Vegan Sugar Cookies
Let’s bake vegan sugar cookies! With winter in full swing one of my favorite ways to spend the weekends is baking delicious treats with my daughter, Olivia. It is such a great bonding experience, with the added bonus of enjoying the fruits of our labor. We recently made these vegan sugar cookies that just melt in your mouth. They are the perfect sweetness, with a delicate crumb, making them a new go-to treat in our house. Plus, as seen in their name, these sugar cookies are vegan, making it great to share with your loved ones who follow a vegan diet or who have lactose intolerance.
Ingredients in depth
There are a few ingredients featured in the vegan sugar cookie that are unique to this recipe. Below we will discuss these ingredients and why they are necessary.
There are three different types of flour used in this recipe, which may seem like a lot, but each offers different properties or flavors that add to this vegan sugar cookie.
- Whole wheat pastry flour is a type of flour that is more finely ground than whole wheat flour. Because of this, it makes the baked goods lighter in texture.1 In addition, whole wheat pastry flour differs from all purpose flour in that it contains the whole wheat kernel (bran, germ and endosperm), offering nutritional benefits such as fiber, protein and B vitamins.2
- Almond flour is made of ground almonds, creating a flour-like texture. This texture makes almond flour a good for gluten-free baked goods. However, when used in these vegan sugar cookies, the almond flour creates a more tender crumb, and adds a slight nutty flavor.3 These two elements give these vegan sugar cookies a step up from traditional ones. Nutritional benefits of almond flour include being high in vitamin E and manganese.4 These two nutrients both have antioxidant properties, helping to keep our cells healthy by “fighting” reactive oxygen species (among many other roles).4,5
- All purpose flour is the go-to flour, due to it providing the overall structure in most baked goods. This is because the protein content is not too high, and not too low (10% to 12% protein); you can call it the Goldie Locks of flours.6 The downside of all purpose flour is that it’s not nutrient-dense. If you’re looking to add more nutrients to your baked goods, you can swap all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. However, you may need to add additional liquid to the recipe due to whole wheat flour having a higher protein content.
White sugar, an ingredient typically found in traditional sugar cookies, is swapped out for maple sugar in my vegan sugar cookie recipe. Although white sugar has no nutritional value, it is typically used in baked goods for sweetness, to maintain moisture, and to create that golden brown exterior of baked goods.7 However, maple sugar provides some antioxidants, and a delightfully mild maple flavor, in addition to providing the same chemical properties of white sugar.8
It is important to keep in mind, however, that the body cannot discern white sugar from maple sugar (or any added sugar).9 This means they both have the same effect on the body.9 So, having sugar in moderation is best for our health.
Jazz it up!
One of the best parts about my vegan sugar cookie recipe is that you can use the cookie recipe as a base, and really jazz it up. Below are some suggestions to add a little more oomph to my vegan sugar cookies:
- Turn them into snickerdoodles! To do this, just roll the dough into a mixture of cinnamon sugar before baking.
- Add a glaze! To make a glaze, pour 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar into a bowl and add about 3 tablespoons of liquid and a splash of vanilla (you may add an additional tablespoon of liquid if you prefer the glaze thinner).10 This liquid could be lemon juice for a nice citrusy twist, milk, or pureed fruit. Have fun with it!
- Add sprinkles! You can add sprinkles both to the batter or on top of the vegan sugar cookie!
There are so many ways to elevate these vegan sugar cookies. Don’t forget to share your vegan sugar cookies with me by tagging @ChefAbbieGellman on Instagram!
- Whole wheat pastry flour. bobsredmill.com. https://www.bobsredmill.com/whole-wheat-pastry-flour.html. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- What is a whole grain? The Whole Grains Council. https://wholegrainscouncil.org/what-whole-grain. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Hamel PJ. Baking with almond flour. King Arthur Baking. https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/blog/2017/03/20/baking-with-almond-flour. Published March 20, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Rayman R. Why is almond flour better than most other flours? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/almond-flour#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2. Published April 25, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Office of dietary supplements – Manganese. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Flour 101. Food Network. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/baking-guide/flour-101-guide-to-different-types-and-uses. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Huff T. Baking School Day 16: All About Sugar and Baking. Kitchn. https://www.thekitchn.com/baking-school-day-16-all-about-sugar-and-baking-222494. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Brennan D. Maple Sugar: Is It Good for You? Pros and Cons, Nutrition Information, and More. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/maple-sugar-good-for-you#1. Published October 6, 2020. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- A spoonful of sugar: Are all sugars the same? UPMC Pinnacle. https://www.pinnaclehealth.org/wellness-library/blog-and-healthwise/blog-home/post/a-spoonful-of-sugar-are-all-sugars-the-same#:~:text=The human body does not,an apple nutritionally the same. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- Ferroni L. Basic Sugar Glaze. Epicurious. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/basic-sugar-glaze-51157020. Published March 19, 2013. Accessed December 14, 2020.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup maple sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, add pastry flour, almond flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and pulse until combined.
- Add coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla and pulse until combined.
- Scoop out the dough and knead into a ball. Divide the ball into 12 pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Place the balls on the baking sheet and gently press to form small disks.
- Bake for 14 to 15 minutes until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool