These Easy Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles are an easy to make vegan cookie recipe. Packed with irresistible flavor from the cayenne pepper, cinnamon and chocolate! The cookies have a soft center, crispy edges, crackled top, and are rolled in cinnamon-sugar.
Mexican Chocolate Cookies
You may be wondering if you have to use Mexican chocolate to make these cookies. The cookies come together to taste like traditional Mexican chocolate with the cocoa, cayenne and cinnamon. It is an incredible explosion of flavor!
Originally posted October 2011 and updated text and photos November 2023. One of the first cookies I shared here on the blog!
Are Mexican cookies spicy?
Another question you may have about these cookies is are they super spicy? And no, because we are using just a touch of cayenne pepper, they are not shockingly spicy. BUT if you decide on your own to kick it up with more cayenne, be prepared, you may burn your tongue off! I one time baked these and by mistake added extra cayenne.
I thought it would not be too spicy. Oh, my goodness! They were not that easy to eat! So I highly advise to stick with just a touch of spice. The zing of cayenne will be the perfect heat that mellows out with the cocoa and the warm touch of cinnamon.
And did I mention all those beautiful flavors get rolled into a crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping? Yes, these cookies are AMAZING! Plus, they’re vegan (totally dairy-free!).
It is a lovely cookie to gift to any of your chocolate loving friends…but just be sure to warn them that they come with a kick of spice in every bite! IF you are baking these for younger kids, leave out the spice. The older kids may take a bite and enjoy them (like my older kid does!).
Back when I first began blogging and even went vegan for a while (YES, I was totally vegan for about a year), I was dabbling in all things VEGAN. Now that I have a dairy-free kid, she is exploring and trying out all of my older vegan recipes.
Why we love this recipe?
- Sweet, a little spicy, rich and absolutely sparkly cookies that need to be added to your Christmas cookie tray (or bake them any time you’re craving something chocolatey!). No chocolate chips, no butter, no dairy…you probably have all the ingredients on hand to get baking!
- Fun to bake: Besides eating the cookies, we also had fun baking them. When I originally baked these, I made the first tray of cookies by myself. The kids took a break from their movie and decided to see what they could sneak from the batter. There were little hands coming at me from every angle. I let them finish rolling out the rest of the dough and they loved dipping the cookies in the sugar. SO consider baking these with kids!
- Vegan and dairy-free!: Absolutely no dairy in this recipe.
- Easy to make: They're easy to make, and the rolling in sugar is always fun for them!
- Cinnamon and chocolate are the perfect duo: I am normally not a snickerdoodle fan, per se. If they are on a tray of Christmas cookies...that is the one cookie I won't eat. But the cinnamon and chocolate in this cookie were meant to be a couple. I sometimes like desserts with a little surprise kick! The little bit of cayenne in the recipe is just right. The cookie texture is crisp and moist in the middle. That's my kind of a cookie.
What ingredients are in Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles?
- canola oil (or try with melted coconut oil )
- sugar (make sure it’s vegan)
- pure maple syrup: Adds additional sweetness and contributes to the moist texture.
- milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder: Provides the rich chocolate flavor.
- baking soda: Acts as a leavening agent, helping the cookies rise and spread.
- sea salt
- ground cinnamon (for the batter and also the topping)
- cayenne pepper: Provides a spicy kick, adding depth to the overall flavor profile.
- turbinado sugar (for the topping): Provides a sweet, crunchy crust on the cookies.
- vanilla extract: Enhances flavors and adds a hint of sweetness.
How to make Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles?
First step is to gather all your ingredients. Heat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cayenne and cinnamon.
In another large bowl (you could make whole entire batter by hand or with an electric mixer), add the oil, sugar, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Stir together to combine.
Add mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in 3 portions. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl after each flour addition to combine.
Chill the dough for about 20 minutes.
When ready to bake, scoop the cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets into 1.5 tablespoon balls spaced a couple inches apart, on each of the baking sheets.
