No one will believe that these chewy vegan snickerdoodles have absolutely no added oil. They bake up puffy and soft and taste just as good the next day. Try them and see why they’re the best oil-free cookies!
Something about the nip of fall in the air has had me craving cinnamon. Or maybe it’s just October on the internet. Every time I turn around, it’s Pumpkin Spice this and Pumpkin Pie that. Maybe I should concentrate on the pumpkin, but it’s really baked goods full of cinnamon and sugar that I’m craving. I try not to give into the temptation too often because as I always say, Baking sweets is easy; not eating the whole batch in one sitting is hard.
And nothing illustrates that saying better than these cookies. Earlier this week I gave in to the sweet cinnamon craving and made the best fat-free vegan snickerdoodles in the world. Probably the best vegan snickerdoodles. Possibly the best snickerdoodles period!
And did I eat them all in one sitting? No! But only because I had to share with the family.
I know that calling them “the best” sounds like bragging, but these cookies were so soft and pillowy, chewy, sweet and cinnamon-y that I can’t help thinking that they were the best cookies I’ve ever made. And I made them without a drop of oil or speck of vegan butter. And possibly because they don’t contain bananas, apple sauce, or pumpkin, they taste like cookies, not tiny cakes.
What Makes the Best Oil-Free Snickerdoodles?
I think that using flax “egg” makes these snickerdoodle cookies chewier and less cakey than other fat-free cookies. The cookie stays soft but gets dense and chewy, unlike cookies made with apple sauce or other egg replacers.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with cakey cookies–Pumpkin Cookies and Banana-Maple Oatmeal Cookies are still favorites–but when you want chewy cookies, give these a try.
Why No Cream of Tartar?
Cream of tartar adds a signature tartness to snickerdoodles, but when I reached for my can of cream of tartar, I discovered that it had expired in 2004. Oops! So I used a little lemon juice to add a slight tang; in truth, I could barely taste it, but it did help a little with the leavening (lemon juice and baking soda make bubbles.) So the good news is that you don’t have to run out and buy a can of something you might rarely use. Just grab a lemon.
Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat: Essential Equipment
Oil-free cookies really stick to cookie sheets, so either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat is absolutely essential. You can find parchment paper near the plastic wrap in the grocery store, but don’t use waxed paper! Wax paper burns easily and won’t work for baking. For long-term use, I recommend a silicone baking sheet liner. They last a long time if you treat them well.
Are Oil-Free Vegan Snickerdoodles Health Food?
Ha! I wish! Though they’re considerably less bad for your health than cookies that contain oil, animal fats, and eggs, these delicious cookies achieve their status as the Best Oil-Free Vegan Snickerdoodles through the use of white sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. I fully intend to make a batch with monkfruit sugars and syrup substitute, but I haven’t done so yet. To receive all the details when I do, be sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter (and make sure it isn’t going to your spam folder.)
Vegan Snickerdoodles - Soft, Chewy, Oil-Free Cookies
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 2 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour (See note)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Make the Flax Egg: In a small dish, mix flax seeds with water and set to the side for 5 minutes to make the flax "egg."
- Make the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix the cinnamon sugar ingredients in a wide bowl or plate. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Slowly stir in 1/4 cup of the milk, maple syrup, flax "egg,” vanilla, and lemon juice until combined. Try not to over-stir. If it seems too dry, add a little more milk.
- Roll dough into balls about 1 1/2 tablespoons each (using a cookie scoop helps.) Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar and place on on parchment or silicone baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops with remaining cinnamon sugar, and flatten them a little with your palm.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes. They’re done when the edges just begin to brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Remove with a spatula and serve.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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LindaOctober 28, 2020 at 9:32 pm
Strangely enough, I have cream of tartar but I don’t have any lemon juice right now. How much cream of tartar should I use?
Susan VoisinOctober 28, 2020 at 9:41 pm
Just use 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Please let me know how they come out!
BrittneyOctober 28, 2020 at 11:07 pm
Thank you! I’ll make as directed, then play with it as a base to see if I can obtain crispy, my preference. Results may vary.
Maria MaggiOctober 29, 2020 at 12:19 am
Yummy! I’ve been craving cinnamon too! I’ve been making gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls, as per my last post. Might have to make a gluten free version of these too! Thanks Susan!
MaureenDOctober 29, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Yummy! These are absolutely delicious and so easy to make. You, and your recipes, never disappoint me. Thanks for another keeper!
IlahOctober 24, 2022 at 10:51 pm
I’m so confused.. I made this twice and it came out the same. Extremely wet. I couldn’t even make it into a ball, it was just mush. I followed it exactly I’m not sure what happened. They’re cooking really flat. Hopefully they taste good atleast
Lisa HillNovember 27, 2022 at 2:31 pm
Mine too, not sure what I did. I did sub oat flour for white and kept adding Sorghum flour to thicken it, helped but not much surprisingly, put them in the fridge for a bit. They were super sticky, couldn’t even make a ball, baked them anyway and they came out great! Go figure!
