Learn how to make the best Vegan Gluten-free Sugar Cookies that are also oil-free, yet so buttery, sweet, soft and delicious! Just 8 ingredients!
Today's post is all about cookies. Easy Vegan Gluten-free Sugar Cookies. My reader Paula wrote me back in September asking me to create a classic sugar cookie for Christmas, which are her favorite cookies. When she specifically asked it to be a much healthier version than the traditional, I knew it would be a challenge. It was really important to her that they be oil-free. I, personally, have never seen or had a butter/oil-free sugar cookie, have you? I knew this would take some major testing. But I specialize in oil-free and gluten-free vegan cookie recipes!
HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE SUGAR COOKIES?
Blanched Almond Flour (this is where the cookies get the majority of moisture from and a nice chew to the cookie)
White Rice Flour(this adds a slight crispness to the exterior of the cookies and also helps to bind them)
Potato Starch (this gives lightness and softness)
First, you'll blend up your coconut sugar down to a fine powder.
Add the almond flour, potato starch, rice flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl of sugar.
In a separate bowl, add the syrup, cashew butter and vanilla. Add to the dry.
Using a tablespoon, roll into 18 balls and place on the 2 pans. Use a small piece of parchment paper to place over each cookie and press down each ball down to 1/4 inch thickness.
Bake for about 8 minutes in cold weather and 10 mins for warmer/humid weather.
Now, obviously these don't taste exactly like a traditional sugar cookie, because hello, there is no butter, white sugar or white flour or eggs in these, but they are very close.
Notice the difference in color and texture once the coconut sugar is ground up. Trust me, it makes a difference.
The almond flour cannot be subbed in this recipe, as it is what replaces the butter and oil, making these very buttery and delicious, as well as the cashew butter.
If desired, you can try subbing the cashew butter with almond butter, but please note that will completely change the flavor of the cookie. It will taste more nutty, versus a sugar cookie. Because cashew butter just leaves a sweet vanilla flavor when baked. Also, almond butter has a higher oil content, so it will make the dough a bit more well
For the white rice flour, if not gluten-free, regular all-purpose white flour may work, by using the same weight as the rice flour, not by cup measurements, since they weigh differently. I have not tested this, so I can't say for certain.
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (60g) white rice flour (Make sure it is regular white rice flour. Brown rice flour cannot be subbed, it doesn't work here)
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder (I use double-acting)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (120 mL)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (96g) raw cashew butter (make sure to use raw and no other added ingredients for it to work correctly in the recipe, I make my own, see here )
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: organic sprinkling sugar for topping if desired.
Note: To have the results turn out as I have here, make sure to use a kitchen scale, it is so important with gluten-free baking to get the right amounts, as even a couple of tablespoons off can alter results. Also, I did multiple trials of these cookies, so if you sub, it's at your own risk, I cannot guarantee results, these were very challenging to create. The almond flour absolutely cannot be subbed, as it gives the main source of moisture to the cookies since these have no added oil. It's very important to use a finely ground blanched almond flour for the cookie texture to turn out right. They will not be soft likely if you use an almond meal or grind your own. If you use Bob's Red Mill, make sure to grind it down more first, then measure, because I never like the results of his almond flour b/c it is gritty, therefore don't use it in my baking usually. I recommend King Arthur brand or the Kroger brand called Simple Truth or the HEB brand if in Texas.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line 2 dark metal cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lighter color pans or aluminum left these with too soft of bottoms.
First, you will need to blend up your coconut sugar down to a fine powder. I did this in my Vitamix in about 15 seconds. This gives better distribution of sweetness, and visual, to the cookies since coconut sugar granules are very gritty. It did not work in my food processor, so use a high-powered blender or coffee grinder. Beware, it will get very powdery! So, leave the lid on a few seconds to let it settle first. Add the sugar to a large bowl, making sure to scrape it all out.
Measure all your flours with a kitchen scale for accurate results. When measuring almond flour or starches, fluff them first to rid lumps and then scoop up with your cup and gently pat down to make sure there are no gaps, then level off. Add the almond flour, potato starch, rice flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl of sugar. Whisk very well.
In a separate medium bowl, add the syrup, cashew butter and vanilla. (make sure if your cashew butter has firmed up, that warm it to a really smooth consistency before measuring. Pour over the dry ingredients slowly while stirring together the batter with a spoon. Stir the batter for several minutes, making sure all the flour is incorporated and it becomes really thick and stiff.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into 18 balls and place on the 2 pans. It is a sticky dough, but can be rolled into balls with your hands. Use a small piece of parchment paper to place over each cookie and press down each ball down to 1/4 inch thickness and form into a round shape. Sprinkle with sprinkling sugar, if desired.
Bake for about 8 minutes in cold weather and 10 mins for warmer/humid weather. If using a thick aluminum pan, it will likely take closer to 10 minutes for the bottoms to cook enough. The tops should have puffed up and the edges have a slight crackled effect. Keep in mind, ovens vary. Let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes as they will be too delicate to remove right away, then using a thin spatula, remove them to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in a sealed container, so they don't dry out.
Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed my husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not counting salt, pepper or water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!