At last — vegan rolled cookies you can cut into adorable shapes and decorate for Christmas, Easter, or just when you want some sweet fun. I’ve tried for years to make vegan sugar cookies sturdy enough to pick up and that hold their shape while baking. Now I can say goodbye to headless snowmen, drunken Santas, and shapeless blobs. These cookies use vegan butter or coconut oil instead of butter, aquafaba instead of eggs, and hazelnut flour for extra flavor. See the recipe notes for tips on streamlining the recipe if you don’t have all the ingredients or are in a hurry.
2019 update: You’ll find new pictures and a safer recipe. It turns out that we shouldn’t eat raw dough with flour in it, even if it doesn’t contain eggs.
I wanted to try fancy flooded frosting for a party, but didn’t realize that it takes a full day to dry and harden. Fortunately, my buttery frosting holds texture, so I got some wow factor just from adding the branch texture. Work from the bottom to top so the top strokes go over the ones below.
I also roasted raw hazelnuts and zapped them in the food processor for a minute or two to make fresh hazelnut flour. The hazelnut flour I’d frozen last year tasted tired.
- 2 tablespoons buttery spread
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba
- colored sugar or sprinkles optional
- Get ready while your hands are clean and dry. Check vegan butter or coconut oil to make sure it is solid but soft enough to push a table knife through. Also get out a cookie sheet that will fit in your refrigerator, rearranging your fridge as necessary. Line that cookie sheet with parchment paper and set out three more sheets of parchment paper. Get out another cookie sheet to bake on. Make sure there is an oven rack in the center position. Get out four dinner plates or waxed paper to protect the dough while you chill it. I use plates to avoid throwing away the waxed paper.
- Put butter into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Sift in powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add aquafaba, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined.
- Put the remaining cookie ingredients in the mixing bowl on top of the powdered sugar mixture. Stir the dry ingredients on top with a fork to blend, then mix all ingredients together until cookie dough forms a smooth ball. Do not beat dough longer than you need to or you will get the proverbial tough cookies. If dough remains crumbly, add another tablespoon aquafaba or water.
- Divide dough in half and use your clean hands to pat them into flattened disks about two inches thick and six inches across. Put each disk on a dinner plate and cover with another plate. (If you'd rather, wrap them in waxed paper.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to a week.
- While dough chills, make frosting if you want. Put buttery spread in a clean mixing bowl. Beat buttery spread until fluffy. Sift in powdered sugar and add remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Taste and add more vanilla or salt as desired. If the frosting is too soft, sift in more powdered sugar. If it is too hard, add more aquafaba or water. If not using the same day, put in a covered container and refrigerate for up to a week.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly flour piece of parchment paper or a clean section of counter about the size of a cookie sheet. Put one chilled dough disk in the center of the floured area, lightly dust with flour, and cover with parchment paper if desired for easy rolling.
- Roll dough flat so that it is about 1/4 inch thick using a rolling pin or clean wine bottle, working from the center of the dough toward the edges. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters, pastry cutters, or a table knife. Use a thin metal spatula to lift cut-out cookies onto the parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving some room between cookies as shown. When the cookie sheet is full, refrigerate it for at least 8 minutes. Bake for 8 minutes, until the cookies just start to brown.
- Now the cookie-making cycle is ready to take off. Repeat with each batch: cut, chill, bake, and cool. While the first sheet of cookies chills, cut on the next set of cookies and arrange them on a sheet of parchment paper. After the first sheet has chilled, take those cookies out of the refrigerator. Slide the parchment paper with the chilled cookies onto the baking cookie sheet and pop it in the oven for 8 minutes. Slide the freshly cut cookies onto the cold cookie sheet, refrigerate them, and start cutting out another batch of cookies. Put the baked cookies on wire racks to cool and use the parchment paper they were on for the cookies you just cut out.
- When cookies are cool, spread with frosting and decorate as desired. Store in air-tight containers with layers of decorated cookies separated with waxed paper for up to a week. Freeze cookies for three to four weeks, frosted or unfrosted.
- If you want round cookies fast, in step 4 roll cookies into four logs about an inch and a half across instead of two disks. Wrap in waxed paper and chill, then slice into circles that are a half inch thick and bake. No need for the second chilling. Sprinkle with colored sugar before baking if you want or enjoy unadorned. You can of course frost and decorate as fancy ornaments or miniature planets.
- Make-ahead options for your convenience or a party. Make the dough up through step 4 and refrigerate it for up to a week. Make the frosting and refrigerate it for up a week too. Now you can bake cookies quickly before a party. You can also show up at someone's house or a community kitchen with dough, frosting, cookie cutters, and decorations for a fun session of cookie making.
- Make your own hazelnut flour by roasting raw hazelnuts and whirring them for a minute or two in the food processor.
- Replace the hazelnut flour with almond flour or just more white whole wheat flour.
- If you can't find white whole wheat flour, use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.
- For cookies don't use Miyoko's vegan butter or coconut oil, use one cup (eight ounces or 224 grams) of Earth Balance buttery products: 1 1/4 cup of whipped organic buttery spread or 1 cup of the soy-free buttery baking stick. For easy handling of the cut-out cookies, refrigerate them for five minutes before arranging the shapes on the baking sheet.
Aww, that cat cookie is so cute! Thanks for the thorough instructions: I would definitely need to do some reshuffling to make room for cookie sheets in my fridge.
Linda Watson says
Thanks, Chessie! We’ve just decided to get cats again this spring, so we’re in pre-kitty thrall here. I had to reshuffle too and dig out an ancient but smaller cookie sheet to fit in the fridge. These cookies are so worth the trouble though.