A few weeks ago I was really craving a gooey chocolate chip cookie with crispy edges and a soft centre – the kind that is my fav. I wondered whether a vegan version would be possible and I set about tinkering around with a recipe. I ended up with these guys and was sitting on the recipe, waiting for the right time to test them again.
Next thing I knew, COVID had hit and a weird situation arose where loads of ingredients became hard to find. I knew this recipe worked with alt flours (I used kamut & rye flour the first time I made them) and they’re also eggless so I thought they’d be the perfect candidate for some lockdown baking. I ended up testing the recipe with other flour combinations too and they came out so delicious each time. Altering the flours in the recipe does slightly change the texture and spread of the cookies though but they’re still delicious and everything I could want!
I’ve tried to give as many substitution suggestions below the recipe as possible as I know these are times when (a) standard ingredients can be hard to find and (b) you don’t want to have to go to the shops just to get 1 ingredient. Let me know if you need any help with this recipe using the ingredients you have on hand and I’ll try to suggest what I think will work for you.
Also due to the fact that the recipe is vegan (so has no eggs), it can be very easily halved or even quartered to make a small batch! You can also keep the cookie dough in the fridge for a few days, or even freeze it in balls, so you can bake them on demand and have fresh cookies whenever you want them (that is The Dream, is it not??).
Happy baking and stay safe, everyone!
- 2 tbsp oats (see notes for substitutes)
- 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
- 110g (1/2 cup) vegan block margarine (vegan 'butter)
- 110g (1/2 cup) soft light brown sugar or dark brown sugar
- 110g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp fine table salt
- 120g plain white flour (see notes for substitutes)
- 60g wholemeal pastry flour (see notes for substitutes)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder (see notes if you don't have any)
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) (see notes if you don't have any)
- 200g (14 ounces) dark chocolate (see notes for substitutes)
- flaky salt, to sprinkle (optional)
- Place the oats in a small bowl. Cover with the boiling water and set aside to gel and cool until just slightly warm to the touch (or cooler).
- In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and sugars until smooth - you don't need to get 'light and fluffy' for this. Add the cooled oat goop, vanilla & salt and mix together until combined. It may look curdled at this point - this is fine.
- Add both flours and your baking powder & bicarbonate of soda. Stir until you get a soft dough.
- Roughly chop your dark chocolate (you want the chunks to be a variety of sizes but max. around 2 cm) - using a serrated/bread knife here helps prevent the chocolate flying all over the place. Scrape all the chocolate into the bowl and mix until combined.
- Take heaped tablespoons of dough (around 45g/1.5 ounce) and roll into balls. Place into a container or on a tray and chill for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight) or up to 5 days.
- When ready to bake, line a baking tray with baking paper and preheat your oven to 200°C fan (400°F) or 220°C non-fan (420°F).
- Place balls of dough onto your lined baking tray, spacing them about 5cm (2 inches) apart. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky salt, if using, and bake for 6-10 minutes until the edges are set but the centre is still a bit squishy & gooey. Allow to cool on the tray for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, as needed, until all the cookies are baked.
Note: if you want the freeze the dough, stop after you've completed step 5. Freeze the dough balls on the tray until solid then pop them into a resealable plastic bag. Place your bag of cookie dough balls into the freezer. You can bake them from frozen, you may just need to add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
Small batch: halve or quarter the recipe to get a small batch
No oats? you can use 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (linseed) instead of the oats
No baking powder? Increase the baking soda in the recipe to 3/4 tsp
No bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)? Increase the baking powder in the recipe to 1 tsp
Substitutes for vegan block margarine:
- you can use a spreadable (i.e. 'tub') margarine here but the cookies will spread more. Do not use a low fat one or it will not work!
- If you're not vegan, use unsalted block butter which has been allowed to soften at room temperature
- you may be able to use coconut oil here - reduce the amount to 75g and add 2 tbsp of water to the dough.
Substitutes for sugar:
- you can use all white sugar in the dough if you don't have brown sugar. You can then add 1 tsp black treacle (or molasses) to the dough if you have any, to add back that treacley flavour!
- you can use all light brown sugar in the dough if you don't have white sugar
- Coconut sugar will work in place of part or all of the sugar in the dough
- I wouldn't recommend using demerara ('raw') sugar here as the crystals are too large for the dough to form properly
Substitutes for plain white flour/wholemeal flour: white bread flour, white pastry/cake flour, white pasta ('00') flour, wholemeal bread flour, self-raising white flour (if using this, don't use any baking powder in the recipe), buckwheat flour, rye flour, spelt flour, gram flour (chickpea flour), oat flour, GF flour blend, kohrasan (kamut) flour, emmer flour
- If substituting the flours, try to ensure that at least 1 of the flours you are using is a gluten-containing flour (e.g. any kind of wheat flour, rye flour, spelt flour, kamut flour or emmer flour). You need some gluten to be in the dough in order to get the right consistency.
- I have tried it even using buckwheat flour + dark rye flour (a very low-gluten combination) and it has worked amazingly!
Substitutes for dark chocolate:
Use whatever chocolate you have on hand. I recommend using chocolate which is higher quality (i.e. not 'candy bar' chocolate like Cadbury's/Hershey's) as the lower quality chocolate may become chalky once baked.