You Can Make These Vegan Holiday Cookies with Just 5 Ingredients

Bursting with berries and supported by crunchy shortbread, this easy vegan cookie recipe from chef Chloe Coscarelli will earn you all the brownie points this holiday season.

Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s Raspberry Crumble Bars
Photo: Chef Chloe Coscarelli

The holidays are all about spreading kindness, celebrating the past year and the future, and, of course, eating a sh*t-ton of sweets. In most families and friend groups, all of these festivities come together at one major annual event — the holiday cookie exchange. Yes, these gatherings are supposed to be a wholesome event marked by a sense of togetherness and altruism but face it, every single person is on a covert mission to bring the best cookie to the table.

And this year, you'll be a shoo-in for the top spot if you whip up a batch of these raspberry crumble bars, expertly formulated by chef Chloe Coscarelli, award-winning vegan chef and author of Chloe's Vegan Desserts (Buy It, $20, and Chloe Flavor (Buy It, $26, Though they have just five ingredients (!!), these insanely easy vegan cookies literally ooze flavor, thanks to the gooey raspberry jam sandwiched between a crunchy shortbread cookie and crumbly topping.

While they don't necessarily scream "Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year," these easy vegan cookies take Coscarelli back to her childhood, and reminiscing on the good old days couldn't be more fitting for this particular 2020 season. "My mom used to make 'jelly cookies' for me growing up, which was basically a combination of shortbread and seeded raspberry jam and it was SO good," says Coscarelli. "My mom and I would eat them hot out of the oven, and we always loved the crust. So we created these vegan bar cookies, which basically have a crust on the bottom and on the top, making the ratio exactly as we love it."

Chloe's Vegan Desserts

Chloe's Vegan Desserts

Chloe Flavor

Chloe Flavor

But if you really want to win over the plant-based eaters in your posse, treat them not only to Coscarelli's berry bites but also to one of your own vegan desserts. Stumped? You can easily turn nearly any recipe dairy-free with Coscarelli's vegan baking hacks. The first lesson: Vinegar is your friend. When making a batch of cake or cupcakes that are typically for omnivores, swap each egg with a tablespoon of white, apple cider, or balsamic vinegar and half a teaspoon of baking soda, a combo that will bind the cake together just like an egg, she explains. "The vinegar flavor completely bakes off, so all you're left with is moist, fluffy, delicious cake," she adds.

When creating chocolate mousse, ganache, or whipped cream, turn to unsweetened canned coconut cream, which is basically "nature's substitute for heavy cream," says Coscarelli. To add a whole new dimension to any chocolatey recipe, Coscarelli uses her secret weapon — instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia D'Oros' (Buy It, $4, "Just a couple of teaspoons enhance the dark, rich, chocolatey flavor without necessarily imparting any coffee flavor," she says.

Now that you can practically taste your future baking victory, go slip into your apron, break out the sheet pans, and get to work on Coscarelli's easy vegan cookies. And while you're at it, don't forget to practice your humblebragging for the momentous occasion.

Chloe Coscarelli's Vegan Raspberry Crumble Bars

Makes: 16 2-inch bars

Start to finish: 4 hours


For the shortbread:

  • 2 cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 12 to 18-ounce jar raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper long enough to overhang the edges.
  2. To make shortbread: In a food processor, pulse flour, margarine, sugar, and salt until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of dough for topping, and press the remaining dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes.
  3. To make filling: Carefully spread jam over crust. Crumble reserved shortbread dough over top, leaving some dough in larger clumps, and some jam peeking through. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Let cool, then chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight so they firm up. Once chilled and set, lift parchment paper to release bars from pan and unmold. Using a sharp knife, cut into 2-inch squares, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.
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