Vegan Sugar Cookies — Best Sugar Cookie Recipe!

These simple Vegan Sugar Cookies have a tender middle and a bit of a crispy crust. Enjoy vegan sugar cookie recipes 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 you favorite occasions!

A number of holiday themed Vegan Sugar Cookies are on a white counter top.
Dairy free sugar cookies are decorated for the holidays with icing and sprinkles!
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For those of you who are just not that into sweets, all I want to say is, “What’s wrong with you!” No, I didn’t mean to say that. What I meant to say is that you may not be too interested in this post.

I know I’ve written about several vegan desserts on this site, 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!

How to Make Vegan Sugar Cookies

It’s fun to make sugar cookies vegan with this fun and easy recipe!

Step One: Prepare the Cookie Dough

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the butter until smooth. This takes about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high untl light and fluffy, 3 – 4 minutes. Be sure to stop and 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 mix and beat again on low until just combined.

Here’s where you’ll want to assess the batter. If it’s too soft and sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. If it’s too stiff add a teaspoon of plant-based milk. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Step Two: Roll the Dough and Cut the Cookies

When the dough is chilled and you’re ready to begin baking, preheat oven to 350°F. Then, line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

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 into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place them about 1 – 2 inches apart cookie on sheets.

Rolled cookie dough has been cut into shapes using Christmas cookie cutters.
Make vegan cut out cookies into your favorite shapes!

Option #2: Waxed Paper Method: Lay out a sheet of waxed paper. Place the dough ball on top of that and cover 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.

Note: This dough might be sticky which makes removing cut-out pieces difficult. If this is the case for you, do not remove the cut-out pieces.

Instead, place a cookie sheet under the dough and place that try in the fridge. After about 10 minutes of chilling, you can more easily remove the cut-out cookie dough.

Place the cutout cookie dough about 1 – 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Cookie dough with cutout shapes sits on a cookie tray.

If the bottom sheet of waxed paper shifts too much during rolling, place something underneath it like a non-slip silicon jar opener.

Whichever rolling method you use, be sure to roll again any unused cookie dough and cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. 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 – 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Several unfrosted sugar cookies are sitting in a stack.
Vegan Christmas cookie recipes are a blank slate for your decorating creativity!

Sugar Cookie Royal Frosting Recipe

Here’s where things get really, really interesting! Because you may be thinking that sugar cookie are just TOO MUCH WORK! And I would agree with you, however, I have learned a secret. Having the right icing makes all the difference!

I’ve created a vegan royal frosting for cookies that is amazing! It really 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!

Several unfrosted cookies sit in front of containers of colorful frosting and cookie decorations.

In 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. That said, this frosting will thicken as it sits, so I found it’s perfect if you have a water mister nearby and you can spritz the frosting from time-to-time to keep it at the perfect consistency.

Creating colorful frosting is easy too. I used organic, natural food coloring. Add food coloring to desired intensity. Once cookies have cooled, either dip them in desired icing colors or use a butter knife to spread them around the edges of the cookies. Set them on a sheet of waxed paper to allow the frosting to dry (his can take several hours to overnight).

Expert Tips

Use these expert tips to make these vegan sugar cookies perfect every time:

  • This recipe calls for vegan butter. I used Earth Balance buttery sticks.
  • You might be interested to know that apple cider vinegar in cookies helps create a better crumb
  • I use granulated sugar to make soft cookies and to keep them light in color. Learn more about the science behind cookie ingredients!
  • Cornstarch is serving as the egg replacer in this recipe and it does a great job of holding these cookies together – so that they’re tender, but not crumbly
  • I prefer to roll the cookie dough between sheets of waxed paper to keep clean up easier and to not add any extra flour to the dough. But that means the dough can be sticky. So I rolled it out, transferred it to a pan, and then refrigerated it for 10 minutes or so to make cutting and removing cut cookies easier.
  • Do not overbake these cookies. They may look too soft at 10 minutes, but they will continue cooking even after removed from the oven. If you love soft sugar cookies, I highly recommend 10 minutes (of course, depending on the size of your cookie cutters – larger cookies may need 12 minutes and smaller cookies may need only 8).

How long can you freeze sugar cookies?

Go ahead and make these vegan sugar cookies ahead of time because you can freeze them. I prefer to freeze them unfrosted, however, you can also freeze them fully decorated. Be sure to place them in a freezer bag or freezer-friendly container. They will keep 1 – 2 months in the freezer.

Can you make gluten free vegan sugar cookies?

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.

I love sugar cookies. As a result I try not to make them too often…because I eat them! But I had a hankering for sugar cookies and found the perfect recipe.

Several sugar cookies are stacked on top of each other with bowls of colorful frosting behind them.

You can make these easy vegan cookies for any time of the year, whether it’s for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Birthday parties, and more! Just change out the cookie cutter or even simply cut them into circles.

I don’t know how to follow a recipe without making at least one change, so this is slightly adapted, but not much. It is difficult to improve on perfection!

Love Colorful Vegan Cookies?

Sure, you love these easy vegan sugar cookies. What’s not to love! But if you want to try some more colorful and sparkly vegan cookies, be sure to check these out:

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

A number of holiday themed Vegan Sugar Cookies are on a white counter top.

Vegan Sugar Cookies

These delicious vegan sugar cookies are perfect for parties, Christmas cookies, and more! Make these colorful and flavor cookies with friends!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 104kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter , softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegan Royal Icing

Instructions

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 untl light and fluffy, 3 – 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 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. 
  • When ready to begin baking preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
  • Place 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 medium bowl, stir together the egg replacer, water, and almnd 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 set for 2 -3 hours up to overnight. Once the frosting sets, pack them in an airtight continer. They will keep 4 – 5 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the fridge when stored correctly.

Notes

The frosting will thicken over time, so add little bits of water as needed to return it to a spreadable consistency. Having a spray bottle of water is very helpful for this purpose. Or a 1/8 teaspoon to make sure you’re adding only bits of water.

Enjoy!

Colorful sugar cookies are on a plate. The text above it reads: Best Vegan Sugar Cookies.

Updated by Marly · Permalink