When I call these the best vegan sugar cookies, I do not make that claim lightly. These really are all that, and more. They are soft and tender with crispy edges, and they dissolve in your mouth in a pool of buttery, vanilla-kissed sweetness, exactly as good sugar cookies should.
I've been making vegan sugar cookies from scratch a long time, and this is my favorite recipe so far. They couldn't be closer to a traditional cut out sugar cookie--in fact, other than the vegan butter and the aquafaba standing in for the butter and eggs, you are pretty much in classic sugar cookie territory with these.
My family and I had lots of fun making these, and eating them, and I hope you will too. They couldn't be easier to make and they'll likely be gone before Santa gets to them!
This is a one-bowl recipe, and all you do is toss in the ingredients one after the other and mix. A stand mixer makes this much easier, but if you would rather use a bowl and a whisk, that's fine too.
Make sure the butter is at room temperature and soft when you start out. Then add in the sugar and whisk until the mixture is fluffy.
Next to go in are the vanilla and aquafaba. The aquafaba stands in for the eggs here, and it makes a perfect substitute. I choose not to add salt to this recipe because the aquafaba has some salt. But if you use homemade aquafaba that doesn't have salt in it, you can add a quarter of a teaspoon of salt when you add the flour.
The flour will go into the bowl next, with some baking powder. Stop mixing as soon as the dough comes together. You don't want to overwork your dough at any stage and develop gluten, or you will get tough cookies. So keep all mixing to the minimum--stop as soon as ingredients are incorporated and make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently with a spatula to ensure everything is mixing together as it should.
This is a lovely, pliable dough that will easily bend to your will. It might stick slighly to the surface but it should not feel sticky or wet. If it sticks while rolling, here's a little trick: don't use flour, because you don't want to make these doughy. Instead, dust some confectioners' sugar on the surface and top and keep rolling.
I like a touch of vanilla in my sugar cookies. You could use another extract, like almond or lemon, if you want your sugar cookies flavored.
The cookies will bake at a low temperature--325 degrees Fahrenheit. You can adjust the texture of the cookies by baking for less or more time.
I like to give them 11 minutes in the oven, which makes them soft but with a slight crispness around the edges. Go 10 minutes for even softer cookies and 12 for cookies that are very crispy.
Make sure you turn the cookie sheet around halfway through baking, to ensure the cookies bake evenly. If you have multiple sheets baking at the same time, switch racks as well.
I chose not to decorate these because these are so perfectly sweet they don't need any gilding. But if you do decide to decorate the sugar cookies, here an awesome icing recipe naturally colored with mango puree, which I used in these vegan cardamom sugar cookies.
I hate using artificial dyes in food, and if you do too and are looking for ideas for naturally colored cookie icing, I want to point you to some ideas from my buddy, Karin, who posts awesome plant-based, low-waste recipes on her blog Buddy and Buns. She makes homemade food dyes for icing using beets and spinach.
The best vegan sugar cookies
- Stand mixer or large bowl
- 16 tablespoon vegan butter (2 sticks or 1 cup, softened, at room temperature)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup aquafaba (chickpea brine, preferably at room temperature)
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional, not necessary if the aquafaba is already salty)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- In a large bowl using a whisk, or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, whisk together the sugar and butter until quite creamy and fluffy, about a minute.
- Add the vanilla extract and aquafaba and beat them in until well incorporated, about 45 seconds to a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once to make sure everything is mixing properly.
- Add in the flour, salt if using, and baking powder. Use a spatula to first mix them a bit before you start the stand mixer so the flour doesn't fly all over the place.
- Stop mixing as soon as the dough comes together. Turn it out and shape into a disc. Cut into three pieces and quickly, without handling the dough too much, shape each portion into a disc. Wrap each disc in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll out one of the discs into a circle about ¼th inch thick. If the dough is slightly sticky, dust it and the surface with powdered sugar, which will make rolling easier.
- Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather up any scraps, form them into a disc, and roll out for more cookies. Continue making cookies with the rest of the sugar cookie dough.
- Bake each cookie sheet for 9-12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet around halfway through. The cookies should be very lightly colored on top with golden edges. Nine minutes will give you soft cookies, 12 will give you crispy cookies. I like baking for 10 minutes for the perfect texture.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack where they can continue to cool. If icing, do so only after the cookies have cooled thoroughly.
they are amazing!
So happy you liked them!
Icve been looking for a new vegan sugar cookie recipe & was excited to try this! Unfortunately, the dough did not come together like in the video--it was still very sticky, light & fluffy. I added another 1/2 cup flour and it was a little better, but still not like in the video. It rolled out fine after it chilled, but the cookies lost their shape (stretched) while I picked them up to transfer to the baking sheet. They baked and tasted fine. In the future, I would need to chill the dough again after cutting the cookie shapes just to be able to pick them up.
Any ideas what went wrong with the dough?
That sounds strange, especially as there is hardly any liquid in this recipe. Is it possible your measurements were off? There is no reason the dough should have been sticky with these proportions. Another possibility is high moisture in the air where you live.
You can chill the dough for a few minutes after rolling. After cutting each cookie immediately transfer it to the baking sheet.
I think you should edit the recipe to where the first step isn’t to preheat your oven because of having to wait an additional hour for the dough to refrigerate. I was so hot in here until I realized lol. Also, I substituted the vanilla extract for cinnamon because I didn’t have any so hopefully it turns out just as good.
Lol, good point. I've changed it. Thanks for the heads up.
Where do I buy the EnerG egg replacer and do you have a recipe for the bean liquid you can use instead of eggs?
Hi Barbara, you don't need EnerG in this recipe, but it is available on Amazon. And I usually use aquafaba that's storebought (that is, from a can of storebought chickpeas) for the right texture. If you make it at home, you would need to reduce the liquid quite a bit until it's quite viscous.
Hello Vaishali, can you suggest a good natural food dye on amazon.
Hi Divya, I usually use turmeric or beet powder or mango, but if you want to buy a natural food coloring I've heard good things about Suncore. It's on Amazon.
Which Vegan sugar do you use?
What about vegan powdered sugar?
I can't bear the thought of bone char in my food 🙁
I use the Kirkland organic cane sugar from Costco. Turbinado sugar is safe to use as well, but it will create a darker cookie.
Do you think I could make the dough into rolls, chill, and then slice thinly for an easy slice and bake type cookie? Thanks.
Yes, absolutely! Great idea, and I should add to the tips. Thanks for suggesting.