After testing a ton of different recipes, I’ve decided that these are the best dairy free chocolate chip cookies out there. They aren’t too soft or too crunchy. And, they have just the right amount of brown sugar. Makes 36 cookies.

dairy free chocolate chip cookies on cooling rack with striped napkin in the foreground and a glass of almond milk to the side

Why I love this dairy free chocolate chip cookie recipe

Baking is one of the hardest things to do once you’ve gone dairy free. There are so, so many recipes out there that require milk, butter, or – my least favorite to replace – yogurt.

But, I’ve got your back. I’ve tested out many of those dairy free chocolate chip cookies, and we’ve decided that these are our favorite.

They’re texture is most like the butter-based cookies of our childhood and they flavor is the closest we can find. In fact, I’d say it’s dead on.

That’s mostly because of the vegetable shortening I replaced the butter with – it’s my favorite substitute for butter when baking – and allergy friendly chocolate chips.

stack of dairy free chocolate chip cookies on a small gray plate

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

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  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Cookie scoop
  • Baking sheet
ingredients for dairy free chocolate chip cookies in various sizes of glass bowls

Ingredient options

As I mentioned, I’ve used both vegetable shortening and dairy free chocolate chips for this recipe. You can easily swap vegan butter or coconut oil for the shortening if that’s what you have on hand just be sure to let it soften a bit.

Dairy free chocolate chips are readily available at most grocery stores, but sometimes they are located in the organic section rather than the baking aisle. If you’re unsure, just read the label and look for milk listed as an ingredient.


Not sure where to get started with dairy free substitutes? My easy cheat sheet will guide you through it and show you some great examples of how to use them.

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a large glass bowl with a whisk mixing dry ingredients for chocolate chip cookies

How to make chocolate chip cookies without butter

Mise en place. Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out all of your ingredients before you begin mixing. This helps make sure you don’t miss anything.

Whisk your dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set the bowl aside for later.

Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the shortening and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time and beat until they’re incorporated.

baking sheet lined with parchment paper topped with unbaked cookie dough balls and a cookie scoop holding cookie dough

Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Add the flour to the mixing bowl, about 3/4 cup at a time, scraping the sides as needed.

Once that is all mixed, you’ll need to stir in the chocolate chips. You can also add about 1/2 cup chopped nuts if you want.

Scoop the cookies. Use a cookie scoop to shape the dough into 2 tablespoon sized balls and place them on the cookie sheet about and inch or so apart.

Bake for 11 – 13 minutes – or until the tops of the cookies have set. They should still be super soft when you take them out, especially if you want them to be chewy.

Let them cool. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

dairy free chocolate chip cookie sitting on top of a glass of almond milk, with text overlay for Pinterest

FAQs and tips for making the best chocolate chip cookies

What can I substitute for butter in chocolate chip cookies?

If you want to replace butter in chocolate chip cookies, you have several options. Since chocolate chip cookies typically use softened, but not melted butter, I recommend using vegetable shortening, vegan butter, or softened coconut oil for a 1:1 replacement.

Are Nestle semi sweet chocolate chips dairy free?

Traditional Nestle chocolate chips aren’t dairy free, but they recently came out with a line called Simply Delicious that are top 8 allergen free, which means they are dairy free. If you’re unsure, be sure to check the ingredients list.

dairy free chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack, one has a bite taken out of it

More dairy free cookie recipes:

  • Rocky road cookies
  • Chocolate chocolate chip cookies
  • Soft sugar cookies
  • Sprinkle cookies
  • Almond crescent cookies
  • Chocolate oatmeal cookies

More dairy free chocolate recipes:

  • Microwave fudge
  • Olive oil brownies
  • Chocolate cupcakes
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Dairy free hot chocolate
  • Chocolate zucchini muffins

kids hand holding a dairy free chocolate chip cookie over a glass of almond milk

The Best Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.2 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Melissa Belanger

  • Prep Time:
    20 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    35 minutes

  • Total Time:
    55 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: Desserts

  • Method:
  • Cuisine: American



These dairy free chocolate chip cookies are seriously the best ever. They are made with shortening instead of butter, which makes them perfectly chewy with slightly crunchy edges. No one will ever know that the butter is missing. #dairyfree #cookies



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening*
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until incorporated, scrapping sides as needed.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop 2 tablespoon balls of dough onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 11 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  7. Repeat steps 6 – 7 to bake remaining cookies.


If you are concerned about the palm oil found in shortening, try buying a sustainably sourced brand such as Spectrum.

Keywords: dairy free, easy, chocolate, cookies