Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 3, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This isn't just genius for a vegan chocolate chip cookie or in spite of it. This cookie, which comes from Ovenly founders Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, can rest entirely on its own merits: its soft-bellied, chewy, caramelly-crisp-edged, rippled and ringed and puddled with melty chocolate, haunting, well-salted, incidentally vegan merits. Adapted slightly from Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York's Most Creative Bakery by Erin Patinkin & Agatha Kulaga (Harlequin, 2014). Genius Recipes

Makes: approximately 18 cookies
Prep time: 24 hrs 20 min
Cook time: 13 min


  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (we prefer chocolate with 60 percent cocoa content or higher—double-check the ingredients if you want to make sure they're vegan)
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar (note: on photo shoot day, we used an especially dark vegan brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola, grapeseed, or any other neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • Coarse-grained sea salt or flaky sea salt like Maldon, for garnish
In This Recipe


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk the sugars briskly with the canola oil and water until smooth and incorporated, about 2 minutes. Note: Use fresh, soft light brown sugar. If there are clumps, break them up with the back of a spoon or your hand before whisking.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, and then stir with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until just combined and no flour is visible. Do not overmix.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Do not skip this step.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove dough from the refrigerator and use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to portion dough into 2-inch mounds. We recommend freezing the balls of dough for 10 minutes before baking as the cookies will retain their shape better while baking.
  6. Sprinkle the balls of dough with coarse-grained sea salt (if freezing, remove balls of dough from the freezer first), and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. Do not overbake.
  7. Let cool completely before serving.

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Reviews (165) Questions (3)

