After much experimentation, I finally bring to you my recipe for vegan snickerdoodles. These vegan snickerdoodles are softy, chewy, and a tiny bit tangy, just like their non-vegan counterparts. While nobody is about to tell you these cookies are healthy, they don’t call for any vegan butter, egg replacer, or other store-bought vegan alternatives.
Instead, a base of coconut oil with just a touch of vegetable oil gives these vegan snickerdoodles their buttery texture. Because ‘chewy’ is one of the most important traits I seek in a cookie, I also used some brown sugar (which is not a traditional snickerdoodle ingredient, but aids chewiness in this vegan version).
(P.S. No I do not love these photos, they were taken after one of the two light bulbs in my tabletop photography setup died. Winter photography is a challenge for me! I am hoping to update the photos in the coming weeks, but I really wanted to post this vegan snickerdoodle recipe now. I can assure the cookies look even more delicious in real life.)
Of course, the biggest struggle with veganizing cookie recipes is the egg. I don’t much care for the cake-y-ness introduced by applesauce, and while I love the use of flax “egg” in my vegan oatmeal raisin cookies, the nutty flavor of flax can be overpowering in more delicate cookies like snickerdoodles.
Luckily, as many of you probably know, aquafaba (bean cooking liquid) has been transforming vegan cooking and baking in 2015, with its protein and starch content making an excellent stand-in for eggs in some applications. Though you can also make homemade aquafaba from cooking your own dry beans, using it can be as easy as opening a can (I recommend BPA-free) of chickpeas and straining out the liquid. Please note that the *soaking* liquid from beans is NOT the same thing as aquafaba, which is the *cooking* liquid. You absolutely cannot taste any trace of bean flavor in the final product; the aquafaba is merely used for the purpose of chemistry.
The aquafaba in this vegan snickerdoodle recipe makes the snickerdoodles chewy while also keeping them tender and moist. I am not kidding you when I say that I had to put the container of cookies in the freezer to stop myself from eating all of them. I ate 4 before even starting the photoshoot. I had been living a life deprived of good vegan snickerdoodles, but no longer! Also, due to this incident I learned that the already-baked cookies freeze well! Just thaw for a couple of minutes before eating. Though I didn’t try it, I am guessing you could also freeze the dough.
Classic Vegan Snickerdoodles
For the vegan snickerdoodle cookie dough:
- 1/3 cup refined coconut oil room temperature
- 5 tsp plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk room temperature
- 1 tbsp neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil)
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of white beans or chickpeas)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour (measure by scooping, not the spoon-and-level method)
For the topping:
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, cream together the coconut oil, nondairy milk and neutral oil along with both types of sugar. If you don't have an electric mixer you can whip the ingredients vigorously with a fork.
Add the baking soda, cream of tartar, sea salt, vanilla extract, vinegar, and aquafaba, and continue mixing until smoothly combined.
Add the flour and mix just until the flour is smoothly incorporated. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (you may need 2 baking sheets, depending on their size).
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl.
One at a time, scoop a heaping tablespoon of the dough, roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and place it on the baking sheet, flattening it slightly and leaving about an inch in between cookies for them to spread.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden. Let cool for a couple of minutes before removing from the baking sheet and transferring to a cooling rack to cool down completely.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or in the freezer for a week or more. (I have not tried storing them long-term in the freezer, though).
You can substitute regular granulated sugar for the turbinado sugar. The cookies will be slightly more sweet because turbinado sugar is less dense. For both sugars, if applicable to you, ensure they are vegan.
Aquafaba is the cooking liquid from beans. For this recipe, white bean or chickpea aquafaba is recommended because of the color. I used liquid measured from a BPA-free can of white beans.
I consulted several sources for this recipe: aquafaba chocolate chip cookies by Vedged Out, vegan snickerdoodles by My California Roots, and Betty Crocker’s classic snickerdoodles. The final product came from my own experimentation. You can also checkout the “Vegan Meringue” Facebook group for tons of tips and recipes regarding all things aquafaba (not just meringue). If you try these vegan snickerdoodles, let me know! 🙂