Vegan Sugar Cookies (Soft & Chewy!)
Vegan sugar cookies are soft, chewy, buttery, and sweet! The easy recipe is made with one bowl and ready in 20 minutes. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free friendly, and made with no eggs. This classic Christmas cookie recipe is not only perfect for the holiday season, but also enjoyed all year round! They’re great for birthday parties, potlucks, and gifting.
I’m pretty sure I’ve always been a foodie. As a little girl, I used to love grocery shopping with my mom. We’d browse the aisles together, picking out fresh produce and yummy snacks for our large family of 8. When I think back to those grocery trips together, one thing always comes to mind: soft, chewy, sugar cookies!
Oftentimes, once we’d reach the bakery section of the store, the generous baker would offer me a free kid’s cookie. Truthfully, I’m not sure why it was labeled as a kid’s cookie, since it was nearly the size of my face! She’d ask, “Sugar or chocolate chip?” with a big smile every time. After consistently choosing chocolate chip, I decided to take a chance on sugar… and I was so happy I did! It was love at first bite.
While preparing this classic sugar cookie recipe, I aimed to recreate the soft-baked, melt-in-your-mouth texture of my beloved “Very Generous Baker at the Grocery Store” sugar cookies. The crispy and crackly exterior perfectly complements the soft, tender interior.
These vegan sugar cookies are a classic Christmas cookie recipe, but they can also be enjoyed all year long. You can share them with friends this holiday season, or bring them along to birthday parties and potlucks. If desired, you can even add vanilla frosting and sprinkles on top!
These sugar cookies are:
- Vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free friendly
- Soft, chewy, buttery, and tender
- Perfectly sweet & rolled in granulated sugar
- Made with pantry staples // no weird ingredients
- A quick, easy, one bowl cookie recipe
- Ready in 20 minutes with a no chill cookie dough
- Great for Christmas, gifting, and holiday parties!
What are vegan sugar cookies made of?
- Flour: All-purpose flour, also known as plain flour, is used for these classic sugar cookies. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can simply use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose baking flour. I recommend the Bob’s Red Mill brand.
- Vegan butter: Vegan butter keeps this recipe dairy-free while providing a buttery flavor.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar or cane sugar is the primary sweetener for this vegan sugar cookie recipe.
- Light brown sugar: A touch of light brown sugar adds moisture and gives the cookies a chewier texture.
- Almond milk: You can use any almond milk, but I typically stick with an unsweetened plain or vanilla variety.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract is essential! It adds a sweet, warm flavor and aroma.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps create an overall tender texture and slightly gooey interior.
- Baking powder and baking soda: These leavening agents help the cookies rise while baking.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is needed to enhance the sweet ingredients.
How to make soft and chewy vegan sugar cookies
For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add vegan butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, cream together until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes on medium speed). Add the almond milk and vanilla extract, then cream together once more just to combine.
Next, add the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Mix together just until the flour is evenly incorporated.
Scoop the cookie dough and roll into 12 balls. Add the extra 1/3 cup granulated sugar to a bowl. Generously roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar, then transfer to the baking sheets.
Bake the cookies on the middle rack in the oven, one tray at a time, for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven when the edges are beginning to firm but the center appears slightly underbaked. The cookies will be extremely puffy, which is totally normal!
Lift the baking sheet 2 feet about the countertop, and drop onto the counter. Repeat 6-7 times. This will force the cookie tops to slightly crack and de-puff while cooling, creating a perfect soft and chewy texture. Allow the vegan sugar cookies to cool before enjoying!
Tips for making the best dairy-free sugar cookies
Measure the flour correctly. Proper flour measurement is an often overlooked aspect of baking. In fact, measuring it incorrectly can result in using way too much. Flour should never be scooped or packed into the measuring cup. Instead, you should spoon it into the cup until your desired measurement is reached. After, level off the top with a flat surface (such as the back of a knife).
Use slightly softened butter. Slightly softened butter will take a subtle imprint when gently pressed with your finger.
