it needs tweaking.

  2. 4 stars
    Hello! This recipe is a little confusing in regards to the flour. When do you add in the almond flour? It doesn’t state in the directions. I’m assuming it is along with the gluten free flour mix?

    Step #3: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together gluten free flour blend with baking powder and sea salt; set aside.

    Thank you!!

    1. Great catch, Sara! And you’re right, you’ll add the almond meal in step 3, I’ll have our team update the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    How can I make this recipe more friendly to my friends that suffer from diabetes? Diabetes seems to be very limiting where sweets and meals are concerned. I’m told that diabetics should limit sugar intake to 8mg per serving! Do you have any suggestions as to what changes I can make to your many wonderful dessert recipes? Personally my Family loved these cookies!

    1. Hey Floretta, I think you could probably decrease the amount of coconut sugar and/or maple syrup by just a little bit. 🙂

  4. Fabulous recipe for chocolate chip cookies, with all the variations!

    Perfect for sensitive people like me!

    Thank you so much!

    Great job!

    Chrissy Kelly

  5. 5 stars
    These sound incredible! Definitely going to make them soon. My husband is a choc chip cookie fiend so I’m going to be sneaky and make these for him without telling him they’re vegan until after he tries them. I love showing him that vegan food can be super delicious.

    1. These recipes sound good except for the gluten-free bit. Why is it that so many people think that one has an allergy to gluten just because they are vegan. I have been on a vegan diet for over a year and eating gluten with no I’ll effects. I do know that there are people who can have a bad reaction to gluten, but for most people gluten can be tolerated well. Do you have recipes that do not call for gluten-free flour?

      Do enjoy your holidays no matter where they take place.

    2. For sure Jeanette! You can def swap in traditional all-purpose flour for the GF flour blend in any of our recipes. Since the test for gluten allergy is a biopsy, and the symptoms can be totally dabilitating, we’re sure those that need the GF flour blends are super grateful for the availability! For those that don’t need, then using regular flours works too. 🙂

  6. Thoughts on using regular flour instead of GF flour? Would you skip adding the almond flour/meal if using regular flour?

    1. I’m sure you could make this recipe using regular flour.

  7. 5 stars
    My fav vegan choc chips to use are Enjoy Life, though I wish their mini choc chips came in dark chocolate instead of only semi-sweet. I can’t wait to try this recipe with sliced almonds, that’s a new one for me!

    1. Me too! I think the addition of coconut and almonds sounds soooo good.

  8. 5 stars
    Trader Joe’s has a great dark chocolate bar that’s not too expensive! I forget the percentage level, though…