These vegan pecan cookies are thick, soft and chewy. They’re loaded with toasted pecans , brown sugar and have a touch of cinnamon! They’re really easy to make, too!
Cookies are always around at our house! There's something for everyone, vegan and non-vegan. I often make a variety of vegan desserts during Orthodox Christian lent (which is mostly vegan), including these cookies.
These cookies are great for breakfast or as a snack, too!
If you make these cookies, you'll notice that this is also one of the easiest vegan cookies recipe! Just a few simple steps and ready in about half an hour!
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- It’s easy. This is definitely one of the easiest vegan pecan cookie recipes you’ll find!
- There’s no egg substitute. No flax seeds or other egg substitutes in this recipe. I love keeping things as simple as possible!
- There are only a few ingredients needed. Most of the ingredients are basic pantry items.
- No chilling time needed. You don’t need to chill the dough before making these cookies!
What do these vegan pecan cookies taste like?
These cinnamon pecan cookies are thick, soft and chewy with just the right sweetness. They're similar to butter pecan cookies, but softer and thicker. And the toasted pecans really boosts their flavor, too!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Ingredients for easy vegan pecan cookies
- Pecans: I use shelled pecan halves and toast them in a dry skillet. I think this really adds a beautiful depth of flavor.
- Block Margarine: I use block margarine for this recipe, not the spreadable one you find in tubs. I think the spreadable margarine has more moisture in it and will make the dough too wet. You could use vegan block butter, though, if you prefer. If you aren’t vegan, you could use regular butter.
- Cinnamon: I use some ground cinnamon, which is amazing with pecans. You could also add a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg.
- Vanilla: I use a little bit of vanilla extract and I think it gives the cookies a nice flavor.
- Sugar: I use light brown sugar, but you could use granulated sugar. You could also make these cookies using half granulated sugar and half brown sugar. I really like the caramel overtone that brown sugar has, especially with pecans.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour.
- Cornstarch: I usually add cornstarch to all of my cookies as it helps make them chewy.
- Non-dairy Milk: I use a a little bit of sugar free almond milk for the dough. You could use any plant-based milk you like, but I would avoid ones with added sugar as they would make the cookies too sweet. For non-vegan cookies, use regular milk, instead.
- Baking soda: I prefer baking soda to baking powder for these cookies. It helps give them a nice lift without being too cakey.
- Salt: I use a small amount to enhance all the flavors.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
First, you need to toast the pecans. You could technically skip this step, but I really think it improves the overall flavor. I prefer dry toasting them in a non-stick skillet for a few minutes, until they’re light brown and fragrant. This will usually take about 5-8 minutes.
Then coarsely chop the pecans. I wouldn’t put them in a food processor because the pecans will get too small and you won’t really be able to bite into them!
Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl. Set it aside.
In another bowl, beat the melted margarine with the brown sugar and the vanilla until they’re well-combined.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Add the non-dairy milk and mix everything together. The dough is a bit sticky.
Fold in the toasted pecans.
Drop by rounded heaps onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I used 2 cookie scoops of dough for each cookie, but you could use 2 tablespoons, instead. Place 6 on the tray, leaving about 3 inches between them.
Press a pecan half on top of each. This is optional, but I think it makes the cookies look nice!
Bake until the edges are a light golden brown. Don’t overbake. They’ll burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
You can either freeze the cookie dough before baking or freeze the cookies after they’re baked. I like keeping a stash of cookie dough in the freezer, that way I can bake fresh cookies when I feel like it and save some prep time. Check out this post for more detailed information on how to freeze cookie dough.
HOW TO FREEZE BAKED COOKIES
Put the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and put in the freezer. When the cookies have frozen, store them in a freezer-safe container or bag. If you want, you could wrap each cookie in plastic wrap individually, or you can put a piece of parchment paper in between each cookie so that they won’t stick together. They can be frozen for up to about 1 ½ months.
HOW TO THAW FROZEN BAKED COOKIES
Remove the cookies from the freezer bags or container and place them on a plate to thaw at room temperature. Leaving them in the bags to thaw will cause moisture to build up and they might make the cookies soggy.
ADD-INS & VARIATIONS
I made 10 large cookies with this recipe, but you could make smaller cookies, if you prefer. Just use 1 tablespoon or 1 cookie scoop of dough, instead, and reduce the baking time, too.
Instead of block margarine or vegan butter, use regular butter, and instead of almond milk, use regular milk!
- If you like chocolate chip cookies, you could definitely add some chocolate chips! Chocolate pairs really well with pecans.
- Add some maple syrup for vegan maple pecan cookies!
- Drizzle some melted Lotus Biscoff spread on top (Lotus Biscoff spread is vegan!) or some melted (vegan) chocolate.
- You could add some vegan whipped cream on top and turn these babies into vegan pecan pie cookies! So good!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- When you toast the pecans in the skillet, make sure you stir them often as they can burn quickly.
- The dough is a bit moist, so you won’t be able to roll it into balls between your hands. If you want, though, you could put the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes and then scoop the dough, but I found they baked fine without chilling the dough.
- As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes, otherwise they’ll fall apart if you try to move them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can store these cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for about a week.
Sure! You can make the dough and then put it in the refrigerator overnight.
MORE VEGAN RECIPES
Let me know how these Vegan Pecan Cookies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Vegan Pecan Cookies
- 1 cup (125g / 4.4oz) pecans + 10 extra pecan halves to garnish (optional)
- 1 cup (127g / 4.5oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g / 4oz) margarine, melted (or use vegan butter)
- ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup (60ml / 2 fl oz) non-dairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat until they're light brown, about 5-7 minutes. Stir often as they can burn quickly.
- Then coarsely chop the pecans and set them aside.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the melted margarine with the brown sugar and the vanilla until they’re well-combined.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
- Add the non-dairy milk and mix everything together.
- Fold in the toasted pecans. If the dough is too sticky, you could chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Drop 2 scoops of dough (or 2 tablespoons) onto the cookie sheet.
- Press a pecan half on top of each, if desired.
- Bake until the edges are a light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Don’t overbake.
- When done, let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Frozen cookie dough can be lifesaver, especially when you get a craving for chocolate chip cookies! Just make balls of dough and place them on your baking sheets that you've lined with parchment paper. Cover them loosely with some plastic wrap and pop them in the freezer for about an hour. Then put the frozen dough balls in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. You can keep them in the freezer for about a month. You can thaw them in the refrigerator or you could bake them frozen and add a few more minutes to stated baking time. HOW TO FREEZE BAKED COOKIES
Put the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and put in the freezer. When the cookies have frozen, store them in a freezer-safe container or bag. If you want, you could wrap each cookie in plastic wrap individually, or, you can put a piece of parchment paper in between each cookie so that they won’t stick together. They can be frozen for up to about 1 ½ months. ©Pastry Wishes