These vegan sugar cookies, like all cookies on my site, are made from scratch with no butter, margarine, or commercial egg replacers. Soft and chewy inside with crispy crackly edges, they’re sure to become a favorite dairy-free sugar cookie recipe of yours!
Persons from my childhood know that I am a chewy sugar cookie fiend. Growing up, I would eat around the chocolate chips, was offended by raisins and nuts, and had zero patience for shortbread-style cookies. Chewy sugar cookies or bust.
I’m about that unadulterated vanilla flavor and chewy cookie goodness. I especially liked the gigantic ones from the grocery store bakery, but if those weren’t available, I’d get one of those packs of a dozen that come in a plastic clamshell and go to town.
As a 17-year-old stuffing supermarket cookies in my face, I could never have predicted that removing the eggs and butter from those little monsters (said affectionately) would be one of the great recipe development challenges of my adult life.
Most of the vegan sugar cookies I’ve been faced with thus far in life have been downright strange. Weird cylindrical puffs that are kind of firm and sandy. Strong margarine aftertaste. Good texture but shaped like a hockey puck in an off-putting way. Or the worst offense of all, cakey. (That tends to happen when inappropriate egg substitutes are used).
I knew that my vegan snickerdoodles are great in their own right, so I chose that dough as a starting point. They’re a little bit chewy, a little bit pillowy soft and fluffy, and have a tanginess from using cream of tartar, so modifications were needed to turn them into my chewy vegan sugar cookies.
I adjusted the balance of coconut and vegetable oils for a more supple texture but the key to these vegan sugar cookies, which I only discovered by accident during one batch, is to purposefully use warm, melted coconut oil and completely dissolve the sugars and oils together into a delicious caramel-y liquid before preparing the batter.
Trust me, you will love the crackly tops and chewy texture of these awesome cookies! I blinged mine up with vegan sprinkles. Admittedly, vegan sprinkle science still needs some more advances in color technology, but they aren’t half bad ;). If you make these vegan sugar cookies, let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram with @yupitsvegan!
Soft and Chewy Vegan Sugar Cookies
Easy vegan sugar cookies, made soft and chewy with everyday ingredients. No vegan butter or commercial egg replacers needed and the dough only takes a few minutes to whip up. I highly recommend baking by weight for the best results, but approximate volume measurements are also provided.
- 37 grams refined coconut oil melted (3 tbsp before melting)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (grapeseed, canola, sunflower, etc.)
- 83 grams cane sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
- 54 grams brown sugar (1/4 cup)
- 39 grams aquafaba room temperature (3 tbsp) (see note)
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk room temperature
- 1/8 tsp vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 168 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup + 2 tbsp measured by scooping)
- 1/4 cup sprinkles (optional, plus more to preference)
Add the melted coconut oil, vegetable oil, both sugars, and aquafaba to a bowl. Whisk the mixture together until the sugars fully dissolve into the oils. You should no longer see a layer of oil separated. As soon as the oil combines with the sugars, stop mixing - you don't want to add excess air, which will lead to puffy cookies.
Your non-dairy milk should not be cold or it will harden the coconut oil. Add the room temperature non-dairy milk, vinegar. and vanilla extract and mix briefly to combine. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt (breaking up any lumps if needed) and mix again.
Finally, stir in the all-purpose flour until smoothly combined. Once there are no more streaks of flour, stop mixing. If using sprinkles, fold them in now, adding more until your desired sprinkle quantity is reached. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You may end up needing 2 baking sheets depending on the size.
I find these vegan sugar cookies bake up best with a nice heaping tablespoon of dough, but you can use the size you prefer. One at a time, scoop a ball of the dough and place it on the baking sheet, flattening it slightly and leaving about an inch in between the cookies for them to spread.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, or just until the edges start to turn golden. (If you notice the cookies getting puffier than you would like, take them out after approximately 8 minutes, and gently press down on the tops with a fork or spatula. Then continue baking until the edges turn golden.) When you take the baking sheet out of the oven, gently rap it on a surface to encourage the tops of the cookies to sink back down. Let cool for a couple of minutes before removing from the baking sheet, and transferring to a cooling rack to cool down completely. Store leftover cookies in a container at room temperature for a few days.
AQUAFABA: Aquafaba is the cooking liquid from chickpeas or other beans. I save the liquid whenever I use a can of beans, and freeze it in tablespoon-sized portions for later. It has a protein-rich binding structure that makes it behave similarly to eggs and add chewiness and binding to these vegan sugar cookies.
FROSTING: Wondering if these cookies can be frosted? I don't know for sure because I am not a frosting fan and I haven't tried :). However, I think they should take to frosting just as well as any other sugar cookie would.
VEGAN SPRINKLES: Many sprinkles contain confectioner's glaze, which is made from insect secretions. However, these days any natural store will stock vegan-friendly sprinkles or you can order them online. I have most recently used this brand, seen in the photos.
TEXTURE TROUBLESHOOTING: I added some new notes in the instructions about how to fix cookies that are turning puffy. Sometimes, despite following the recipe by weights, ambient conditions, oven hot spots, and the type of baking sheet used can lead to varied results, but thankfully it can be fixed during baking!
Psst.. if you’re looking for the perfect vegan chocolate chip cookies from scratch, I’ve got you covered on those too!