These soft and “buttery” vegan sugar cookies easily come together with a 6 ingredient simple cookie dough that bake into the perfect chewy cut-out cookies! No one will know these sugar cookies are made without real butter!

soft vegan sugar cookies decorated

Your new favorite vegan Christmas cookies

If ever there was a number one Christmas Cookie, I truly think it would be these vegan sugar cookies.

As a vegan baking cookbook author, I know that a perfect recipe comes with much testing and trial and error. Well, I’ve finally perfected the recipe to taste JUST like the sugar cookie cut outs you grew up with as a kid.

And if you’re short on time: Check out these quick and easy drop-style sugar cookies!

In fact, these sugar cookies inspired my holiday vegan sugar cookie dough stuffed cupcakes!

And yet you’d never know that there isn’t an ounce of real butter in the cookie dough. The cookies roll out perfectly to be cut by any of your favorite fun holiday cookie cutters, and they look just gorgeous with a mear of colored vegan buttercream or go all out with my favorite simple vegan royal icing.

These easy sugar cookies are so incredibly simple and made with really straight forward ingredients: vegan butter, sugar, dairy free yogurt (or applesauce), flour, vanilla extract and baking powder. That’s really it!

And yes, these cookies are perfect for freezing and shipping!

Psst! If you need a quicker recipe, try these vegan sugar cookie bars!

vegan sugar cookies frosted

6 Simple Ingredients:

Let’s go over the key ingredients you need in making eggless and dairy free vegan sugar cookies:

  • Vegan butter: you can use a nut-free vegan butter or coconut oil if desired. You can even make your own vegan butter! The most important part is that you’re using room temperature butter– this helps the ingredients to emulsify more, and create that soft chew to the cookie!
  • Granulated sugar: granulated sugar will give these sugar cookies more of a traditional look. Make sure that you’re using organic cane sugar, as this will be vegan (not all granulated sugars are vegan!). I sometimes use coconut sugar here, which is why there’s specs of caramel coloring throughout the cookies. Just keep this in mind!
  • Applesauce: this will replace eggs in traditional sugar cookies. You can also use dairy free yogurt or flax egg (just ground flaxseed with water). See my guide on vegan egg substitutes here!
  • All purpose flour: you can also use gluten free 1:1 baking flour if you need gluten free vegan sugar cookies.
  • Baking powder: not baking soda. Baking powder will help give these sugar cookies a slightly puffy look and keep them from spreading.

Overview: How to make perfectly vegan sugar cookies:

Here’s how to make this easy vegan sugar cookie dough:

  1. Cream together the vegan butter and sugar: this is very similar to making regular sugar cookies. You want the sugar to almost dissolve into the vegan butter. You’ll also add in the vanilla extract and almond extract here, as well as the applesauce.
  2. Sift in the flours and baking powder: then you’ll use a rubber spatula- a silicone spatula is key! – to fold together the dry ingredients. This will take about 3-4 minutes. The rubber spatula makes it much easier to incorporate the flours into the creamed vegan butter.
  3. Chill the dough: form the dough into a disk and chill for 30 minutes.
vegan sugar cookie dough

Then we’ll cut out the sugar cookies:

  1. Roll out the dough: lightly flour a clean surface and rolling pin and roll the dough to be 1/4″ thick.
  2. Cut out the sugar cookies: you can use any sugar cookie cutters here!
  3. Transfer the sugar cookies to a baking sheet: I recommend using a super thin spatula to do this.
  4. Chill the cookies while the oven preheats.
  5. Bake the cookies! You’re looking for a lightly golden color around the edges.

Once the cookies are completely cool, we’ll move onto decorating them.

Can I make these sugar cookies gluten free?

You can definitely make these cookies gluten free if you need to! To make these vegan sugar cookies completely gluten free, simply swap in gluten free 1:1 baking flour.

And if you need to make these Christmas cookies completely nut-free as well, feel free to omit the almond extract.

Vegan Royal Icing

This is my all time favorite part of the whole sugar cookie baking process: decorating the cookies.

But first, we need to make the vegan royal icing. This egg-free royal icing is super simple. All you need is:

  • Aquafaba (or chickpea water)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vegan food coloring

Next, you’ll simply add the aquafaba and powdered sugar to a bowl, and mix with a spoon or whip with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.

