These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are secretly vegan and have NO actual butter in them, but you’d never tell! Crisp edges, gooey centers, and loaded with chocolate chips, you need just one bowl to whip them up!
Vegan brown butter cookies
Ever since following a plant based diet, there are very few desserts I yearn for. When I crave brownies, I make vegan brownies. When I crave chocolate cake, well… my vegan cake is even better than the original. So what happens when I crave a dessert that is desired specifically from a non-vegan ingredient? Well, experiment as much as possible to replicate it!
One of my all time favorite cookies is brown butter chocolate chip cookies. I used to think the classic choc chip cookie was the MVP but then I tried the brown butter version and since then…nothing had come close!
Obviously, butter is NOT a vegan ingredient. It’s derived from animal products and contains dairy. I’ve seen a few vegan brown butter cookie recipes but instead of butter, they use coconut oil. While I do love coconut oil in my cookies, they are NOT a good substitute for brown butter. I mean, if I wanted coconut oil chocolate chip cookies, I’d just make my original vegan ones.
Luckily, I’ve been able to recreate my all time favorite cookie AND make it vegan!
Now, these cookies may look incredibly fancy, but I promise you, they are one of the most foolproof recipes you’ll ever make! No fancy mixers or hard to find ingredients are needed.
No eggs and no butter is needed, but you’d never tell. The cookies have crisp edges, soft centers, and full of plenty of chocolate. They are sweet, rich, and have a delicious, buttery flavor, without being overpowering!
I gave some of them to my friends to try, and NO ONE believed me when I said that they were vegan and gluten free- They tasted like they had real butter in them!
How do you make brown butter cookies with chocolate chips?
- Vegan butter– Use a good quality vegan butter, preferably from a block. Vegan butter from a spread often contain added water, which can make the cookies more firm than soft.
- Brown sugar– I tried this recipe with both white sugar, brown sugar, and a mix of both. Using all brown sugar gave the cookies a deeper buttery flavor while keeping the centers soft and gooey.
- Plant based milk– I used unsweetened almond milk, but any plant based milk can be used.
- Vanilla extract– A must for any good cookie recipe!
- All purpose flour– You can also use gluten free flour, if desired. Be sure it is a blend that already contains xanthan gum.
- Baking soda– Gives the cookies that extra leavening agent, to ensure they don’t spread too much.
- Salt– Brings out the sweetness of all the other ingredients.
- Chocolate– Use a chopped up chocolate bar, instead of chocolate chips. They ensure there are pools of chocolate throughout. There are many dairy free chocolate bars in most grocery stores, and also all Lindt chocolate above 78% are naturally vegan.
Start by browning your vegan butter! In a small saucepan or deep pan, add your butter. On medium heat, let it begin to sizzle before reducing to low. Using a rubber spatula, mix the hot butter around, to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it turns a golden color, remove from the heat. Transfer it to a glass bowl and let cool slightly.
Once the butter has cooled slightly, add it to a large mixing bowl, along with the brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add the milk and vanilla extract, and mix well. Slowly add your dry ingredients and mix together, until just combined. Now, let the cookie dough sit for 10 minutes, before adding the chopped chocolate. Once the dough has slightly cooled, add the chocolate.
Cover the cookie dough and let it sit at room temperature for a further 30 minutes, for the browned butter and flour to meld together and to intensify the flavor.
Form 12-16 balls of dough and place them onto two lined baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until the edges are just done. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes, before enjoying.
Tips to make the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies
- Depending on the brand of butter you use, it may take a little longer to ‘brown’. Be sure to continue to use a spatula to mix it around, as we don’t want it scorching on the bottom of the pan.
- DO NOT overbake the cookies. While they may puff up once in the oven, they deflate beautifully as they are cooling down.
- Reserve some chopped chocolate to top the warm cookies with, for aesthetic purposes.
- It may be super tempting, but do allow sufficient time for the cookie dough to rest. This allows all the flavors to meld together and have an intense, buttery flavor.
- Feel free to add nuts or other mix-ins to the cookies.
How to store and freeze cookies
- To store: Cookies will keep well at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 1 week. Store them in the refrigerator if you’d like them to keep for up to 4 weeks.
- To freeze: Place cookies in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More vegan cookies to try
- Double chocolate cookies
- Levain bakery cookies
- Chocolate Peanut butter chip cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Peanut butter cookies
Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a small saucepan, add the chopped butter. On medium heat, melt it, until it begins to bubble. When it bubbles, reduce to low. Using a rubber spatula, mix the butter around until it thickens and goes a golden color. Remove from the heat and transfer into a glass bowl. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, add your brown sugar. Add the browned butter and beat together, until combined. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat together, until smooth.
- Gently fold through your dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes, to cool slightly. Add the chopped chocolate. Cover the dough and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Form 24 balls of dough and place on the two baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to look cooked.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.