Vegan Life | Lifestyle

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (9-Recipe Taste Test)

December 27, 2022

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Disclaimer: The opinions below are subjective; yours may be different. Variations in climate, method, etc. may have impacted the results.

There are so many vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes on the internet, and they all seem to have great reviews. But are these recipes as delicious as they claim to be? How do you know which one is the best vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe before you spend your ingredients and time?

9 vegan chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

Whether you'll be sharing your vegan chocolate chip cookies with others, or just eating them yourself, we all want to make the most delicious cookie. We know that vegan foods (and especially baked goods) tend to get a bad rap for being dry and tasteless. If you'll be serving your homemade treats to non-vegans, a delicious vegan chocolate chip cookie can be just what you need to shatter that stereotype.

So I found nine of the most popular vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes on the internet, and I baked all of them. Then I got together with a friend to taste them and rank them from best to worst.

If you're interested in some of my other vegan food taste tests, I've also tried:

Testing Methods

When baking someone else's recipe, there's always a possibility for user error to cause problems. It's also possible that differences in climate, elevation, or oven temperature might affect the results. So I took several steps to standardize my procedure and minimize the risk of errors, including using the same set of baking trays for each recipe.

I also tried to make all of the cookies the same size as the recipe suggests. A few recipes gave a weight for each cookie, but most did not. So for those that didn't, I weighed the dough, then divided it by the number of cookies that the recipe is supposed to make. (For example: the recipe made 500 grams of dough, and the recipe says it makes 10 cookies; 500 / 10 = 50 grams per cookie).

For each recipe, I rolled the cookie dough into balls before placing the cookies on the baking trays. When I used this method, all of the cookies came out of the oven perfectly round and beautiful, so I'll definitely continue to do this when I make chocolate chip cookies in the future.

Baking nine batches of cookies resulted in a lot of cookies, but some recipes made more cookies than others. So I cut many of the recipes in half to avoid having more cookies than I could eat or give away. If I halved the recipe, that will be noted in the recipe's "Modifications I made" section.

Measuring Flour

Since chocolate chip cookies are historically an American treat, most of the recipes I found provided flour measurements in cups (as is standard for most American recipes). However, depending on how you add flour to your cup, one cup of flour can contain very different amounts of flour.

The correct way to measure flour is to spoon it into the cup, then level it off. However, in my experience, most Americans actually scoop the cup directly into the flour, then level it off, which results in the flour being packed into the cup (and thus more flour in one cup). I've found that most American recipes work best with the second (incorrect, but more common) way of measuring.

Spooning flour into a measuring cup (left), weighs 118 grams, scooping flour into a measuring cup (right), weighs 136 grams.
On the left, I spooned the flour into the measuring cup, then leveled it off. When I weighed the flour, I had 118 grams. On the right, I scooped the measuring cup directly into the flour, then leveled it off. This method gave me 136 grams of flour.

I wanted to replicate each recipe as it was intended by the author, so if weight measurements were provided, I weighed my flour. If only cup measurements were provided, I tried to determine how the author measures flour, then follow their method. However, if I couldn't find any indication of which method they used, I used the (common American) scoop method. The method I used to measure the flour is listed for each recipe.

Vegan chocolate chips and chocolate chunks

Many recipes called for specific types of chocolate chips or chunks, however I only used two types of chocolate in these tests. If the recipe uses chocolate chips, I used the vegan chocolate chips from the bulk bin at Sprouts Market. And if the recipe calls for chocolate chunks or cut-up chocolate, I used 365 dark chocolate chunks from Whole Foods.

Many semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips and chunks are vegan, however you should always check the ingredient list to be sure. The most common non-vegan ingredients you will see are milk or milk fat. Chocolate chips also contain sugar, which may or may not be vegan (sugar is sometimes processed using animal bone char). This will likely not be listed on the label, so if you want to be sure, look for chocolate chips that clearly state on the label that they're vegan.

