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 (180) Questions (4)

180 Reviews

Deepi H. February 9, 2019
These weren't the best, but they weren't bad either. However, I made some modifications and that could be why. Plus, there are so many other factors that contribute to the end result. Everyone's oven behaves differently, climate, ingredients, etc. <br /><br />1) Instead of '1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola,' I used 1/2 cup of canola and about 1 tbsp of earth balance butter. My dough was soo greasy that I had to soak it up by using 3-5 sheets of paper towel. After 24 hours of chilling in the refrigerator, my dough was still greasy, but not as much since the dough had time to mix and mingle with the other ingredients. <br />2) I also added a flax egg. (1 tbsp of flaxseed mixed in 3 tbsp of water)<br />3) I added 1 tsp of vanilla, as other people's suggestions <br />4) I used 3/4 cup of 'Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips' and the batter was overflowing with chips. <br />These cookies didn't spread, in fact I had to flatten them into disks rather than balls. <br />I'm not vegan, so I'm judging them against a classic chocolate chip cookie with butter. However, I'm taking them to a vegan friend's house and I think her review on them will be more valid than mine. <br />And that's all I have to say:)
Elizabeth J. January 31, 2019
I made these for my vegan niece. They were so good I just made them again. I love the texture: crunchy outside, chewy inside. I used vegetable oil. The Enjoy Life brand vegan chocolate chips I used were delicious. Also, I added vanilla extract both times, so good!
Kanika January 31, 2019
I've been looking for a no-egg cookie recipe for ages! So happy to have come across this one. No texture issues re: the dough -- chilled it for 24 hours, formed the cookies with a little scooper, and popped them in the freezer before baking. I did add some vanilla per the comments, as well as cut down on the salt in the dough itself (I sprinkled some on top). I also swapped out some of the water with brewed coffee. Took them to a potluck and they were all gone!
Elizabeth C. January 30, 2019
These turned out perfectly for me -- no issues with being too crumbly. I did use a kitchen scale to measure the dry ingredients, though, and that may have made a difference. I followed the instructions about freezing for 10 minutes before baking, as well, and they spread just the right amount. (Full disclosure: it was -24 degrees here in Wisconsin today, so I just set them on the back porch rather than clearing space in the freezer.)
Pam W. January 28, 2019
I added 1/4 cup cocoa powder and some peppermint extract. Forgot to add soda. THEY WERE AWESOME. <br />
jlakind January 29, 2019
Did you replace 1/4 cup flour with cocoa? or did you add it in addition<br />
jlakind January 23, 2019
I used a hand mixer to make slurry instead of whisk (because I am lazy). I also used a cookie scoop to portion. Packing the dough in gave it a more cookie dough like consistency. Happy with results. My non-vegan family said they were good but not as good as what I usually make (decadent Tosi version). My vegan friends scarfed them down with a smile.
Rima L. January 19, 2019
I just baked it out from oven. I needed flattened it down with spoon after 5mins bake but except for this one thing everything worked fine. I added vanilla extract and didn’t add salt on top after reading comments(Thank you all!). I ate one before it cooled perfectly it tastes so good!! It’s a bit cakey so I may need to wait good 10 mins more. After all ingredients mixed up the result out sticky not sandy(can not be sandy at all!) nor runny so if your dough seems dry ir too wet, may need to recheck procedures if you measured anything overly or less. This recipe is simply but very satisfying! Thank you so much!!
Rima L. January 19, 2019
Oh...dang. Anyone know how to edit comment as I found several typos from my previous review......I wanted to say this recipe is simple but good......
Nancey A. January 14, 2019
oh my goodness did these not work out for me. I made these step by step with the ingredients listed and cooled them for 23 hours, stuck the balls in the freezer for 10. EXACT. They tasted like pretzels and never spread at all. They just stayed lumps which then tasted like salty pretzels without flavor. So sad.
Kristen M. January 14, 2019
Oh dear, I love pretzels, but not when I want cookies! I'm sorry to hear this, Nancey. A couple thoughts—the flavor of pretzels is largely the flavor of baking soda, since there's a lot of baking soda in the boiling water to enhance browning. I wonder if maybe you swapped the baking soda and powder amounts? (That could also mess with the overall spread/rise of the cookies.) Or maybe your baking soda or powder is getting old and needs to be replaced, which would make it less effective. Or, finally, if your cups of flour were particularly packed, if you dipped them directly into the container—usually the safest way to measure flour is to give it a stir, spoon it into the cup, then level it off with a flat edge. Does any of these sound like a possibility?
Teresa D. January 13, 2019
These are now and forever my go to recipe! I and anyone I share them with also love them. I have also made adaptions to the recipe to make a triple choc cookie and a red velvet cookie and they have also been delicious. 🍪
Margaret B. January 21, 2019
any chance you share the triple choc and red velvet recipe
NanJ January 1, 2019
These are really good. I am a bit perplexed, though, at the texture of the dough. The first time I made them the dough was very crumbly, but baked up well. The second time the dough was very soft and doesn't like to hold on to the chocolate chips. But again, they baked up very well. Both times I followed the recipe directions and made no substitutions. I also agree that vanilla is a necessary addition!
macfadden December 25, 2018
I followed the recipe exactly. The cookies were beautiful and had great texture, but I didn't find them very flavorful. I think a little vanilla would improve things.
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.