Vegan Italian Frosted Chocolate Cookies

chocolate italian cookies

Vegan Italian Frosted Chocolate Cookies

When I was a little girl, my grandma and great aunt would make Italian cookies very similar to these. I wanted to bring back the memories with my daughter this year, so we made these cookies.

Vegan Italian Frosted Chocolate Cookies

makes approx. 120 cookies – great to give as a holiday gift

7 cups all-purpose flour
2 & 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s®)
1/4 cup baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 large orange, zested
1/2 cup prunes purred with water til the consistency of applesauce
1/2 cup vegan butter
5 eggs – Use VeganEgg replacement (Follow Your Heart brand). Read directions and reduce the amount of water you’d need by about 1/2 per Vegan Egg. For 5 eggs, you’ll need to add about 1/2 cup water per egg.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup milk (almond, coconut or cashew)
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1 & 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

The Frosting

3 Tbs cup milk (almond, coconut or cashew)
1 tsp orange juice
1 cup confectioners sugar
option to add 1/2 to 1 tsp orange zest for added zing


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Whisk flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt in a large bowl. Stir orange zest into flour mixture. Mix prune puree and vegan butter into dry ingredients, using your hands, until mixture is crumbly.
Beat VeganEggs and vanilla extract in a bowl with an electric mixer until foamy.
Combine egg mixture, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1/4 cup milk to flour mixture and knead dough in the bowl until thoroughly combined and dough. Knead vegan cream cheese thoroughly into dough, followed by walnuts.
Form dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and place onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake cookies in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.
For icing: Beat 3 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon orange juice, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until smooth. I like a little extra orange zest here for flavor. Gradually beat in remaining confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick and drizzles slowly from a spoon.
Dip tops of cookies into frosting, then place frosted cookies on racks with waxed paper underneath to catch drips. Let cookies dry overnight.


I found a much easier recipe later, and told my 11-year-old daughter that next year we could try the easier one. She said, “Awww, I liked this one because I got to use my hands to mix everything together!” : )

Waxed paper underneath drying racks catches the dripping frosting, and makes clean-up much easier. Exact measurements for the frosting aren’t that important. As long as the consistency is right, the frosting will be good. If it gets too thin, add some more powdered sugar. After frosting the cookies, let them dry on a drying rack overnight. You can also add food coloring to the frosting and/or put sprinkles on these cookies.
Kelli Russell
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