Vegan Sugar Cookies with Buttery Icing

by Steph Sunshine at

Yield4 dozen 2-3" cookies

Prep Time30 minutes

Cook Time8 minutes

Total Time90 minutes


  • 3/4 cup vegan butter sticks (such as Earth Balance), softened
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. vegan granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating and rolling
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • vegan sprinkles (optional)

Buttery Icing

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted
  • 3 cup vegan powdered (icing/confectioner's) sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp. plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • vegan food coloring (optional)


  1. Beat vegan butter until light and fluffy (preferably using a [stand mixer]( "stand mixer") with the paddle attachment or hand mixer, but you can do this by hand in a large bowl as well).
  2. Add granulated sugar to the vegan butter, and continue to beat until well-incorporated. If using an electric mixer, be sure to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. Add in aquafaba and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and continue mixing.
  4. Add in baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 cup of flour. Once that's well-incorporated, continue adding flour until it's all mixed together.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 balls, and flour the outsides of the balls so they won't stick, then place them in 2 separate bowls. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  6. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Then place a [rolling mat]( "rolling mat") or large piece of [parchment paper]( "parchment paper") on a flat surface. Dust the work surface with flour.
  7. Take one ball of dough from the refrigerator and place it on the prepared work surface. Sprinkle some flour on the dough, and use a [rolling pin]( "rolling pin") to roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness.
  8. Dip the edges of your [cookie cutters]( "cookie cutters") in flour, then use them to cut your cookies from the dough. If you don't have shape cookie cutters, you can use the top of a glass to make standard circle shapes. Place cookies 1/2" apart on an ungreased [non-stick cookie sheet]( "cookie sheets"). When you run out of contiguous dough to cut shapes from, you can take the remaining dough, roll it into a ball, then roll it out and cut more. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  9. (Optional) If you don't plan on icing your sugar cookies, you may wish to decorate them with [colored sugar]( "colored sugar") or other [sprinkles]( "sprinkles"). Top your cookies with sprinkles as desired before baking them.
  10. When you have a full cookie sheet, bake it for 5-8 minutes, until the edges are light golden brown. Then transfer the cookies to a [wire rack]( "wire rack") to cool and continue with additional cookies. (You will want to have 2-4 cookie sheets to allow the sheets to cool before putting more cookie dough on them.)
  11. (Optional) While cookies are baking, prepare the icing in a stand mixer or small mixing bowl by whisking together melted vegan butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add non-dairy milk 1 tbsp. at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. It should be thin enough to spread easily, but thick enough that it won't run off your cookies. If you're planning to add liquid [food coloring]( "food coloring"), you may wish to leave the icing on the thicker side to allow for the thinning that the food coloring may cause. To make multiple colors, divide the icing before coloring.
  12. (Optional) Once your cookies have cooled (around 30 minutes), decorate them with icing. You can use a butter knife to spread the icing on top of the cookies, or you can use a [piping bag]( "piping bags") with [small decorator tips]( "small icing tips") to place the icing exactly where you want it. Top with colored sprinkles, if desired. Leave the cookies out until the icing dries (a few hours).

Notes & Hints

If you prefer your cookies to have the look that smoother icing provides, just skip the butter and add some more non-dairy milk until the icing reaches your desired consistency. You'll lose some flavor, but the icing will have a smoother look!

One batch of icing will allow you to decorate your cookies but not cover them fully with icing; make 2 batches if you want all your cookies fully covered.

Storage: Sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about a week. They can be frozen for longer storage.