Taylor Swift’s Chai Cookies Made Vegan!

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A vegan version of Taylor Swift’s chai cookies. With a few simple swaps, you can enjoy Taylor’s favorite Fall cookie without dairy or eggs. These chai sugar cookies are deliciously spiced with a soft chewy middle and perfectly crisp edges, and are just as delicious as the original! Gluten-free option included.

What Makes This Recipe Great

This is my vegan take on the famous Taylor Swift’s chai cookies craze. The lore is that she has been making these for listening parties for a few years. The recipe comes back into popularity every Fall and with every new album release. 

So, happy release date to all who celebrate! Now, you can make and enjoy Taylor’s favorite chai cookies without dairy or eggs

I’ll be over here listening on repeat and enjoying every last scrumptious bite! 

The Story of Taylor Swift’s Chai Cookies

How did Taylor Swift’s chai cookies come about? Allegedly, Taylor made Joy the Baker’s sugar cookie recipe, then added her own twist on them by including chai spices and an icing glaze.

Joy the Baker then updated her recipe to include chai spices. I just had to make a vegan version so my recipe is an adaptation of Joy’s recipe, made vegan, and with a gluten-free option! 

Ingredient Notes

Here’s what you’ll need for these spiced chai cookies:

  • Butter: Use vegan unsalted butter. Brands like Earth Balance and Miyokos make great vegan butter options. 
  • Flour: If you want to make these gluten-free, use any gluten-free all-purpose flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur brand. Or, use any regular all-purpose flour.
  • Vegetable Oil: This helps keep your cookies super soft.
  • Sugar: I use a combo of powdered sugar for a nice smooth texture and organic cane sugar.
  • Spices: The chai cookies get their flavor from ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, and a bit of cracked black pepper.
  • Aquafaba: This is an egg substitute that you find in a can of chickpeas! Just drain out the liquid and you have aquafaba for your cookies. 
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: You can swap this for pure vanilla extract if that’s what you have on hand. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Add softened butter to a large bowl and whip with a spatula or whisk. Add in vegetable oil and whip together as best you can.
  3. Add both granulated sugar and powdered sugar along with all of the spices and whip to combine.
  4. Whip the aquafaba with a small whisk until nice and frothy and add it to the bowl along with vanilla. 
  5. Sift in flour, baking soda, and salt, and then use a spatula to gently fold the dough together. Once a dough has formed, chill the entire bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes. 
  6. After the dough has chilled, take 2 tbsp of cookie dough and gently roll it into a ball. Toss the dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mix and coat. Then gently press down on your linked baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie. 
  7. Bake for 13 minutes, flipping the tray halfway through, and let the cookies cool completely before handling. 

Expert Tips

Maximum Flavour: I recommend starting with whole spices and toasting and grinding them. If your spices are already ground, it makes a big difference to dry-toast them in a pan for a few minutes (just until they become fragrant).

Quick & Easy Chai Spice: In a pinch, you can even blend up the contents of chai tea leaves from a tea bag in your food processor if you don’t have the individual spices or don’t want to buy them.

Note on Spice Blends: The spice blend used to make chai varies from household to household, so of course, feel free to adjust as you see fit.

Oil & Butter Blend: The combination of oil and butter might sound odd, but it gives the cookies incredible moistness. And you also get delicious crisp edges.  If you want, you can substitute the oil for more butter, I have tried it and it works just fine.

Vegan Spread & Margarine: Just be sure not to use vegan spread or margarine for your cookies. It has to be a butter that will stay solid instead of liquid at room temperature. Otherwise, your cookies will fall apart!

Chill the Dough: Chilling the vegan cookie dough is essential, as the dough is quite sticky at room temp, so don’t skip this step!

Powdered Sugar: You can make your own powdered sugar by blending granulated sugar in a high-speed blender.

Recipe FAQs

Is there a substitute for aquafaba?

