Butter cookies are a classic Christmas cookie that you can enjoy at any time of year. These vegan butter cookies are rich and not too sweet. The texture is crisp, a little crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery.
You can shape these butter cookies any way you like. Pipe the dough into pretty spirals using a piping bag with a large star tip (like I did), or use a cookie press for perfect, uniform cookies. If necessary, you can shape them by hand or wrap and chill the dough in a log for sliced cookies. Enjoy them plain, or decorate them as desired!
Ingredients for Making Vegan Butter Cookies
Butter cookies have a high ratio of butter to flour, and a relatively low sugar content. The non-vegan version contains eggs but no chemical leaveners.
You only need 6 simple ingredients to make a batch of vegan butter cookies. Flour, vegan butter, sugar, aquafaba, vanilla, and salt.
Vegan butter is essential. I used Earth Balance, but any vegan butter that’s hard when chilled should work. This isn’t a cookie recipe where you can substitute the vegan butter with coconut oil or vegetable shortening (or apple sauce!)
Aquafaba, the liquid leftover from canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, takes the place of eggs. It’s high in protein with an egg white-like consistency. Choose canned chickpeas with no added salt for best results. 3 tablespoons of unwhipped aquafaba is equal to 1 egg.
How to Make Vegan Butter Cookies
If you have a stand mixer or hand mixer, use it to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the aquafaba, vanilla, and salt, and beat very well for about 5 minutes. By hand, gradually mix in the flour until just combined. Avoid overmixing the dough for the best texture.
Piping or Pressing the Cookies
Transfer the dough to a piping bag with a large star tip (or a cookie press.) Pipe or press the cookies on a cool cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The cookies won't spread much but leave some room between them.
If you're piping your cookies, use a strong piping bag. I used *Wilton’s disposable 12-inch piping bags (affiliate links marked with *). They're nothing special but they’re widely available and strong enough to get the job done. If you wash them they can easily be used multiple times. These Wilton bags aren't very large so I loaded half of the dough at a time. A reusable piping bag will be the strongest and most environmentally friendly option.
Choose a large star piping tip. I used a *Wilton 1M star tip, which is the smallest size that will work. I widened the tines to make it a little larger. A *Wilton 6B or *Ateco #826 or *#827 would probably work better if you have them available.
To pipe rounds like the cookies shown, start piping from the center and spiral outwards. Decorative piping isn't my strong suit. If you're not happy with how you've piped a cookie, just scrape it off your baking sheet and reload it into your bag or press.
Measuring Tips for Baking Perfect Vegan Butter Cookies
For best results, measure ingredients by weight, especially the flour. It’s incredibly easy to add too much flour if you measure by volume. If you add too much flour the dough will be very stiff and difficult to pipe/press. The cookies will be denser and drier with dull flavour.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale: Use a whisk to fluff up the top few inches of flour in its container. Use a spoon to gently spoon the fluffed flour into your measuring cup, taking care not to compact the flour. Gently level the measuring cup with a flat edge. When it’s time to add the flour, assess the consistency of the dough as you go. You might not need to add all the flour you’ve measured out. The dough should be slightly firm but not stiff.
If the dough ends up too stiff, skip the piping or pressing. You can roll the dough into balls and press them into rounds, or form it into a log, wrap it in plastic wrap, chill, and slice into rounds.
Decorating Vegan Butter Cookies
- Sprinkle the unbaked cookies with coloured sanding sugar before baking.
- Top each unbaked cookie with a single glacé cherry.
- Dip or drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate. Top with sprinkles if desired.
I dipped my cookies into melted chocolate before sprinkling them with chopped pistachios and freeze-dried strawberries.
Reader Favourite Vegan Holiday Cookies
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Vegan Butter Cookies
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 30 medium cookies 1x
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Vegan
These vegan butter cookies are rich and not too sweet. The texture is crisp, a little crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery.
- 1 cup (240 grams) vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- ½ cup (120 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) aquafaba
- 2 ½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour *see notes
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla, salt, and aquafaba to the creamed butter mixture and beat for 5 minutes.
- Mixing by hand, gradually add the flour. Mix until the dough is just blended. Avoid overmixing. The dough should be just firm but not stiff.
- Fill a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip (or a cookie press), with the cookie dough. Pipe or press the cookies onto a cool cookie sheet, leaving a little space for the cookies to spread.
