Soft, fudgy gluten-free vegan chocolate crinkle cookies perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges, potlucks, or for treating your family. These classic holiday cookies, with a vegan gluten-free twist, are easy-to-make, plus, they’re nut-free, dairy-free, and eggless.
Try them once and they’ll become a new favourite to make during the holidays!
If you love chocolate, then you’re going to love these vegan gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies (also known as chocolate crinkles!). They’re a classic Christmas cookie and I’ve made them vegan and gluten-free so no one has to miss out.
These holiday cookies are soft, chewy, fudgy, and SO chocolaty! They’re reminiscent of a brownie and they make the perfect addition to your December baking list.
Speaking of December baking lists, have you tried my other vegan gluten-free Christmas cookies yet? If not, you should, they’re all equally delicious and very simple to make:
- Molasses Cookies
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons
- Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make this recipe, you’ll need Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten-free flour blend, Dutch-process cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vegan butter, sugar, flax eggs, vanilla, and powdered sugar to roll the cookies in before they bake.
Cocoa Powder – I use unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for this recipe and have not tested it with natural cocoa powder.
Sugars – I always use organic cane sugar in my recipes but you can use regular white granulated sugar if you don’t have cane sugar. Powdered sugar is the magical ingredient that gives these gf cookies the fun, crackly tops associated with crinkle cookies and there’s no substitute for it. (Use organic powdered sugar to be sure it’s vegan)
NOTE: Always measure your flour correctly for the best results!
How to Make Them
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together and setting them aside.
Next, with an electric mixer (you can mix with a wooden spoon by hand if you don’t have a mixer), beat the sugar and vegan butter together for a couple of minutes until it’s creamy, then add the flax eggs and vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. I usually switch over to mixing by hand at this point to avoid making a mess but feel free to continue using your mixer on low speed.
Once the dough has formed, you’ll notice that it’s very soft and sticky, that’s how it’s supposed to be and why it needs to rest in the refrigerator to firm up.
Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for AT LEAST 3 hours. While you wait for it to cool down, check out some of my other vegan gluten-free holiday recipes! ‘Tis the season!
After the dough has chilled, using a spoon or a medium-sized scoop, scoop up some of the dough, roll it into a ball, and then roll in the powdered sugar until fully coated. Repeat until all the dough has been used up.
Some recipes will have you roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar and THEN in powdered sugar, but I don’t find this necessary, all you need is a powdered sugar layer for this recipe and your cookies will be perfect.
Place the balls on your cookie sheets (don’t press them down, the baking process will take care of that!) and bake.
Much like my molasses cookies and soft gingerbread cookies, these are fun to watch while they bake because they start out as little powdered balls and then as they expand the exterior splits in several places to create the crackly tops. Fun!
When you take them out of the oven, they’ll be too fragile to move immediately, so let them rest for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
They’ll also appear a little puffy and underbaked, don’t worry, they’ll flatten a little and firm up as they cool.
These gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies call for 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, but you can change the flavour by doing the following:
- For Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies – Instead of 2 teaspoons of vanilla, use 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of orange extract.
- For Mint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies – Instead of 2 teaspoons of vanilla, use 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
Why Didn’t My Cookies Spread?
There are a few reasons why this can happen.
- The first is you added too much flour which made the batter too thick.
- The second is that your dough was TOO cold. If you chilled the dough for longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before you start to scoop.
Why Did My Cookies Spread Too Much?
Either your dough was too warm and not chilled enough or you measured either your flour (too little) or butter (too much) incorrectly.
If you find that the rolling process took you a long time and the dough is no longer cold to the touch, before rolling in the powdered sugar, you can place the cookie sheet, with the balls on them, in the refrigerator for about 15-minutes.
What’s the Texture Like?
These cookies are soft, moist, and a little puffy. They have a slightly crisp outside and a fudgy inside. Have a look at the picture below.
And the taste? An explosion of chocolate. If you love chocolate, you’re going to love these cookies!
You can store your leftover cookies for up to 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container
Freezing Baked Cookies: Freeze the cookies in single layers in a freezer bag or airtight container, with parchment paper separating each layer, for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter and when you’re ready to serve, just place them on a plate, bring them to room temperature, and enjoy.
