Vegan Sugar Cookies

Decorated with a plant-based icing

heart sugar cookies

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 20
Yield: 20 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
161 Calories
7g Fat
23g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 161
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 145mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 16mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Decorating sugar cookies is a holiday favorite for many. This dairy and egg-free take on the classic brings all the qualities we love from a crunchy exterior to the delicately soft center. To top it off, they're quicker to make than traditional sugar cookies because there's no chill time for this dough.

To make these sugar cookies vegan, we swapped cornstarch for the eggs and used vegan butter instead of dairy butter. Before you bite in, whip up a batch of our 3-ingredient icing included in the recipe—it takes the cookies from tasty to irresistible. Make these for your holiday gathering or as an after-school treat for cookie lovers of all ages.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk (like almond, oat, or soy)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

  2. Beat the vegan butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, then beat just until combined.

  3. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt to the bowl with the batter, then beat until just combined and no flour streaks remain, about 15 seconds.

  4. Place the cookie dough on a lightly floured surface, then shape into a disc.

  5. Roll the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness, then cut out the cookies and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Remember to cut the cookies as close together as you can so you don't waste any dough. You can combine the scraps and reroll as much as needed.

  6. Bake until the edges and bottoms are barely beginning to turn golden brown, about 12 minutes.

  7. While the cookies bake, prepare the icing. Whisk the confectioners' sugar, plant-based milk, and remaining extract in a medium bowl until combined.

    You want the icing to be thin enough to outline the cookies and spread easily, but thick enough so that the icing won't run off the sugar cookies. If too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. If too thick, add 1/2 teaspoon of the milk at a time, as needed.

  8. When the cookies are cool enough to handle but still warm, remove them from the pan and cool them on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before icing. Decorate the cookies and enjoy!

How to Store and Freeze

  • These cookies can be stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.
  • They can be frozen in a tightly sealed container for up to three months.
  • If you want to freeze or refrigerate the dough unbaked to roll out later, wrap the disc and let it come to room temperature before rolling.
  • This dough will crack and separate if rolled out chilled, so err on the side of caution—it should not feel cold to the touch when rolling.

Recipe Tips

  • If you want to color your icing, reduce the plant milk quantity by 1/2 teaspoon. Use a natural food coloring to ensure sure it's vegan.
  • We prefer to use Earth Balance vegan butter for this recipe. Though some vegan butters, such as Miyoko's have more nutritive value, we find that Earth Balance bakes up closer to dairy butter.
  • It may be tempting to chill the dough since standard sugar cookies require this step, but the texture of this recipe works wonderfully rolled out directly after mixing. Do not chill unless you let it come to room temperature before rolling.
  • For your icing to stick properly to the top of the cookies and not drip off, cookies should be fully fully cooled to room temperature. You can place them in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to expedite this process.



Recipe Variations

  • Make these into a Lofthouse-style cookies by topping with a vegan buttercream or vegan frosting instead of simple icing.
  • If you prefer a drop cookie shape rather than a cut-out, you can roll small balls of dough with your hands. Once on the cookie sheet, flatten them with the back of a glass.


To jazz up your cookie with different flavors, try adding one or more of the following to the dough when adding the vanilla:

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

How do you keep sugar cookies from spreading?

This sugar cookie recipe does not spread like the traditional sugar cookie thanks to cornstarch. If your cookies do end up spreading, try adding an additional teaspoon of cornstarch to the dough.