Vegan Sugar Cookies

These vegan sugar cookies are fun to make & fun to eat! Puffy & soft, they have a light lemon flavor that's especially good under a sweet cashew glaze.

Vegan Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

You’re going to love these soft vegan sugar cookies! They’re the perfect fun summer treat to make with your kids. Or, if you’re like me (without kids), they’re a fun crafty cookie baking project to make while pretending to be a kid on summer break. They’d also be the perfect addition to a holiday cookie plate in the winter. They just happen to be vegan, and they’re oh so delicious.

This vegan sugar cookie recipe is a little different from one for normal cookies. As you’ll see in the recipe instructions, the dough is more like pastry dough, and I roll it into balls instead of scooping it into mounds or cutting it out. Why? Because these vegan sugar cookies were initially a scone attempt. About a year ago, I tried to make lemon scones with almond flour. The result was SO delicious, and I loved them, but they did not quite resemble scones, and the lemon flavor was too subtle. Not subtle was Jack, who just said “they’re really good, but they’re not scones.” They were more like puffy sugar cookies (although with WAY less sugar than actual sugar cookies). So I kept this recipe in my back pocket until I got these cute, naturally colored Supernatural Starfetti sprinkles and thought – it’s time for the puffy cookies!

Vegan sugar cookie recipe frosting Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe

My Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe Ingredients

The best thing about these vegan sugar cookies is their soft, melt-in-your mouth texture. Where does it come from? Well, instead of using 100% all-purpose flour like most sugar cookie recipes would, I use a mix of regular flour and almond flour, which is what makes them so wonderfully puffy and soft.

Along with cookie regulars like baking powder, sugar, and salt, I add lemon zest to the dough to give these a light lemon flavor. If you don’t want your cookies to be lemony, try adding a splash of vanilla extract in its place.

And lastly, almond milk and coconut oil round out this recipe. Make sure that these ingredients are cold when you add them to the dough – it’ll ensure that your cookies come out perfectly puffy.

Frosting These Vegan Sugar Cookies

The cashew frosting here is similar to the macadamia frosting I make for my vegan carrot cake. It has a delicious, nutty maple flavor, and I love it as a gooey topping on these cookies. This frosting is more like a thin glaze, but if you prefer a thicker texture, try substituting powdered sugar for the maple syrup in the recipe.

These vegan sugar cookies are best frosted and eaten right away, but see below for my notes about freezing and transporting them.

Soft-Baked Vegan Sugar Cookies with Cashew Icing on a cooling rack

If you love these vegan sugar cookies…

Be sure to try my vegan gingerbread cookies, vegan pumpkin cookies, vegan apple cookies, or my vegan chocolate chip cookies next!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Puffy, soft-baked vegan sugar cookies with a hint of lemon. I like to decorate them with an easy cashew icing, but they're just as good plain.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 cookies
Ingredients
cashew-macadamia icing:
  • ½ cup raw macadamia nuts*
  • ½ cup raw cashews*
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
cookies:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • scant 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chilled coconut oil
  • ½ cup cold almond milk
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon zest**
  • Supernatural sprinkles, for decorating
Instructions
  1. Make the frosting: In a high-speed blender, combine the macadamia nuts, cashews, 2 tablespoons of almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding up to 2 tablespoons more almond milk, if necessary, to blend. Use the blender baton to help blend. Chill the frosting while you bake the cookies so that it firms up. (Frosting can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 6 days.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a food processor to combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the coconut oil and pulse until combined. Add the almond milk and lemon zest, and pulse until combined.
  3. Scoop the dough out of the food processor and knead gently to form a ball. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and gently press each down to form small disks.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until very slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting.
Notes
*If using a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, the nuts do not need to be soaked. If using a weaker blender, soak the nuts in water for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse before using.

**For a stronger lemon flavor, try adding ½ teaspoon lemon oil, it's in the baking aisle near the vanilla extract.

Note: this icing is very messy, these are best eaten just after they’re iced. To make ahead and/or transport them, freeze the iced cookies (place them on a plate in the freezer until icing is set, then transfer to freezer baggies) and let thaw at room temp for 20 minutes. The un-iced cookies also freeze well.

 

7 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Danielle
    06.18.2018

    Do you think I could sub g/f flour for the a/p flour? I love scones and sugar cookies, so these sound right up my alley!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2018

      It might work, depending on the flour (I find some to be really gummy), is there a certain brand that you like to use?

  2. Kayla
    06.18.2018

    These sound amazing! I have an allergy to coconut, is there a different oil that you might recommend using instead? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2018

      Hi Kayla, I’d try butter (although it’s not vegan) as an alternative since this dough is similar to pastry dough. Hope that helps!

  3. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
    06.18.2018

    That cashew icing sounds delicious!!

  4. Natalie from lilcookie.com
    06.18.2018

    These cookies look absolutely amazing! I love the cashew icing!

  5. Gaby Dalkin
    06.19.2018

    These are picture perfect!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.