The cutest and super easy reindeer cookies that just so happen to be entirely vegan and gluten free! Decorated with all-natural candies, these reindeer cookies are the perfect cookie for Santa and his reindeer!

Super Cute and Easy Reindeer Cookies (Vegan!)

During this time of year, the only thing I want to do is make vegan Christmas cookies and watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

So I decided this year, I’m going to make reindeer cookies to enjoy while watching Rudolph…because that’s logical right? Ha!

Only these reindeer cookies are nothing like you’ve seen before. They’re entirely vegan, dairy free, nut free, and gluten free, yet no one will know.

reindeer cookies on wooden board

In fact, these cookies are based off of my classic vegan chocolate chip cookies, only slightly spiced to be a chai chocolate chip cookie (because tis the season!). They’re gooey, soft, melt-in-your-mouth sweet and “buttery.” Anyone and everyone will love them.

Then of course, we decorate it with some vegan candies (use the Unreal dark chocolate gems for Rudolph’s nose!), stick some gluten free pretzels in for antlers and these reindeer are just about ready to lead Santa’s sleigh!

Reindeer Cookies Video

Overview of how to make the easiest reindeer cookies

Like all recipes, the full written instructions with the measurements to these vegan reindeer cookies are found down below in the recipe card.

However, let’s go over the basics for how to make these festive vegan Christmas cookies!

close up of vegan christmas cookie

To start, you’ll need to gather some (very simple) ingredients. You’ll need:

  • Vegan butter or coconut oil: you can use either or both, as long as it’s the same measurements! If you’re nut-free, go with a vegan butter brand, such as Earth Balance, or use the coconut oil.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: definitely use unsweetened here, as these cookies are already quite sweet!
  • Coconut sugar: you can use granulated sugar here, but I personally love that these cookies get a slightly tanner color, which makes them perfect for being reindeer!
  • Vanilla extract: for flavor!
  • Flour: you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur, or all-purpose flour here
  • Spices: now you can omit these if you just want regular chocolate chip cookie-style reindeer cookies, but I personally love the chai spice combo!
  • Baking soda: to help these cookies spread!
  • Chocolate chips
  • Reindeer cookie decorations: I used Unreal chocolate gems (the dark chocolate ones for vegan!), vegan candied eyes, and gluten free vegan pretzel twists from Trader Joe’s!

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, let’s get to baking these Christmas cookies!

  1. Cream the vegan butter: I use a hand mixer, but you can also use a stand mixer. You’ll cream the vegan butter or coconut oil with the coconut sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
  2. Make the dough: once the sugar is dissolved into the butter, you’ll sift in the dry ingredients, and fold everything together until it’s a consistent dough.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to create cookie dough balls (about 12 of them) that are about 1.5 tablespoons. Space them about 2″ apart.
  4. Bake the cookies: you’ll chill these cookie dough balls for about 5 minutes before placing them into oven to bake for about 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  5. Decorate the reindeer cookies: decorate with candy eyes, vegan chocolate gems, and little pretzel antlers. Serve and enjoy!
how to make reindeer cookies
vegan reindeer cookie decorating

Can I freeze the dough?

Absolutely! You can freeze these cookies as the cookie dough balls in Step 5. Place them into an airtight container and store them for up to 2 months.

When ready to bake, simply allow the cookie dough to come to room temperature (about 3 hours), then bake!

Can I make these cookies entirely gluten-free?

These reindeer cookies can easily be transformed into entirely gluten free vegan Christmas cookies by simply swapping in gluten free 1:1 baking flour (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur) and using gluten-free vegan pretzel twists (I actually found some at Trader Joe’s that work great!).

hand breaking up cookie

Why won’t my decorations stay on?!

Did you put them on as soon as the cookies came out of the oven?! Or did you wait?

You need to put the candies and chocolate gem decorations immediately after you pull these cookies out of the oven, or else they’ll have trouble sticking.

My cookies puffed up- how come?

This could be because your vegan butter or coconut oil wasn’t entirely room temperature when you began. Slightly chilled butter will still cause the cookies to puff up (for science I don’t quite understand, but it is a thing!).

To ensure this doesn’t happen, simply allow your vegan butter or coconut oil to come to room temperature. I linked a great article on how to know what’s room temperature here!

Now, if your cookies have already puffed up, there is a fix! Immediately remove the cookie tray from the oven (using oven mitts), and give it the tray a few taps onto the counter. This will help the cookies sink back down.

Can I omit the spices?

Absolutely! If you just want regular chocolate chip cookie-style reindeer cookies, simply omit the spices and move forward with the recipe as written!

My reindeer cookies didn’t spread- how come?

This happens mainly from your baking sheet- did you use a darker colored baking sheet? If so, the cookies have a harder time spreading than a lighter colored baking sheet.

If you only have a dark colored baking sheet don’t worry- I find that using a silpat silicone mat instead of parchment paper helps fix this problem. The cookies spread much easier on a silicone mat than parchment paper!

However, you can use parchment paper on a lighter colored baking sheet, and the cookies will spread just fine.

vegan reindeer cookie

I hope you love these vegan reindeer cookies as much as I do! If you make them, let me know down below in the comments section, as well as giving it rating so that others may find this recipe!

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

Happy cookie baking!

More Vegan Christmas Cookies you’ll love!

Classic Vegan Sugar Cookies

Vegan Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Classic Vegan Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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

Super Cute and Easy Reindeer Cookies (Vegan!)
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Super Cute and Easy Reindeer Cookies (Vegan!)

Cute and Super Easy Reindeer Cookies with Video (Vegan!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


The cutest and super easy reindeer cookies that just so happen to be entirely vegan and gluten free! Decorated with all-natural candies, these reindeer cookies are the perfect cookie for Santa and his reindeer!


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 12 vegan chocolate gems
  • 24 vegan candy eyes
  • 1224 pretzel twists (gluten free as needed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter, applesauce, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, and spices, and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until it becomes a consistent dough. If you need a tablespoon or two of dairy free milk, add it here. 
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop about 1.5 tbsp of dough and roll the dough ball between your palms. Place it onto the baking sheet, and repeat for the remaining dough, spacing them about 2″ apart. You should yield 12 cookies. 
  6. Place the baking sheet into the fridge to chill for 5 minutes. Then place it into the oven to bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden and the tops look set (not wet!). If your cookies puffed up a bit in the oven, simply tap the pan (using oven mitts) onto the table a few times to help them de-puff.
  7. Immediately place two candy eyes onto each cookie. Then press a chocolate gem into the middle of the cookie to create the nose. Slice the pretzels in half to create the ears, and stick them into the sides of the cookie, slightly near the eyes. Gluten free pretzels break easier than regular twists, so you might need extra pretzels to create the antler look. You can just eat the scraps!
  8. Serve and enjoy!


*omit the spices if your kids (or you!) don’t like spices and just want a regular chocolate chip cookie as the reindeer cookie!