Are Fortune Cookies Vegan?

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Fortune cookies are an American invention, and probably the least authentic part of your next Chinese food night.

They are also delicious.

Typically flavored with a bit of vanilla or citrus, the delicate crunch and mild sweetness of the fortune cookies are beloved by many.

Whether traditional or Americanized, lots of Chinese dishes feature vegetables and rice. If you aren’t a meat-eater, even the meat-based dishes can often be modified with plant protein for a great-tasting vegetarian or vegan option.

If you’re vegan, you’ve probably been surprised at one point by just how many foods aren’t vegan. It can be a pain to constantly be checking ingredient lists for everything you don’t make at home for yourself.

So, are fortune cookies vegan? Most fortune cookie ingredients are vegan, but some recipes will utilize egg whites which are not vegan at all. It’s important to check each individual brand’s ingredients to see whether or not a particular fortune cookie is vegan or not.

In this article, we look at all things fortune cookie and figure out whether or not these after-dinner treats are vegan.

How Fortune Cookies Are Made

The process for making fortune cookies is deceptively simple. There really aren’t many ingredients, especially if you get really adventurous and try to make them from scratch in your own kitchen.

The real difficulty is in getting the shape just right. And writing the fortune, of course.

All fortune cookies start life as a simple batter. Water, sugar, flour, and not a whole lot else.

Most recipes include some flavoring, typically vanilla or orange. Some commercial recipes have added ingredients to help make them more shelf-stable.

After the fortune cookie batter is made, it’s time to bake the cookies. The batter is very thin and is poured in a small circle, like pancakes or crepes.

This then needs to be gently spread to make the cookie thin. Too thick, and the cookie will crumble when you try to fold it.

The fortune cookies need to be removed from the oven before they brown, while they’re still quite soft. After leaving them to cool a moment or two and harden just slightly, it’s time to bend the cookie into shape. 

The fortune is inserted at this stage, placed on the circular cookie before it is folded. In commercial settings, there are machines with special forms that help get the perfect butterfly shape every time. At home, you’ll have to wing it. 

Once the cookies are folded into shape, it needs to be left to cool and harden. Letting extra moisture evaporate and using a thin cookie is what gives fortune cookies their unique crispy texture.

Once cool, fortune cookies need to be stored in an airtight container to prevent them from going stale.

This is why commercial fortune cookies are almost always individually wrapped. If you’re making them from scratch, a bowl with a lid will work just fine.

If you’re making fortune cookies at home rather than buying cookies that have been made in a commercial setting, it’s a good idea to only make a few at a time unless you have a few extra hands available. 

Otherwise, the cookies may cool and become brittle before you have a chance to fold them into shape.

This by no means makes them inedible, but it makes it impossible to hide a fortune in the cookie, and you are left with flat circular crisp cookies.

The 6 Best Fortune Cookie Brands

Whether you’re totally fine with egg whites in your fortune cookies or you’re a vegan looking for a guilt-free fortune cookie fix, we’ve got you covered.

Check out the list below for the top 3 vegan and top 3 non-vegan fortune cookie brands.

1. Golden Bowl Fortune Cookies (Vegan)

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You’ve probably seen Golden Bowl fortune cookies before, and perhaps even eaten them.

This is one of the brands that makes fortune cookies in large quantities. Luckily, they’re also vegan.

These classic fortune cookies are flavored with a bit of vanilla, though the brand also offers a citrus flavor if preferred. The fortunes include lucky numbers, and the cookies are individually wrapped for freshness.

2. Vegan Gwailo (Vegan)

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One of the amazing things about this brand is that the fortunes are totally customizable by you! 

You can customize with up to 3 lines of text for a total of 20 words.

Every fortune cookie in the box will contain the same message.

Vegan Gwailo’s cookies are individually wrapped which helps keep them fresh. They are flavored with subtle citrus, which is a nice bright note on your palate after a delicious meal of Chinese food.

The brand takes pride in doing every part of their process in-house. They bake the cookies, print the fortune, package everything, and ship it out to you.

3. Sky Ecommerce (Vegan)

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Sky Ecommerce offers a few different package sizes, so you won’t have to buy a bunch more than you need.

They offer a traditional vanilla flavor as well as a chocolate flavor. Box sizes range from 50ct-350ct.

If you care more about the cookie than the fortune, they offer ‘pancake cookies’ also.

These are essentially vanilla fortune cookies that were allowed to cool flat rather than being bent into the distinctive butterfly shape of most fortune cookies. 

The brand prides itself on having an American-made product, with the cookies being made in Texas and packaged up in California to prepare for shipping.

4. Greenfire Custom (Non-Vegan)

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Greenfire Custom offers a wide variety of fortune cookie options.

The particular package linked above is for a fun box of NSFW (not safe for work) fortunes.

The company also offers other fun options and even a version where you can customize the fortunes.

The boxes are cardboard with an integrated handle, similar to the type of box you usually use for fried chicken. Inside, each of the fortune cookies is wrapped individually to keep everything fresh.

Not every fortune in each box is the same, although you may get a few repeats.

Some of the other themes available for Greenfire Custom’s fortune cookie boxes include birthdays and weddings as well as a variety of customizable options.

If you choose to customize, the fortunes inside each cookie can be printed in full color with images or words.

5. Global Grub (Non-Vegan)

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Do you really enjoy getting creative in the kitchen and trying new things?

Global Grub has some amazing DIY culinary kits, one of which is for making your own fortune cookies. 

The kit comes with a baking mat and all the dry ingredients required.

It also comes with pre-written fortunes as well as blank slips to write your own, and an edible-ink pen for decorating.

The kit can make both classic vanilla or chocolate varieties, and decoration options are limitless.

There are enough ingredients included in the kit to make 48 fortune cookies, and the included baking mat (which has outlines to help make sure you use the proper amount of batter) has spaces for 4 cookies at a time.

Global Grub recommends making 2 at a time until you’re used to the process.

6. Luv Yu Honey (Non-Vegan)

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Honey is an ingredient often debated by vegans.

Many vegans choose not to eat honey, while others argue that the bees making the honey are not mistreated and so it is perfectly ethical.

In order to be as inclusive as possible, these cookies are being considered non-vegan.

Luv Yu brand makes boxed fortune cookies that have the special added taste of honey. More complex than plain cane sugar, honey can add a distinct yet subtle flavor to baked goods.

The boxed cookies are also individually wrapped so you do not need to worry about them going stale.

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