Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
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Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles!
It’s Holiday Cookie Week and we’re starting the week with Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles–delightfully cinnamon-y and lightly spiced cookies with a glittery sugar coating. We’re taking a classic cookie flavour and adding just a little more spice to it. The base tastes like a vanilla sugar cookie, with warming spices to level it up, and screams wintertime cozy to me!
If you’re not familiar with chai, in Hindi it literally translates to “tea”. Indian chai is typically comprised of black tea, milk and spices plus sweetener as desired. Some of the most common spices include cardamom, ginger, clove, anise, black pepper and coriander, but typically it varies person to person. As such, you can modify your chai spice mix to taste, but I’ve included a base recipe suggestion in the recipe notes. Alternatively, you can use a pre-blended chai spice mix to save you time, but I find that DIY-ing is the best way to adjust it according to your taste buds. It’s also best enjoyed when freshly ground, but this can mean a bit of an investment in the various whole spices.
To make, you only need 10 ingredients, and the process is fairly simple too. Just mix your ingredients into a workable dough, cover dough balls in sugar spice coating, plop onto your baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown. Serve with a side of chai or a warm glass of plant milk, and enjoy!
These Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles are vegan, gluten free and and oil free, with a refined sugar free option. I typically like to use coconut sugar in place of cane sugar or a conventional granulated sugar, but I highly recommend organic cane sugar because it helps to maintain a lighter cookie flavour, and allows for the flavours to shine through. Sometimes coconut sugar can overwhelm a cookie, with its light caramel-y flavour, however feel free to use it if you prefer.
So what’s in these Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles?
- Cashew butter → This is the base of our cookie and replaces the oil/butter. It still results in a nice soft cookie thanks to the natural fat in cashews. I suggest an unsweetened, no sugar/oil added cashew butter for best results. You can replace with other nut/seed butters, but cashew is the most neutral and also maintains a lighter coloured snickerdoodle.
- Oat flour → As you know by now, this is my favourite gluten free flour alternative!
- Almond flour → Adding almond flour contributes to the soft chew of the cookie and also adds a nice source of fat which makes the cookie nice and buttery.
- Cane sugar → While I typically use coconut sugar, cane sugar results in a more classic snickerdoodle cookie. I recommend an organic cane sugar, which ensures that the sugar is vegan.
- Maple syrup → Although we’re using cane sugar, the combination of the two creates the perfect texture.
- Flax egg → In place of a regular egg, we’re using a flax egg!
- Chai spice mix → You can either use a pre-made chai spice mix, or blend your own. I’ve included a suggested recipe using pre-ground spices below.
- Cream of tartar → This is part of what makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle! Cream of tartar is a leavening agent, which helps to give some lift to the cookie and chew.
Secrets to success
I’ve adapted this cookie recipe from my tried and true Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and while developing that recipe, I experimented with a ton of different flour combinations and ratios of ingredients. I highly recommend sticking to the recipe as much as possible for best results, as it creates the perfect chew despite the lack of oil and/or butter in the cookie. If there’s one ingredient you can omit and get away with, it’s the cream of tartar, but it is a quintessential snickerdoodle ingredient.
You can prepare this cookie dough in advance and store it in the fridge. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container and use within the next day for best results.
As the recipe is oil free, I do recommend lining your baking tray with either parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. This makes cleanup easier but also helps you to remove the cookies from the tray after baking without breakage.
If you like this recipe, try…
- Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
- Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.
Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
- 3/4 cup creamy unsalted cashew butter
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar*
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 flax egg mix 1 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water until thickened
- 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp gluten free oat flour
- 2 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tsp chai spice mix more to taste
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- Sugar spice mix
- 3 tbsp cane sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chai spice mix
- Chai spice mix
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground aniseed
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ground black tea leaves optional
- Prepare Cookie Dough
- Preheat oven to 350F while you prepare your dough. Prepare 1 or 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Combine cashew butter, cane sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and flax egg and cream until smooth, using a spatula.
- Sift in oat flour, almond flour, spice mix, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, and stir again until a dough forms. Dough should be slightly sticky but workable. You can refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes to help it firm up if needed.
- Prepare sugar spice mix
- In a small bowl, whisk together cane sugar, cinnamon and chai spice mix until evenly incorporated.
- Bake cookies
- Scoop dough using a cookie scoop or tablespoon and roll into balls. Gently roll the ball in the sugar spice mix to coat, then gently press into cookie shapes on your baking mat. Give cookies at least 1 1/2" space between each other as they will spread just a bit.
- Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cookies will firm up once removed from the oven, so if you prefer a chewy cookie, pull them out around the 10-11 minute mark. If you prefer a crispier cookie, feel free to bake for additional time as needed.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes before gently removing from the baking tray (so they don't fall apart) and enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.