Easy Chocolate Cookies Without Butter Recipe

Posted in DIY & Recipes, Recipes
on January 26, 2018

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I’m sharing my new favorite cookie recipe with you today – these easy chocolate cookies without butter!

easy chocolate cookies without butter close up

They are soft chocolate sugar cookies with a rich chocolatey taste and yummy sugar coating. So so good. 

AND they use oil instead of butter making them both delicious and frugal. Did you know that butter actually costs six times more than the same amount of vegetable oil? 

So if you are looking for an easy chocolate cookies without butter recipe, I’ve got you covered. 

How To Make Chocolate Cookies Without Butter

chocolate sugar cookies on a rack

You make these cookies in a similar way as my no butter Snickerdoodle cookies are made.

You can mix the soft dough in just open bowl if you are careful with the dry ingredients. I suggest mixing the wet ingredients Plus sugar first, then sprinkling the dry ingredients on top. 

Then you scoop out walnut-sized pieces of dough, roll the dough into a ball shape in the palm of your hand, then coat the dough in sugar. 

ingredients in a glass mixing bowl

This gives them the lovely cracked top with a dusting of sugar. 

You make these cookies with cocoa powder so you don’t have to have any baking chocolate on hand. I add a bit of cinnamon to the dough for some depth of flavor, but you could certainly leave it out if you want. 

No Butter Snickerdoodles Tips & Tricks

OXO Stainless Steel Small Cookie Scoop

I use a small cookie scoop like this one to get consistently sized cookies. This makes them cook evenly and all turn out perfectly every time.

Rolling the cookie balls in cinnamon sugar is a critical step in getting perfect cookies. Yes, it is a bit time consuming but I promise it is worth it. Don’t skip this step!

And last, the dough will seem a bit greasy compared to traditional cookie dough. Don’t be alarmed – they will turn out fine. If they seem WAAAAYYY too greasy though, you may have under measured your flour.

I suggest adding a tablespoon or two or flour and see if that helps. 

silicone baking mat

I bake ALL of my cookies on a silicone baking mat like this one from Target.

I’ll never go back to dirty pans again. And I never have to worry if I have any parchment paper or not!

Silicone baking mats also make an excellent gift for anyone who loves to bake.

Chocolate Cookies Without Butter Substitutions

coffee beans, chocolate, and cinnamon sticks

Here are some ideas for variations or substitutions:

  • If you want super chocolatey cookies you can substitute 1 packet of hot cocoa mix for 1/4 cup of the sugar.
  • You can use rice bran oil, olive oil, avocado oil or even coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil
  • If you don’t have cinnamon on hand, you can definitely leave it out. I just like the depth of flavor it adds. 
  • If you are feeling adventurous, try adding a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to make spicy chocolate cookies!

How To Get Thick & Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Here are my secrets to getting thick and chewy chocolate cookies:

  • First, be sure to roll the cookies into a ball and coat thoroughly with the sugar mixture. 
  • Then place them on the pan at least 2 inches apart and very slightly press them down with your hand. They should still be mostly in a ball shape. 
  • Be sure to bake them on a cool pan each time – a warm pan will make the cookies spread and flatten out. 
  • Do NOT overbake these cookies! They should still be soft when you take them out of the oven. They will finish cooking on the pan. 

If you follow these suggestions you will get nice thick chocolate cookies without butter. 

I hope you enjoy this easy no butter chocolate cookies recipe!

Any questions? Just leave a comment below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page. 

Yield: 2 dozen

Easy Chocolate Cookies Without Butter Recipe

Easy Chocolate Cookies Without Butter Recipe

Soft sugar cookies made with cocoa powder and oil instead of butter.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3/4 cup white sugar + 2 tablespoons for rolling
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup + 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix everything together to form a thick dough. 
  5. Chill for 15 minutes if needed for the dough to set up.
  6. Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and roll each ball in the sugar coating.
  7. Place cookies a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on the bottom. Do not overbake or they will be hard as rocks!
  9. Leave on the pan for about 2 more minutes then remove to a cookie sheet.
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  • Ellen

    There is way too much flour in this? I ended up adding loads of additional oil. Not sure what happened and why nobody else is having this problem.

    June 3, 2020 at 8:42 am Reply
    • Leah

      If anything they end up greasy but fine after baking. Maybe a mistake in measuring? Happens to me frequently.

      June 4, 2020 at 7:46 am Reply
  • Dave

    I made these exactly except for a slug of leftover coffee and some unused self rising flour i had left from when everyone was hoarding tp, flour and hand sanitizer. Upped the baking time to around 12 minutes and made the batch above into 16 heaping Tbsp sized cookies which came out good and chewy because of the baking powder 🙂 Yum… Good easy recipe

    May 24, 2020 at 9:41 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    I’m looking forward to making! I’ve got high cholesterol complicated by a sweet tooth. Butter is basically out-so these will be perfect. I love the idea of adding coffee. Thanks!

    May 24, 2020 at 10:13 am Reply
  • Sondra

    These are so good! I used coconut oil and it was heavenly!

    May 11, 2020 at 11:51 pm Reply
  • Mary W

    These worked out perfectly! I rolled mine in powdered sugar instead. 8 minutes did the trick.

    April 29, 2020 at 6:07 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Yum! Sounds delicious.

      April 30, 2020 at 7:17 am Reply
  • sarah

    these were delicious!! i am making them for all my friends today! how long do they keep for?

    April 14, 2020 at 4:37 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Great Sarah! At least a week.

      April 15, 2020 at 9:38 am Reply
  • Jan

    Really delicious chocolate cookies. Cooked in Aga for only 5minutes to avoid over cooking . Light and crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle. Thanks for a great recipe .

    April 8, 2020 at 12:20 pm Reply
  • Ali B

    Made it just as the recipe said and they turned out great!

    I was feeling down and wanted something to cheer my husband and myself up. I was looking for a cookie recipe without butter (we are all out and aren’t planning on a grocery trip for at least a week) and stumbled on this. So glad I did! Delicious!

    March 31, 2020 at 9:22 pm Reply
  • Mak

    Worked great!. Didn’t have enough butter. Not stocked during the covid panic of 2020. Had cocoa froM a South America trip years ago. Finally found a way to use it. Even used less sugar than stated here. Like a dark chocolate cookie.

    March 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Sounds perfect!

      March 15, 2020 at 8:08 am Reply
  • Carol Taylor

    Nice cookies I used brown sugar and added a bit of coffee.. Only needed 8 mins in my oven

    February 14, 2020 at 9:59 pm Reply
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