Don’t forget to roll the dough in sugar. This step is easy to forget, but it’s very important. You’ll notice the actual cookies themselves contain less sugar than your typical chocolate chip cookie recipe. Well, that’s because the sugar cookie dough will be rolled in extra sugar just before baking. This means your cookies will not be sweet enough if you forget this part. (I know, the horror!) So, don’t forget it. These are sugar cookies, after all!
Bake on the middle rack in your oven. I highly recommend baking the cookies one tray at a time on the middle rack in your oven. This leads to even baking. If you choose to bake two sheets at a time (one in the middle and one on the lower rack), you will notice the middle sheet always has better results.
Drop the pan, repeatedly. Wait, what? Let me explain. 🙂 When you remove the cookies from the oven, they should appear slightly underbaked in the center and extremely puffy. Like, to the point where you think, “Oh no, these need more time baking and why on earth do they look like literal clouds?”
Firstly, they do not need more time in the oven – don’t worry! Secondly, we’ll counter that puffiness with a few pan drops. Lift the baking sheet about 2 feet above the countertop and drop it onto the counter. Repeat this action 6-7 times, then let the cookies cool. This will force the cookies to lightly crack on top and de-puff, while keeping a super soft and chewy interior.
Can I frost these sugar cookies?
Yes, absolutely! Although frosting is not necessary, you can spread Vegan Vanilla Frosting over the cookies if you’d like to. This is a fun idea if you’re baking these cookies for a birthday party or a special occasion. I recommend adding rainbow sprinkles or holiday-themed sprinkles as well! Be sure to add the frosting after your cookies cool completely.
How to store them
Once the vegan sugar cookies cool, you can store leftovers in a sealed container on the countertop. The cookies will keep fresh for 3-4 days. For longterm storage, place them in a ziplock bag inside the freezer for up to 3 months. I suggest placing a strip of parchment paper between each cookie to prevent them from sticking together once frozen.
Vegan sugar cookies are soft, chewy, buttery, and sweet! The easy recipe is made with one bowl and ready in 20 minutes. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free friendly, and made with no eggs. This classic Christmas cookie recipe is not only perfect for the holiday season, but also enjoyed all year round! They’re great for birthday parties, potlucks, and gifting. #vegancookies #cookies #cookierecipes #christmasdesserts #holidaybaking #holidaydesserts #vegandessert
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, slightly softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or GF all-purpose flour), measured correctly*
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add vegan butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, cream together until light and fluffy (typically 2-3 minutes on medium speed). Add almond milk and vanilla extract, then cream together once more just to combine.
- Add all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Mix together until the flour is evenly incorporated.
- Scoop the cookie dough and roll into 12 balls. Add the extra 1/3 cup granulated sugar to a bowl. Generously roll each ball of cookie dough in the granulated sugar, then transfer to the baking sheets.
- Bake cookies on the middle rack in the oven, one tray at a time, for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven when their edges are beginning to firm but the center still looks underbaked. The cookies will be very puffy! This is totally normal. Lift the baking sheet 2 feet above the countertop and drop it. Repeat this action 6-7 times. This will force the cookies to slightly crack and de-puff while cooling, creating a delicious soft and chewy texture. Let the cookies cool before devouring. Enjoy!
- *Be sure to measure the flour correctly. Flour should never be scooped or packed into a measuring cup, as that will result in way too much flour. Instead, add spoonfuls of flour into the measuring cup until you reach the amount needed. Level off the top with a flat surface, such as the back of a knife.
- I recommend baking the cookies one tray at a time on the middle rack in your oven. This allows the cookies to bake evenly and helps you achieve the best results.
- For a soft and chewy texture, be sure to remove the cookies from the oven while the center still appears slightly underbaked. Don’t forget to drop the baking sheet against the countertop 6-7 times before cooling.
- Do not skip rolling the cookie dough in extra granulated sugar. This is essential for a sweet and authentic sugar cookie flavor.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 210
- Sugar: 16g
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 33g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 2.5g
Keywords: vegan sugar cookies, dairy-free sugar cookies, vegan christmas cookies
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