By Published On: 22 December 2010962 words4.9 min read

I love this time of year.  It’s the only time of year that I bake for a week straight, making baked good after baked good.  I spend another several days making hand-dipped chocolates and chocolate bark.  And when it’s all said and done, I’ve created some lovely home-baked goodness for my loved ones.  And, uh….well, me.  See, my ‘planning’ skills aren’t as honed as my ‘I-have-to-make-sure-I-have-enough-for-everyone-and-the-neighbors-and-the-mailman-and-that-postal-worker-who-was-always-so-nice-to-me-and-the-vet’s-office-and-oh-god-who-else?!’ skills, so I always have extra goodies.

And this is not a bad thing.  Nope, not at all.

Right around the time I start baking, I start to get questions about how to bake vegan.  Usually it’s a favorite recipe that someone wants veganized, and I get one request more than any other- the basic sugar cookie with royal icing.  The Ye Olde Standard Christmas Cut-out Cookie.  I have so many memories of my childhood making cut-out cookies with my mom, I even remember my favorite cookie cutters for the task- the duck (why are ducks so perfect for Christmas I wonder?) and the candy cane.  It’s strange, but I clearly remember beating egg whites to brush the tops of the cookies before we decorated them- it’s weird what we remember.  These days I make ’em vegan-style, no nasty assed egg whites here, and decorate them with royal icing.  Yum-e!  So, here is my go-to recipe for Vegan Sugar Cookies, complete with a recipe for royal icing.

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 36 cookies – depending on size of cookie cutters, you know.

  • 1 cup vegan butter or margarine (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (room temperature) – I use Tofutti Brand
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2 “eggs” – use egg replacer such as Ener-G Brand
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (no imitation please)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add egg replacer, vanilla, and cinnamon- mix until combined.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Gradually add into wet mixture until fully combined.  Stir in vegan cream cheese- combine.  Wrap dough in plastic and place in fridge for several hours or overnight.

* I usually make this dough a day ahead of when I want to bake.  This eliminates the wait time for the dough to chill. *

Preheat oven to 350° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Wax paper is not a suitable replacement for parchment paper, in case you were wondering.  Just trust me on that.

A couple of hours later (or the next day), take the dough out of the fridge and let stand for 15 minutes before working with it.  Sprinkle work surface with a little flour and place dough in middle to be rolled out.  Dust top with a little flour and roll out to 1/8″ thick (the thicker the cookie, the longer the bake time – conversely, the thinner the cookie, the shorter the bake time – I like my cookies thicker than thinner).  Use your favorite cookie cutters (or an upside down glass, come on- everyone’s done it) to cut out cute shapes.  Place cookies on lined cookie sheet and bake for 12 – 14 minutes.  Bottoms will be barely brown (really, barely brown – not brown) when done.  Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on cooling racks.  Let cool completely prior to decorating (or eat them as-is, who am I to tell you what to do)

Vegan Royal Icing

This makes quite a lot of icing, plenty to ice all those cookies you just made.  This icing is a perfect base for other flavors of icings, experiment with lemon, orange, or cinnamon flavors.  It’s also off-white in color, but you can add color to it pretty easy- see my notes at the end about this.

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar (if your sugar isn’t organic, you can’t be sure it’s vegan)
  • 6-8 tsp of non-dairy milk (I use soymilk for it’s richness)
  • 2 tsp of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place sugar in bowl, add non-dairy milk and whisk like hell until smooth.  Add in extracts and corn syrup.  Whisk some more.  Icing will be smooth, shiny, and a little runny.  If you need to, you can add more powdered sugar to make it a bit more thick or non-dairy milk if it gets too thick.  Icing will be hard with a shiny finish once dry.  You can either dip cookies into icing, or use this icing in a pastry bag.  Easy-Peasy.

* A note about food coloring *

I do not use food coloring in my kitchen, nor do I buy products where artificial coloring are used.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love to decorate cookies with pretty colors.  My inner Martha Stewart almost demands that I do.  I have been successful at recreating most colors, though I haven’t tried blue yet.  Here’s a quick list of natural food colorants I’ve used:

Red:  Beet Juice is by far the best. Cherry & Raspberry juice work well too.
Yellow: Turmeric – just be careful not to add too much, you don’t want your cookies tasting like turmeric.
Purple: Acai Juice (I love the flavor it imparts to the icing, so delicious), blueberry juice
Green: Kale, spinach, or other green juice. Use sparingly.

You can also find sprinkles for cookies made with raw sugar and carnauba wax, it just takes a bit of reading in the decorating aisle. I splurged on white sparkly sugars, yellow sugar, and red huckleberry sugar for my cookies this year. Delightful!

Read more about food coloring: WARNING: What You Don’t Know About Food Coloring

By Published On: 22 December 2010962 words4.9 min read

I love this time of year.  It’s the only time of year that I bake for a week straight, making baked good after baked good.  I spend another several days making hand-dipped chocolates and chocolate bark.  And when it’s all said and done, I’ve created some lovely home-baked goodness for my loved ones.  And, uh….well, me.  See, my ‘planning’ skills aren’t as honed as my ‘I-have-to-make-sure-I-have-enough-for-everyone-and-the-neighbors-and-the-mailman-and-that-postal-worker-who-was-always-so-nice-to-me-and-the-vet’s-office-and-oh-god-who-else?!’ skills, so I always have extra goodies.

