Dec 3, 2022 (Last updated Feb 21, 2023) by Hannah Sunderani
Hiya Friends! I’ve been hard at work perfecting these Vegan Sugar Cookies for you! They’re perfectly crisp with a soft interior, sweet (but not too sweet) with hints of vanilla and almond. And topped with a pipe-able vegan icing sugar so – that you can make pretty patterns!
Nothing celebrates the holiday better than making a ridiculous amount of cookies. Amirite? Every year, I put together a big cookie box of various festive cookies and deliver them to my neighbours and friends – it’s always so well received!
This year, I have to say, these vegan sugar cookies are my top favourites! (Check out my vegan gingerbread cookies and vegan shortbread cookies – which also made the cookie box as top contenders).
All-in-all, it’s a simple vegan sugar cookie recipe that you can rely on year after year. Everyone will adore these cookies, vegan or not!
Make these vegan sugar cookies with me on my YouTube cooking show! Vegan Afternoons with Two Spoons.
The secret to making melt in your mouth, delicious sugar cookies is using the right ratio of fat, sugar, and flour. Plus, you can’t go wrong with flavouring your sugar cookie dough with a touch of vanilla and almond extract. It really makes all the difference!
Start by placing the cold butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beating together on medium high using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. It should take about 4 minutes to make the mixture light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides occasionally as needed.
Add the vanilla, almond extract, and almond milk and beat again until combined, about 1 minute.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix together on low speed, until just combined. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and continue to mix on low until just combined (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
At this point, the sugar cookie dough should be slightly crumbly yet hold together when pressed between your fingers.
Turn the sugar cookie dough out onto a clean work surface and form the dough into a smooth ball with your hands. Flatten it into a disc, about 1-inch thick. Tightly wrap in plastic or an alternative reusable wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
After 1 hour or the next day, remove the cookie dough from the fridge and preheat the oven.
Liberally flour your work surface and the dough ball, then roll out the dough to be 1/4 inch thick. If the dough crumbles off the sides as you roll, press it firmly back into the dough and roll it out again.
Use cookie cutters to cut the sugar cookies into your desired shapes and transfer them to the parchment lined baking sheets. Continue re-rolling the dough out and cutting it into shapes until it is all used. Sprinkle on additional flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes on the middle oven rack, rotating halfway through for even browning. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cooled to room temperature, decorate your cookies with pipe-able vegan icing as desired. Enjoy!
Although spreading is a good thing for some cookies, sugar cookie dough is one you don’t want to spread in the oven, especially when you’re using cookie cutters. If your cookies spread, it is likely that the sugar cookie dough was too warm before going in the oven.
Chilling the dough overnight can help prevent this, but if you take a long time rolling the dough out and cutting it into shapes it can get become too warm and difficult to work with. To be safe, stick the dough back into the fridge to cool down again, or place the cookie sheets in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before baking to firm the dough back up!
These vegan sugar cookies should be slightly crisp on the exterior, but soft on the interior. If your cookies are crunchy, my guess is the bake time was too long. Or, it is possible you rolled the dough thinner than ¼ inch!
For best results, I recommend using a piping bag with a small piping tip. If you do not have a reusable piping bag, fill a large plastic zip top with the icing and snip the corner off of one side.
The icing can be made up to 1 week in advance. Allow it to warm to room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using for easy decorating.
When decorating, remember to have fun with it! Get the kids involved and enjoy the process. (The decorating doesn’t need to be perfect!)
These vegan sugar cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Note that the cookie icing will take about 1 day to harden completely, so be careful stacking the cookies. They may smear if not hardened before storing. If freezing, baked sugar cookies will freeze best without icing.
If desired, you may also freeze this vegan sugar cookie dough before baking. Follow recipe steps 1 through 5, then tightly wrap the sugar cookie dough in plastic wrap. Place the sugar cookie dough in a freezer safe bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, place the cookie dough into the fridge until soft enough to roll out and resume recipe steps.
If you’re planning your holiday feast coming up, you may also love my Vegan Christmas Dinner Menu. It will take all the guesswork out of your holiday menu and planning and is the best 7 recipe plan the whole family will love.
(And, be sure to come back for my Vegan Christmas Cookie Round-Up, coming to you very soon – so that you can gift the perfect homemade present).
I hope you love this vegan sugar cookie recipe as much as we do! If you do make this recipe, 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.
And of course, tag me on Instagram with your pictures using the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
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See more step-by-step instructions by visiting the recipe story here!
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These cookies taste absolutely delicious! So sweet and they go really well with a glass of eggnog or a cup of tea 🙂 I made them and gave them out to a bunch of my friends and family for Xmas, and they looked great in my cookie box!
SO glad that you enjoyed these sugar cookies Krystal! And that you were able to share them with your family over the Holidays. Thanks for the very kind comment. 🙂
This recipe needs tweaking for sure. I’ve made it twice and I haven’t been able to get them right either time. Mine have been too crumbly each time. They taste really good but I think they are too dry, I can’t believe that 2TBS of milk works for a cup and a half of flour. I want to keep playing with the recipe to see if I can get it to work for me because the ingredients are very simple which I appreciate.
Hi Jennifer! Thanks for your note – I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with the dough. These ratios always work perfect for me, the vegan butter helps round out the amount of flour for a more flexible dough. In the notes section I have lot of details about the cookie dough batter – you can always add a splash more almond milk if you’re finding yours is too crumbly. I also find Earth Balance to be a great vegan butter that makes for flexible dough, so you could try that as well! And finally, I also like to be gentle and patient with my rolling to stop the dough from cracking. Please check out my YouTube video making these so you can see that method of rolling – I think it might help. Finally, it could be possible that the dough is still too cold when you’re rolling, in which case you can wait another 10 minutes and then try again. Hope these tips help! Hannah xx