These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies feature perfect crackly tops with rich, fudgy centers. A classic on a Christmas cookies platter, but quick and easy enough for any day of the year! No mixer needed! Egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan!
If you’re craving rich, fudgy, decadent treats, you’re in the right place! With crispy, crackly tops and soft, brownie like centers, these vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies will have you coming back for more!
Straight from the oven, they’re like soft little clouds that melt in your mouth. And, dare I say, they’re even better the next day when the edges become a bit crispy, similar to the oh-so-perfect edges in a pan of brownies.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ All-purpose flour works great for these cookies. If you need a gluten-free option, choose a gluten-free flour blend meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
Sugar ~ Cane sugar is the best choice for these chocolate crinkle cookies.
Cocoa ~ I use unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch processed cocoa or natural cocoa will both work, too.
Flax ~ Flax meal, which is ground flax seeds, is mixed with liquid to create a binder for the cookies. It works as an egg substitute in vegan cookies. You can buy flax meal or grind your own flax seeds using a small coffee grinder.
Milk ~ Any unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk will work. I typically use almond milk, but oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, or cashew milk will all work.
Flavorings ~ Pure vanilla extract is a must because vanilla is so delicious!
I like to add a small amount of instant coffee or espresso, too, which really enhances the fudgy chocolate flavor, but this is optional.
And don’t forget a pinch of salt to make all the flavors really pop.
Oil ~ Oil keeps this chocolate crinkle cookie recipe really moist and tender. I like melted coconut oil, but you can use canola or vegetable oil if that’s what you have.
I have not tried to make an oil-free version of these cookies
Powdered sugar ~ The classic black and white crackly look is created by rolling the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar, also know as confectioner’s sugar, before baking. Honestly, the more powdered sugar you can coat the dough in, the better. Make sure they are completely covered.
Extras ~ Feel free to add a teaspoon of peppermint extract or almond extract to change up the flavor a bit. You could also stir in ½ cup of dairy-free chocolate chips for an extra chocolately experience.
How to make the recipe
For exact ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
Make the flax “egg” by whisking together the flax meal and non-dairy milk. Set aside to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Add the oil, vanilla, and flax “egg” to a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, add the dry ingredients. (Sift the flour and cocoa powder first if they are clumping.)
Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together with a spatula. The dough will be thick. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl and incorporate all the ingredients fully.
Stir until a solid dough forms. I find it easiest to use clean hands to form a dough ball once the mixture gets thick.
The dough will be moist, but shouldn’t be sticky. It should be quite easy to work with and you should be able to roll it easily into balls. *Unlike typical crinkle cookies dough, this vegan cookie dough does not need to be refrigerated before using.
Using a cookie scoop to ensure uniform sizing, scoop out some dough. Roll it into a ball using your clean hands. Set aside on a large plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Roll all of the chocolate dough balls in powdered sugar until thoroughly coated.
Place the powdered sugar coated balls of dough onto a parchment-lined rimmed cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes until the tops are crackled and the edges are set.
Transfer the baked cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool.
Storage and freezing
Counter: For best results, store them at room temperature, loosely covered, for about 4 to 5 days.
Fridge: If you still have leftovers after 5 days (a double batch doesn’t even last 3 days in our house!), transfer them to an air-tight container in the fridge for a couple extra days.
Freezer: You can freeze the dough for these chocolate crinkle cookies. Form the dough balls as instructed, but do not coat in powdered sugar. Place the dough balls on a large plate or cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the dough balls to a freezer-safe container or zip-top plastic bag. They will keep well for 2 to 3 months.
When ready to bake, thaw the dough overnight in the fridge, then let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes or so. Roll in powdered sugar and bake as instructed.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Preheat the oven.
~ Measure the flour and cocoa powdering using the spoon and level method. Fluff up the flour (or cocoa) and then gently spoon it into a measuring cup. Overfill the measuring cup. Using the back of a knife, slide the knife straight across the top of the measuring up leveling it off. Make sure to do this over the container of flour (or cocoa) so you don’t make a mess.
~ If the flour and/or cocoa powder is a bit clumpy, sift it first before measuring.
~ Use melted coconut oil, not solid.
~ Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature, especially the milk, so the melted coconut oil doesn’t seize up.
~ If the dough is crumbly and won’t form into balls easily, stir in extra milk, just 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together easily.
~ If the dough is too sticky and sticking to your hands when rolling into balls, stir in extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together easily.
~ Be extremely generous when coating the balls of dough in the powdered sugar. The more powdered sugar, the better. You should not be able to see any dough underneath the sugar.
~ There is no need to chill the dough. In fact, you do not want to chill the dough for these vegan chocolate crinkle cookies or they won’t spread.
~ Place the cooling rack over an extra cookie sheet or large cutting board to catch any powdered sugar that is sure to fall off.
~ For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend made to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio.
Crinkle cookies are classic cookies that feature powdered sugar coated crackly tops. They are sometimes called crackle cookies. This particular version contain cocoa powder, making them chocolate crinkle cookies. For a citrus version, try my Lemon Crinkle Cookies!
Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. If you haven’t replaced them in awhile, it’s probably time for new!
Also, be generous with the powdered sugar coating. Honestly, the more the better. You shouldn’t be able to see any dough under the sugar. You can roll the dough balls into granulated sugar before coating with powdered sugar to make doubly sure the tops crack properly.
One more tip – bake one sheet at a time for best results.
Cookies won’t spread if there is too much flour. Make sure to use the spoon and level method of measuring the flour and cocoa powder. See Pro tips and tricks in the post for how to do this.
Make sure to use melted coconut oil and ensure your other ingredients are at room temperature so the oil doesn’t seize up.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 1 tablespoon flax meal
- 6 tablespoons non-dairy unsweetened, plain milk
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup powdered sugar plus more, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and non-dairy milk. Set aside to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and instant coffee granules, if using.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and flax and milk mixture.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to fully incorporate all the ingredients. Once the dough gets thick, I find it easiest to use clean hands to form a ball of dough. The dough should be thick and moist, but not sticky or crumbly.
- Using 1 ½ tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into a ball and place on a large plate. Repeat with the remaining dough until gone. A cookie scoop will help with uniform sizing among all the cookies.
- Place the powdered sugar into a bowl and roll the dough balls in the sugar, a few at a time, until fully coated. Place them onto the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until the cookies have spread and the tops have that classic crackle look.
- Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
One recipe makes about 24 cookies using an estimated 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie. Nutrition facts are calculated per cookie. Any variation in sizing of cookies will result in varying nutritional data.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.