With this vegan sugar cookie recipe, you can give the classic festive treat a plant-based spin. It’s perfect if you’re attending a party, hosting guests, or just looking to get into the holiday spirit!
Even your non-vegan friends and family will love this holiday cut out cookie treat. Read on to learn how to make (and decorate) the best vegan sugar cookies you’ll have this year.
You’ll need all-purpose flour, sugar, softened vegan butter, mashed banana (or unsweetened applesauce), cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, maple or almond extract (optional), and non-dairy milk. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use arrowroot powder.
It’s best to use vegan butter sticks for this recipe. The tub version contains more water, which will prevent the cookies from holding their shape.
Slice the vegan butter into a large bowl. This makes it easier to cream the butter.
With a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the sugar, mashed banana, vanilla, maple extract (if using), and milk. Beat until fluffy and combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
Beat until combined. Slowly add the remaining flour and continue mixing. As a thick dough forms, you’ll need to use a wooden spoon, and eventually, your hands.
Continue adding the flour and combining the ingredients with your hands. It should be tacky, but not sticky.
If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. If it’s too dry, add a small amount of non-dairy milk.
Lightly dust a sheet of parchment or wax paper with flour. Split the dough in half and place on the paper.
Place another lightly floured sheet of paper on top. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s about 1/8-inch thick.
Peel away the paper and use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.
Place the dough shapes on large baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Depending on the size of your baking sheets, you may need two or three.
Roll and cut out the remaining dough. Re-roll the scraps and repeat until all the dough is used up.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will help the cookies hold their shape. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove from the refrigerator, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies are ready once they are light golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
How to Decorate Vegan Sugar Cookies
Now, for the fun part: cookie decorating. You’ll need frosting, cookie /cake decorating tools, and sprinkles. For a bit of sparkle, you can also use Wilton Sparkle Gels, which are vegan.
While the cookies are chilling, make the icing. You’ll need powdered sugar, softened vegan butter, non-dairy milk, and plant-based food coloring (like Watkins Assorted Food Coloring).
Depending on the size of your cookies (and how you’d like to decorate them), you might need to make 2 or 3 batches of frosting. Simply multiply the ingredients accordingly.
Beat the vegan butter until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Slowly add powdered sugar until thick, mixing continously. Add the non-dairy milk and beat well. (Optional: Add a splash of vanilla extract.)
Separate the frosting into multiple smaller bowls. Add food coloring and mix until each bowl is your ideal hue.
To decorate your cookies with frosting, you’ll need a piping bag, coupler, and tip. You can find these items in the baking section of your local craft store or pick them up on Amazon:
- Wilton 12-inch Disposable Decorating Bags
- Piping Bags and Tips for Baking
- 57-Piece Cake Decorating Kit
You’ll also need sprinkles… lots of ’em! While it’s possible to find vegan sprinkles in stores, it can take some time to read through the labels. Here are some of our favorite vegan sprinkle sources around the web:
- Vegan Gold Confetti Stars (DKDeleKtables, Etsy)
- Vegan Shimmer Silver Star Candies (Fancy Sprinkles)
- Vegan Reindeer Chow Sprinkle Blend (Fancy Sprinkles)
- Vegan White Confetti Sequins (Artsy Edibles, Etsy)
- Vegan Christmas Jimmies (Sweets & Treats)
- Vegan “Must Be Santa” Sprinkle Medley (Sweetapolita)
- Vegan Ginger Bread Man Confetti (Sprinkle Pop)
When it comes to cookie decorating, anything goes. One technique is to simply dip the cookie into the frosting.
Next, use a spoon or small spatula to smooth it out.
This method is ideal for cookies like snowmen.
Another option is to fill in each cookie with “scribbles” of frosting, like these Christmas trees.
Or, you can outline the each cookie and “flood” the inside. Pipe a border on each cookie with regular frosting, then thin the leftover frosting with non-dairy milk.
Add the thinned frosting to the center of the cookie.
Use a toothpick to fill it in. (Note: You can add some corn syrup to make the frosting shiny and smooth, but this is totally optional.)
Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun while decorating your cookies. Remember, they don’t need to be perfect!
The frosting will harden within a few hours. (Note: Decorative gel usually doesn’t set.)
To store your vegan sugar cookies, keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature. They should last about 1 week when properly stored.
Easy Vegan Sugar Cookies
- 1/2 cup vegan butter 1 stick, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup banana or applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon maple or almond extract optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter 1 stick, softened
- 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk plus more as needed
- Vegan sprinkles, confetti, or edible glitter
- Slice the butter into a large bowl. With a hand mixer, beat until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the sugar, banana, vanilla, maple extract, and milk. Beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Beat until thick. Slowly add the rest of the flour until the mixture forms a dough. As the dough thickens, you'll need to use a large spoon, and eventually your hands. It should be tacky, not sticky. If it's too sticky, add more flour.
- Separate the dough into two. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment or wax paper, add the dough, and add another sheet on top. Roll until 1/8-inch thick. Cut out dough shapes with cookie cutters. Place on large baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Re-roll the scraps and repeat until all the dough is used up. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the refrigerator, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large bowl. Slowly add the powdered sugar and milk until thick. Pipe onto the cookies with a frosting bag. To fill in a cookie, outline with thick frosting. Add more milk to thin the frosting, fill a bag, and pipe within the outline. Use a toothpick to spread.