By using a hand mixer or an electric mixer, you’ll notice it really helps to prevent any clumps of powdered sugar and gives you a really smooth royal icing.

vegan royal icing for sugar cookies

Finally, you’ll divide the royal icing into separate bowls if you’re using vegan food coloring. I recommend a gel vegan food coloring, such as the one that Whole Foods makes.

Remember that if you’re not using a bowl of royal icing right away, cover the bowl with a damp cloth to prevent it from hardening.

How to decorate sugar cookies

The biggest tip I have for decorating sugar cookies is don’t try to make them perfect.

We are not a professional bakery. We are humans trying to have some holiday fun and cheer. If you try to make them perfect, you’ll just not have fun decorating these, and it can be quite frustrating. And you’ll be surprised: when you’re not trying to make them perfect, these sugar cookies will actually come out looking really beautiful!

You can also spread a bit of homemade vegan frosting for an easy sugar cookie decoration that’s super fun and easy for kids as well.

bitten vegan sugar cookie

Have fun with decorating these sugar cookies. I recommend watching a few fun YouTube videos on how to decorate the shape you’ve made to get some ideas. You can also look up cookie designs on Pinterest to get some ideas.

I have a few selected patterns in the free cookie baking guide I created for my mailing list, and you can get access to it here:

Can I omit the almond extract?

Absolutely. If you’re nut free or don’t particularly like the taste of almond in your sugar cookies, feel free to add in an equal amount extra of vanilla extract.

vegan sugar cookies decorated as snowmen, Christmas trees, and snowflakes on marble

You’re just going to absolutely love these easy vegan sugar cookies! The dough is just so simple, and everyone will have fun decorating them. They’re perfect for Christmas cookie boxes, cookie exchanges, and even as a treat for Santa!

If you make these cookies, let me know down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating so that others may find it.

As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there.

Happy sugar cookie baking!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Soft & Chewy Vegan Sugar Cookies (Gluten Free Option!) Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

How to make vegan sugar cookies video:

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vegan sugar cookies decorated as snowmen, Christmas trees, and snowflakes on marble

Soft and Chewy Cut-Out Vegan Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 32 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These soft and buttery vegan sugar cookies easily come together with a 6 ingredient simple dough that bake into the perfect golden and chewy cut-out cookies!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup (185 g) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (250 g) organic granulated sugar or coconut sugar*
  • 1/3 cup (87 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, omit if nut-free)
  • 2 1/2 cups (315 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 batch vegan royal icing

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Once the sugar is slightly dissolved into the vegan butter, add in the applesauce, vanilla extract and almond extract if desired. Mix again until incorporated.
  3. Sift in the flour, and baking powder, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the flours into the creamed butter. This will take about 3-4 minutes to fully incorporate.
  4. Once the dough is made, form the dough into a flat disk and wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Once chilled, lightly flour a clean surface as well as a rolling pin. Place the dough onto the floured surface. If the dough is not at all soft (i.e. it’s hard to touch), allow the dough to soften for 10 minutes. Then roll the dough out to be about 1/4″ thick.
  6. Use your desired cookie cutters and cut the cookie shapes into the dough. Remove any scraps and use a thin spatula to transfer the sugar cookies to the baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining dough, then chill the cookie sheet in the freezer for while the oven preheats.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F. Once the oven is fully preheated, place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake the cookies for 7 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn lightly golden. 
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to fully cool before making the vegan royal icing.
  9. Make the royal icing according to the post instructions.
  10. Divide the royal icing into separate bowls if using vegan food coloring and add in the colors. Be sure to cover any bowl of icing that you’re not using with a damp paper towel. This prevents the royal icing from hardening. Mix the colors, and place the icing into a piping bag with tip. Decorate the cookies as desired.
  11. Allow the cookies to set for 15 minutes, then enjoy!
  12. Store the cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

* coconut sugar will give these cookies a slightly tanner color. If you want traditional looking sugar cookies, use a vegan-friendly granulated sugar, such as Woodstock Organics

* For completely Paleo vegan sugar cookies, please see these Paleo Vegan Sugar Cookies.

Flaxseed: You can swap in 2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 1/3 cup water for a replacement for the applesauce/yogurt.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie no icing
  • Calories: 82
  • Sugar: 3.6 g
  • Sodium: 3.1 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
  • Trans Fat:
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.7 mg

Keywords: vegan sugar cookies, easy sugar cookies, vegan gluten free sugar cookies, vegan Christmas cookies