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: You can use unrefined if that’s all you have, but it may leave a slight coconut flavor.
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- All Purpose Flour
- Cream of Tartar
- Baking Soda
- Soy Milk
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 for Making Perfect Vegan Snickerdoodles
- 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 make sure to flatten the cookies before baking.
- If possible, opt for cookie sheets that are light in color as these absorb less heat. 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.
- For best results, line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- 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.
- Make sure your coconut oil is solid but soft enough to cream, think softened butter consistency. Coconut oil stored at room temperature (about 72-75°F) will work best, but if your coconut oil is liquid then place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Or if your coconut oil is too solid then you can briefly warm it in the microwave (but don’t melt it!).
- The applesauce and soy milk should also be at room temperature before mixing into the dough. 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). I do not recommend subbing mashed banana as the cookies will have a distinct banana flavor.
- 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, but try to use creamier plant-based milks such as soy or oat, or homemade creamy almond/cashew milk. (I find the store bought almond and cashew milks to be very watered down.)
Check out these other plant-based treats!
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Oil-Free, Gluten-Free)
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Cake (Oil-Free)
- Japanese Melon Pan
- Mochi Cake (Oil-Free, Gluten-Free)
Finally, if you make these vegan snickerdoodles don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and leave a comment down below to let me know how you liked them! It absolutely makes my day to see you recreating my recipes 🙂 Happy baking!
- ¼ cup refined coconut oil softened
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp applesauce room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tsp soy milk as needed room temperature
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F*. Set aside a lined baking sheet for the cookies.
- 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 briefly 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. Add a splash of soy milk if the batter is too dry.
- Scoop cookie dough into balls (about 1 tbsp in size) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet and flatten slightly 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 5 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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