Soft, chewy vegan sugar cookies that don’t require any rolling! Made without eggs or butter but just as delicious as their non-vegan counterpart.
These sugar cookies are based off a childhood favorite of mine. For years when I was little my mom would always bake these sheet pan sugar cookies and I would help decorate them by putting tons of sprinkles on top before baking. Not only were they delicious but they were also super colorful and so easy to make! While I believe rolling cookie dough balls is actually the most fun (and therapeutic) part of making cookies, sometimes you just don’t have time to roll 50 balls of dough. These cookies are so ridiculously easy to make — with no rolling or chilling the dough, they’ll be ready in just 30 minutes!
These vegan sugar cookie bars require just 8 basic ingredients:
- refined coconut oil: you can use unrefined if necessary, but the cookies will have a distinct coconut flavor
- vegetable oil
- soy milk
- almond extract
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
*see notes about substitutions below
Tips & Tricks to Make Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
- Make sure the dough is spread out evenly in the pan before baking, otherwise it will not cook evenly and some parts may burn.
- If you want to make more cookies, double the recipe and bake the dough in a sheet pan. Baking times may vary though, so keep an eye on them in the oven and make sure they don’t burn.
- The edges will start to brown first. When you take the cookies out of the oven, the center will feel soft to the touch but it will firm up as it cools.
- Let the cookies cool briefly (about 5 minutes) in the pan after taking them out of the oven, then cut into squares with a knife. Don’t wait too long to cut them though, or the cookies will be too firm to cut easily.
- Make sure your coconut oil is solid but soft enough to cream together with the sugar (think softened butter). If it is too firm it will not cream well. If you live in a hotter climate your coconut oil might be liquid, so place it in the fridge for an hour or two to solidify, then take out to soften before using.
This recipe uses basic pantry staples, but in case you run out of any here are my suggestions — note, however, that I have not officially tested these substitutions and therefore can’t vouch for the results:
- sugar: I highly recommend using vegan granulated sugar. Coconut sugar may work, but keep in mind that it will create a darker cookie and will change the flavor slightly. I do not recommend using a liquid sweetener.
- coconut oil: Vegan butter may work, but I do not recommend subbing any liquid vegetable oils. The saturated fat in coconut oil contributes to a lighter texture and crispy outside.
- vegetable oil: I used canola oil as it has a neutral flavor and high smoke point. Olive oil may work but will alter the flavor. I do not recommend subbing in more coconut oil, as the liquid vegetable oil helps create a soft texture.
- soy milk: I typically opt for soy milk in baking because it has a higher protein and fat content, more similar to regular milk. Store bought almond and cashew milks tend to be very watered down. However, coconut milk or oat milk would probably be good substitutes.
- almond extract: I highly highly recommend you leave this in! It’s a small ingredient but has a huge impact on the flavor and really differentiates this from other sugar cookies. However, in a pinch you can sub vanilla extract.
- all purpose flour: I have not tested this with a gluten-free flour, but if you are gluten-free you can try subbing with an all purpose gluten-free flour. I don’t recommend using whole wheat flour. You can replace up to a 1/4 cup with oat flour, but using all oat flour results in a crumbly, grittier cookie.
Check out these other vegan sweet treats!
- oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
- oil-free chocolate cake
- Japanese melon bread
- oil-free blueberry banana bread
- dorayaki (Japanese sweet red bean pancakes)
If you try out this recipe, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 You can also follow me along on pinterest for more yummy vegan food. Happy baking!
Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp refined coconut oil solid but soft
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp apple sauce
- 1 tbsp soy milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a sqaure 8×8" dish and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and oils until a smooth paste forms. Mix in applesauce, milk, and almond extract.
- Add flour and baking powder and mix until a dough forms. Roll into a ball and place in the baking dish. Using your hands, spread the dough evenly into the dish. Smooth out the top of the dough as best as you can.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden. The center will still feel soft but it will firm up as it cools. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then use a knife to cut into squares. Let cool completely before serving. Store leftovers in an air-tight container at room temperature.
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