It’s holiday cookie week in the Two Spoons kitchen and I’ve rounded up the 4 best vegan Christmas cookies you must try this year! They’re easy to make, foolproof, and made with minimal ingredients. Two of the cookies even share the same dough, making it easy to provide a variety to guests this Christmas!
When I first went vegan, I did not know how to bake at all. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, as well as the best vegan swaps to make. So before getting started with your vegan Christmas cookie baking, I’ve got a few tips for you to ensure your vegan Christmas cookies turn out perfectly without any stress.
Don’t over-mix vegan cookie dough. Unlike when baking breads like my Vegan Cinnamon Rolls or Spelt Bread, you do not want to over-mix the cookie dough. Just mix enough until it holds together when pressed between your fingers and lightly pat it into a disc. Overdoing it will make your vegan Christmas cookies dense – and that is no fun!
Double the recipes! If you’re baking up a storm for friends and family this holiday season and want to provide a variety of cookies, feel free to double the batch. For example, you can make a double batch of my vegan shortbread cookie recipe and turn half of the dough into vegan almond Linzer cookies. (Recipe for both below)
Maximize your cookie dough. After you’ve rolled out and cut your cookie dough into shapes, don’t throw out the excess! Bunch it back up into a dough ball and roll it out again to cut into more cookies. We want to get the most out of our dough!
There are many butter substitutes you can use in vegan baking. The most common and obvious choice is vegan butter sticks, of course. Vegan butter simply swaps the dairy fat for oils like coconut oil, vegetable oil, or a blend of oils. When baking, I highly recommend vegan butter sticks instead of buttery spreads. They’re more firm and less likely to cause your cookies to spread. Coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, and vegetable shortening are also common butter substitutes.
How do vegans replace eggs in baking?
Chicken eggs are used in baking to provide moisture, fat, and structure to the baked goods. My favorite go-to vegan egg replacers are ground chia seeds or ground flaxseeds. These ingredients are staples in my pantry. Pumpkin puree, tofu, and even store-bought vegan egg replacers from brands like Bob’s Red Mill are also commonly used.
Why is my vegan cookie dough cracking when I roll it out?
If your dough is cracking too much, it is possible you are applying too much pressure when you are rolling it out. The other possibility is the dough is still too cold. Give it about 5 minutes to warm up and try it again.
If you dough is still cracking then it’s possible that the dough is too dry.. Thats okay! Simply wet your hands and flick the dough with a few droplets of water. Bunch back together into a dough ball and re-chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Is vegan baking healthier?
It can be! Vegan recipes are naturally cholesterol-free and typically are a bit more nutritious. But vegan baking can also be equally as indulgent. Christmas time is the perfect season to indulge in buttery, sugary vegan Christmas cookies.
I’ve found that allowing myself to indulge from time to time has offered me a lot healthier of a relationship with food.
Now without further ado, let’s get baking!
Vegan Christmas Cookie Recipes
1. Vegan Shortbread Cookies
Light, buttery, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth vegan shortbread cookies. Dipped in a simple 2-ingredient glaze frosting. Top with the rose petals and sprinkles or crushed candy canes for the perfect holiday twist.
Gifting friends, family, neighbours, and school teachers a cookie gift box is always a good idea! They’re affordable, beautiful looking and guaranteed to please vegans and non-vegans alike.
In addition to adding my Vegan Christmas Cookies, I’d recommend adding in some additional candies or treats for variety. Candy canes, small dark chocolates, and candied pecans would all make great additions. The more variety, the better!
Next, it’s time to assemble. Choose your cookie box – this can be disposable, a wooden box, a round metal cookie tin, etc. Then fill the box with cookies, stacking them in different directions and layering them nicely for visual appeal.
It’s also helpful to bunch up a bit of parchment paper into the bottom of the box so that you don’t need to fill it entirely, and still gives the look of being plentiful!. I even like to tie a few stacks of cookies with different holiday ribbons. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Then once all of your vegan Christmas cookies are in and layered how you’d like, tightly cover and gift!
Additional Vegan Christmas Desserts to Try
5. How to Make Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
How to make fluffy, gooey, and seriously good vegan cinnamon rolls! The cinnamon buns are made with all-purpose flour, almond milk, and active dry yeast and a few other simple ingredients. Once baked, drizzle the cinnamon rolls with vegan icing sugar glaze, and enjoy right away!
Perfectly sweet, nutty and caramelized! This vegan pecan pie is sweetened with brown rice syrup and maple syrup (a healthier alternative to traditional corn syrup). Enjoy every bite of this sweet and decadent pecan pie!
These gingerbread cookies are ultra soft and chewy. Vegan and gluten-free, yet so classic in taste they are a match for Grandmas’ recipe. Spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cloves they are perfect for the Holidays.
I hope you love these vegan Christmas cookies as much as we do! If you do bake these cookies, please let me know in the comments below what you think! I truly love hearing from you, and I’m always here to answer any questions you might have.
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the vegan butter on medium high and sugar until fluffy and light, 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure it's well combined.
Add the vanilla, almond extract and almond milk. Beat on high until fully combined, about 1 minute. Again, scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, the arrowroot starch, baking powder, the baking soda and the salt until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix together on low speed, until just combined. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour gradually and mix on low until just combined (about 2 minutes), scrape down the sides as needed. (The dough should start to come together but not be wet. The thick dough should be slightly crumbly in the mixing bowl, but stop adding flour if the dough starts to look dry, add a little more if the dough seems too wet – I found 1 1/2 cups total flour to be the perfect amount. See notes below for more information about cookie dough).
Turn the cookie mixture onto work surface and form a dough ball with your hands. Once it's all together, flatten it into a disc, about 1-inch thick. Cover in plastic or reusable wrap and cool in the fridge for 1 hour or preferably overnight.
Take the dough out and leave it on the counter to thaw for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Liberally flour work surface and the dough ball. Roll out the dough to be 1/4 inch thick. (If the dough crumbles off the sides as you roll, press it firmly into the dough and roll again. See notes below for more tips about this cookie dough). Cut into desired shapes using a cookie cutter and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Continue re-rolling the dough until it is all used. (Remember to keep it floured as it warms up so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin.)
Bake in the middle rack of the oven, rotating halfway through, until lightly browned on edges and bottom, 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool and harden before icing.
Vegan Icing Sugar
With a handheld or stand mixer, beat the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 4 minutes. Add the almond milk gradually while mixing until you reach the desired texture. Spoon into a piping bag and decorate as desired.
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Notes about cookie dough:Different vegan butters can result in needing more or less flour. For this recipe, I prefer a brand like Earth Balance as it makes a more flexible cookie dough. I found that 1.5 cups all-purpose flour was the perfect amount. You might need a little more or a little less. The dough should form a ball easily, and not feel too wet. If dough is too wet, sprinkle with more flour. (Wet dough won’t hold its cookie cutter shape).If dough is too dry, lightly wet hands, flick the dough with water and try bringing it together. This cookie dough allows for multiple rolls, but be sure to flour your work surface and rolling pin to stop it from sticking. At any point, you can place the dough back into the fridge to chill out, if things are getting too warm. Notes about icing:The icing will set into the cookies overnight. Leave to set at room temperate, or place in the fridge for quicker setting. Icing can be made up to a week in advance, let thaw for 5-10 minutes before pipping if too stiff. Storing and freezing:Sugar cookies will keep for up to 5 days. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container. Sugar cookies can also be frozen. Store in the freezer in an air-tight container for one month, let thaw and add then decorate.