Best Vegan Sugar Cookies
After much demand, I got to work and developed a recipe for Vegan Sugar Cookies. These cut-out sugar cookies are a perfect canvas for Vegan Royal Icing and what it amazing is that you can use gluten free flour and make these vegan and gluten free, too.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES
I’ve tested this recipe several times, making minor adjustments, like trying different ingredients, and after all that trial and error, I’m ready to share it with you guys, with a few tips and tricks, of course.
- Earth Balance
- Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar
- Vanilla and Almond Extract
- Corn Starch
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
First, let’s talk about vegan butter, or as some say it’s not butter, it’s margarine.
There are quite a few options on the market. I narrowed it down to two I wanted to try in this recipe :
- Earth Balance Vegan Butter
- Nutiva Shortening
I’ve been using Nutiva brand for some time. If you are not familiar with Nutiva Shortening check it out. It has a very light coconut flavor and golden yellow color and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
Earth Balance seems to be the most popular among vegan bakers. It has a neutral taste and color. And it’s available at most grocery stores.
Using both of these resulted in very tasty cookies. However, it was brought to my attention that Nutiva Shortening is made in facility that handles also unrefined oils of coconut, walnut and almond. I’m not sure if this makes it not suitable for people with nut allergies but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Nutiva is excellent in responding to emails and so if you have further questions you can email them.
NUTIVA SHORTENING VERSUS EARTH BALANCE
You’ll see in the picture below the butter color also reflected in the finished product. More yellow tones are achieved with Nutiva. Lighter, neutral tones are achieved with Earth Balance.
- Cookies made with Nutiva baked with yellow tones and crispier edges. They also felt a bit oilier to the touch. They reminded me of old-fashion, thin and crispy Christmas Cookies. Over several days, stored in an airtight container, greasiness dissipated.
- Cookies with Earth Balance baked with a softer bite, with sharper edges and more neutral color tones.
AQUAFABA (Chickpeas Brine)
In the place of the egg I used Aquafaba, a chickpeas brine. I always eat chickpeas, and I had some brine leftover, so it just seemed practical to use it. If you have too much aquafaba, you can easily freeze it for later.
You’ll notice there is no salt added to this recipe. I didn’t add salt because Earth Balance and aquafaba both already contain salt, so I didn’t see the need to add more salt to the cookie dough.
VEGAN COOKIE DOUGH
BUTTER AND SUGAR
Beat sugar and room temperature Earth Balance until creamy. Beat in Aquafaba and Vanilla and Almond Extract.
Sift together flour, corn starch, and baking powder.
On low speed, beat the dry mix into the wet ingredients. Beat the dough only till the mixture is moistened throughout. Then use a spatula to gather the dough into a ball. Flat-it into a disk and roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment.
ROLL OUT THE DOUGH
- I tried chilling the dough before rolling it out, don’t make the same mistake. It crumbles.
- I rolled it between 2 sheets of parchment right after I mixed it. It worked like a charm. On the sides, I had 1/4 inch guides to ensure the even thickness. You can watch the video to see how how it’s done.
- Refrigerate rolled-out dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before cutting out shapes.
Cut out cookies. Transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Re-roll scraps and cut out more cookies.
Bake cookies at 350F 9-10 minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
VEGAN CUT-OUT COOKIES SUCCESS TIPS from readers
- Over the years this recipe received such great feedback from fellow bakers. I’m happy so many of you like it.
- If you have a nut allergy you can omit Almond Extract and use more Vanilla Extract instead.
- You can use Pamela’s Artisan GF flour to make vegan and gluten free version – as per Christina’s recommendation (see the full comment in the comment section).
- If you live a hot climate, this is what Samara says: “I live in a hot climate, and I’ve noticed that the Earth Balance spread doesn’t perform well in cookies, etc. unless I use it directly out of the fridge.”
- Are you allergic to eggs but okay with using regular dairy butter? Yes, you can use regular butter in this recipe.
- Don’t want to use aquafaba? You can use milk instead.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @hanielas on Instagram and hashtag it #hanielas
HOW TO DECORATE VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES
To decorate Vegan Cookies, you can use Vegan Royal Icing or Glaze Icing(the recipe is listed in the recipe card).
TRY THESE DELICIOUS VEGAN RECIPES
- Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Vegan Royal Icing
- Delicious Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes via Loving it Vegan
Vegan Cut Out Sugar Cookies
VEGAN CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIES
- 1/2 cup vegan butter at room temperature (113grams) Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup vegan granulated sugar (100grams)
- 2 tbsp corn starch or potato starch (15 grams)
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (215grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp chickpeas brine(aquafaba) (30ml) at room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
VEGAN CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIES
Vegan Cookie Dough
- Cream sugar (1/2cup) and vegan butter (1/2cup) for 5 minutes, until fluffy.In a small dish, combine aquafaba (2tablespoons) and vanilla extract (1 tablespoon), and almond extract (1/2teaspoon). Gradually beat the aquafaba mixture into the butter mixture. Sift flour ( 1 cup and 1/2 cup), corn starch (2 tablespoons), and baking powder (1/2 teaspoon).At low-speed beat the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Beat till everything comes together; lumps are okay. Don't overmix. If the mixture appears wet, you can add a little more flour.
- Gather dough into a disk and roll it out between 2 parchment sheets, using 1/4 inch rolling guides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
- Peel off the parchment and cut out as many shapes as you are able. Transfer cut-outs onto a light-colored baking sheet lined with parchment. Gather the scraps and re-roll and cut out a few more cookies.
- Bake at 350F for 9 -10 minutes. Cookies will be soft when they first come out of the oven. Let them cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Cookie can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
- One thing I found out is that cookies can dry out quicker than regular sugar cookies. To remedy this issue you can add 1tbl Agave Nectar with the chickpea brine and vanilla extract and bake them for 10-11 minutes.
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Perfect recipe!! Easy recipe to follow, the cookies kept their shape when baking and had a great taste/texture.
Thank you so much, Shreya.
With my regular sugar cookie recipe I roll the dough out between parchment the day before (wrap with saran wrap) and then cut and bake the next day. Will that work here? I would assume yes, but you say chill 1-3 hours. Thanks!
I think it should be fine, Kelly.
Can I omit the cornstarch in this recipe? (Corn allergy).
do you have access to potato starch, that you could use instead? I think it should be fine without but I haven’t tried it myself.
Thanks for your recipes. Can I use shortening instead of vegan butter ?
I don’t see why not.