Whipping up this mouthwatering vegan take on the classic BJ's chocolate chip skillet cookie couldn't be simpler, and it's perfect for sharing. Imagine a giant cookie, its edges perfectly crispy, with a center that's soft and lusciously gooey, all crowned with a scoop of vegan ice cream and topped with chocolate syrup. Enjoy right from the skillet for a hassle-free, comforting dessert.
It wasn't until I was deep into making posts about two of my favorite shareable desserts — Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue and Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fondue that I stumbled upon the concept of this shareable skillet cookie.
This shareable skillet cookie is also known as a "pizookie." It's an amazing cookie the size of a deep-dish pizza cooked in a cast iron pan that screams yum! It's a concept so wonderful that it made me wonder if I was living under a particularly dense rock for missing out on it since its '90s debut at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, which popularized this style of dessert.
I needed to make a vegan version because, let's face it, everyone deserves to indulge in this cookie behemoth. And let me tell you, it's so delectably sneaky in its vegan guise that you'll even question its identity.
After embarking on a pizookie baking spree that saw my oven churning out these giants like there was no tomorrow, I've hit a point where the mere mention of them might send me into a cookie coma.
Yet, despite swearing them off for a hypothetical three-month cookie detox, there's no denying the allure of this delicious vegan cookie will bring me back to making these on a regular basis, guaranteed.
Why You'll Love These Vegan Pizookies
Aside from its delicious flavor, there is no need for the usual cookie prep rituals—chilling, shaping, fussing.
This wonder is whipped up in a single bowl, no fancy equipment required if you don't want to. It's a breeze to make, really. You get those irresistibly crunchy edges and an oh-so-soft and gooey middle. Pile on some vegan ice cream and watch it melt into every delicious nook and cranny. Bring on a bunch of spoons, and watch everyone dig in! I love shareable desserts!
Here are the building blocks that will lead you to decadence. See the recipe card for quantities.
- flaxseed meal and water to make a flax "egg"
- vegan butter
- brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- plant-based milk
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- vegan chocolate chips
- vegan ice cream for serving
Notes On Ingredients:
Tossing in a teaspoon of cornstarch into your skillet cookie mix is that secret ingredient you never knew you needed. It's all about keeping things soft and tender, not to mention it helps the cookie hold up better, so you get that perfect gooey middle with crisp edges. Plus, it locks in moisture, so even if your cookie somehow survives beyond the first day, it'll still be just as chewy.
One cup of vegan chocolate mini chips may seem like a lot, but it's the perfect amount to make this a gooey, chewy, delicious cookie. Try to find the mini chips to get a gooey texture in every bite. They melt quickly to create a consistently delicious chocolate experience in the skillet cookie.
Use both white and light brown sugar. The white sugar gives the cookie sweetness and helps form its shape, while the brown sugar adds a yummy caramel taste. Plus, the brown sugar helps keep the middle of the cookie nice and soft, adding to its gooeyness.
Here’s a picture story of how simple things combine to create something spectacular. The recipe card provides more detailed instructions.
Preparation: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C) and soften the vegan butter.
Mix flaxseed meal and water and let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken, mimicking an egg consistency.
Combine the melted (but room-temperature) vegan butter and sugars.
Then add vanilla, milk, and flax eggs. Mix well.
Sift in the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt into the wet ingredients.
Add the vegan chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. Your hands will do the best job.
Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Spread cookie dough evenly.
Loosely place aluminum foil over the top of the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes on the center rack, then remove the aluminum foil and bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges are golden and the center is set but soft.
It will look fully baked, but when you spoon the center, it should have a melty, gooey center. Serve your vegan skillet cookie while it's still warm. Pairing it with a scoop of vegan ice cream and chocolate syrup takes it over the top.
- I've experimented with these cookies by creaming the butter and sugar and using melted butter. Creaming the butter and sugar pumps air into the dough, making the cookie lighter and fluffier. On the flip side, melted butter leads to a denser, chewier texture that I think shines in vegan chocolate chip skillet cookies. The rich texture and ease of using melted, room-temperature butter is a win for me, but honestly, both techniques have their own charm.
- Ensure the melted butter is at room temperature before mixing it with the sugar.
- The consistency of your flax egg can affect the texture of the cookie. If it's too runny, let it sit a bit longer. If it's too thick, add a tiny bit more water. It should have a raw egg consistency.
- Adjust the baking time accordingly if you use a larger or smaller skillet. It may affect the cookie's consistency.
- Covering a vegan skillet cookie with aluminum foil initially prevents over-browning and ensures even cooking, resulting in a crispy outside and soft, gooey inside. You don't have to use it but watch it carefully so it doesn't brown too much.