Some chocolate chips will state "may contain milk" on the label. If there's no milk in the ingredients, then most people would consider these chocolate chips vegan. This warning means that the chocolate chips are made on equipment that is also used to make food containing milk, so there may be some traces of milk in the chocolate chips. Even though most people would consider these chocolate chips vegan, it's ultimately up to you to decide (unless you have a dairy allergy, in which case you should definitely avoid them).

Popular brands of vegan chocolate chips and chunks include: Enjoy Life, 365 Organic Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (also Fair Trade certified), Lakanto Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips, and Equal Exchange.

If you can't easily get vegan chocolate chips, there are also vegan chocolate bars that can be cut into chocolate chunks for cookies. Whole Foods Market usually has a good variety, and they go on sale often. Some brands to look for include: Hu Foods, Theo, Alter Eco, Divine, Lily's, some Green & Black's chocolates, Endangered Species Chocolate, some Guittard chocolates, and some 365 chocolate bars.

Recipe Differences

The nine recipes I tested were each a little different in their ingredients and processes. Some cookies used baking soda alone, while others added baking powder as well. Most of the recipes don't have any egg replacer, but three use applesauce and one (New York Times) uses ground flax. And five of the recipes have added non-dairy milk, one has added water, and three have no added liquid at all. All of them have pretty basic ingredients, with nothing too strange.

Some recipes contain vegan butter, while others use coconut oil or another oil. I had expected that the recipes with vegan butter would have a richer flavor, but that didn't turn out to be the case.

And some recipes don't have any chill time for the dough, while others range from 30 minutes to 24 hours. The chill time is touted by many as the secret to even better chocolate chip cookies, but in this taste test, the recipe with the longest chill time was not our winner, and our two runners-up don't require any chilling at all.

Recipe Star Ratings

For some of the recipes below, I've noted the star rating of the recipe from the author's website. While I think this can be useful information, it's important to understand that most of these authors own their websites, and can therefore decide which ratings and comments get published.

This can be useful for deleting spam comments and ratings, but you should know that it's also possible for authors to delete comments and ratings they don't like or agree with. In my experience, some recipe creators edit their ratings and comments quite a bit, and some don't do it at all. So while ratings might have some value, you should be aware of their limitations as well.

Taste Test Results

1. Winner: Tasty

Tasty vegan chocolate chip cookies on a wire rack.

Tasty's recipe is a very popular one on the internet, and we found it to be for good reason. It was hands-down the best vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe in this taste test. While this recipe only has a 4.5-star average rating from over 2,500 ratings, my taste tester and I both enjoyed it more than others with 4.9-star ratings.

Some other cookies had comparable textures, but this one edged out the others with its rich, buttery flavor. More than just sugar, the flavor has depth. The texture is chewy, but firm and the edges are a bit caramelized, adding to the rich flavor. It's an all-in-all delicious cookie. It's also an easy one-bowl recipe (and the only one-bowl recipe in our top 5).

Serve these cookies to guests and no one will guess they're vegan. At least in this test, the big recipe developer came through with a better recipe than some of the smaller blogs and channels.

This recipe requires 30 minutes of chill time, but when I took the dough out of the refrigerator, I had to let it thaw out for 20 minutes to get it soft enough to roll into balls. When I make it again, I will probably roll the dough into balls first, then refrigerate the balls on a baking tray before putting them in the oven.

Overall rating: 9/10

Flavor: 9/10

Texture: 10/10

Recipe Link: https://tasty.co/recipe/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies

Modifications I made: none

Measuring method: scoop

Prep time: 24 minutes

Inactive time: 50 minutes (chilling, then thawing)

Bake time: 14 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

2. Runner-Up: The Almond Eater

The Almond Eater vegan chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wire rack.

The Almond Eater's chocolate chip cookies spread out quite a bit in the oven (they're so thin that you can actually see daylight through them), but they were still very delicious. The cookies were soft and chewy, and although their flavor is not quite as rich as the Tasty cookies, they still had a delicious taste that is unique and memorable.