And this is not a bad thing.  Nope, not at all.

Right around the time I start baking, I start to get questions about how to bake vegan.  Usually it’s a favorite recipe that someone wants veganized, and I get one request more than any other- the basic sugar cookie with royal icing.  The Ye Olde Standard Christmas Cut-out Cookie.  I have so many memories of my childhood making cut-out cookies with my mom, I even remember my favorite cookie cutters for the task- the duck (why are ducks so perfect for Christmas I wonder?) and the candy cane.  It’s strange, but I clearly remember beating egg whites to brush the tops of the cookies before we decorated them- it’s weird what we remember.  These days I make ’em vegan-style, no nasty assed egg whites here, and decorate them with royal icing.  Yum-e!  So, here is my go-to recipe for Vegan Sugar Cookies, complete with a recipe for royal icing.

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 36 cookies – depending on size of cookie cutters, you know.

  • 1 cup vegan butter or margarine (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (room temperature) – I use Tofutti Brand
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2 “eggs” – use egg replacer such as Ener-G Brand
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (no imitation please)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add egg replacer, vanilla, and cinnamon- mix until combined.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Gradually add into wet mixture until fully combined.  Stir in vegan cream cheese- combine.  Wrap dough in plastic and place in fridge for several hours or overnight.

* I usually make this dough a day ahead of when I want to bake.  This eliminates the wait time for the dough to chill. *

Preheat oven to 350° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Wax paper is not a suitable replacement for parchment paper, in case you were wondering.  Just trust me on that.

A couple of hours later (or the next day), take the dough out of the fridge and let stand for 15 minutes before working with it.  Sprinkle work surface with a little flour and place dough in middle to be rolled out.  Dust top with a little flour and roll out to 1/8″ thick (the thicker the cookie, the longer the bake time – conversely, the thinner the cookie, the shorter the bake time – I like my cookies thicker than thinner).  Use your favorite cookie cutters (or an upside down glass, come on- everyone’s done it) to cut out cute shapes.  Place cookies on lined cookie sheet and bake for 12 – 14 minutes.  Bottoms will be barely brown (really, barely brown – not brown) when done.  Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on cooling racks.  Let cool completely prior to decorating (or eat them as-is, who am I to tell you what to do)

Vegan Royal Icing

This makes quite a lot of icing, plenty to ice all those cookies you just made.  This icing is a perfect base for other flavors of icings, experiment with lemon, orange, or cinnamon flavors.  It’s also off-white in color, but you can add color to it pretty easy- see my notes at the end about this.

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar (if your sugar isn’t organic, you can’t be sure it’s vegan)
  • 6-8 tsp of non-dairy milk (I use soymilk for it’s richness)
  • 2 tsp of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place sugar in bowl, add non-dairy milk and whisk like hell until smooth.  Add in extracts and corn syrup.  Whisk some more.  Icing will be smooth, shiny, and a little runny.  If you need to, you can add more powdered sugar to make it a bit more thick or non-dairy milk if it gets too thick.  Icing will be hard with a shiny finish once dry.  You can either dip cookies into icing, or use this icing in a pastry bag.  Easy-Peasy.

* A note about food coloring *

I do not use food coloring in my kitchen, nor do I buy products where artificial coloring are used.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love to decorate cookies with pretty colors.  My inner Martha Stewart almost demands that I do.  I have been successful at recreating most colors, though I haven’t tried blue yet.  Here’s a quick list of natural food colorants I’ve used:

Red:  Beet Juice is by far the best. Cherry & Raspberry juice work well too.
Yellow: Turmeric – just be careful not to add too much, you don’t want your cookies tasting like turmeric.
Purple: Acai Juice (I love the flavor it imparts to the icing, so delicious), blueberry juice
Green: Kale, spinach, or other green juice. Use sparingly.

You can also find sprinkles for cookies made with raw sugar and carnauba wax, it just takes a bit of reading in the decorating aisle. I splurged on white sparkly sugars, yellow sugar, and red huckleberry sugar for my cookies this year. Delightful!

Read more about food coloring: WARNING: What You Don’t Know About Food Coloring

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  1. diane December 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    okay i added a little water & all seems well! I’m a novice at sugar cookies!! :)

  2. diane December 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    was so excited to make this, but I pulled out my dough from the refrigerator and it all crumbled to bits. :( thought I followed the recipe right too.

  3. Fede December 29, 2010 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I love this recipe
    I had to spread on my twitter ^_^

  4. Cindy Conrad December 29, 2010 at 4:20 am - Reply

    That’s awesome! Thank you for another great idea!!

  5. sissy December 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    For purple dye, simmer a little bit of water with plum skins until the water is thick. No hard core science to it, just make sure they were ripe.

    * whispers “you’re welcome”*

  6. crazygemini12 December 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    @YourDailyVegan Ugh. I hate Tofutti AND egg replacer. Can I sub something else? Vegan yogurt for the “eggs” but what for the Tofutti?

    • YourDailyVegan December 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      @crazygemini12 any vegan cream cheese would work just fine. Honestly, it only adds a creamy texture, you can’t taste.