These simple Vegan Sugar Cookies have a tender middle and a bit of a crispy crust. You can decorate these sugar cookie with colorful icing and sprinkles for the holidays. Who knew vegan Christmas cookies could be so fun! Or you can make them any time of year for your favorite occasions.
For more festive vegan cookies, make these Christmas chocolate chip cookies!
I know I’ve written about several vegan desserts, but this one is by far the sweetest. Not only because it’s sweet to the taste (it is), but also because it’s just so darn cute!
I can’t believe how much I enjoy making this vegan sugar cookies recipe! It may be bringing out the artistic side in me, but I love it!
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Vegan butter — I used Earth Balance buttery sticks.
- Granulated sugar — I use granulated sugar to make soft cookies and to keep them light in color. Learn more about the science behind cookie ingredients.
- Plant-based milk — I prefer soy milk, but any plant-based milk will work.
- Apple cider vinegar — Apple cider vinegar in cookies helps create a better crumb.
- Vanilla extract — We’ll use just a bit to add flavor to the cookies
- All-purpose flour — I prefer all-purpose flour for a light and tender cookie
- Cornstarch — Cornstarch helps make these cookies tender but not crumbly.
- Baking powder — This gives the cookie rise, making them nice and soft
- Salt — We’ll add a bit of salt for more complexity of flavor
- Vegan Royal Icing — I’ve formulated a great royal icing without eggs!
It’s fun to make sugar cookies vegan with this fun and easy recipe! Here are the steps to make them:
- Make the cookie dough and chill it for about 30 minutes
- Roll out the dough and cut into shapes
- Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, and then cool them on the pan for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
- Decorate cookies with frosting and sprinkles.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:
- Use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream the butter until it’s smooth.
- Add the sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy. Finally, add the milk, vinegar, and vanilla and beat again until light and fluffy.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Turn the mixer to low, pour in half of the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined.
- Add the rest of the flour mix and beat again on low until just combined.
- Assess the batter. If it’s too soft and sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. If it’s too stiff add a teaspoon more of plant-based milk.
- Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
If you can’t make the cookies right away, place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 2 months.
When the dough is chilled and you’re ready to begin baking, you have two choices for rolling the dough.
Option #1 — Flour Method: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut it into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place them about 1–2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Option #2 — Waxed Paper Method: Lay out a sheet of waxed paper. Place the dough ball on top of that and cover it with another sheet of waxed paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
This dough might be sticky which can make removing cut-out pieces difficult. If this is the case, place a cookie sheet under the rolled dough with cut-out shapes. Place that in the fridge for about 10 minutes of chilling. Then you can more easily remove the cut-out cookie dough.
Whichever rolling method you use, be sure to roll again any unused cookie dough and cut into desired shapes.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges just start to get lightly browned. I like a softer cookie in the middle so I pull them out exactly at 10 minutes.
Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the fridge. They can be frozen decorated or undecorated for up to 2 months.
Here’s where things get really, really interesting! Because you may be thinking that sugar cookies are just TOO MUCH WORK! And I would agree with you, however, I have a secret. Having the right icing makes all the difference!
I’ve created a vegan royal frosting for cookies that makes decorating these cookies so easy!
First, let’s make the frosting. Most royal frosting recipes call for eggs. How do we create an egg-free royal frosting? It’s easy!
- In a medium bowl, stir together egg replacer, water, and a tiny bit of almond extract. Almond extract is the magic elixir for sugar cookie frosting. It tastes amazing!
- Add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth. At first, you will think it’s not enough water, but keep stirring and you’ll see it thin out.
- Add food coloring to achieve the desired color intensity.
- Once cookies have cooled, either dip them in desired icing colors, use a butter knife to spread icing around the edges of the cookies, or use a piping bag.
- Place decorated cookies on a sheet of waxed paper to allow the frosting to dry (this can take several hours up to overnight).
This frosting will thicken as it sits, so have a water mister nearby to spritz the frosting from time-to-time to keep it at the perfect consistency.
Go ahead and make these vegan sugar cookies ahead of time because you can freeze them. I prefer to freeze them unfrosted. They will keep 1–2 months in the freezer.
You can make gluten-free vegan sugar cookies by substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour. I love using Bob’s Red Mills 1:1 gluten-free flour.
You can make these easy vegan sugar cookies for any time of the year, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, birthday parties, and more! Just change out the cookie-cutter shapes or even simply cut them into circles.
Vegan Christmas Treats
Here’s more colorful and sparkly vegan cookies and Christmas treats:
Vegan Sugar Cookies
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter until smooth, approximately 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk, vinegar, and vanilla. and beat again until light and fluffy.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Turn the mixer down to low and pour in half of the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat again on low until just combined. Assess the batter. If it's too soft and sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. If it's too stiff add a teaspoon more of plant-based milk. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to begin baking preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Place the cookie dough ball on a sheet of waxed paper. Add another sheet of waxed paper over the top. Use a rolling pin and roll the cookie dough until about 1/4" thickness. If the cookie dough shifts around too much, add a non-stick matt or something underneath the bottom sheet of waxed paper. Cut the rolled dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow cookies to cool on the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until you're ready to ice the cookies.
Vegan Royal Icing
- In a medium bowl, stir together the egg replacer, water, and almond extract. Stir until combined. Add powdered sugar. Stir until a spreadable consistency is achieved. If icing is too thick, add a smidge of water. However, if you add food coloring in drops, that will add moisture to the icing too.
- Add food coloring to desired color intensity. Once cookies have cooled, either dip them in desired icing colors or fill squeeze bottles with colored icing. Decorate cookies and then allow them to sit for 2 to 3 hours up to overnight. Once the frosting sets, pack them in an airtight container. They will keep 4 to ⅛5 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the fridge when stored correctly.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2010 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.