These cookies are sweeter than many of the others on this list (but not as sweet as Ovenly's cookies--#5); a little too sweet for my taste, but my taste tester liked this cookie better than the New York Times's recipe (below, #3). (I liked the New York Times's recipe just a little bit better.) Here, I felt like the salt is doing a lot of the work to balance the flavor of the cookies, rather than having a rich flavor coming from the other ingredients in the dough.

This one is also very quick to make, with no chill time, but it does require two bowls and an electric mixer. The cookies might also turn out a little less flat if you do decide to chill the dough before baking.

Overall rating: 8/10

Flavor: 8/10

Texture: 8/10

Recipe Link: https://thealmondeater.com/vegan-chocolate-chunk-cookies/

Modifications I made: none

Measuring method: scoop

Prep time: 23 minutes

Inactive time: n/a

Bake time: 12 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

3. Crispy, Caramelized Edges: The New York Times

The New York Times's vegan chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wire rack.

Both my taste tester and I agreed that the New York Times's recipe is better than Baker By Nature's (#4) and not quite as good as Tasty's recipe (#1). But between this one and the Almond Eater's recipe, we had slightly different opinions.

This cookie has a very gourmet look and texture, and the edges are the crispiest of all of the cookies, with a caramelized flavor. For those reasons, I personally prefer it a little more than the Almond Eater's recipe, but both are quite good cookies.

The edges are really delicious, but if we just focused on the center of the NYT's cookie, it would probably fall into the "very good but not outstanding" category. Because it's a little less sweet, you can taste the flour a bit more in this recipe than in the top two recipes.

Even without any chill time, these cookies also came out nice and thick. Like The Almond Eater's recipe, this one requires two bowls and an electric mixer.

When I made this recipe, I did make some modifications. First, I didn't have coconut sugar on hand, so I replaced it with brown sugar. And second, I cut the amount of chocolate chunks in half. There really didn't seem to be enough dough to hold 12 ounces of chocolate, and 6 ounces still produced a very chocolatey cookie.

Overall rating: 8/10

Flavor: 8/10

Texture: 8/10

Recipe Link: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020873-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies *note: there is a limit to the number of times you can view the New York Times's recipes per month, so you may want to print or save the recipe if you're going to use it later.

Modifications I made:

  • used brown sugar instead of coconut sugar

  • used 6 oz. chocolate chunks instead of 12 oz.

Measuring method: weight

Prep time: 24 minutes

Inactive time: n/a

Bake time: 18 minutes

Total time: 42 minutes

4. Good Recipe: Baker By Nature

Baker By Nature's vegan chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wire rack.

I found the Baker By Nature recipe on Pinterest, and Google also currently lists it pretty high in their search results. It has a 4.9-star rating from over 300 ratings, so I added it to the list to see how it will stack up against the others.

These cookies were quite good, especially their soft, chewy texture. However, they're not quite as flavorful as our top three cookies. They're a little sweet, but the salt on top helps to balance it out. It's an overall good cookie that I would definitely be willing to make again and serve to guests.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

Flavor: 7/10

Texture: 9/10

Recipe Link: https://bakerbynature.com/the-most-wonderful-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies-ever/

Modifications I made: made half recipe

Measuring method: spoon

Prep time: 21 minutes

Inactive time: n/a

Bake time: 9 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

5. Very Sweet: Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies cooling on a wire rack.

Ovenly's cookies seem to be really popular with vegans all over the internet, so I definitely had to add them to our taste test.

These cookies are also quite good (and they have a lot of chocolate chips!), but they're a little less chewy than the Baker by Nature cookies. They're also sweeter than the Baker by Nature cookies, and the sweetness is the dominant flavor in this recipe. It's not balanced out with a rich flavor like some of the other cookies.

