Vegan turtle cookies, filled with caramel and crusted with pecans and topped with a chocolate drizzle. They’re satisfyingly sweet with a kick of salty caramel.
I’m just too stoked to tell you about the freakin delish vegan turtle cookies! They’re a beautiful soft-batch vegan chocolate cookie which encrusted with baked, crunchy pecan pieces, then filled with slated caramel sauce and drizzled with chocolate.
I loved these fellas since the minute I took them out of the fridge and felt the WEIGHT of them! They’re rich and luxurious and you can tell that even before you put them anywhere near your mouth!
What even is a vegan turtle cookie??
If you’re from the UK, you can be excused for not knowing what a vegan turtle cookie is. They’re an American treat (which also exists as a candy bar) which varies depending on who you ask but consistently involves three elements:
- Caramel sauce
The main challenge here was to create a SUPER smooth caramel sauce (which actually tastes like caramel and not just dates and brown sugar!) as well as baking a deliiicously moist and soft chocolate cookie!
Any magic ingredients??
There are a couple of super essential ingredients which will really make this recipe pop! Make sure you’re got the following ingredients in the pantry before you start making these fellas!
Vegan Dark Chocolate
As you can imagine, chocolate plays an important role in the flavours involved here! Make sure you pick a good one with a good bitter kick to it!
Most dark chocolates over 70% cocoa solids contain no milk, but always make sure you check the label.
You can grab my favourite dark chocolate for baking here!
Any essential equipment?
Only one piece of super important equipment necessary for these vegan turtle cookies! A really good, powerful, high-speed blender! Many of us have those dusty old food processors in the back of the cupboard but I’m afraid, for this recipe, you’ll need something a little more powerful!
I use either a nutri-bullet or a ninja blender. They’re essential because the smoother your cashew cream gets, the smoother your caramel sauce will be.
Even tiny little bits of gritty cashew will affect the texture of your caramel, so do make sure you grab a really reliable blender.
Any tips for perfect cookies?
Yep! I have a handful of tips for making these vegan turtle cookies ABSOLUTELY perfect! Here we go:
1. Soak those cashews!
So much of the JOY behind these cookies comes from the texture of the caramel sauce! The longer you soak your cashews, the softer they will become. The softer your cashews, the easier they’ll be to blend. As the liquid content of your caramel sauce, a super smooth cashew cream is essential! So soak em up good ok!?
2. Use room temperature vegan butter!
The risk of using chilled butter in this cookie recipe is that it might split! It’s essential you keep the mix from splitting or it’ll drastically affect the texture of your cookies. Take your vegan butter out of the fridge around 2 hours before you plan to use it and you’ll be all set!
3. Don’t overwork your dough!
The enemy of a soft-batch cookie is gluten! As soon as you add your flour to the dough and start mixing, you start to activate the gluten in the flour. If you over-work the dough by mixing too much, you’ll end up with (literally) a tough cookie! Mix the dough until the flour is JUST incorporated and no more, and your vegan turtle cookies will be PERFECK!
Need more cookies?
Why not give some of my other cookie recipes a go!
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Pecan and Dark Chocolate Cookies
- Best Ever Vegan Millionaire Shortbread
Disclosure: some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn commission when you click through and make a purchase.
- High Speed Blender
For the Caramel
- 23 g cashews (raw unsalted – soaked in boiling water for at least 2 hours)
- 40 g water
- 50 g coconut cream the solid white stuff at the top of a can of
refrigerated coconut milk)
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
- pinch flaky sea salt
For the Cookies
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 3 tsp water
- 65 g vegan butter (at room temperature)
- 65 g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp plant milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
- 65 g plain white flour
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 35 g pecans (roughly chopped)
For the Chocolate Topping
- 50 g vegan dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
- 13 g odourless coconut oil (aka refined coconut oil)
To Make the Caramel
- Pour the soaking cashews into a sieve and discard the soaking water. Give them a quick wash under cold water. Shake off any excess water and add them to the cup of a high-speed blender.
- Add the 40g/ml of water to the cup and blend on high speed until very smooth. Add the coconut cream and then blend again until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan over medium/low heat, add the caster sugar. Stirring constantly, melt the caster sugar until it is completely liquid. Very carefully, allow the sugar to caramelise, making sure it doesn't go too dark. You're aiming for a nice caramel brown colour with some tiny bubbles rising from the outsides.
- As soon as the caramelised sugar starts to bubble, remove it from the heat and add the cashew/coconut cream mixture. Don't stir, as the reaction can be a little spluttery. Leave it to calm down for a few seconds, then gently stir together the cream and caramel until smooth.
- Once you have a smooth caramel, add the vanilla and the sea salt and stir. Leave to cool to room temperature.
To Make the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 175c.
- In a small bowl, mix together the psyllium husk powder and the water. Set aside to thicken.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the vegan butter and the sugar until smooth. Add the thickened psyllium husks along with the plant milk and vanilla and beat well to combine.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa and salt. By hand, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, spoon by spoon, being careful not to overwork the mix.
- Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop balls of dough onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Depending on the size of your scoop, you should get between 8 and 12 balls of dough.
- Add your pecan pieces to a small bowl and, one by one, dunk the balls of dough into the pecans, making sure the pecans stick to the dough. Arrange the dunked dough back onto the baking sheet, leaving spread-room between each cookie.
- Using your thumb or the back of a melon baller/coffee scoop, firmly press down the centre of each ball of dough to make a dent in the middle.
- Place in the oven and bake for around 13 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and use the same melon baller/coffee scoop to press down the "thumb-print' again if it has puffed up! Leave to cool fully.
To Finish the Cookies
- Once fully cooled, spoon a teaspoon or so of the room-temp caramel into the centre of each cookie and place back on the baking tray. Once all cookies are filled, place in the fridge to cool for fifteen minutes.
- While the cookies chill, make the chocolate topping. In a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, mix together the chocolate and the coconut oil.
- Once melted and fully combined and smooth, take the cookies out of the fridge. Drizzle generously with the chocolate and then return to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set.
- Once set, serve the cookies straight away from fridge temperature.