- If desired, sprinkle cookies with coloured sanding sugar or top with a glacé cherry.
- Bake until the cookies are just golden-brown around the edges, about 10-13 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- For best texture, store vegan butter cookies lightly wrapped for 1 day before transferring to an airtight container. Freezer-friendly.
For best results, measure ingredients by weight, especially the flour.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale: Use a whisk to fluff up the top few inches of flour in its container. Use a spoon to gently spoon the fluffed flour into your measuring cup, taking care not to compact the flour. Gently level the measuring cup with a flat edge. When it’s time to add the flour, assess the consistency of the dough as you go. The dough should be slightly firm but not stiff.
Keywords: vegan butter cookies
Is it possible, do you think, to substitute cold coconut oil for the butter?
Omg love love love them!
These came out pretty nice, except that I made Paul Bunyan sized cookies! They were NOT going to fit in those cute little cups. Luckily they will be eaten today when family comes over.
I used a scale but felt that these cookies could have been a little lighter in texture once finished, but who is quibbling??? I learned that peppermint candy needs to be chopped up much more fine or the shards can harm your guests. I added a couple drops of almond extract and reduced the vanilla a smidge.
I used 2T cornstarch in place of 2 T of flour to give a lighter crisp on the 2nd batch. The mixture was stuff but that helped keep the ridges even at high altitude. I used Trader Joe's slab "Vegan Buttery Spread" not in a tub, even though it says "spread.". It has a good buttery taste. Way better than the tin. We will definitely make these again!
Hi, what is the best way to store these and how long do they last? Thanks!
Amazing cookies! My partner said theyre better then various things he loves lol, but instead of aquafaba i used a cornstarch and water substitute, and i mixed it by hand since i dont have a machine mixer, but they still came out good! but one question, do you know how long they can be stored for in the fridge?
Why wouldn't the recipe just give a measurement for sifted flour. It's not that difficult.
I absolutely loved these cookies. I am addicted. I gave half of the batch as gifts and my partner got mad at me for giving them away haha. The only issue I had is that they lost a bit of shape and they flatened when I put them in the oven. Should I put them in the fridge first so they hold shape? The butter I used was one of those that are very solid when they are in the fridge, so I was surprised this happened.
I never leave comments on recipes, but these cookies were so good that I had to come thank you for the recipe! I followed everything (including weighing the ingredients), but I added a bit of lemon extract and WOW! Seriously some of the best homemade cookies I’ve ever had. 10/10!!!
These cookies are amazing! I've made them a few times, as they go quickly. Even non-vegans say they're delicious.
These will be our beautiful Christmas cookies this year. A lovely recipe and fun to make.🎄Thank you ILV.
Do you think I could mix everything by hand and not use electric mixer or would that ruin it?
I would like to know every measure per ingredient, please 🙈. In the recipe it's not specified.
Can I substitute the aquafaba with flaxseed and water? Do you think it will change the flavor or structure? TIA
You can definitely try it, it probably will change the texture a bit and the flavour would be nuttier. They'd probably still be good cookies, but different for sure.
I tried these with a flax egg and it worked out perfectly! (I always grind my flax and chia seeds before letting them sit with water/milk).
I also substituted a part of the flour with coconut flour because I didn't have enough all purpose around. Turned out delicious!
If you like the taste of egg, you can also add kala namak instead of normal salt.
How did I miss this gorgeous Christmas cookie recipe!? This will be a 'must try soon'. cookie. They look delightful and delicious!
Can I just use a normal egg? I don't have aquafaba.
Siobhan Llinos Gale
I've been wanting to make butter cookies for ages. They were a favourite treat of mine as a child. When piped they remind me of Viennese whirls. Siobhan x
What beautiful cookies!
Thanks so much Sue!
Can I make these with almond flour to make them
Vegan and gluten free?
I haven't tried that! I don't do much gluten-free baking, but I'd probably try a gluten-free all purpose flour blend for best results.
I have a lot of food intolerances including gluten and dairy and an allergy to eggs. I have been trying to mimic my mom's butter cookie recipe for 2 years. Thank you so much! They turned out almost perfect now that I know I was adding to much flour. I piped them on the cookie pan with a baggie but they are yummy. I may frost them tomorrow! I cried over throwing out cookies that were a disaster 2 days ago.