Soft, chewy and speckled with strawberries and vegan white chocolate chips. So easy, no chilling required, and can be made even before strawberry season. The secret to the bursts of strawberry flavor (without soggy cookies) is that we use freeze-dried strawberries in this recipe. Paired with the creamy sweetness from white chocolate, these vegan cookies are a delicious treat!
The reason I chose freeze-dried strawberries is that they don’t contribute any moisture to the cookies. Fresh strawberries will release their juices once they start heating up in the oven and the cookies will end up with soggy bits. Not what we’re after! The freeze-dried strawberries have a really intense strawberry flavor, so a little goes a long way. After all, the only thing they are missing is their water – everything else has been preserved including their amazing flavor.
Now the second star ingredient – the white chocolate. Vegan white chocolate can be found in many grocery stores now, and online. It tastes and acts just like the dairy kinds. For this recipe I ended up going with vegan white chocolate chips. I had tried using white chocolate chunks, but found that it led to overspreading of the cookies while they baked and the cookies tasted much sweeter. This is likely because when chopped into chunks, you’re getting lots of tiny pieces or white chocolate dust in addition to the bigger chunks. The little bits and chocolate dust distribute evenly through the dough, and because they are made with fat, it melts creating more opportunity for spreading. The chips worked much better both in terms of flavor and cookie structure.
As mentioned, there’s no chilling required! Once the dough is made, measure 2 tablespoons per cookie and roll the dough into balls. Flatten gently with the palm of your hand, and bake!
Tips for Perfect Vegan Strawberries & Cream Chewy Cookies:
- have your vegan butter and plant-based milk at room temperature. This ensures even blending.
- use vegan butter baking sticks. Tub-style vegan butter has more water in it and melts at a lower temperature. Coconut oil-based baking sticks may work but I have not tested them in this recipe. Coconut oil also melts at a lower temperature than vegan butter baking sticks. The problem with the other 2 types of vegan butter is that the dough may then need to be chilled before baking. And even if it is chilled, the cookies may still spread too much and be thin. I plan on testing using different vegan butter styles, and will edit this post when I do.
- measure your flour correctly. The most accurate way is to weigh the flour. I used 192 grams in this recipe. If you don’t have a reliable kitchen scale, scoop the flour with a spoon into a dry measuring cup (not a liquid measuring cup with a spout), and then level off the flour with a knife. Scooping flour with a measuring cup creates a lot of variability in the amount of flour used. Too much, and the cookies will be less chewy and perhaps even tough and crumbly, and too little the cookies spread too much and will be really thin and delicate.
- don’t skip the cornstarch. I use it for 2 reasons: it helps bind the cookie dough where we aren’t using eggs. Second, it helps create a lovely soft, chewy texture in these cookies.
- don’t reduce or substitute the sugar. It is key in the spreading and chewy texture.
- use freeze-dried strawberries, not fresh ones. See my comments earlier in this post about the water in fresh strawberries. Freeze-dried strawberries are available year round and have an amazing, intense taste.
- vegan white chocolate chips can be found in many stores and pharmacies, as well as online for similar pricing as the dairy versions.
- don’t over-mix the dough. Over-mixing once the flour is added can result in tough cookies.
- bake the cookies just until the sides and bottoms are golden. The centers will look soft and not yet golden. If the cookies are left to bake until they are all golden, they will be crunchy. and over-baked.
- if you need to use 2 baking trays, bake one at a time. Baking them both at once will result in uneven baking.
Vegan Strawberries & Cream Chewy Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan baking butter sticks, room temperature (not tub style, or coconut oil based))
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp plant-based milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup freeze-dried strawberries, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. In the bowl of a stand-mixer, or in a large bowl with an electric beater, blend the vegan butter with the granulated sugar, brown sugar and plant-based milk until creamy and smooth. Blend in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture to the vegan butter mixture, blending well until most of the flour is mixed in. Fold in the chopped strawberries and white chocolate chips, taking care not to over-mix. The dough with be thick, soft and a bit sticky.
- Measure 2 tablespoons per cookie (40-50g) and roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared baking tray, 2 inches apart. You should get 12-15 balls. Gently flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. If you need more than one baking tray, bake only one tray at a time, keeping the second tray in a cool area.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the edges start to become golden. The center will look soft. Baking until the whole cookie is golden will result in a cookie that isn’t soft.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray before using a spatula to move to a cooling rack. These cookies are best fresh but keep well for up to a week in an airtight container.