These Double Chocolate Cookies are made with 100% whole food ingredients— no flour, no oil, and no added sugar. But don’t let these healthy ingredients throw you off. These cookies still have a rich and fudgy flavor and texture, almost like a brownie in cookie-form.
I based these cookies off the recipe for my Healthiest Cookies Ever, which remind me of my childhood favorite “soft batch” cookies, and since they’ve been such a hit with everyone who tries them, I figured a chocolate variation was in order.
For this version, I added a hefty dose of cocoa powder, and used pecans instead of walnuts for a more mild flavor.
(I tested this recipe with walnuts, as you can see from these photos, but I found their flavor overwhelmed the cookie, so I couldn’t taste the chocolate as much– keep this in mind if you plan on making substitutions!)
How to Make Date-Sweetened Cookies
When using dates as a natural sweetener, you’ll need a machine that can break them down, and I find that a food processor does that best. (I’m using this one.) Narrow blender jars tend to need more water to keep the dates moving, and that can cause the motor to give off a burning smell. In a pinch, you could probably finely chop the nuts and dates on a cutting board, and then mix them together with your hands for a chunkier cookie.
If you want a 100% naturally sweetened cookie, you can leave out the optional dark chocolate chips, but I love adding something extra for texture here, so I’ll usually throw them in for a “double” chocolate flavor that’s reminiscent of a brownie.
Some refined-sugar-free add-ins would be:
- cacao nibs
- extra chopped nuts
- dried fruit, like raisins (look for no added sugar on the label)
- shredded unsweetened coconut
- rolled oats
Feel free to experiment, and let me know in the comments below if you try something that you love.
Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies
I keep these cookies egg-free by using a flax egg, which is simply ground flax (or chia seeds) stirred together with water. These two ingredients will gel together within a few minutes, creating a gooey vegan “egg.”
If you’re not vegan, feel free to use a chicken egg in its place. (Omit the water and flax seed in this case.)
When making cookies in a food processor, be careful not to over-process them. If you process nuts too long, they will release their natural oils, making for a very oily, greasy cookie dough. The cookies will still bake fine, but they will be a little more messy to work with.
These cookies will not spread the way a cookie made with egg would, so you’ll need to use your fingers to press them down into a cookie shape before baking. They will look very similar when baked, but drier.
I hope you’ll enjoy this healthy cookie recipe the next time a chocolate craving strikes!
Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies (Date-Sweetened!)
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup Medjool dates , pitted (about 12)
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 chia or flax egg (1 tablespoon ground chia or flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the dates and pecans together until a crumbly texture is formed. Add in the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and chia or flax egg (see how to make a flax egg here) and process again until the batter is relatively smooth, a little stickier than traditional cookie dough.
- Add in the chocolate chips and briefly pulse, just to combine.
- Spoon the batter onto a lined baking sheet, and use your hands to gently flatten the cookie dough. These cookies don't spread much, so be sure to shape the cookies the way you'd like them to look when they're done baking. (Tip: Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking!) Bake at 350F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are firm and your house smells like brownies. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve immediately, and store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for best shelf life. These cookies should last a week in the fridge, and for several months in the freezer.
Per cookie: Calories: 75, Fat: 5g, Carbohydate: 7g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 1g
- As I mentioned above, feel free to make substitutions as you like, but keep in mind that different nuts and seeds will change the flavor of these cookies. I liked the pecan flavor best, but if you love walnuts or almonds, feel free to use those instead. I find that buttery nuts, like walnuts and pecans, are easiest to break down in the food processor, though.
- If you don’t have access to dates, another dried fruit, like raisins, may work.
As always, please leave any substitutions you try in the comments below, so that we can all benefit from your experience!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite type of cookie?
Questions and Reviews
Even in this day and age with Pinterest and the rest of it….I still find it mind blowing that cookies can be made without flour, oil and without added sugar……and still look and taste this good! And like many moms out there, I know I’m too hard on myself but at the same time don’t feel good when I give my kids the “Traditional soft batch store bought cookie”. Making these instead to satisfy our sweet tooths just makes sense. And what a better way to show our loved ones just how much we care ~ but giving them foods (even treats at times) with ingredients we feel good about. Just was reading about processed foods and how much carcinogenic ingredients are found in them….think Ramon Noodles and I panic! And what happens to a person over the course of a lifetime who eats these foods? My Russian grandparents lived well into their 90’s and never got sick until they started eating Americanized foods, makes you think. When they lived and ate in the old country, they were well.
OMG these look SO fudgey! I’m not a big dessert eater unless there is chocolate involved so these look amazing 🙂
What kind of substance could I use in place of the nuts to add flavor and body? A tree nut allergy in my family precludes any use of nuts in these sorts of recipes. 🙁
You could try seeds or coconut flour. You may need to add a little moisture with the coconut flour, as it’s drier than nuts. Someone in the comments mentioned adding banana, which would definitely boost the moisture.
