There is nothing more cheerful than celebrating the holiday season with a big plate of colorful Christmas cookies. These festive and flavorful vegan sugar cookies are decorated with an easy-to-make eggless royal icing that everyone will love!
Try this Santa-approved vegan sugar cookie recipe for the holidays to get your sleigh bells ringing!
Ingredients for Vegan Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
My tried-and-true recipe for making the best dairy-free and eggless sugar cookies includes simple, wholesome vegan pantry staples.
Here is everything needed to make vegan sugar cookie dough:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Vegan butter – I am a big fan of Earth Balance or Country Crock Plant Butter
- Cane sugar
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
To make vegan royal icing from scratch you need:
- Powdered sugar
- Light corn syrup
- Vanilla extract
Plus your choice of food dyes to make different colors of royal icing, if you like. You also can use vegan-friendly sprinkles for an extra pop of fun color!
How to Make the Best Vegan Sugar Cookies from Scratch
This is the easiest 4-step method for making soft, slightly crumbly sugar cookies at home.
- First, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- In another bowl, use a standing mixer or hand mixer to cream together the plant-based butter and sugar. It should get nice and fluffy.
- To the creamed butter add the almond milk, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Then, working just a bit at a time slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until completely incorporated to form a dough, but do not over-work the dough.
After making the dough, flour a clean work surface and turn the cookie dough out. Form the dough into a ball, cut in half, and then roll each half flat until about 1/4″ thick. Use parchment paper on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.
Place the rolled out dough onto a cookie sheet covered with a baking mat or parchment, and set in the fridge for at least one hour to chill. Doing this ensures that the dough will keep its shape after cutting and baking, and prevents the dreaded “butter bleed.”
When the dough has chilled for an hour or so, remove from the fridge. Use different cutters to cut out your Christmas cookie shapes, keeping them spread apart on the baking sheets and removing excess dough after cutting. You can use this leftover dough to form and cut cute mini cookies!
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Be sure to watch them closely – sugar cookies should turn only slightly golden around the edges but should stay mostly pale.
Keep them on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling completely before decorating.
How to Make Easy Eggless Royal Icing
To make a perfectly sweet vegan royal icing you simply whisk together the ingredients as listed in the recipe below. Then, divide into cups for however many individual colors you’ll be making, and add the food coloring a few drops at a time – if using.
You can either choose to slather a bit of the icing directly onto the cookies with a butter knife or spoon; or, transfer the icing into piping bags to do detailed decorating work.
Tips for Decorating Vegan Christmas Cookies with Royal Icing
This recipe for royal icing makes what is known as a flood consistency. To create my holly jolly holiday cookie look, follow these 2 basic decorating steps:
- First, do an outline of the cookie with the icing. Let sit for just a moment to dry.
- Then, working quickly, fill in – or “flood” – the sugar cookie with the royal icing. Use a toothpick to carefully swirl the wet icing to fill completely.
Top with sprinkles, if you like, and allow the decorated cookies to sit for at least 8-10 hours to dry before handling.
How to Store Decorated Sugar Cookies
Once the royal icing has completely set for at least 8 hours – or ideally, overnight – sugar cookies can be stored in airtight containers for up to one week. I don’t recommend that you put them in the fridge, as this tends to dry out vegan cookies.
If you plan to stack the cookies I suggest putting a piece of wax or parchment paper between the layers.
How Do I Make Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies?
Swap all-purpose flour with your favorite GF-friendly baking substitute to easily make this a gluten-free cookie recipe. I recommend using a mix that contains almond flour for the best texture and cookie taste.
Can Vegan Sugar Cookies Be Frozen or Made Ahead?
Yes and yes! Freeze the raw dough for up to a month by keeping wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and then sealing inside an airtight freezer-safe bag. Or, freeze the baked and cooled cookies by storing in an airtight freezer bag for up to 2 months.
I do not recommend freezing the cookies after you’ve decorated with royal icing, however. The consistency of the icing tends to breakdown once frozen, and does not thaw well.
If you tried making these vegan sugar cookies with royal icing, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Try these other delicious vegan Christmas cookie recipes:
- Vegan Shortbread Cookies with Hazelnut
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
- Vegan Candy Cane Cookies
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Vegan Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
- 2+1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1+1/2 sticks) vegan butter (I like Earth Balance or Country Crock Plant Butter)
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 4 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer and bowl- cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take 2-3 minutes of medium speed mixing.
- Add in the almond milk and the extracts- then with the mixer running slowly add in the flour mix in 3 separate batches. Just mix until incorporated. Flour your counter and turn the dough out. Shape it into a ball and divide the dough in half.
- Using parchment or wax paper- roll the dough out on the parchment or wax paper about 1/4-inch in thickness. Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet (you can layer them because you’ll have wax paper or parchment in between and cover the dough sheets with plastic wrap. Allow to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Move your dough out of the fridge and use cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer your shapes to a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Leave 2 inches or so between cookies. These won’t spread much, but they will a little bit.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes. Watch them carefully. If you cook them too long your cookies will be less soft. The bottoms should look lightly golden and the tops will be mostly white with a tiny golden edge.
- Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Whisk together all ingredients. You can simply dip or spread the icing on and add sprinkles or glitter sugar for easy cookie decorating!
- To decorate more intricately you’ll want to divide your icing into different bowls depending on the colors you want to make and add a few drops of food coloring. Use piping bags with different tips to create your designs.
- Allow the cookies to dry for 8-10 hours before attempting to stack and store them.
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