The BEST soft and chewy vegan snickerdoodles. A tangy cinnamon sugar cookie that’s so easy to make with just 9 ingredients and ready in 20 minutes!
Snickerdoodles were one of the first cookies I learned how to make as a kid, and they quickly became the only cookies I made for family and friends because they were just that good. I had a recipe that produced addictingly soft and chewy snickerdoodles every time — probably because it’s 80% butter and sugar heh. I’m all for indulging every once in a while and treating yourself to an overtly sweet and buttery cookie, but sometimes I just want to eat a cookie (or two or three) and still feel good without a sugar crash hitting 30 minutes later. Plus, these snickerdoodles are completely vegan and utilize simple ingredients (NO vegan butter)!
These vegan snickerdoodles are made with just 9 basic ingredients:
- Refined Coconut Oil ⟶ unrefined will leave a slight coconut flavor, so avoid using unrefined coconut oil if possible
- Granulated Sugar ⟶ some white sugars are processed through animal bone char (making them, technically, not vegan) so be sure to check the packaging for “vegan” if this is an issue for you
- Applesauce ⟶ adds moisture and helps bind the cookies together
- All Purpose Flour ⟶ keeps the cookies soft and tender
- Cream of Tartar ⟶ reacts with the baking soda to make the cookies soft and puffy, and also adds that distinctive tang of snickerdoodles
- Soy Milk ⟶ only if needed to moisten the batter
- Baking Staples ⟶ vanilla extract, baking soda
How to Make
These vegan snickerdoodles are super easy to make! First, cream together the coconut oil and sugar.
Add in the applesauce and vanilla and mix until combined. Then add in the dry ingredients (flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt).
Mix together dry and wet until a cookie dough forms. Add a splash of soy milk if the dough is too dry. Roll into a ball if saving the dough for later, or start forming small cookie dough balls for baking.
Scoop about 1-2 tablespoons of dough and form into balls (I made 10). Roll in cinnamon sugar and place on baking sheet. Slightly flatten the dough with your hands if you like thin cookies. If you prefer your cookies to be more puffy you can leave them as balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges and lightly browned on bottom (make sure they don’t burn!). Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tips & Tricks
- Slightly flatten the cookies before baking ⟶ Because I cut back on the sugar in this recipe (regular cookies are too sweet for me), they don’t spread the same way most oil/butter-based cookies do. So slightly flatten the cookies before baking if you like thinner cookies (as pictured).
- Use light-colored cookie sheets ⟶ Dark cookie sheets get hot very quickly and may burn the bottom of the cookies. If using a dark cookie sheet, reduce temp to 350°F.
- Line your cookie sheet (OPTIONAL) ⟶ I typically use a silicone baking mat, but parchment paper works just as well. You can also just bake the cookies directly on the cookie sheet, but be aware that the bottoms will brown more quickly.
- Remove from oven while they’re still soft ⟶ The cookies should still feel soft on top (but should be more firm around the edges) when you take them out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool. Let them cool completely before eating for best results.
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature ⟶ The coconut oil should be soft enough to cream (like softened butter). I store my coconut oil at room temperature (68-72°F) and this is the perfect consistency. Make sure your applesauce and soy milk are also at room temperature. If they are too cold, they will freeze the coconut oil and your dough will not form properly.
While I recommend following the recipe as closely as possible, I understand that some ingredients may be more difficult to find depending on where you live, you may have different ingredients in your pantry and you don’t want to buy new things, etc. So here are my suggestions (note: I haven’t personally tested all of these substitutions so I can’t vouch for them, these are just recommendations that I think, based on past experience, will work) and some substitutions I suggest you avoid:
- Refined Coconut Oil ⟶ Unrefined coconut oil will function the same in the recipe, but it may leave a slight coconut flavor to the cookies. I do not recommend using any other vegetable oils, as they are liquid at room temperature and will make the cookies very soft. Vegan butter will probably work fine.
- Granulated Sugar ⟶ I do not recommend subbing coconut sugar or any liquid sweetener. Coconut sugar makes the cookies dense and liquid sweetener will ruin the texture. Smaller granulated sugar crystals will produce the best tender crumb.
- Applesauce ⟶ Though prevalent in the US, I understand applesauce is a much less common ingredient in other countries. But don’t worry! You can easily make your own at home by puréeing simmered apples (there are lots of recipes online). OR try these persimmon snickerdoodles or pumpkin snickerdoodles instead!
- All Purpose Flour ⟶ I have not tested this yet with a gluten-free flour, but feel free to try and report back if you do! I do not recommend whole wheat flour as it will change the flavor of the cookies.
- Cream of Tartar ⟶ This is what gives snickerdoodles their distinct tangy flavor, differentiating them from regular sugar cookies. However, if you can’t find cream of tartar, replace the cream of tartar and baking soda with 3/4 tsp baking powder.
- Soy Milk ⟶ Other plant-based milks will work, or you may not even need any milk. We’re just using a little to create a perfectly moist cookie dough.
Helpful Baking Tools
More Vegan Cookies!
- Healthier Persimmon Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Grain-Free Matcha Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Healthier PB Chocolate Chip Cookies
I hope I’ve inspired you to make these vegan snickerdoodles! Don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and leave a comment/rating down below to let me know how you liked them! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy baking♡
Easy Vegan Snickerdoodles
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Set aside a cookie sheet**.
- Mix together cinnamon sugar coating in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Cream together coconut oil and sugar. Add applesauce (make sure it's room temperature) and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until a cookie dough forms.
- If your cookie dough is too sticky to handle, chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes until firm enough to roll. Scoop cookie dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet. If you like flatter, crispy cookies, slightly flatten the cookie dough balls into discs.
- Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and firm around the edges. (The center will still be soft but will firm up as it cools.) Leave on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cookies cool completely before eating for best results. Store leftovers in an air-tight container at room temperature, or freeze to be eaten in the future.
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