Susan Gail WrightOctober 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm
I know its goin fast thank you for the cookies it5 going so fast
Patricia GianneliaOctober 29, 2020 at 5:17 pm
Great to hear from you again – I so much enjoy your posts and recipes. Looking forward to trying this soon. I also followed the links to your friend’s cinnamon rolls, which let me to the Detoxinista website for the actual recipe – which uses coconut oil – so did I miss an amendment by your friend Maria to make them oil free?
Susan VoisinOctober 29, 2020 at 5:20 pm
Thanks, Patricia! I’m glad to be back. Maria said she “substituted applesauce for the coconut oil in the dough, and apricot simply fruit jam for brushing the insides.”
Claire Ervin LeeOctober 29, 2020 at 5:45 pm
Hey, Susan, I’m looking for some genuine crispy cookies that are oil free and vegan. Have you had any success finding a way to do that?
Susan VoisinOctober 29, 2020 at 6:33 pm
I really think it’s the fat that makes cookies crisp. 😥 Wish I had a solution for you. These and my balsamic fudge cookies are the closest things to normal cookies that I’ve been able to make.
ACCFebruary 12, 2022 at 5:52 am
If it is the fat that makes cookies crisp, how do we get fatfree super crunchy pretzels? I confess I don’t know enough about food chemistry to know if the answer to question should be really obvious.
PatOctober 29, 2020 at 8:46 pm
Yes, gluten free. Wondering if that would work.
KathyNovember 3, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Thank you for this recipe! Do you think one could substitute applesauce or banana for flax? Can’t wait to try these!
Susan VoisinNovember 14, 2020 at 1:26 pm
I think what makes these so good is the flax seed. I’m sure you could use apple or banana, but the results may not be the same. Check out some of my other cookie recipes that do use those ingredients.
maryNovember 8, 2020 at 5:54 pm
Ohhh these look SO good. I’m oil-free and find cookies difficult as a result – looking forward to enjoying these. Thank you for sharing!
MaureenNovember 12, 2020 at 6:08 pm
Sorry I wanted to love these but no. They looked and smelled wonderful but did not taste good. Followed the recipe to the T and unfortunately had to toss them out.
Susan VoisinNovember 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm
I’m sorry you didn’t like them. I can’t imagine what went wrong.
LewNovember 12, 2020 at 7:13 pm
This cookie sure knows how to pleasure my mouth hole
David ODecember 4, 2020 at 7:58 pm
They taste amazing with some hot chocolate. Loved it great recipes
Penny McGuireDecember 16, 2020 at 4:38 pm
I have been wanting to find a sugar cookie recipe, this one fit the bill perfectly! I didn’t have the white flour, I used WW Pastry flour instead, all the other ingredients were the same amounts. They turned out so yummy! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes!
LoriJanuary 2, 2021 at 3:39 pm
I’m a newbie to oil free cooking and was very excited to try this recipe. Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies and these did not disappoint! Thanks for the recipe.
gristworseMarch 27, 2023 at 3:05 am
I should focus on the pumpkin, but what I actually want are baked items with lots of cinnamon and sugar. As I usually say, “Baking sweets is easy; not eating the whole batch in one sitting is hard,” I try not to give in to the temptation too frequently.
AnnaMarch 9, 2021 at 12:20 am
I just wanted to say that I used wholemeal flour (I think it was a mix of whole wheat flour and some oat flour I had left over) and it worked fine! 🙂
CaLisa LeeApril 29, 2021 at 1:43 pm
These turned out as semi-sweet biscuits for me and WE LOVE THEM! Hopefully I can make the same mistakes again, add some fresh strawberries and have a scone-type treat! Thanks for the unexpected discovery!
PJMay 17, 2021 at 11:33 am
Flax seed and flour contains more fat than your recipe reflects.
Susan VoisinMay 17, 2021 at 11:52 am
The nutritional info, though approximate, includes all ingredients, including flaxseed and flour.
Tara MacyJune 9, 2021 at 6:25 pm
I love the texture of these! I myself used coconut sugar for brown sugar and whole wheat pastry flour and found the taste to be too far off from what I expected for a snickerdoodle, although that’s not slowing anyone down…., but that’s MY bad. We also buy a less common cinnamon, so that could also be a factor).
However, I’m wondering if the base of these cookies, (esp if you used all white sugar), could be used for a LEMON cookie….I’m not very good at figuring out appropriate levels of flavoring, and I’m sure lemon zest would really help. Any ideas? How much lemon extract or juice or zest…???
TamzJuly 27, 2021 at 3:09 pm
I just found this recipe and I’ve already made these 6 times. Yep, I said 6 LOL! I use raw sugar for the white and coconut sugar for the brown. I am also transitioning to vegan and I’m using what I have on hand, so I used a regular egg and it worked. They are sooo good!
GayleApril 15, 2022 at 1:44 pm
I used whole wheat pastry flour and it worked fine. I also omitted vanilla and lemon juice and used cream if tartar. In spite of doing something wrong with the milk substitute, measurement-wise, and me having to add more flour to make the dough handle-able, these were crisp on the surface and softer inside and very delicious.
Janice FairneyMay 21, 2022 at 9:37 am
Why is there so much sugar? Can they be made with less?