Chewy and golden chocolate chip cookie dough shaped and baked into cups before being filled with a gooey caramel and topped with chocolate. These desserts are naturally vegan, gluten-free and easy to make.
I love making cookie cups and after my Christmassy Chocolate Orange Cookie Cups and my more breakfast-like Peanut Butter Protein Cookie Cups, it was time to take it back to basics with chocolate chip cookies. The inspiration behind these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups was a little collaboration with The Chia Co, who wanted to celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week (10-16th May 2021 in the UK) and how chia seeds can give your recipes a little boost.
Why use chia seeds?
- As an egg replacer
- To bind mixes and batters
- High in fibre
- Packed with plant-protein
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free
- You can eat them raw or cooked
If you have seen many of my cakes, bakes and breakfast recipes, you’ll notice that I use chia seeds a lot, whether they are ground down or left whole. They really are a dream to use, and a tub goes a long way. So, these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups are studded with little chia seeds to bind the gluten-free and vegan cookie dough as well as having a few sprinkled on top for good measure.
These Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups are such a delicious snack or afternoon tea treat. They feature:
- A golden chewy yet crisp cookie cup
- A 3-ingredient no-date caramel
- A shiny chocolate top
- Some edible decorations
These little bites are so moreish and come together in just a few steps (outlined in the method below) but first, let’s see what goes into these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups!
- GF plain flour: I use a GF 1:1 blend with xantham gum to make these really light and cookie dough-like. If you are not gluten-free, you can use plain flour.
- Ground almonds: this makes the dough have a lovely crumbly nature and a nutty taste. If you are avoiding nuts, you can use ground up seeds like sunflower seeds.
- White chia seeds: I like to use the white ones here so you can’t see them as much, but black chia seeds will also work. This binds the batter together.
- Baking powder: for a little rise and fluffy texture.
- Salt: for the flavour.
- Maple syrup: to bind the cookie dough and add natural sweetness. You can use any sticky sweetener here like agave or brown rice syrup, too, or vegan honey.
- Coconut oil: this keeps the cookie dough really light and delicious.
- Vanilla: for the lovely cookie dough sweet flavour.
- Chocolate chips: to make the chocolate chip cookie dough as opposed to regular cookie dough. Make sure they are dairy-free.
Stir together all the ingredients for the dough and divide into 6 balls. Place each ball in a greased muffin hole. I like to also place a strip of parchment in each hole to help you lift out the hole. Press the cookie dough into cup shapes, making sure to work your way up the sides. Have patience as this is really important! Then bake until golden at the edges and press in the centre of the cups immediately to make the hole inside the cups.
The next part of these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups is to fill the baked Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups with the caramel. This is so easy:
- Smooth nut butter: I like almond or peanut butter but you could also use cashew butter or tahini/sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
- Maple syrup: to add the sweetness and stickiness to the caramel. As above, use another sticky syrup if you like.
- Coconut oil: this keeps the caramel sticky and delicious without an overpowering coconut flavour.
Allow the caramel mix to set slightly and then fill the cups. Top off these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups with some melted chocolate and your favourite sprinkles. I went for cacao nibs, freeze-dried raspberries, pistachios and extra chia seeds.
These are such a dream to make and eat – they are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee as a snack or with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. They are pretty versatile and so family friendly.
I hope you will love these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups and if you are looking for more gluten-free vegan sweets, how about my:
- Nutty Blueberry Breakfast Muffins
- Vegan Buttercream Lamingtons
- Easy Vegan Chocolate Tiffins
- Tea and Biscuit Blondies
- Almond Butter and Raspberry Crumble Bars
Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups (Vegan Gluten-Free)
These vegan cake bites are inspired by the Australian lamington and the British Victoria sponge: a vanilla sandwich cake spread with jam and buttercream coated in chocolate and coconut. These are naturally vegan and make a delicious afternoon tea bake.
- For the cookie cups:
- 90g GF plain flour
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 tbsp white chia seeds
- ½ tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 60ml maple syrup
- 45g coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 30g chocolate chips For the caramel:
- 40g smooth almond/peanut butter
- 40g maple syrup
- 25g coconut oil, melted
- A pinch of salt For the chocolate:
- 50g chocolate
- 5g coconut oil, melted Topping suggestions:
- chia seeds, chopped nuts, freeze-dried raspberries, cacao nibs
- Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease 6 muffin holes, placing 1 strip of parchment paper in each cup to help you lift out the cups more easily.
- Stir together the flour, ground almonds, chia seeds, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and stir to a sticky dough and fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the mix into 6 balls and place each ball into a muffin hole. Press down firmly with your fingers to shape the cookie dough into cup, working up the sides.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes until golden and crisp on top. Remove from the oven then press down the centre of the cups with a spoon to make the holes for the caramel.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes until firmer before carefully removing from the muffin tray. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile make the caramel by whisking together the ingredients until smooth. When the cookie cups are cool, fill them with the caramel.
- Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil and pour over the caramel and set in the fridge. Decorate with chopped nuts, extra chia seeds, freeze-dried raspberries etc as desired. Keep an in airtight container for 3-5 days.
I look forward to hearing what you think of these delicious Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Cups so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make them, please tag me in your bakes, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!
With cookie cup love x
The original recipe and social media post were sponsored by The Chia Company but this recipe post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.