Vegan Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
So, I’ve finally decided to grace you all with my presence once again. I’m back with a perfect vegan sugar cookie recipe. These are ideal for the holidays as they’re delicious and perfect for gift giving.
Admittedly, I got a little extra with the decoration on these cookies. I really couldn’t help myself.
I’m so proud of this cookie recipe. They’re slightly crisp on the outside but chewy and tender on the inside. They’re also sturdy enough to hold up under decoration. Once they’re topped with my simple vegan royal icing they’re absolutely perfect and festive.
I used brown sugar in place of regular sugar to give them that slightly caramel-y and molasses-y flavor. This also adds a bit of extra moisture, which when combined with underbaking, gives the cookies their soft centers.
As for the royal icing; this was my first try making it with aquafaba (aka, the water from canned chickpeas). It turned out to be a massive success. It works very much the same way that a traditional royal icing made with egg whites does. The consistency is very similar and it sets exactly the same way. The chickpea flavor is completely undetectable. I had lots of taste testers try these and all of them were blown away when I told them the icing was made from chickpea juice.
Here are some of the designs I came up with. :)
Alright, now it’s recipe time. If y’all try these, be sure to tag me on Instagram using #BitchyBaker or @Bitchy_Baker.
Vegan Sugar Cookies
Time: About 2 hours including chill time, this doesn’t include decorating time
Yield: roughly 20 cookies depending on the size of the cutter
3/4 cup vegan butter (the stick kind)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (can sub cornstarch)
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make the Cookie Dough: Cream the vegan butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond extract, mix to combine. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot starch and applesauce with a fork until smooth. Add the starch mixture to the butter mixture. Beat to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two additions. Mix until thoroughly combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 1/2 hours.
Roll the Cookies: Roll the dough out on a floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin. The dough should be just a little over a 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the Cookies: Bake at 350 F for 10-13 minutes. The edges should be just beginning to brown. The centers will remain pale and soft. I recommend leaning towards underbaking rather than overbaking as they will continue cooking even after being removed from the oven. Cool on trays for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely before icing.
Vegan Royal Icing
Note: this recipe will likely make enough for two batches of cookies depending on the decoration. If you are only making one batch of cookies, I would recommend halving this recipe.
3/4 cup of aquafaba (the drained and saved water from a can of chickpeas)
The juice of 1 lemon (about two tablespoons)
8 cups of powdered sugar (2 pounds)
Whip the aquafaba to a stiff peak using an electric mixer. This will take about six minutes.
Add the lemon juice, whip to combine.
Slowly add the powdered sugar in about three additions. Mix to combine.
Whip on high speed for 5-8 minutes. The mixture should be thick, fluffy and shiny. It’ll have the consistency of a thick marshmallow fluff.
Keep the bowl covered with a damp towel while working as it will crust and set quickly. Color as desired, use to decorate your cookies as you would with royal icing. You can adjust the consistency with small amounts of water or with lemon juice if you prefer the flavor.