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Best Vegan Sugar Cookies

Few weeks back I shared with you how to make Vegan Royal Icing and then the emails and messages followed asking for a Vegan Sugar Cookies Recipe.  I don’t follow vegan diet myself but know a handful of people who are vegan or are allergic to eggs or dairy, like my next door neighbor. 

Flower cookies on a drying rack.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES

I’ve tested this recipe several times, making small adjustments, testing different ingredients and after all that trial and error I’m ready to share it with you guys, with few tips and tricks, of course.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for vegan sugar cookies

VEGAN BUTTER

First, let’s talk about vegan butter substitutes. 

There are quite a few options on the market. I narrowed it down to 2 I wanted to try in this recipe :

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 bakers, it is very neutral in terms of taste and color. 

Vegan butter

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.

AQUAFABA (Chickpeas Brine)

In a place of egg I used Aquafaba, chickpeas brine. I always eat chickpeas and I had some brine leftover so it just seemed practical to use it. It works well.

You’ll notice there is no salt added in this recipe reason being is Earth Balance and aquafaba. Both already contain salt so I didn’t see the need to add more salt to the cookie dough.

Pouring brine from chickpeas into bowl thru a fine mesh strainer.

VEGAN COOKIE DOUGH

Beat sugar and room temperature Earth Balance until creamy. Beat in Aquafaba and Vanilla and Almond Extract.

Vegan butter and sugar in a bowl.

Sift together flour, corn starch and, baking powder.

On low speed beat dry mix into the wet ingredients. Beat the dough only till mixture is moisten throughout. Then use a spatula to gather the dough into a ball. Flatten it into a disk and roll it out right away between 2 sheets of parchment.

Cookie dough shaped into a ball on a parchment paper.

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 throughout. You can watch the video below to see how how it’s done.

Refrigerate rolled out dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Cookie dough rolled out between parchment paper.

Cut out cookies. Transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Re-roll scraps and cut out more cookies.

Rolled out cookie dough.

Bake cookie 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.

Baked vegan flower cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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 and lighter and neutral tones are achieved with Earth Balance. 

  • Cookies made with Nutiva baked with a yellow tones and the crispier edges. They also felt a bit oilier to the touch if that makes sense. They reminded me of and old fashion, thin and crispy Christmas Cookies. Over the course of several days, stored in an airtight container greasiness dissipated. 
  • Cookies with Earth Balance baked with a softer bite, with the sharper edges and more neutral color tones.
Star shaped cookies.

OTHER VEGAN RECIPES :

5 from 3 votes
Flower cookies on a drying rack.
Vegan Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

Makes  12-14 cookies, 1/4 inch thick cookies, about 2.5-3 inches across

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cut out cookies,, eggless cookies, vegan recipe
Servings: 14
Hanielas.com: Hani Bacova
Ingredients
VEGAN CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIES
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter at room temperature Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp chickpeas brine(aquafaba) at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
Instructions
VEGAN SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
  1. Cream sugar (1/2cup) and vegan butter (1/2cup) for 5 minutes, until fluffy. In a small dish combine aquafaba (3tbsp) and vanilla extract (1 tablespoon) and almond extract (1/2tsp) (if using). Gradually beat aquafaba mixture into the butter mixture.

    Sift flour ( 1 1/2 cup), corn starch (2tbsp ), baking powder (1/2tsp).

    Then on low speed beat flour mix into the wet ingredients. Beat till everything comes together, lumps are okay. Don't over mix. If mixture appear wet you can add little more flour.

  2. 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. 

  3. Peel of the parchment and cut out as many shapes as you are able. Transfer cut outs onto a light colored baking sheet lined with a parchment. Gather the scraps and re-roll and cut out few more cookies. 

  4. 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 on a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes
  • 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.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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59 Comments

  1. Hi!! I can’t find aquafaba anywhere locally! Can I use Just Egg plant based egg substitute instead?

  2. can I replace white sugar with brown and add spices to become a spice cookie?I made this recipe, it’s very good! The family loved it.

    1. Hi Ana,
      I’d start with a ratio of 1:1 brown sugar to granulated sugar. Spices sound great, I’d use 1/2 tsp to 1 teaspoon.
      I’m happy to hear your family loved it.
      Happy Baking,
      Hani

  3. Hi there! Just made these and they are perfect! Thank you! One question – can you freeze the dough?

    Thanks!
    Emily

  4. Hello! My grandson is allergic to nuts as well as eggs and dairy products. Have you ever tried these with an extract other than almond?
    Best wishes,
    Christine

  5. Hi, looks delicious, wanted to make this recipe but I don’t have any chickpeas. Can I substitute it for one egg instead? I only need a daily free recipe and not vegan, which is why I’m considering this substitution!

  6. Hi! Curious if you think this recipe would be strong enough to be used instead of gingerbread to make houses? My daughter hates gingerbread.