To Freeze the Cookie Dough for Baking Later: Scoop and roll the dough into balls, but don’t roll them in the powdered sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer.
Once completely frozen, place the balls in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake them, remove from the freezer and let them sit on a plate at room temperature for 30-minutes, preheat the oven, and after the 30-minutes have passed, roll them in the powdered sugar and bake as directed.
I’ve only use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour Blend (the one in the blue bag) for this recipe so I can’t speak for any others. Results will vary with other blends since the blend ingredients and ratios will differ.
Use your favourite brand. Personally, I like Melt Sticks and Becel Plant-Based Sticks, but other brands like Earth Balance and Miyokos will also work.
If you can’t find unsalted butter, it’s okay to use salted, just omit the salt from the recipe.
Yes, make the dough and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
Expert Tips for Success
- Measure your flour correctly. Too much flour in this recipe can make your cookies dry, crumbly, and they won’t spread while baking as they should. Please read my article about how to measure flour correctly.
- Sift your cocoa powder to avoid any lumps.
- Make sure your butter is soft and at room temperature before starting. Soft butter will blend better and easier with the sugar.
- Don’t skip chilling the cookie dough. This step is VERY important for the cookies to turn out properly. If the dough is not chilled, your cookies will spread too much, not form properly, and you won’t get the crackly look that defines a crinkle cookie.
- Don’t over bake them. If over baked, your cookies won’t be soft and chewy, they’ll still be delicious, but they won’t have the correct texture.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results.
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These cookies are perfect to give as an edible homemade holiday gift, for potlucks, get-togethers, a hostess gift, or just for treating your family and yourself, because you deserve it.
If You Make This Recipe…
Please let me know by leaving me a comment and rating below. You can also share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see!
And If You Like This Recipe…
You may also like my other vegan gluten-free cookie recipes as well as these other chocolaty recipes:
You can help others to find this recipe by pinning it to one of your food boards on Pinterest. Click here to pin it now!
Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup (148g) gluten free flour **see important note about flour below**
- ½ cup (42g) Dutch-process cocoa powder , sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (57g) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar
- Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a medium bowl, add the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of your bowl when needed. Add flax egg and vanilla extract, blend again.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed with your electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until a soft, sticky dough has formed.
- Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours.
- When dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon (or a medium-sized cookie scoop), scoop up a small amount of the dough and roll it into a ball.
- Roll each ball in the powdered sugar and place on the cookie sheet, be sure to give each ball space, so they have enough room to spread while baking. (Don't press them down, leave them as balls!)
- Bake for 11 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for two minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. They will appear puffy and very soft, but that's okay, they will flatten slightly and firm up as they cool.
- Please read all of the information and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
- This recipe makes 17 cookies, which is the amount you’ll get if you scoop them with a medium-sized cookie scoop (medium scoops are usually 1.5 tablespoons). You’ll get a few more if you use a tablespoon. The recipe can be doubled if needed.
- It’s important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results may vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of gf flour to make this recipe other than Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour (Amazon link) in the blue package, NOT the red package, so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if you substitute with another gluten-free flour blend. The weight listed above is for this specific brand of flour.
- If the gluten-free flour blend brand you are using does not contain xanthan gum, add 1/2 teaspoon to the dry ingredients.
- This recipe will NOT work with coconut flour.
- Make sure to measure your flour correctly.
- Salted butter can be used instead of unsalted, just omit the salt from the recipe.
- I have not tested this recipe with any other type of cocoa powder other than Dutch process.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Baked Cookies: Freeze the cookies in single layers in a freezer bag or airtight container, with parchment paper separating each layer, for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter and when you’re ready to serve, just place them on a plate, bring them to room temperature, and enjoy.
- To freeze the cookie dough for baking later: Scoop and roll the dough into balls, but don’t roll them in the powdered sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer. Once completely frozen, place the balls in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake them, remove from the freezer and let them sit on a plate at room temperature for 30-minutes, preheat the oven, and after the 30-minutes have passed, roll them in the powdered sugar and bake as directed.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 of 17 cookies with the recipe made as written and is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.