I have to start this by saying, this isn’t a healthy recipe. I’ve veganized and made gluten free a childhood favorite that was OFTEN made around Christmas time. I loved these things! The last several years I have made them during Christmas time and always get very positive feedback on them.
What can I say, they are really good! Again, not healthy, just uses ingredients that are a bit better for you, edible by people with gluten sensitivities and no animals had to get hurt in the process. Wins all around!
I haven’t wanted to share it for a few reasons. One would be that I haven’t found a good vegan store bought cream cheese that doesn’t use soy. Daiya makes one but it makes your frosting taste weird. I’ve tried it. I’m really hoping that since Follow Your Heart has been making so many things soy-free lately, they will change their cream cheese recipe as well. Not at this point.
So, remember, this is a conversion recipe (not my favorite thing to do) so, there are a few things that if you happened to be an egg eater because maybe you have your own chickens and wanted to use those, you could. If you don’t want it to be gluten free, you don’t have to. But I know the consistency would change. I will make some edit notes at the bottom, so if you look at the recipe and don’t want to follow it, check out my notes at the bottom.
2 Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mixes (I like to use 2 different brands, just to give it a little depth. Bob’s Red Mill is a good one)
3/4 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free sticks)
3/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, softened
*6 Tbs aqua faba (Chickpea liquid)
**2 tsp The Vegg Egg Replacer
**1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
I highly recommend using a stand mixer. Mix the vegan butter and coconut oil with the aqua faba, The Vegg & water for at least 3 min until they are blended. Slowly add in half of one cake mix and blend it in before going on to the rest of the mix and onto the next one. This helps it so you don’t get a puff of chocolate powder all over the kitchen.
Scoop dough into 1-2Tbs balls and place on a cookie sheet, flatten down slightly. They will flatten out using the ingredients in the recipe, so make sure there is space between them.
Bake at 350F for 8-10min. If you have a gas oven it will be much closer to 10 (with 2tbs of dough for each cookie) whereas of you have an electric oven, less time is needed.
Allow to cool for several hours minimum. I’ve found it best if I let them cool for an hour, pair them off and put them in the fridge to sit for a day before I frost them. The cookies respond very well to being in the fridge, they are firmer and hold together better.
1, 8oz container of plain vegan cream cheese (Tofutti or Follow Your Heart I’ve found to be the best) left out to soften for at least 20 min
1/4 cup vegan butter (like earth balance) also left out to soften
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (if you want to make mint frosting add 2 tsp peppermint extract. I usually split my batch and add 1 tsp and some red food coloring)
–1 Tbs nondairy milk, if needed only if frosting is very dry (I’ve never needed it while making the vegan version)
In a mixer using a whisk attachment OR using handheld beaters mix together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. Once they are completely blended, slowly, and I mean slowly, add in powdered sugar. I usually do it about 1/4 cup at a time, let it mix in completely and then add in another 1/4 cup and repeat.
Frosting should be thick enough than it doesn’t all drip off the beater. Refrigerate for 30+ minutes.
Cookie + Frosting (Combination) Directions:
Take the paired off cooled down (preferably cold) cookies and use 1-2 tbs frosting between the two cookies. Press down on the two cookies slightly to make the frosting slide most of the way toward the edges. When the cookies sit and warm up, they will spread more. If you aren’t eating them immediately, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend storing them in the fridge, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. It will help the cookies set up and make it so the frosting doesn’t squish out quite so much. Helps them travel much better if you are bringing them somewhere.
GLUTEN FREE: If you don’t want to use gluten free chocolate cake mix, you can use it’s gluten counterpart, but will likely have to make HALF the fat (butter/coconut oil) be from plant based shortening so that it will hold up better. Otherwise the cookies will spread more.
*AQUA FABA: I like using 2 different types of egg subs to have it hold together in different ways. I promise it won’t taste anything like beans by using the chickpea brine, don’t be afraid of it! But if you really don’t want to, you can use whatever your other favorite egg replacer is.
**THE VEGG: swap easily for a flax egg (1 tbs ground flax blended with 3 tbs warm water). I haven’t tried, but would imagine VeganEgg would work as well, but I believe you will have to cook the cookies a lot longer. All of my experiences with VeganEgg have required 1.5-2x’s the normal cooking time
**For those of you that prefer to use eggs, you can skip the Aqua Faba & The Vegg and use 4 eggs in their place.