These vegan sandwich cookies pair chocolate date soft cookies with a vanilla-maple buttercream filling. They are SO good and make for a healthier treat that's filled with fiber and done without refined white sugar or vegan butter. Also completely dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free, which makes them a fun kid's lunch box sweet treat!
Get ready for a nice healthy treat. These vegan chocolate sandwich cookies are stunning and so yummy!
I mean, how could they not be: sweet and soft chocolate cookies combined with a vanilla-maple frosting. Insanely delicious. And all vegan, of course.
They are actually an attempt to imitate Oreo cookies! Ok, they don't taste exactly like Oreo cookies, but they are much healthier and as satisfying as the classic cookie.
The chocolate cookie dough is made using medjool dates, which provides plenty of sweetness, plus boosts them with extra fiber and a nice caramelized flavor.
The vanilla cream filling also is made healthier with a flour-coconut oil base. Just like when making a bechamel, the frosting is made by thickening flour to a paste consistency. Then combined with vanilla extract and maple syrup, the flavor of the cream filling is SO amazing even without using any refined white sugar, dairy cream or vegan butter.
As you might suspect, there are a few steps to this recipe, but it really goes smoothly if you follow the directives. It goes that way: thicken the frosting on the stove, chill and then whip. While the frosting is chilling, you can make the cookie dough, roll, shape and bake. Then, assemble and devour!
This recipe can make for a nice rainy afternoon kitchen project to make with your kids and you can also cut the cookies as you wish to create fun shapes depending on your mood and the season. Great for baby showers, Christmas, Halloween and Valentine's day, or any day you feel like treating yourself!
Hope you have fun baking! ❤️
Ingredients you'll need
- Medjool dates: use large and plump medjool dates that are super soft and avoid the harder/drier ones for best results. I love the dates from Bard Valley.
- Flour: I used all-purpose white flour, but I also tried them with whole wheat flour and it worked out well. You could definitely do 50% all-purpose + 50% whole wheat to make these cookies even healthier and higher in fiber.
- Coconut oil: you will need some to make both the cookies and the filling. Use a refined coconut oil to avoid any coconut flavor.
- Baking powder: just a little leveling agent to puff the cookies, but know that the cookies won't rise very much.
- Raw cacao powder: you can also use cocoa powder if that's all you have.
- Maple syrup: used to make the filling. Agave nectar might work too in place of the maple syrup, but I haven't tried it yet.
- Coconut milk: use full-fat canned coconut milk (and not the drinkable coconut milk you keep in the fridge).
- Vanilla extract: you will need a whole tablespoon to flavor the filling!
How to make them
Make the vanilla-maple dairy-free filling
In a small sauce pan, combine the coconut oil with the flour and warm up on medium heat until melted. Then, whisk constantly while it sizzles for about a minute, just enough to cook the flour. Then, add the maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla extract and whisk well.
The mixture will look very liquid-y at this point, this is normal!
Keep whisking and warming on medium heat until bubbly. The mixture will eventually thicken and even be hard to whisk. This should take a few minutes.
Once super thick, remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl (large enough to handle whipping). Chill in the fridge for an hour (pssst: this is a good time to bake the cookies while the frosting is chilling).
Once chilled, whip the mixture using electric beaters. You will have to whip for a few minutes: the frosting will slowly become more pale and lighter. Be patient and keep whipping until it reaches desired consistency.
Make the chocolate cookies
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 350º.
Pit + roughly chop the dates and transfer to a tall skinny container (easier for immersion blending). Pour the boiling water over and press on the dates to ensure they are all covered with the water. Let them soften for about 10-15 minutes.
Then, DON'T DRAIN and blend the dates within the water. I love using an immersion blender to do this, but use the blender you have on hand. Blend until as smooth as you can.
Transfer the date purée to a mixing bowl and add the flour, cacao powder, baking powder and salt. Stir the batter using a spatula or wooden spoon until combined and uniform, but without over mixing. You should end up with a ball of dough that's soft, but holds well together.
Transfer the dough over a piece of parchment paper on the counter top and top with a second piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about ¼ inch thick, not less. A thicker cookie is better!
Then, use a circular cookie cutter to create 26-30 rounded pieces (you might need to gather the scraps and roll again!). Transfer each of them on the prepared baking sheet (they won't spread, no need to leave much space in between). Then, bake for 11-12 minutes and watch carefully so they don't burn. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet until cooled down. Bake in 2 batches if necessary.
Build the sandwich cookies
Make sure the cookies are nicely cooled down before building the sandwiches or the filling might soften/melt too much.
Also, I highly recommend transferring the filling to a frosting piping bag to frost the cookies. It works better, limits the mess and makes for a beautiful design, but you can also use a spoon or butter knife if you don't have any.
