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 (222 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 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
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. Hi Nora, weird question: do you think this dough would work for making cookie cups? Like, pressed into a mini cupcake tin? Most recipes for cookie cups call for store-bought refrigerated sugar cookie dough, which isn’t vegan.

  2. This recipe delivers! I did a test batch as written (wait- not entirely true: oat milk for almond milk), then proceeded to double the recipe and convert the measurements to weight. 200 cookies later and they look good. Initially I did over whip the butter and got air bubbles baked into the cookies (as Kailey noted in comments, above). That went away as soon as I was less vigorous with the mixer. My last batch I used Becel vegan margarine, and they turned out just as good (I ran out of Earth Balance). Did not try the icing recipe. Like Nora, I am not a natural decorator of sweets. I found some other sucker to do that job 😂
    Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Dear Nory-wory balls 🏐🏐,

    Sorry for promising a new review and then not following through!! This time we decided to re-do a classic one of your recipes- a Nora staple! 🗣 We actually made these in 2023 but have been too busy to write ✍️. The first and perhaps the most important thing to state is that we used your recommended earth balance vegan butter, kindly gifted to us by shuk’s american cousins- maybe you know them⁉️ We are extremely sorry to remind you that for our review last time(our first review!) we only gave you 4/5 stars (posted on december 27th 2022 at 7.53pm) which we have since deeply regretted, and we now view it as one of our biggest life regrets. ☹️👎 some others would probably be: not winning geto in the jjk gacha :(((((, not saying weldone girl you win to diya and also not keeping aunt money.💷❌️ Soz for tangent.
    In other news, we no longer made any disasterous mistakes regarding flour and the earth balance helped to make it really taste the best of the best. However, we did not use ANY almond extract as we dont own any, dont want to own any and also we don’t believe in it. Also Nora please help settle a dispute, is it pronounced ALL-mond or al-mond. we are scared this dispute may soon take a turn for the worse and turn violent👹, so we would be honoured if you would help us out. We also have to report more antics of shuk’s grandma, first off, she was doing her best to try and sneakily eat some of the dough. so when we had the finished products, and some of the pokémon limbs mysteriously went missing, we immediately suspected shuk’s grandma, and were surprised to find out it in fact was NOT her, a false accusation was made 😨⁉️. To specify (soz) we used some sick pokemon cookie cutters that Ed gifted shuk to make the sugar cookies so much cooler 😈. In the end we identified the pokemon limb eating culprit as shuk’s brother !!! what a TWIST 🆗

    – what inspired you to go vegan?? is it the same reason you’re vegan today??
    goodbye nora.

    1. Hello again friends! 🙂 Well I am so glad to hear you tried these sugar cookies again and they turned out better. I don’t judge you for not believing in almond extract, you’re either a fan or not. At least that’s what I’ve found. I love it, my kids, not so much, so often I leave it out. Pokemon cutters!? I love it! And who can blame grandma for sneaking some cookie limbs? Much too tempting…

      What inspired me to go vegan? Well, it was some 14 years ago now. I first went vegetarian because I realized I didn’t want to eat animals. A few months later, I somehow heard of veganism and decided to try it because I wanted to be kind to animals. At the same time, I had stomach aches often and suspected dairy to be the culprit. Cutting out dairy made me feel much better! And I slowly learned more and more about veganism, and fell in love with vegan cooking. My first cookbooks were from Isa Chandra, Veganomicon and such. I had a great time. Until next time! 🙂

  4. Hi there! I’m allergic to nuts, do you think I could use coconut milk as a replacement for almond milk?

  5. Hi Nora! I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and it’s delicious, but my cookies seem to puff up a bit more than I’d like when baking. Do you have any recommendations for what I could try in order to get a flatter top to my cookies? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! My sugar cookies usually puff up a bit in the oven, and as soon as I take them out, they become pretty much perfectly flat on top. That is correct. If they are staying rounded and puffy, then something is a bit off. A little too much flour maybe? I have also heard if you whip too much air into the butter-sugar mixture, they can get kinda puffy, so be careful not to whip that for too long. Are you making any substitutions or anything else that’s different from the original recipe?

  6. This is a great recipe! I didn’t follow it too closely, and definitely made my cookies too thin and overbaked. If I made them again I’d make them thicker (closer to 1/4″ as written) and follow the baking times more exactly. They definitely go from looking underbaked to being overbaked very quickly. Also, they are not very sweet on their own, so these are best with frosting.

  7. Would maple syrup work instead of corn syrup? I’m allergic to corn but I love the idea of shiny icing 🙂

  8. I wish I could leave a picture of some of the cookies I’ve made with this recipe. It’s so yummy and my cookies turn out looking so beautiful.