I use aquafaba as an egg replacer. It’s my personal favorite egg substitute because has such a similar consistency to real eggs, which is key for gluten-free cookies. If you leave out the aquafaba, your cookies may be flatter. You could also try an egg replacer like the product from Bob’s Red Mill or make a flax egg with a tablespoon of ground flax meal and 1.5 tablespoons of water.

Can I make icing for these chai cookies?

Instead of icing, I like to roll my cookies in a simple cinnamon-sugar mixture. If you prefer icing, check out Joy the Baker’s recipe! If you make the eggnog version of her icing, there are lots of brands that now make vegan eggnog. Check your local grocery store around November for this seasonal treat. 

My cookies are too sticky. I can’t work with them!

You may have skipped chilling the dough. After mixing, you must chill the dough for 15 minutes in the freezer so it becomes workable. Otherwise, it will be too sticky to form. 

Try These Vegan Cookies!

Raspberry Lemon Cookies (vegan, gluten-free)

Matcha Checkerboard Cookies (vegan, gluten-free)

Cranberry Orange Cashew Butter Cookies (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, oil-free)

If you make Taylor Swift’s Vegan Chai Sugar Cookies, be sure to let me know what you think with a a comment below!

Taylor Swift’s Chai Cookies Made Vegan!

Servings: 15 cookies
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
A vegan version of Taylor Swift's chai cookies. With a few simple swaps, you can enjoy Taylor’s favorite Fall cookie without dairy or eggs. These chai sugar cookies are deliciously spiced with a soft chewy middle and perfectly crisp edges. Just as delicious as the original! Gluten-free option included.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter unsalted, room temp
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or use vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 1-1 gluten free flour mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon more to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Add softened butter to a bowl and whip with a spatula or whisk. Add in vegetable oil and whip together as best you can.
  • Add both granulated sugar and powdered sugar along with all of the spices and whip to combine.
  • Whip the aquafaba with a small whisk until nice and frothy and add it to the bowl along with vanilla.
  • Sift in flour, baking soda and salt and then use a spatula to gently fold the dough together. Once a dough has formed, chill the entire bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • After the dough has chilled, take 2 tbsp of cookie dough and gently roll into a ball. Toss the dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mix and coat. Then gently press down on your linked baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie.
  • Bake for 13 minutes, flipping the tray halfway through and let the cookies cool completely before handling.

Notes

Credit: Recipe inspiration from Joy The Baker’s Chai Sugar Cookies, adapted to be made vegan and gluten-free.
Maximum Flavour: I recommend starting with whole spices and toasting and grinding them. If your spices are already ground, it makes a big difference to dry-toast them in a pan for a few minutes (just until they become fragrant).
Quick & Easy Chai Spice: In a pinch, you can even blend up the contents of a chai tea bag in your food processor if you don’t have the individual spices or don’t want to buy them.
Note on Spice Blends: The spice blend used to make chai varies from household to household, so of course, feel free to adjust as you see fit.
Oil & Butter Blend: The combination of oil and butter might sound odd, but it gives the cookies incredible moistness. And you also get delicious crisp edges.  If you want, you can substitute the oil for more butter, I have tried it and it works just fine.
Vegan Spread & Margarine: Just be sure not to use vegan spread or margarine for your cookies. It has to be a butter that will stay solid instead of liquid at room temperature. Otherwise, your cookies will fall apart!
Chill the Dough: Chilling the vegan cookie dough is essential, as the dough is quite sticky at room temp, so don’t skip this step!
Powdered Sugar: You can make your own powdered sugar by blending granulated sugar in a high-speed blender.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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2 Comments

  1. I swapped aquafaba for Just Egg. Dough was much drier and cookies fell apart easy :(. They say it’s 3 tbs for 1 egg in baking but it was definitely by far not enough for a binding agent. They tasted good though
    1. Hey Steph! So sorry to hear that. Aquafaba is definitely less viscous than Just Egg, so I could see that not being enough moisture for the dough. For future reference, especially if you're ever making a substitution, use your intuition and cooking instinct! Don't be afraid to add something to the dough if it seems like it's not holding together. Hope you'll give the recipe a shot in the future as noted, they are truly delicious! <3