165 Reviews

Julie B. December 8, 2018
I was a bit skeptical about this recipe. I mostly followed the directions, but I added 1 tsp vanilla extract (I thought maybe they had forgotten it) and did not freeze the balls for 10 min after the initial 24 hours in the refrigerator. Scooping into balls was challenging as the dough seems a bit dry and flaky. As it warmed up a bit while I was working with it, it became easier to form. I baked them for closer to 15 minutes (rather than the 12-13) and them came out amazing, chewy and delicious!
tinatangos December 5, 2018
This is definitely my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies - as a vegan no longer living in the States, it really means a lot to find the right mix! :) <br />One question: What's the best way to store these? Once I kept them in an airtight plastic container, and it changed their texture...of course I don't want that... any other ideas? Apart from not sharing them and keeping them all for myself? ;)
kristel December 3, 2018
Hoping to add more flavor to this cookie recipe after reading the comments. Is it possible to use soy/almond milk instead of water in the emulsification process? Thanks!<br />
Kristen M. December 3, 2018
Sure, that should work fine, but I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make in the flavor—the biggest impacts come from chilling the dough (aim toward the longer, 24-hour end of the recipe), as well as from choosing a darker, more flavorful brown sugar. It also helps to weigh the ingredients if possible, and to be careful not to overbake—good luck!
Julie B. December 8, 2018
I followed the recipe but I added 1 tsp vanilla extract. I also chilled in the fridge for the full 24 hours. Mine came out amazing!
Jodi L. November 4, 2018
Hi! Was just wondering if I choose to make the cookie dough and form into balls and then freeze to bake at a later date, how should I bake them? They will have been in the freezer for days, but the recipe suggests freezing a few min before baking.. let me know!!
Kristen M. December 3, 2018
I'm sorry you didn't get an answer till now! You can bake straight from frozen—they may just take a minute or two longer. You can also experiment with thawing them first in the fridge, if you think you might like a flatter cookie.
Beth September 10, 2018
This recipe is a dream come true. My family loved them and I can’t keep them from disappearing! They are magic! Thank you 🙏 they make smiles happen and they are addicting 😋
Kate V. August 8, 2018
These are my go-to cookie when I want to treat someone. I've made them so often, I can almost do it by memory. I like that the recipe is broken into two days; each day a simple job gets done. However, late last night, I decided to prep a batch for the next day and I accidentally threw in the wet and dry ingredients all together without that important sugar-slurry step. The mix, not surprisingly, wasn't looking great; other comments mentioned a grainy, sandy texture in their overnight batter. We aren't vegan, so this morning I experimented with throwing in an egg to bind it. Fixed! I know it's not a perfect solution for vegans, but others may want to give it a shot.
Sharon G. July 13, 2018
I made these a few weeks ago. Here's my findings.<br /><br />First of all, I decided not to sprinkle the sea salt on top, as the recipe already has double the amount of salt when compared with other recipes. Secondly, I also decided that freezing the cookies in little balls was another thing that I really didn't want to do. I'm not that fussed about ball shaped cookies.<br /><br />I used half whole wheat flour, half white, as I try to sneak fiber into my kids whenever I can. This ended up working out well, as I find whole wheat has more flavour. I also added vanilla, because choco chip cookies need vanilla. I used light brown sugar, not dark.<br /><br />The mix is crumbly after refrigeration, but shapes up ok. The cookies held together well once baked. Fresh, they tasted pretty good. They ended up being lost at the back of the fridge for two weeks, and surprisingly, they still were ok. In fact, the stale cookies reminded me of when I used to make the Pillsbury kind, from the tube. <br /><br />So I guess that's why some people think they're not vegan, because they taste like commercial chocolate chip cookies. Will I make them for non-vegans? Nah. But it's nice to have a recipe for my friends who are dairy and egg- allergic and the vegans.
Carly April 13, 2018
Wish I’d read the mixed comments before trying - no success with this recipe. The mixture was just far too dry - like sand - no way it would hold together. Really disappointed as I’ve wasted a lot of nice chocolate!
Miranda K. March 7, 2018
Whoa! I'm no expert, but these cookies might not be be vegan. It is my understanding that regular white sugar is processed using a byproduct of animal bones, and is therefore not suitable for vegans. Maybe that's a myth or not true of all brands. For myself, I'm not concerned, but I always use raw sugar when baking for vegans.
dependingonthelight April 29, 2018
Organic white granulated sugar is generally vegan, which is why it’s more beige than white because it hasn’t been filtered with bone char.
Sheyna S. February 17, 2018
These cookies are amazing. Chewy and so chocolatey.
Penmas January 16, 2018
Leaving the batter over night made the batter crumbly and difficult to work with for me. The cookies barely expand in the oven. They also look much longer to brown than the alloted time. At 15 minutes for me, the cookies still werent brown at the edges, and just barely tan at the bottom. I used turbonado sugar instead of regular brown sugar though. Otherwise i followed the recipe to the T. If you are looking for a cookie that is crispy on the outside and cheewy on the inside however. This cookie is for you. Personally, I wouldn't make this one again. It didnt have a compelling enough flavor and i really didn't like how they didnt expand.
Rachel M. February 15, 2018
There is a significant difference between brown sugars and turbinado. Brown sugars have a lot more moisture. Turbinado is essentially raw white sugar, before it’s been processed.
Justine18 January 15, 2018
As a vegan, I’m so thankful for this recipe. They taste amazing and non-vegan relatives can’t even tell the difference. I followed the recipe exactly, but I added himilayan salt on top instead of sea salt. You can fit a lot a cookies on a tray because they don’t stretch out too much which is nice. I made them into big 2” balls like they said. Made a good batch of cookies for a party. The bottom rack of cookies cake out came out a little more crunchy which I liked. The top rack still came out great.
Justine18 January 15, 2018
Oh and I also added extra chocolate chunks. It seemed like too much at first but after baking they tasted great!!
Gabby F. January 11, 2018
these are great for big parties as well. On multiple occasions I have tripled the recipe for a large crowd. All of my friends were AMAZED that they were vegan?! Even a proud meat-eater who rejects the idea of vegan food admitted to eating FIVE!! Super delicious vegan alternative to your every day chocolate chip cookies.
Gabby F. January 11, 2018
I have made these cookies at least 20 times. and each time they turn out differently. It is vital that you refrigerate them for overnight. This tedious step is well worth the wait!!! To this recipe i would add a teaspoon of Vanilla or so as well.
Bill January 6, 2018
I've made these 4 times. The 1st time they came out great. The last 3 times they have been a disaster. Whereas many have commented that the cookies never spread out, mine spread everywhere, creating a giant cookie-cake. Even then, it never crisped up. All instructions followed as exactly as I can tell. I have one thing that may have been an issue, but it seems odd that it would:<br />When I put the balls in the freezer, I had them on the baking sheet that went from freezer to oven after the 10 minutes. Cold baking sheet = bad cookies?
Marilyn W. February 6, 2018
Hey! Not sure if anyone answered but it seems that because the pan took longer to heat up, it's similar to not preheating your oven as the hotness of the oven at first contact is important to the final result of the baked product. <br /><br />This is just my educated guess from my baking experience :)
Bill January 6, 2018
I've made these 4 times. The 1st time they came out great. The last 3 times they have been a disaster. Whereas many have commented that the cookies never spread out, mine spread everywhere, creating a giant cookie-cake. Even then, it never crisped up. All instructions followed as exactly as I can tell. I have one thing that may have been an issue, but it seems odd that it would:<br />When I put the balls in the freezer, I had them on the baking sheet that went from freezer to oven after the 10 minutes. Cold baking sheet = bad cookies?
David G. December 28, 2017
We made these over the holidays and they are AMAZING. Followed the recipe to a T and it yielded 22 cookies that measured approximately 2 3/4" x 3/4". They were *very* chocolate chip-heavy, so when I make them in the future I will use 1 cup of chocolate chips instead of 1 1/4 cups. The sea salt was easiest to apply by pressing it into my fingers first and then pressing my fingers onto the cookie dough balls.
NanJ December 27, 2017
I just made these and while I don't think they are the best chocolate chip cookies, they certainly are very good. Next time I will add vanilla. I made these to give to a vegan relative.
leishajoy December 2, 2017
These are amazing, and was told they were the best cookies anyone has ever had (vegan or not). I'm an experienced baker and often make cookies with the Jacques Torres recipe, my other favourite. Not only were these 20 times easier, they definitely are a rival for the top spot. The secret to getting them right? It's the same for all baking recipes: WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS! Not only is this more accurate, it makes for easier clean up! Other than that, I used coconut oil, added 1 tsp vanilla extract, and made 12 instead of 18. The salt makes all the difference!
Lagos S. November 30, 2017