Soft, vegan sugar cookies with crispy edges, for all your holiday needs. Have fun with different cookie cutters, easy icing and sprinkles of course! 

frosted vegan sugar cookies laid flat

After much trial and error, I finally have the perfect recipe for soft cut-out vegan sugar cookies.  Seriously, these are the cookies of my dreams, and I think you will LOVE them!

They are easy to make and roll out. A little trick I learned is to roll the dough onto parchment paper before chilling in the refrigerator. This way, the cookie dough only needs to chill for about an hour before you can cut and bake! And you don’t have to roll out cookie dough that is crumbling everywhere. Easy peasy.

frosted vegan sugar cookies in stacks on a plate

How to make perfect vegan sugar cookies:

First, make the dough, using just 1 bowl and either a standing mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Your cookie dough should be similar to the texture of play dough. It will be rather crumbly in the bowl, but not dry, and it should stick together when you use your hands to roll it into a ball. Once the dough is made, break it into two balls. Place one of the doughs onto parchment paper, on a hard surface.

Roll the dough out, about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle a little flour on top so the dough doesn’t stick to your rolling pin.

Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the first rolled dough.

Repeat with the second ball of dough (I usually do this right on top of the first rolled dough). Place another piece of parchment paper on top and carefully transfer the rolled dough to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.


collage of vegan sugar cookies process

Remove the dough from the fridge, cut into desired shapes and bake for 8-10 minutes. They will look underdone, but firm up considerably as they cool. This is the key to soft sugar cookies. If you want them crispy, you could roll the dough thinner and cook them a bit longer, but I prefer them softer.

vegan sugar cookies dough being cut with christmas tree cutter

They will look like this when they come out of the oven. See how they don’t puff up a bunch or spread like some sugar cookie recipes do? Cookie perfection.

vegan sugar cookies, cooked on a pan

What’s the best way to decorate vegan sugar cookies?

So, let me tell you a little secret. I am not a natural decorator of sweets! I can bake, but the actual decorating of cookies or cakes is not really my thing, so I watched several videos and almost had a panic attack while decorating the cookies for these photos. 🙂 For real, it took me HOURS…

This video was incredibly helpful. So if you want to make really pretty sugar cookies, I recommend it! The trick is to outline the cookies first with a thicker icing, then flood the inside with a thinner icing, and carefully spread it to all the corners of the cookie.

I used Wilton Bags and decorating tips for this, which I highly recommend for all your cookie and cake decorating needs.

After icing, simply grab some food coloring, if desired, sprinkles of choice and have fun! My family has a tradition of making these cookies, and we usually just slap on some icing and have fun decorating. They don’t usually look quite so pretty, but they always taste amazing!

What food coloring is vegan?

Well this is quite a complicated topic. I’ve done A LOT of research on this online. Watkins brand is for sure vegan. From what I can tell, several of Wilton brand are vegan, such as the gel based color. I found a few at my local craft store, and carefully read the ingredients before buying. If you don’t want to use food coloring, you can also make your own, or just go with white frosting.

frosted vegan sugar cookies stacked on a plate

Want more Christmas Cookies?

Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Perfect Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Snickerdoodles

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Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

frosted vegan sugar cookies laid flat
4.91 stars (176 ratings)

The Best Vegan Sugar Cookies

Soft vegan sugar cookies that hold their cookie cutter shapes! Perfect for Christmas, Valentine's Day or any other holiday. Have fun with easy icing and sprinkles of course!
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chilling time: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 24 cookies


Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter (earth balance preferred), slightly softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but so good)
  • 2-2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided (correctly measured)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Easy Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (can omit, but it makes the icing very shiny)
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk


Sugar Cookies

  • In a large bowl either using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the vegan butter for about 1 minute until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and light. 
  • Now add in the almond milk, cornstarch, vanilla and almond extract (if using). Beat on high until it is all fully combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add 1 cup of the flour to the wet mixture. Sprinkle the baking powder and salt on top of the flour. Mix on low speed, until just combined. Now add 1 more cup of the flour and continue to mix on low until just combined; don't over mix. The dough should feel similar to play dough when you work it in your hands, but it will look crumbly in the bowl. If it seems too wet for rolling, add another 1/4 cup of flour. You want the dough to be thick, but not dry.  I always use the full 2 1/4 cups of flour. If the dough is too wet, your cookies will spread.
  • Using a spatula, scoop all of the dough out of the bowl; use your hands if needed to push it all together. Divide the dough in half and roll into two balls.
  •  On a flat surface, add a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle a little flour on it, then add half the dough. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough, and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top. Repeat for the second ball of dough, and then stack them with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Once the dough has been chilled, set it on the counter for 10 minutes while the oven is preheating to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes using a cookie cutter and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Continue re-rolling the dough until it is all used.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, in the middle rack of the oven, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. They will appear underdone, but they will firm up considerably as they cool. Let them cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely before icing.

Easy Icing

  • Whisk all icing ingredients in a bowl. If it seems too thick, add a little more almond milk. It should be smooth, glossy and not runny. If too runny, add more powdered sugar. You can dip the cookies in the icing, or use brushes, spoons or a squeeze bottle. See this helpful video on how to decorate sugar cookies with icing.
  • *If you want really pretty cookies, first make the icing thicker, by using only 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Using a decorating tip, outline the cookies with the thicker icing. Then add a little more milk to thin it and flood the inside with icing. This way the icing doesn't spill over the cookie edges.
  • Decorate with sprinkles as desired. The icing will take several hours to harden completely. The cookies will stay soft for about 5 days at room temperature.


  1. Try to get the earth balance sticks if you can; they are easier to bake with. Results will vary with other brands of vegan butter. 
  2. Almond extract is optional but it adds a very good flavor to both the cookies and the icing, so use it if you can.
  3. To correctly measure flour, make sure to spoon and level by scooping the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and level it off with the back of a knife. If you don't correctly measure the flour, you can end up with way too much flour and the dough will be dry!
  4. If you aren't comfortable using corn syrup, you may omit it. I rarely use it, but it makes cookie icing pretty and shiny and it's just 1 tablespoon.
  5. Baked sugar cookies freeze well, but don't freeze them once frosted. 


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!



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  1. First time making this recipe and I’m so excited to try it! They’re in the fridge right now and I started looking back over the recipe and I can’t find when the salt goes in! And I’ve already rolled out and started chilling my dough so it just won’t be in this batch but that’s okay. When would you add the salt in the mixing of the dough? With the first bit of flour and the baking powder possibly? Thank you so much! I’ve been vegan for almost 5 years now and I love your recipes.

    1. Hi Holley. I am so glad you are loving my recipes! Hopefully your cookies turned out wonderful! The salt is added with the flour and other dry ingredients. See step 3 of the instructions. Happy cooking!

    1. The cookies will stay good for 3-5 days at room temperature. I would say they start getting stale around day 4. Hope this helps!

  2. I absolutely LOVE this recipe & have made it again & again & again. The cookies are so buttery & delicious, almost like a shortbread, but better! I use a fonsant icing & make them all year round for special occasions. Family & friends rave about these cookies, & for good reason, thanks for sharing such a brilliant recipe Nora!

    1. Hi Julianne. You are welcome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback and review! I am so glad you are loving the cookies, and that they are a hit at your special occasions!

  3. Hi Nora. I always turn to you for recipes. I had trouble with this one. My cooked spread – even though I fridges them for 30 mins before cooking – and….they came out really thin and greasy. Can you tel me what I did wrong? I’m trying to make 7 sz for my grandsons 1st birthday. Can I make them thicker and why so greasy? Thanks!!