I would definitely suggest adding the recommended salt to the tops of these cookies because without it, you might find the cookies to be too sweet. However, if you do like very sweet cookies, the Ovenly recipe is a good option because the texture of the cookies is quite good. But with a 12-hour chill time, there are definitely faster options with better texture and flavor.

Overall rating: 7/10

Flavor: 6.5/10

Texture: 8.5/10

Recipe Link: https://food52.com/recipes/39132-ovenly-s-secretly-vegan-salted-chocolate-chip-cookies

Modifications I made: made half recipe

Measuring method: weight

Prep time: 30 minutes

Inactive time: 12 hours, 10 minutes (chilling plus freezing)

Bake time: 12 minutes

Total time: 12 hours, 52 minutes

6. Cakey Cookie: Pick Up Limes

Pick Up Limes's Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies cooling on a wire rack.

This recipe comes from Pick Up Limes's three vegan cookie YouTube video. The resulting cookie is not a traditional chewy chocolate chip cookie. The cookies appear quite puffy or pillowy compared to the others in this taste test.

As far as taste, the cookies have a very cakey texture that's less moist, and they were not a favorite for either myself or my other taste tester. If you imagined a "healthy" cookie in your mind, you might imagine something that tastes like this. I personally wouldn't want to give this cookie to a non-vegan, because it might confirm their pre-existing negative beliefs about vegan food.

However, on a positive note, the sweetness level is quite good, and the flavor of the chocolate chips shines through nicely. So it may be a good option for those who like a cakier texture in their chocolate chip cookie.

My (European) taste tester noted that in Europe, cookies tend to be a little cakier than they are in the US. And since Pick Up Limes is based in Europe, that might factor into the texture of these cookies. But personally, I wouldn't make this recipe again.

Overall rating: 5/10

Flavor: 6/10

Texture: 4/10

Recipe Link: https://www.pickuplimes.com/recipe/one-bowl-soft-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies-197

Modifications I made:

  • made half recipe

  • used almond milk instead of soy milk

Measuring method: weight

Prep time: 20 minutes

Inactive time: 30 minutes (chill time, as suggested for warmer climates)

Bake time: 13 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 3 minutes

7. Liv B.

Liv B's Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies cooling on a wire rack.

This recipe comes from Liv B.'s popular YouTube video. The cookies seem to have a nice, chewy texture at first bite, but somehow the ingredients didn't gel together in this recipe. Both my taste tester and I noticed that with these cookies, you taste the sugar first, then the flour, and it doesn't all come together.

We also felt that there aren't enough chocolate chips in these cookies. That's easy enough to fix by adding more, but with the recipe's other shortcomings, I'd just make a different recipe instead.

Liv used a vegan butter spread in her recipe called Becel which isn't available to me in the US. She suggested using any vegan butter spread in a tub as a substitute, so I used Earth Balance spread. It's possible that this substitution caused the strange separation of flavors, and you might have better results using the original spread. However, based on my test alone, I can't recommend this recipe.

I wasn't sure how to measure the flour in this recipe, because the author doesn't specify or provide weights. However, in the video she says that you can start with 1 1/2 cups of flour and add another 1/4 cup if needed. So I decided to spoon measure the initial 1 1/2 cups (which gives less flour than scoop measuring); then I added the additional 1/4 cup, because the dough did seem to be too wet with only 1 1/2 cups.

Overall rating: 4/10

Flavor: 4/10

Texture: 7/10

Recipe Link: https://itslivb.com/2019/04/04/chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Modifications I made:

  • I used Earth Balance vegan tub butter spread (the author uses a brand that's not available where I live)

  • I used 1/2 cup chocolate chips (the recipe allows 1/3 to 1/2 cup)

  • I used an additional 1/4 cup of flour (as suggested in the video, but not mentioned in the recipe itself)

Measuring method: spoon

Prep time: 26 minutes

Inactive time: n/a

Bake time: 10 minutes

Total time: 36 minutes

8. Sweet Simple Vegan

Simple Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies cooling on a wire rack.