For the spiced sugar mixture: In a shallow dish, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
Scoop out portions of the dough into 1.5-inch balls (you could use an ice-cream scooper) and roll each of them in the spiced sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges but still soft in the center. Check cookies around 9 minutes, because every oven is different, and if the edges look nice and set, they could be ready.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Gluten-free option: Replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure it contains xanthan gum, vital for maintaining the cookies' structure.
- For a Nut-Free Alternative: Replace almond milk with oat milk or soy milk.
- Natural sweeteners: Instead of sugar, you can opt for natural sweeteners like agave nectar or stevia. They deliver a similar level of sweetness without the calories.
- Different Spices: If you're not a fan of cayenne pepper, try adding a different spice such as nutmeg or cardamom for a unique flavor twist.
- Oil-free option: Replace the oil with applesauce for an oil-free version. However, keep in mind this might alter the texture of the cookies slightly.
Although I didn’t try this recipe totally gluten-free, I have had great luck subbing all-purpose flour Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, and it could work fine with these cookies.
Yes, they can! Since they are egg free and totally dairy-free, these are great cookies to prep a little bit ahead of all the hectic holiday baking and cooking days. If you have a nice and cold basement, store them there in an airtight container. Or if you kitchen is not too warm, they’ll be fine on the counter (in an airtight container or cookie jar).
They’ll keep for up 5 days in an airtight container (even a little longer in the fridge). They’ll freeze for up to 3 months. Just be sure to wrap them well and store in a zipped lock freezer bag or storage container.
The origin of the name snickerdoodle is somewhat of a mystery. Some believe it to have German roots in the word "Schneckennudel", a type of pastry, while others think it might just be a whimsical, nonsense name with no particular meaning.
Snickerdoodles should be soft and slightly undercooked in the middle when you take them out of the oven. They will continue to cook on the hot baking sheet after removed from the oven, resulting in a perfectly soft and chewy cookie.
Snickerdoodles can become hard if they are overcooked or if they have been stored improperly. To keep them soft, ensure you don't overbake them and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Your Snickerdoodles may be flat due to over-mixing the cookie dough or not chilling it before baking. Both these factors can result in cookies spreading too much during baking. To avoid this, mix only until ingredients are just combined and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.
This dough is meant to be rolled and baked right after preparing. While you can make it ahead of time, keep in mind that chilling the dough will result in a slightly drier texture and thicker chocolate snickerdoodles that won't spread as much. Be sure to tightly cover the dough before chilling, and refrain from chilling it for more than a few days.
Yes, you can certainly add chocolate chips to your snickerdoodle cookie dough! This is a popular variation of the classic recipe and adds a delicious twist to the traditional cinnamon-sugar flavor.
Some other cookies to enjoy:
- Vegan Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Lemon Biscotti with Lemon Sugar Glaze
- Italian Rainbow Cookies
- Banana Bread Biscotti
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread #TwelveLoaves
- Conchas de Pan Dulce
- My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Chili with Stew Meat
Go ahead and try to eat just one!
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Hope you’re week started off great. Thanks for stopping by. XX
Vegan Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened almond milk or any other dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the topping:
- ⅓ cup sugar I used turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.
- In another large bowl, add the oil, sugar, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Stir together to combine.
- Add mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in 3 portions. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl after each flour addition to combine.
- For the spiced sugar mixture: In a shallow dish, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
- Scoop out portions of the dough into 1.5-inch balls (you could use an ice-cream scooper) and roll each of them in the spiced sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges but still soft in the center. Check cookies around 9 minutes, because every oven is different, and if the edges look nice and set, they could be ready.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will get more crispy on the edges and crack some as they cool down.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Any unbaked cookie dough will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
Butter: Use margarine in place of butter to make them vegan.
Sugar: Use vegan sugar to make sure they're totally vegan (IF you're making them vegan).
Yield: depending on how big you roll cookies, could 2 dozen cookies.