    1. What brand of vegan butter did you use? Make sure to measure everything accurately. The dough should feel quite dry, not greasy or too wet at all. Also, was your butter too soft and melty when you started? That could cause the recipe to be off.

      1. Used earth balance sticks. I think my dough was not dry enough and also wi seeing if I didn’t cream the butter and sugar well enough either. Made a second batch that were delish.
        You say not to freeze once decorated. Any reason I can’t do that? I have a lot to make. Thank you for the quick response and all the great recipes !!!

        1. Good, I’m glad the second batch turned out well! You can freeze after decorating, I just find they don’t look as pretty once frozen. Hope that helps and thank you!

  4. I made these with real butter and milk because what I needed was an egg free recipe. So that said, they are awesome. I have a grandson with an egg allergy, and 5 grands without. Could I possibly not have Christmas cookies for my egg allergy grand? No way. These cookies did the trick, and the icing tip of using corn syrup made for beautiful cookies. Thank you! We all liked them better than our regular cookie recipe.

    1. Hi Wendy! How wonderful that ALL grands could be included in the wonderful Christmas sugar cookie tradition! I’m so glad you all loved the cookies! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback!

  5. I’ve never had a sweet tooth but these cookies are AMAZING!!! I could eat the whole batch by myself. My daughters and I loved making them last night, thank you for such a wonderful recipe, I’m sure we will be making them quite often now.

  6. Greetings Nora!!
    Just wanted to start off by saying, I have been an enthusiast of your recipes for as long as I can remember (not that long!) but this recipe SLAPPED!!
    ran into a few issues that were unfortunately due to our error (my lovely friend Ed was helping me out with this one, not to point any fingers!) and not yours
    Our first error was lacking specifically 71g of flour (we had no more left!!)- we searched far and wide for more flour in the cupboards leading to a grisly discovery 😖 pro tip! always check on your flour to ensure no moving creatures have infested it and claimed it as their own!!!! (I prayed to jesus thanking him for that one!!)
    Moving on from that error, almond extract and milk were certainly not used in our recipe- we weren’t brave enough to venture into that part of the culinary world 🙁
    no almonds for us! (soy milk will do)
    Next, (this is a long list!) we used plant pioneers vegan butter alternative and not Earth Balance (which I understand you have been raving about) this might come across as incredibly stupid, however does this actually make a difference? tbh probs not.
    Our final error was that we completely ignored your icing recipe (sorry Nora!!) instead opting for ‘pink’ icing that more or less matched my skintone (I’m Indian)
    Despite all these errors our cookies turned out just fine thank you very much despite how flat and crispy they may be.
    Overall many sweat memories made!! 😊
    Lots of love, Shuk and Ed <3
    p.s PLEASE check your flour

  7. This were the best looking cookies I’ve baked. I appreciate the tip on rolling out the dough and then chilling. The temps here are -10deg.F so it didn’t take long to chill the dough in the garage. I think I will add more vanilla next time as l am not a fan of almond and left it out. Also, I had to bake my cookies a little bit longer as they were coming out raw in the center at 12 min. This recipe is definitely a keeper though! Thank you!

  8. I made these for Christmas and they were delicious! Next time I will roll them out thicker (this was just my own error ….. subconsciously trying to make more cookies), but they were all still perfectly soft. I loved the almond extract in them too!

  9. Would this recipe work (mostly worried about spread) if rolled out thicker (say 8-10mm)?

    I think I’ll still try it and just adjust cooking time but wondered if you had any experience, thanks!

  10. Hello! I’m excited to make these. My store was out of all vegan butter, I have “I can’t believe it’s not butter” in a tub… do you think that would work?

    Happy Holidays 🙂

    1. Kaitlyn. I’ve never tried ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter,’ however, I think it should probably work. Happy holidays to you!