Thanks Nicole, I will give those ideas a shot!
can you use a real egg vs. chia egg?
Yes, you can!
If I’m not avoiding egg, can I substitute egg for the flax/chia?
What is the nutritional value?
Hi I have calculated it on MyFitnessPal and I got ~135 kcal a cookie *if you make 12 cookies*
will be making these this weekend! thanks for the idea!
Brilliant – I have not tried chia egg yet – tried flax before and it did not work but these look fabulous. I have chocolate on the brain too – I may just be making my own chocolates for the weekend:)
Are these cookies ok to have on your 21 day detox diet (minus the choc. chips of course). I am 9 days into it and these sounded really good!!! 🙂
Yes, without the chocolate chips they are!
May I ask what the 21 day detox diet is? If like to possibly try it
Here’s more info about the detox: https://detoxinista.com/2014/12/warm-cozy-winter-detox/
Big fan of your recipes, following on Facebook 🙂
I did just try these with cacao nibs instead of chips which i did not have.
Came out great! Was wondering of adding a banana to the mix? To add that sweetness?
Will get some chocolate chips for next batch 🙂
Best: Patrik from Finland.
I just made these–they are SOOO good!
I used 12 dates which was LESS than a cup–but its perfect and I made about 17 nice size cookies…
Thanks for the tip Lauren
The texture is excellent, like a chewy brownie! I made them without the chocolate chips, but I think I will add them next time, because they need that extra little bump of sweetness.
Could I use almonds instead of the pecans? Just happens that I don’t have any on hand.
These are so delicious! Chocolate heaven! I ate a whole batch to myself. Making more now!
I think we’ve all got chocolate on our brains…or in our mouths this time of year 🙂 Love the simple and healthy ingredients in this recipe! I’m a new fan of your site 🙂 looks so good! Pinning 🙂
Made these without the chocolate chips. They were delicious, very brownie like. It continues to amaze me that your recipes are healthier, easier and use less ingredients than anywhere else I have seen, yet still taste the best!!
Thanks, that’s really nice to hear! 🙂
I second that! These have just come out of the oven… I used a flax egg (the first I’ve ever heard of them (I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian) and no chocolate chips. I just ate one warm and it was soooo delicious! I discovered your site about a month ago and I’ve promised myself I’m going to make at least one of your recipes per week. Everything so far has been incredible! I don’t care if they are high calorie (these aren’t anyway) as I’m breastfeeding twins and need all the calories I can get, and with your recipes I know I’m getting great nutrition to pass on to them without missing out on any treats for myself. Win-win!
Hi Megan! Just wanted to say I made a batch of your healthiest cookies ever and BRAVO!!!!!!! They are freaking amazing! Can’t wait to try this version. Another note- I just posted my favorite gluten-free vegan V-day recipe (Red Velvet Pancakes with Cashew Cream Glaze)- check it out if you’re interested, @ http://alovelysideproject.com
Also, my V-day lookbook is on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymJ2Sb80zi4
AMAZING!!!!! They’re AMAZING!!
These are delicious! I used walnuts instead of pecans, and they came out tasting like brownies. My very picky brother even liked them!
Has anyone ever tried a gelatin egg? I do eat eggs, but sometimes I go with flax ot chia eggs since I have plenty of real eggs in my diet and I like the variety of nutrients provided by flax and chia. I’ve been wanting to incorporate gelatin into my diet and I’ve heard you can make “gelatin eggs” similar to flax or chia egggs. Wondering if anyone has ever tried it.
I made 2 batches so far and I think it’s a genius idea!
I am making them into small brownie cubes/bites. My husband loves it. I have a healthy pot luck in the office this week. I shall spread the good news 🙂 I hope people will like it.
Forgot to rate this.
Also calculated the calories on MyFitnessPal : ~135 kcal a cookie.
I am just making a batch for my husband’s lunch bag for the week. ( I am on a juice fast)
I cannot believe how delicious these are!! Even without the chocolate chips, they’re wonderful! I did add a bit of mashed banana (1/2 of a banana) – someone mentioned that in a comment and it sounded good to me. Thanks for yet another awesome recipe!! 🙂
Just made these this morning, and my kitchen smells like “chocolate heaven!” The recipe came together like a dream in my food processor, and I appreciate your easy to follow directions and pictures. Thanks, Megan, for sharing your delicious food with all of us! I so enjoy your website, and I cannot wait to receive your cookbook in the mail in June!
Forgot to mention that I added a 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the recipe – just wanted to add that bit of spice! The cookies truly are delicious!
I made these this past weekend and I am obsessed! They are so tasty and I love how simple they were to make. I’m new to the vegan lifestyle and I love how vegan friendly your recipes are. Thank you!
I made these yesterday for me and my husband and they turned out delicious! I can’t believe there is no added sugar! I did substitute with an egg and it turned out just fine. Very sticky – helped to wet the hands to shape the cookies. Thank you!
These look amazing! Was wondering if I could substitute the dates with stevia?? I can’t handle the sugar in dates so any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks!
