Have I ever told you I subsisted primarily on sugar cookies and pumpkin pie during the holidays as a child? Because it’s true.
If I were to total up all the sugar cookies I’ve eaten in my lifetime, I’d surely be appalled. I suppose there are worse things to indulge in, but none come to mind at the moment (besides the number of double-scoop ice cream cones I’ve devoured in 29 years – oy).
In the past several years, many of my friends and family members have become gluten intolerant, or simply try to avoid it. Not to mention, many of you love gluten-free recipes! So I’m always happy to accommodate and experiment with GF eats.
One recipe that has eluded me up until recently was sugar cookies that were gluten-free and vegan. My closest attempt was the gluten-free sugar cookies (still delicious!) I made last year. Such a great one if you eat eggs!
This recipe is the real deal – vegan, gluten-free, and butter-free! Plus, it’s made in just 1 bowl with 10 ingredients (excluding frosting + toppings). Talk about easy!
In place of vegan butter is coconut oil, which gives these cookies a tender texture with a little bite and no trace of coconut flavor! However, if you’re weary of using coconut oil, you can always default to vegan butter.
This recipe is also quite fast! Simply make your dough, roll it out, cut out shapes, freeze 10 minutes, and bake! The whole process takes about 1 hour and while they’re cooling, it’s the perfect time to make your frosting and toppings of choice.
Speaking of toppings, I went with my favorite vegan buttercream frosting, naturally-dyed cane sugar (found at Whole Foods!) and crushed freeze-dried blueberries.
I hope you all love these sugar cookies! They’re:
Make these for all your holiday gatherings, or when you’re just craving a good sugar cookie (me, every week). If you’re not gluten-free, simply sub all purpose flour for an easy swap.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see your confections. Cheers and happy baking, friends!
- 1/2 cup (120 g) room temperature coconut oil* (or vegan butter (i.e. Earth Balance), softened)
- 1/2 cup (100 g) organic cane sugar (ensure vegan friendliness)
- 1/4 cup (55 g) organic brown sugar (ensure vegan friendliness)
- 1/4 cup (68 g) pumpkin puree (acts as egg substitute | sub with unsweetened applesauce with varied results, or an egg if not vegan)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup (259 g) Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Blend (or sub unbleached all purpose) + more for rolling
- 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (for thickening/binding)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp dairy-free milk (like unsweetened almond)
- 1/4 cup (56 g) vegan butter, softened
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups (150-200 g) organic powdered sugar (ensure vegan friendliness)
- Splash non-dairy milk
- Freeze-dried fruit (I used blueberries, pulverized and whole)
- Vegan-friendly sprinkles (such as this brand)
- Naturally-dyed cane sugar (I found some at Whole Foods)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to cream together coconut oil and sugars. Mix for 1 minute.
- Add pumpkin and vanilla. Mix.
- To a sifter, add gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Stir gently with a spoon or knife, then sift over the wet ingredients in small increments while blending.
- If the dough is clumpy (not formed into a ball - see photo), add 1-2 tsp dairy-free milk and mix once more until a dough is formed. Only add enough dairy-free milk to form a dough - adding too much will cause the dough to lose its shape.
- On a well-floured surface using a floured rolling pin, gently roll out half of the dough into a large 1/4-inch thick circle. Add more gluten free flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Use cookie cutters dipped in GF flour to cut out shapes (see photo). Then transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet prepared earlier. Once the sheet is full, transfer to freezer to let shapes harden. While the first batch is freezing, continue reforming and rolling out dough until all dough is used. You should have about 40-45 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
- Once the cookies are firm enough to pick up by hand, transfer to a bare baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes, or until slightly risen and very, very lightly golden brown on the edges. You don’t want to overbake these or they will get too crispy. Immediately use a spatula to gently transfer baked cookies onto a cooling rack to cool.
- Repeat this process of freezing the cookies until firm, baking, and cooling, until all cookies are baked.
- Enjoy as is, or prepare frosting by adding softened butter to the large mixing bowl from earlier. Beat with a mixer, then add powdered sugar a little at a time until a thick frosting has formed. Thin with a little dairy-free milk until spreadable. If it gets too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add just a little more dairy-free milk. Frost cookies and top with desired toppings.
- Store leftovers between layers of wax paper in a well-sealed container. Make ahead of time and freeze for up to 2 weeks (though best when fresh).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 45 cookies without toppings (or frosting).
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, though all opinions remain our own. We love this brand and the integrity of its products. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Minimalist Baker.