    1. Oh, that is so cool! I’m thrilled you are enjoying the recipe! Thanks for sharing your fabulous review!

    1. Did you leave out the milk? Are your measurements off perhaps? It’s also possible your vegan butter was too cold and hard to begin with, making the dough crumble. It should be softened, but not melted, when you start. If it was too cold, wait a few minutes then mix again, and add a little more milk if needed until it’s not crumbly and you can work with it.

  9. Does the icing firm up enough to package? I have an order for regular cookies with one being vegan. I’ve been searching for a recipe for icing to use for this special request

  10. I have used this recipe for YEARS and it never disappoints. It is easy to make and the cookies always come out amazing. I have turned several (non-vegan) friends onto this recipe and it is their go-to cookie recipe too. I suppose I should branch out and try Nora’s other cookies but these are just so good I always come back to them.

  11. New family favorite! Accommodating those who are dairy free and those who aren’t -all loved these!
    Made with grandkids-easy & fun. We did not use the icing recipe (sure it’s good too.) rather left some without icing & used embossed rolling pin to imprint designs. Grandkids used own frosting. Cookies are yummy even without the icing!

  12. This is my go-to biscuit recipe, so easy and so delicious! I love making them with my 3yo daughter <3
    Just wondering, will the dough freeze well before baking? Wasn't able to finish cutting out the second half of the mix, and would be nice to save it for another time.

  13. I made these and they were SO good! Students and teachers (all non-vegan) loved them. I will reiterate what Nora says about taking them out of the oven even though they don’t appear to be done. I thought “a few more minutes” but those few more minutes left me with a crispier cookie (still good, just crispy). Next time I’ll follow the directions…and there WILL be a next time!

    1. I haven’t tried it, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some lavender flavor and lemon zest (maybe lemon extract as well) to this recipe. I would make lavender sugar to use in place of regular sugar for the cookies. Hope that helps!

  14. My family and I made this recipe/decorated sugar cookies as a new tradition for the holidays and let me just say… THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING!!!!! I am a vegan chef and definitely don’t specialize in baking but we followed this recipe to the T and these cookies were a show-stopper. Everyone in my family (many who are skeptical about vegan cuisine) absolutely loved these. The only bad part: I ate WAY too many LOL. We made many colored/flavored icings and our favorite was the peppermint (I just added a few drops to the icing). So good!
    My family and I decided that we will make this recipe and decorate cookies every year from now on. THANK YOU, NORA! Because of your recipe/post, you helped create amazing memories for my family and me. We are already excited about making them again next year! And now I am craving these cookies. Oh dear…

    1. You are welcome, Daisy! Thank YOU for your fabulous review and feedback! I love that your family made fun new memories, and that you now have a new holiday tradition! You know, sugar cookies are good for ALL holidays & occasions! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  15. Perfect recipe. Made them for the holidays and they came out perfectly. Everyone in the family loved them, including lots of non-vegans. Thanks for another great recipe.

  16. made this for christmas and unfortunately i feel like the flavor and texture were off. they almost tasted sour and i followed the recipe to a t. the cookies were also very flat if that makes sense. luckily people still enjoyed them but i was personally disappointed because i love so many of nora’s recipes! i guess you can’t love them all bc taste preferences are so personal!

  17. The single greatest sugar cookie recipe! I started making these for Dia de los Muertos, and I have used them for so many things since then. The tips for icing (border and flooding) are on point too – I feel like I have finally perfected a catch-all cookie! They can be made any shape for any occasion, and are a huge hit with vegans and non-vegans alike. Also, go ahead, use the almond extract, you won’t regret it. 🙂

  18. Our family has made these cookies a few times and they always come out perfectly! We just made them again for Santa. I only used 2 cups of all-purpose flour and baked them in convection for 8 minutes. Thank you for a great recipe!

  19. This is my 3rd Christmas in a row using this recipe and it turns out excellent every time with minimal stress and all the fun! Thank you for this recipe from all the cookie loving dairy free girlies <3

  20. Great recipe! I refrigerated the ball of dough for a couple of hours and then rolled it out. I did not have an issue with crumbling. I used Melt vegan butter. I decorated them very sparingly because they are already fairly sweet, at least for my taste. I must have rolled them out way thinner than intended! My yield was around 100 cookies and they are more crispy than soft. But I like it that way!

  21. I have used this recipe for years but I always use coconut oil instead of any other butter and they turn out so amazing. All the kids love them too!

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