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5 from 1 vote

Black Cocoa Cat-Shaped Cookies (Vegan)

Adorable, vegan, black cocoa cat cookies with crisp edges, a slight chew, and subtle bitterness balanced out by the sugar. They're decorated using vegan royal icing with my favorite recipe linked down in the notes. Feel free to swap in regular butter, milk, and royal icing if there are no dietary dairy restrictions.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword animal cookie, black cocoa cookies, cat cookies, character cookie, character cookies, cocoa cookies, cookie, cookies, gourmet cookie, royal icing, sugar cookie, sugar cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Decorating time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings 15 cookies
Cost $2.96


Dry ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (150g, $0.39)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder ($0.12)
  • 2 tbsp black cocoa powder ($0.24)
  • ½ tsp baking soda ($0.01)
  • ¼ tsp salt ($0.01)

Wet ingredients:

  • ½ cup dairy-free unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick butter/8 tbsp, $1.25)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g, $0.10)
  • ¼ cup light or dark brown sugar (50g, $0.27)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.42)
  • 2-4 tbsp dairy-free milk ($0.15)

Decoration for face:

  • vegan royal icing, see recipe notes below. or use melted vegan milk/dark and white chocolate (dye the latter pink or red with oil-based food coloring)


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (can alternatively use hand mixer or whisk), mix the butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Scrape bottom of bowl. Add vanilla and mix again.
  • Dump in all of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If the dough is crumbly, slowly add 2-4 tbsp of dairy-free milk until it comes together. The finished dough should be thick.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C and line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Use small cookie dough scoop to gather dough (about 1 ½ tablespoon each). Shape dough into ball, then place onto lined baking tray. Flatten with palm of your hand or bottom of a cup. This will be the cat's head.
    For the ears, take ½ tsp of dough and shape into a triangle with your fingers Place the ear on the upper left or right side of the head and repeat for the other ear. Place cats about 3-4 inches apart. They will not spread much while baking.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should look slightly puffy and soft in the center with set edges. They will not brown because of their black color.
    Be careful to not over bake so they don't get crispy! They will continue cooking when cooling on the pan.
  • Let cool on pan for about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cool completely.
  • To add the faces, use pink, yellow, and black colored vegan royal icing (recipe in notes below). Place into small piping bags and cut a small tip for each one. Have a toothpick or cookie scribe on hand to help you move the icing in the direction you want as you decorate the cookies.
    First, start with the eyes using the yellow royal icing: outline the eyes by piping 4 dots that you can connect into a circle. After connecting the circle for each eye, move onto the next cat. This allows the yellow outlines to somewhat dry, allowing you to flood the middle with the remaining yellow icing.
    After piping the eye outlines for each cat, flood the circles with the yellow icing. While that dries, use the pink royal icing to add the noses and inner ears for each cat.
    Take black icing and pipe whiskers on the left and right sides of the cat's face. Finally, using the black icing, add the pupils to the cat's eyes within the yellow circle. Leave a small perimeter of the yellow around the pupils as pictured in my photos.
  • Enjoy!


  • I used this recipe for the vegan royal icing and I skipped the optional vegetable glycerin. It actually makes a lot of royal icing, so I already had a bunch of it stored in my freezer! It only takes about 10 minutes for it to thaw.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.