These fun vegan Halloween cookies are soft and chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and full of sweet flavor! Using creamy dark chocolate chips, colorful M&M candies, and Dutch cocoa powder, they are a chocolate lover’s dream. Serve them at your next Halloween party, add them to trick-or-treat bags, or save them for a fun at-home dessert. Either way, they are spooky treats that both kids and adults will love!
Cookies are much more fun and delicious when decorated for a special occasion or holiday! Be sure to try my other themed cookie recipes, such as my vegan funfetti and Christmas cookies. Or, you can use my vegan chocolate chip cookies as a base and create your own fun-themed cookies.
❤️ Why you’ll love it
This easy Halloween cookie recipe may be one of the best you have ever tried. Not only is it fun to make, but they are absolutely delicious! If you love chocolate as much as I do, you will love the combination of gooey chocolate chips and colorful Halloween-themed candies. The cocoa powder and touch of instant coffee take the chocolate flavor of these irresistible Halloween treats to the next level!
One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. While I provide one way to make this recipe below, several different decorations and ingredient alternatives are available to customize your cookies and fit your dietary needs and preferences. It is also easy to make at home, requiring less than ten steps and zero special ingredients or equipment.
🧾 Key ingredients
Halloween M&Ms and chocolate chips – The original brand, M&Ms, is not vegan; however, there are many similar vegan-friendly brands. Most chocolate chips are also not vegan, so make sure to look for vegan chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life or Callebaut.
Cocoa powder and instant coffee – The cocoa powder will add chocolate flavor to the cookies, while the instant coffee will help to enhance it further. I tested this recipe with all-natural cocoa powder and Dutch-processed cocoa and found that the Dutch one has a deeper, darker flavor.
Apple sauce – It functions as a vegan egg substitute. Use unsweetened applesauce to prevent changing the sugar levels in the cookies.
Sugar – This recipe uses a mixture of brown and white sugar. However, I have also tested this recipe, replacing the brown sugar with white cane sugar and turbinado sugar, and found that the cookies taste just as delicious.
Flour – I have tested this recipe using all-purpose flour and a gluten-free flour blend, and they both turned out perfect.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Electric hand mixer – To properly emulsify the oil with the sugar and the apple sauce, you must use an electric mixer or stand mixer. It will not be the same if you just use your hands and a spatula.
Silicone baking sheet – Nonstick silicone baking sheets are easy to clean and help to distribute the heat more evenly. I think the parchment paper still works perfectly, making a crispy cookie bottom.
Ice cream scoop – For perfect, evenly-sized cookies, use an ice cream or cookie scoop.
Wooden spatula – To help fold the ingredients together, I personally recommend the hand-crafted olive wooden spatula from Forest Decor.
Making vegan Halloween cookies
In a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients (oil, brown and white sugar, applesauce, and optional vanilla extract). Use a hand mixer or an electric mixer on low speed to beat the ingredients together until well emulsified, approximately two minutes.
Mix equal parts of the instant coffee and warm water and add it to the bowl with the wet ingredients.
Mix in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda) until completely incorporated. The mixture should be thick yet soft. If it is too stiff, add 1-2 tablespoons of dairy-free milk to loosen it up.
Fold in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Then cover and let chill for at least 30 minutes to prevent the dough from spreading.
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Line the baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Scoop two tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Place them on the lined baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart.
For soft, pillowy cookies, leave the dough as it is. However, for thin, chewy cookies, use a drinking glass to flatten them until they are at most 1 inch thick.
Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes until the edges turn barely golden brown. Keep in mind that oven times can vary. In my oven (no fan), it takes 12 minutes to bake them to perfection.
Remove the cookies from the oven. Cool them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then move them to a wire cooling rack. The cookies will be more puffy in the oven and slightly collapse as they cool.
💡 Expert tip
This is the most important part. Use a digital scale to accurately weigh the ingredients for the most delicious, bakery-style cookies. Estimating the amount of ingredients you use can significantly change the texture, taste, and appearance of the cookies, even if the difference is minimal.
There are several variations of these delicious vegan Halloween cookies that you can customize to your tastes and preferences. You can add crushed almonds, peanuts, or even marshmallow “ghosts” for a different texture.
Decorate them with Halloween sprinkles or icing to look like spooky spider webs, pumpkins, or witches. The possibilities are endless!
❄️ Storing tips
To store: To keep the cookies fresh, soft, and chewy, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. After two days, move them to the refrigerator.
To freeze: Once the cookies have completely cooled to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer until ready to use. Thaw them at room temperature. Thawing them takes only 5 minutes, but I know sometimes it is hard to wait.
I typically recommend chilling the dough first to prevent it from spreading. However, I have tested using dough at room temperature and after chilling for an extended time and did not see a significant difference in the results.
I use a small amount of instant coffee in the recipe to add flavor. However, the coffee does not contain enough caffeine to make a difference. If you find uncaffeinted variety, use that.
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Vegan Halloween Cookies
- ½ cup Vegetable oil I used sunflower
- ¾ cup Dark brown sugar
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup Apple sauce unsweetened
- 2 tsp Instant coffee
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract optional, but recommended
- 2+¼ cups All-purpose flour or GF flour blend
- ¼ cup Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup Vegan Halloween M&Ms
- In a large bowl, combine oil, sugars, apple sauce, and vanilla. Use a hand mixer to beat together on low speed for 2 minutes until well emulsified.
- Mix the instant coffee with the same amount of warm water and add it to the bowl.
- Stir in the flour, Dutch cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until completely incorporated. The mixture should be very thick but still soft. If too stiff, add 1-2 Tablespoons of non-dairy milk.
- Fold in both chocolate chips and M&Ms.
- Cover and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes to prevent spreading.
- Preheat oven to 375°F/190C. Line baking sheets with parchment.
- Scoop 2 Tbsp amounts of dough. Roll into balls and place 2-3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
- If you want pillowy, soft cookies, don’t flatten them. If you want chewy, thinner ones, flatten them with a small glass, at most 1 inch thick.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. I need 12 minutes in my non-fan oven to get them perfect.
- Remove from the oven and cool them on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Cookies will puff up more in the oven and collapse slightly as they cool.