Soft, cut-out vegan sugar cookies you can decorate with your little ones or gift to others!
Soft Vegan Sugar Cookies
Let’s talk cookies.
They are sweet, delicious, crunchy or soft, topped or filled with delicious things, and perfect for any occasion. Seriously. Name an occasion, and you can make a cookie for it.
Sugar cookies are truly the best cookie for celebrating because you can make them into anything. When my son was little, we attended a birthday party where they sent everyone home with a beautiful Minnie Mouse sugar cookie.
You can probably find a cookie cutter for everything – hearts for Valentine’s Day, baby bottles and rattles for a baby shower, bunnies and eggs for Easter, and of course candy canes and trees for Christmas. Or if you are super talented (not me) you can take a sharp detail knife and make them into whatever you wish.
Vegan Food Coloring
Either way, finding a natural vegan food dye can be daunting. I remember searching a few years ago and coming up dry except for one brand which had a terrible color payoff. Recently, I decided to check Whole Foods again and found that they now carry Plant-Based Food Coloring! And the colors are actually vibrant. Just note that the red actually comes out magenta.
Like with food dye, some sprinkles are not vegan. This is because sugar is often processed with bone char. (Ugh, why though?)
A company called Fancy Sprinkles has an entire line of vegan sprinkles. They are BEAUTIFUL, and you’ll want to buy them all.
Now that food dye and sprinkles are situated, we can back to the cookie talk.
I set out to create a vegan sugar cookie recipe that is soft, but still perfect for cut-outs. I think I cracked the code! The code includes plenty of vegan butter and a little arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). You’ll notice that this recipe calls for applesauce – which is a great egg-replacer – but can often leave baked goods tasting like applesauce. I recommend adding either orange extract or almond extract to cover up the applesauce flavor. Using extracts is a good way to flavor your cookie, period.
Sugar Cookie Tips
I put this list together to help you on your journey of making vegan sugar cookies. These are techniques that work best for me.
- To prevent sticking while rolling out the dough, I always put the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.
- When using a cookie cutter, keep a little plate with powdered sugar on it nearby. After each cut, dip the cookie cutter in the powdered sugar before cutting the next cookie. This will help keep the cutter from sticking and the cookies keep their new shape.
- When cutting, work in batches. This will keep the dough cold. And cold dough = the best for cutting. Baking cold dough will also keep the cookies tender.
- If you have trouble rolling out dough evenly, you may consider buying a rolling pin with rings. The rings will prevent you from rolling the dough too thin.
Did you make these cookies? Please leave a comment and a star review! I love hearing your feedback.
Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Beat in applesauce and vanilla extract (and orange extract if you choose.)
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and arrowroot powder.
- Fold the flour mixture into the butter and sugar bowl.
- Mix together well. I use a hand mixer.
- Divide dough into 2 or 3 sections. Form into discs and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Place in fridge for at 2 hours, or overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and roll out to about 1/4-inch thickness. I like to roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to avoid the rolling pin sticking.
- Cut with cookie cutters.
- Place the raw cookies onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies should be just barely starting to brown on the bottom.
- Repeat with the other discs of the dough.
- Let the cookies cool.
- For the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, plant milk, and vanilla extract until the sugar is totally dissolved. If it's too dry, add a little more milk. Too wet, add more powdered sugar.
- Frost and decorate!