  11. Thank you thank you thank you!
    I was able to decorate cookies with my food allergic kiddo.
    I used King Arthur’s measure for measure gluten free flour and Nutiva coconut and palm shortening. I rolled the dough out and put it in the fridge overnight. Once it warmed up enough it was easy to cut out with some help from my toddler and so easy to decorate. I omitted the almond extract and corn syrup from the icing and used some blackberry juice and blueberry juice with some baking soda to color some of it pink and purple. Made so many sweat memories today!
    Definitely a keeper!

  12. Hi Nora!
    I am very grateful for your recipes. It’s been a huge blessing to my family because my daughter has severe allergies to milk and egg. I thank Jesus for your understanding and skills! You’re very talented!
    My question is will this still work if I use oatmilk in replace of the almond milk?
    Also, I only have the countrycrock vegan butter on hand. Do you suggest I use more or less butter since I don’t have earth balance? Or how could I tell if I need more or less butter?
    Thank you very much 🙂

    1. Hi Felicia. I’m really glad that my recipes make a difference in your family! How wonderful that your daughter can enjoy delicious food! Oat milk will work fine in place of almond milk. Also country crock butter should work fine. You would use the amount as indicated in the recipe. Thank you for your fantastic feedback! Enjoy the cookies!

    1. It works, but I do notice the difference. Better with cornstarch (or tapioca starch, arrowroot). It adds a soft, chewiness.

  13. These were amazing!! I omitted the almond extract and replaced the almond milk with Ripple pea milk. We also used the soy-free earth’s balance (in the tub) and Great Value cookie icing instead of the homemade icing (I’m not great with a piping bag plus we wanted a lot of colors!).

  14. Hello Nora!

    I just wanted to tell you that I looooove this recipe. The flavor is exactly like my favorite sugar cookies I used to have as a child. I really appreciate it all the hard work you put into it. Thank you for your generosity and sharing. The world is a little sweeter now!

    1. Hi Cheryl. Thank you for the gift of your wonderful feedback! I’m really glad that you love the sugar cookies! I also appreciate you noticing the work that I do put into creating my recipes. This means very much to me! Wishing you happy cooking!

    1. Thank you Nora,
      my vegan grandbabies love these cookies I have made these about 8 times for them already I thank you for given me away to bake with them . Aurora

      1. You are welcome, Aurora! I am so glad that you and your grandchildren are having fun making sugar cookies! Thank you for sharing your fun and wonderful feedback!

  15. Hey, I love this recipe! I was wondering how long ahead can you make the dough and refrigerate before having to bake them.

    1. Hi Kayla. I’m glad you’re loving the recipe! You can refrigerate the dough in the fridge for probably 2-3 days before baking. You will need to let it warm up a little or it will be crumbly when you try to roll it out. I have found it is much easier to roll it out first, then refrigerate. That way you can cut them cold and get the cookies right in the oven before they have a chance to warm up. It makes for much better cookies that don’t spread or puff up. I hope this helps!

    1. If you chill the dough overnight without rolling it first, it will be very difficult to work with. It’s possible, but it will go much more smoothly if you first roll it out, then chill it. That way the cookies are cold going into the oven, which helps them not spread or puff up too much.

      1. Hello Nora!
        Thank you so much for your recipes, they are used nearly everyday in our dairy and soy free home. You’re a genius!
        For this recipe, can you explain what 2-2 1/4 cups of flour is? Is it 2 + 1/4 cups twice?
        Thanks again for the work you do!

        1. Hi Tonya. I am really happy that your family loves my recipes! I truly love creating them! For the sugar cookies, you’ll see the detailed instructions in step three. It means that you will use at least 2 cups of flour, and if the dough seems too wet for rolling, add another 1/4 cup of flour. So altogether you may use between 2 to 2 2/14 cups of flour. I always use the full 2 1/4 cups of flour. I hope this helps! Enjoy the cookies!

    1. Hi Judy. Yes you can use King Arthur’s measure for measure – it works pretty well! Vegetable shortening would probably work. Follow all the instructions for chilling the dough. I hope this helps!

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