Sweet Simple Vegan's chocolate chip cookies came out looking the most like classic homemade chocolate chip cookies. They did look a little darker than the photos shown on their website, though, so if I made them again I'd reduce the baking time by a minute or two. (I baked them for 13 minutes; the recommended time is 13-14 minutes).

While the cookies were okay, nothing about the flavor or texture wowed us here. The texture was somewhere between chewy and cakey, and a little bit dry. With this cookie, we felt like the dough was just a way to get chocolate chips into our mouth, rather than an element that actually complements the chocolate chips. With better options to choose from, I'd skip this recipe.

Overall rating: 4/10

Flavor: 5/10

Texture: 4/10

Recipe Link: https://sweetsimplevegan.com/classic-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Modifications I made: made half recipe

Measuring method: scoop

Prep time: 21 minutes

Inactive time: n/a

Bake time: 13 minutes

Total time: 34 minutes

9. Chocolate Covered Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie's Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies cooling on a wire rack.

Chocolate Covered Katie's cookies are (at the time of writing) the first result in Google for "vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe." The average star rating is 4.98 from over 1,000 ratings.

When I baked these cookies, they looked much different from the photos shown on the recipe website, so there may have been some error on my part. The cookies appeared almost like oatmeal, the texture was completely off, and the dominant flavor of the cookie was flour. It really didn't taste anything close to like what a cookie should taste like.

The recipe ingredients call for 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk, however the instructions say to add 1-2 additional tablespoons if needed. After I added the first additional tablespoon, the dough was still very dry and not pliable, so I added the second additional tablespoon. At that point, the dough looked like a lumpy mess, but I decided to chill the dough anyway, hoping it'd firm up. Unfortunately, it never improved.

I measured the flour in this recipe using the scoop method since I couldn't find anything to indicate that I should spoon-measure the flour. However, since the scoop method creates denser cups of flour, it's possible that this is where I went wrong with this recipe.

Since the cookies didn't look done after the 11-minute bake time, I baked them for an additional 1 minute. They still didn't look done, but I took them out at 12 minutes anyway.

These cookies might turn out better if they're made in a different way, but based on the instructions, I'm still not clear on what I should have done differently. And since the instructions leave room for interpretation, the recipe can go wrong easily (as it did for me), so I wouldn't recommend it to others.

Overall rating: 1/10

Flavor: 1/10

Texture: 1/10

Recipe Link: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

Modifications I made:

  • used the full 4 tablespoons of non-dairy milk (recipe calls for 2-4 tablespoons)

  • increased the bake time by 1 minute

Measuring method: scoop

Prep time: 18 minutes

Inactive time: 2 hours

Bake time: 12 minutes

Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Conclusion

Our clear winner was the Tasty cookie for its rich, buttery flavor. I liked the New York Times's recipe as a runner-up because of its caramelized crispy edges, and my taste tester liked the Almond Eater's recipe for the overall flavor and texture.

The Ovenly and Baker by Nature recipes are quite good as well. I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve any of the top five recipes to guests, and I don't think anyone would guess they're vegan. As for the other four recipes, I wouldn't make any of them again, but if you like cakey cookies, you may like the Pick Up Limes recipe.

I had expected the cookies made with vegan butter to have a richer taste than the ones made with coconut oil or another oil. But the Tasty cookies, which had the richest flavor out of all of them, are made with coconut oil. And the two runners-up were made with vegan butter. So that was a pretty big surprise for me.

I also didn't notice any correlation between the chill time and how much we liked the resulting cookies. Our winning recipe has a 30-minute chill time, but the two runners-up have no chill time at all. And the one with the longest (12-hour) chill time was still quite good, but didn't win.

If you have a favorite from this list, or another recipe that's not listed here, feel free to leave a comment below!

StephSunshine

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