Filed under: Cookies / Drop Cookies
December 1, 2023

Brownie Cookies (Dairy Free)

Rich chocolatey brownie cookies made with oil (no butter!). Crispy edges and a thick chewy center. This easy recipe comes together in one bowl and only requires a quick 15 minute rest. 

5 from 2 votes
Yield: 15 cookies
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Originally, I was thinking let’s do a chocolate version of these chewy olive oil cookies. But after a first try with olive oil I found the oil took prominence in the flavor over the cocoa and I didn’t love it. I switched to avocado oil and ah, they are wonderful even if they’re quite different than my basic olive oil cookies which are flatter and chewier. These are thick and rather than crinkles they have ‘cracks’. The chocolate/cocoa flavor comes through nicely, and you get this wonderful brownie-like cookie with crispy edges but a thick center.

That said – if you are a big fan of chocolate and a good olive oil flavor combination, go ahead and use that. If not, opt for something flavorless. 


Recipe Ingredients 

Oil: I like avocado here because it’s buttery (without the dairy!) and doesn’t impart a ton of ‘oil’ flavor (I use the “Chosen” brand). You can use another oil if you prefer, I’d go for something flavorless like grapeseed. 


Sugar: Light brown sugar and a bit of granulated. You can leave out the granulated but the cookies won’t spread as well. 


Cocoa: Dutch process. This will give the best ‘chocolate’ flavor! Other cocoas can also mess with the chemistry of the cookie and will lead to more or less spreading (black = more spread, natural = less spread). 


Cornstarch: or tapioca starch if you have it. I use this to help the cookie dough bind better since oil has more water in it than butter. 


Egg: Just one egg. Set it in a bowl of warm water to come to room temperature so it’s easier to incorporate. 


Flour: All purpose flour. I use KAF which has a protein content of 11.7%, a lower protein will likely lead to more spread. 


Flavorings: Vanilla and fine sea salt. Fine salt will dissolve better into your batter. Vanilla can be pure extract or a vanilla bean extract. If you’re using table salt, halve the amount or the cookies will be overly ‘salty’. 


Leavenings: Both baking powder and baking soda. The former helps the cookies rise up and puff, the latter helps them spread and crack. 


Chocolate chips: This is optional! I did like it but I’m a chocoholic on a regular day. I’d add up to ¾ cup chocolate chips or a chopped up chocolate bar but you can add more if you like! Bear in mind, more chocolate = more spread (as the chocolate melts it pushes the dough out, this only applies to chocolate chunks not chips which are designed to not melt).

Flaky sea salt: Optional, adds a lovely flavor to the top of the cookies. Put it on right before baking! 


How to make brownie cookies, without butter

Mix the oil and sugars together. The sugar won’t melt and you can’t beat any air into this but just whisk it until it’s combined. 

Add the flavorings and whisk. 

Add the egg and whisk well (egg should be at room temperature so it incorporates easily). 

Sift in the cocoa (if it’s lumpy) and whisk well. 

Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir: this is when I’ll switch to a rubber spatula (or the dough will get stuck in the whisk). Stop mixing as soon as the flour is mixed in. 

If you’d like, add chocolate chips or chunks now 

Cover the dough with a bowl cover or plastic wrap and set aside for a bit while the oven preheats 

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (I grease mine first so the parchment doesn’t slide around) 

Portion the cookies: I use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop. Leave enough space for them to spread just a bit. 

If you want, sprinkle on some flaky sea salt now 

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until they dome and crack. 

Make ahead & storage info 

If you would like to make the brownie cookies and not immediately bake them, make the dough and portion the cookies onto a parchment lined pan or plate. Set them in the freezer until they are solid then transfer to an airtight container. These might stick together so you may want to separate them in the container or set some parchment paper between the cookies. 

You can bake them from frozen, just add a few more minutes of bake time. 

To store after baking: keep them in an airtight container for overnight storage. They’ll be good for a few days. If you’d like to keep them longer, freeze them. 


Can I make bigger brownie cookies? 

You can! Bake them a bit longer, probably 12-15 minutes depending on the size.

Brownie Cookies (no butter, dairy free)

Rich chocolatey brownie cookies made with oil (no butter!). Crispy edges and a thick chewy center. This easy recipe comes together in one bowl and only requires a quick 15 minute rest.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 15 cookies
5 from 2 votes


  • 100 g or ½ cup avocado oil or something flavorless, olive oil works too if you like the flavor with chocolate
  • 155 g or ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated
  • 50 g or ½ cup dutch process cocoa
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 125 g or 1 cup all purpose flour


  • Set the olive oil in a large bowl, add the sugars and whisk the mixture very well, for a full minute.
  • Add the vanilla and sea salt and whisk to combine.
  • Add the egg and whisk vigorously for a full minute.
  • Add the cocoa (if it’s lumpy, sift it in) and whisk to combine. Add the cornstarch, baking powder and soda and stir to combine.
  • Optional: stir in chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (no more than ¾ cup).
  • Let the dough rest on the counter, covered, for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Use a 1.5 scoop to portion the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border around the dough so the cookies won’t stick together.
  • Optional: sprinkle with flaky sea salt before baking.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies are done when they have puffed up and cracked all over.
  • Once cool, remove from the pan. For overnight storage: store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. I want to try this recipe but am concerned about the amount of flour. Generally one cup of flour weighs around 125 grams but the alternative measurement is 2 cups. Is 125 grams correct?