To assemble, simply flip the cookies to expose their underneath side and add a generous layer of filling over half of the cookies. Then, top with a second cookie and voila!
Watch how to make them
- Make sure to start by making the filling! It takes an hour to cool down before whipping, which gives you plenty of time to make the cookies.
- Make sure to roll the dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper as the dough is pretty sticky. And don't use any extra flour when rolling the dough!
- Don't overwork the cookie dough! You want to avoid developing the gluten by over manipulating the flour or the cookies might end up chewier.
- If your can of coconut milk comes in 2 layers with the bottom in coconut water and top solid cream, then you will have to first whisk the coconut milk until smooth and uniform and then measure the ½ cup you need.
Customization and serving suggestions
These cookies are great to serve for many holidays. The cookies won't spread as they bake and hold on their shape well, so you can easily shape them into Valentine's hearts, Christmas trees, Easter eggs, etc and even color the vanilla filling.
You can use a healthier vegan food coloring option such as this one from Junk Free Kitchen Supply (add the coloring after the frosting is whipped).
Other filling you might want to use include peanut butter frosting or dark chocolate ganache. The medjool date frosting from these vegan carrot cupcakes would also work well if you want to avoid using maple syrup. Another quick filling option would be to scoop some vegan ice cream in the middle!
You can make the cookie dough ahead of time or keep any extra scraps of dough wrapped in plastic cling in the fridge for a few days and use it differently.
The cookies store well in the fridge for 4-5 days in an air-tight container. I noticed that filling from the ones I kept at room temperature softened a bit and squeezed out when eating the sandwich compared to the ones in the fridge that were holding up better.
More vegan cookie recipes you might like
- Vegan oatmeal chocolate chips cookies
- Vegan lemon shortbread cookies
- Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
- Coffee bean cookies
- Almond flour thumbprint cookies
- Vegan red velvet cookies
- 3-Ingredient peanut butter cookies
- Vegan matcha cookies
- Sweet potato breakfast cookies
I hope you like these vegan sandwich cookies as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Sandwich Cookies
- Immersion blender
- 1 cup medjool dates (about 13-14 large dates) - pitted, roughly chopped and soaked in ½ cup of hot water for 10-15 min.
- ¼ cup coconut oil - choose refined to avoid coconut flavor
- 1 cup all-purpose flour - whole wheat flour works too
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil - choose refined to avoid coconut flavor
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup canned coconut milk - well stirred before measuring
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract - not teaspoon!
Make the vanilla filling
- To a small pot, add the coconut oil and flour. Turn on the heat to medium and use the back of a spoon to press on the oil and stir. It will slowly melt and combine together. Keep cooking for about a minute while whisking.
- Then, add the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Keep on the stove on medium-heat and whisk right away to create a smooth and uniform mixture. It will still be very liquid-y at this point, this is normal! Keep warming up while whisking and it will become super thick and harder to whisk as you go. Once thicker (after a few minutes), transfer to a bowl (large enough to handle whipping) and put it in the fridge for about 1 hour to chill.
- Once it has cooled down, use electric beaters to whip the mixture to a smooth and light frosting. This will take a few minutes, so be patient and keep whipping until you like the consistency.
Make the chocolate date cookies (make while the frosting is chilling)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
- Pour ½ cup of hot water over the chopped dates and press to be sure all the dates are submerged. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes. DO NOT DRAIN.
- Then, use an immersion blender to purée the dates with the water. Keep blending until it becomes as smooth as you can.
- Transfer the date purée to a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil, flour, baking powder, cacao powder and salt. Combine the batter using a wooden spoon or a spatula. You will have to crush the coconut oil so it incorporates well within the mixture and avoid overmixing. You should end up with a large ball of dough.
- Transfer the dough over a large piece of parchment paper placed on the counter and lay a second parchment paper over. Use a rolling pin to press and roll the dough to about a ¼ inch thick layer (NOT TOO THIN!).
- Then, use a small cookie cutter (or the bottom of a small glass) to create about 26-30 circles. You might need to gather the scraps and roll again.
- Carefully transfer the circles over the prepared baking and bake in the oven for 11-12 minutes. The cookies are dark, so be sure not to overcook them or burn them, they can turn chewy or even too hard easily if overcooked. Once done cooking, let the cookies completely cool down before frosting.
- Once the cookies are cooled down, divide the frosting over half of the cookies ideally using a piping bag (or simply a spoon, but be gentle not to break the cookies) and then add a second cookie over. Gently press the cookies over each other. Enjoy!
- Store the cookies in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- I recommend to start by making the frosting. There is an hour wait for the mixture to chill before whipping, which should give you plenty of time to shape and bake the cookies.
- Be careful not to roll the dough too thin! Cookies that are too thin tend to overcook and they turn chewy after baked.
- Feel free to shape the cookies as you wish as they don't spread while baking. Use this recipe to make Holiday cookies!