- After you take it out of the oven, the cookie will continue to cook in the hot skillet, so it’s better to underbake it so the center stays gooey. Twenty-five minutes is perfect in my oven for a crispy edge and gooey center.
- The best way to eat this cookie is warm, straight from the skillet, with a generous scoop of vegan ice cream.
Feel free to add your favorite mix-ins. A handful of mini vegan marshmallows, ½ cup of nuts, a swirl of peanut butter, or even a sprinkle of cinnamon are all great mix-ins.
If you're feeling adventurous, sprinkling a pinch of sea salt over the top before baking adds a delightful contrast to the sweetness.
Serve with vegan caramel sauce instead of chocolate syrup for variety.
How Do I Know When The Cookie Is Done?
The edges should be golden and set, but the center will look soft. It will continue to firm up as it cools, so don't overbake to get that gooey, delicious middle.
What If The Center Of The Cookie Sinks?
If your skillet cookie's journey to becoming a culinary masterpiece took a detour with a slightly sunken center, there's no need for alarm. A dip in the middle of a skillet cookie is common in this recipe and not necessarily a sign of failure.
Unlike other skillet cookie recipes that chase the firm cookie consistency throughout, with this vegan skillet cookie recipe, we're all about that gooey, slightly undercooked center. It's what gives you that awesome contrast between the crunchy edges and the soft, gooey middle. So, if the middle sinks a bit after you take it out of the oven, it's not a biggie. It's kind of what we're going for. Just throw a scoop of ice cream on top, and I promise, no one's going to be focusing on the geography of your cookie.
If the center seems more like a sinkhole than a gentle dip, it might just need more oven time. Since ovens heat differently, you might want to leave it a bit longer next time. Pop an aluminum foil tent over it for an extra 5 minutes to get that center baked without toasting the top too much.
And just a couple of heads-ups:
- Watch out for adding too much baking soda. If you go overboard, your cookie will puff up in the oven and then deflate once it's out, leaving you with that sunken look.
- The temperature of your vegan butter matters, too. Too warm can make your dough spread out fast and rise unevenly, which doesn't help the sinking situation. Room temperature is the way to go.
The traditional ingredients like eggs and dairy butter are swapped out for plant-based alternatives - flax eggs, plant-based milk, and vegan butter.
Yes, you can! Prepare the dough, press it into the skillet, and then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. It's a great way to get ahead of dessert plans. Alternatively, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
I've never used flour other than all-purpose flour for this recipe. Let me know in the comments if you do!
A cast-iron skillet is the best choice for getting those perfectly crispy edges and a gooey center in your cookies, but if you don't have one, you might be able to get away with using any oven-safe pan or a cake pan instead. Just a heads up, though—the baking time might need a little tweaking. I haven't tested this out with a different pan myself, so if you decide to give it a shot, I'd love to hear how it turns out for you in the comments!
What did you think?Print
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 5 tablespoons water
- 8 tablespoons vegan butter, melted but room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (brands like Enjoy Life or Trader Joe's have good options)
- vegan ice cream for serving
- Melt The Butter: To melt the butter, gently warm it in the microwave.
- Flax Egg: To make flax eggs, mix the flax seed meal with water in a small bowl and let it thicken for about 10 minutes. This mixture will act as a binder, and the consistency should be that of an egg.
- Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Wet Ingredients: Start by whisking both sugars and melted butter together.
- Add Flax Egg and Vanilla: Add the milk, flax egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well mixed together.
- Add Dry Ingredients: To the wet mixture, sift in the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Stir until just combined. You don’t want to overmix, but you want to see the dough form. Once mixed together, fold in the vegan chocolate chips (and any other add-ins you fancy) until a soft cookie dough forms and all the flour and chocolate chips are incorporated.
- Skillet Time: Take a cast iron skillet (about 10 inches in diameter) and lightly grease it with vegan butter or cooking spray. Place your cookie dough into the skillet and press it down evenly.
- Bake: Place it in the oven's middle rack for 12 minutes with aluminum foil loosely covering it. Remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake for an additional 15-18 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is set but still soft.
- Cool and Serve: Serve straight from the skillet or let the cookie cool before slicing. It will firm up as it sits. Serve warm, with a scoop of vegan ice cream and chocolate syrup on top for extra decadence.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: ⅛ of the cookie
- Calories: 433
- Sugar: 38.8 g
- Sodium: 350.6 mg
- Fat: 16 g
- Carbohydrates: 67.2 g
- Protein: 5.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: skillet, easy, one-pan, no mixer, cast iron, chocolate, chocolate chips