The title of this post definitely caught my attention- and they really do look soo healthy! Can’t wait to try!
Love love love this recipe! my home smells such heavenly chocolate while baking this cookie. even my husband who normally doesn’t like “healthy” foods also love this treat! Thank you for this recipe!
I love love almost all your recipes! so delicious… and healthy too? But when you use chia or flax egg… Can I substitute that for a real egg? Or will it turn out differently?
A real egg works, too!
Thank you for the fast reply! 🙂 I tried it, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Gave some to others and they couldn’t even tell it was a healthy cookie!
I was never able to find recipes to bake for my father who is allergic to flour and dairy, so your vegan recipes are AMAZING! i am so thankful i found these recipes, they are amazing!
I’m currently enjoying one of these bad boys. They are amazing. So good and without so much guilt. They work for me and my multiple good allergies. What a treat! Thank you!
Just made these for my and my pregnant self and if my husband gets home in time he will get to enjoy them as well! But loved them and so does Baby!
Long time follower but first time commenting. Just wanted to let you know that these cookies (and all of your other recipes that I have tried) are absolutely fantastic! I love making treats and meals that taste amazing and that I feel good about eating. Definitely off to pre-order your cookbook now.
These are decadent! I didn’t have enough pecans so used a mix of pecans, walnuts & almonds. Also used one egg instead of flax/chia egg. My daughter likes hers sweet so I added a couple droppers of vanilla cream stevia. Gotta love cookies that taste like brownies. Thanks for the great recipe!
Hi. was wondering if you could use Raw chocolate in this recipe?
They look delicious…Can these be dehydrated instead of cooked in the over?
Probably, though I’ve never tried it myself. Please let us know how it works out if you try it!
I’m so excited to try these! I am a huge dessert eater, but recently had to cut out all dairy while breastfeeding my little one. I am allergic to walnuts & pecans. I was wondering if peanuts would work just as well. I will try almonds next, but don’t have any on hand in the house. I have everything else & want to make ASAP! Thanks. I’m REALLY looking forward to these. I LOVE chocolate.
Could I sub maple syrup for the dates? And how much? I love your site, Megan, and I can’t wait for the cookbook!
I’m not sure how that would work with this recipe, but I have a chocolate cookie recipe that uses maple syrup here: https://detoxinista.com/2012/12/double-chocolate-cookies-grain-free/
Thanks so much! I’ll try those. I have yet to get a food processor and my vitamix sometimes struggles with dates.
Would you please list the calories, carbs, sugars in these…on a diet and
need to be sure I don’t sabotage myself! thanks
These look amazing! Thanks for posting.
Can anything other than egg be substituted for the chia/flax egg? I thought about adding yogurt or mashed banana. Might that work?
I tried unsweetened applesauce and it worked like a charm. I may eat the whole batch by myself! They’re the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever eaten.
These are absolutely amazing. My entire family adores them, and my husband thinks they are brownie cookies. Thanks for the incredible recipe!
My house smells like brownies! I used sunflower seeds, walnuts and cashews—because that is what I had. They are not smooth, but have a bit of a nutty crunch to them. If that doesn’t bother you, those subs work fine and they are delicious. My 4 and 2 year olds loved the dough.
CHOCOHOLIC & these are my new favorites! I love variety & tried different nuts & types of chocolate chips … pecan has been my favorite nut & peanut butter chips great combo! Thanks for the basic recipe, I feel good feeding these to my 18mo old Godson & he loves them as much as I do! …no freezing in our household LOL
Bless you & keep up the excellent work, it’s obvious you’re walking in your calling…
Thank you so much for this recipe! I used 3/4 cup cashes and 3/4 cup almonds, and also added 1/3 cup shredded coconut instead of the chocolate chips. They came out DELICIOUS! I have a feeling these will become a staple in my house.
i made these with peanuts as we have a tree nut allergy and they turned out amazing!
Double Chocolate Cookie? Yes please! I just made these and love them! I only had regular dates so I soaked them in a tiny bit of water to make sure they were sticky enough. I also made my first flax egg. I will be making this recipe again. I like that it’s all natural and that I haven’t used any sugar alcohols.
Mind blowing, Go crazy about, to die for and easy for a 4th grader to bake cookies.
I ate the whole batch.
I just made these with walnuts and a bit of dark chocolate in there as well (not as much as chocolate chips) but they are hearty and the perfect amount of sweetness! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, Megan. 🙂
These are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made… and without gluten or added sugar! They taste like brownies. I’ve tried it with walnuts and pecans (separately) as the base.
I love these so much! I have made them following the recipe exactly many times, and they’re delicious. I recently have been unable to eat cocoa or anything with sugar, so I just made them without the cocoa or the chocolate chips. They’re better the original way, but still yummy and good for a healthier dessert! Thanks so much for the recipe!
I am going to try this recipe out this weekend! Excited.
May I know vanilla refers to vanilla powder or vanilla essence?