    1. Hi Summer,
      For a small house it might work. I’d probably ice all the walls even inside walls with icing for support. You could also use sugar cookie recipe I have on the site, it’s a bit more sturdier than Vegan Cookie Recipe.

  7. I just tried this out and it was a big win!! This was my first time making sugar cookies. I never made a vegan recipe, but I had to make these for my cousins who have dairy and egg allergies. As others stated as well, mine was a bit moist so I added more flour and it turned out sooo good!! Thank you for this recipe!!

  8. Not sure how your recipe wasn’t as wet as mine, but I did take your advice from one of your responded comments and added about a cup more flour. It came out really, really good! I was nervous about using aquafaba for the first time, especially in baking, but you don’t even taste it. I used a can with 160mg and the salt content in these cookies are perfect. They’re soft (but hold form, and have a bite), they don’t crumble, and most importantly- they taste VERY good. Thank you for making the vegan lifestyle fun this holiday season!

    1. Hello, I’m not sure why that is, but I’m glad you were able to add more flour to make it work for you. Happy Baking.

  9. Thank you for the cookie recipe. Is it possible to freeze the dough for future use? I am planning to bake a lot of batches so if the dough can be made in advance and kept in freezer, will it work?

  10. Thanks so much for this recipe and the comments section. I love that someone posted that they used gluten free flour, that really helped me.
    I’m always looking for vegan gluten free dessert ideas and once again, you’ve come through for me.
    If at all possible, please keep these gf-v recipes coming!

    1. HI Jenny,
      Freeze flattened into a disk, or cut out cookies, freeze them on a tray and then layer cut out cookies into a freezer safer container layered between parchment paper. Hope it helps. Hani.

  11. I just made this earlier today and love the taste!
    I had a hard time with the dough, however. It seems too moist. After chilling it in the fridge for an hour, I tried cutting it out using a cookie cutter and it was too moist, almost to the point of resembling a block of butter being soften at room temperature. Should I adjust the amount of aquafaba and/or flour? Thank you!

      1. My family doesn’t eat cheekpeas so can I substitute the brine for soy or almond milk?

      2. Hi Betsy,
        to make icing without aquafaba I’d use glaze icing instead. It doesn’t have same the properties as royal icing and you won’t be able to for example make piped flowers with it but it works great for flooding and piping details. It dries with a nice sheen and it doesn’t dry with a hard bite.
        In place of aquafaba use 4 tablespoons milk or water and 4 tablespoons corn syrup. Then if if it’s too thick for icing you can thin it down to flood consistency. Hope it helps.

  12. Hi, i was About to start this recipe but I accidentally melted my Earth balance do you think it will work? Thank you

    1. Hi Melissa,
      As I suggested in my email, solidifying melted Earth Balance might do the trick. Have you tried solidifying melted earth balance? Did it work?

  13. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m going to practice this one for my holiday cookies.

    In the video, you let the butter reach room temperature – what is the ideal temperature for this recipe? (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.)

    1. Hi Samara, if you get best results with Earth Balance straight from the fridge with other recipes I’d suggest you try it with this recipe as well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Brittany, this recipe is Vegan – egg, and dairy free. However if you look at the comments above, one reader (Christina) used Pamela’s Artisan GF flour successfully to make vegan and gluten free version.

  14. Hello, i am considering using this recipe for selling baked goods. Am i allowed and would you like me to reference your name on packaging for a reference?

    1. Hello,
      it’s really not necessary, unless you plan on publishing a recipe somewhere online. Then I’d ask for a link back to the original recipe. Thank you so very much for asking. Good luck with everything.

    2. Hey! Going to make this and your vegan royal icing recipe for a baby shower. I want to make them in advance. I know you said they dry out quicker but if I heat seal these into bags do you think they’ll keep longer?
      Thanks!

      1. Hi Megan, how much in advance do you plan on making them? I think sealed they should be fine for 2 weeks.

  15. Thank you so much! I have family and friends who are gluten free and vegan, and have always struggled with the right GF-V sugar cookie recipe. Many I am sure are great with the products other recipes suggest, but not all vegan products are readily available everywhere. I have had so many disappointing GF-V cookies.

    I just made this recipe using Pamela’s Artisan GF flour and am so impressed with how the dough handles – not sticky at all! By using the associated video I was able to judge, as with any other sugar cookie recipe, whether to add a bit more flour to get the correct consistency. The cookies are out of the oven and ta da!! No spread either!

    Do I have permission to cross post? I belong to a couple of GF-V Facebook baking groups.

    BTW the printed recipe does not include when to add the baking powder or optional extract. Just letting you know 🙂

    1. Hi Christina,
      thanks for letting me know about the missing recipe stuff. I just updated that bit.
      Please when sharing include a link to the recipe on my blog. Thank you.

  16. I’m making cookies for someone who is only allergic to eggs. Could I use regular butter for this recipe?

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