Vegan Pumpkin Sugar Cookies



I overfilled the muffin tins with batter on my first try and quickly realized that the overflow baked perfectly into a sugar cookie-type consistency! In that moment, I knew vegan sugar cookies were not far out of reach.



This recipe is easy and fast! Just 1 bowl, simple methods, and 1 hour start to finish (frosting and all). And they just so happen to taste like the sugar cookies of your youth, just without (real) butter, eggs, or milk. Done !!

This recipe is included a basic vegan buttercream recipe below that’s infused with pumpkin butter and fall spices. It makes the perfect addition to these fluffy gems and sends the pumpkin flavor over the top.


Vegan Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Tender, fluffy, vegan pumpkin sugar cookies that require just 1 bowl! Super fluffy, simple preparation, and perfect for fall!



Ingredients
COOKIES

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance // softened* // 1 stick yields 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (plus more for topping)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree*

  • 1 1/2 heaping cups unbleached all-purpose flour (sub up to 1/3 whole-wheat pastry)

  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (for thickening/binding)

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
FROSTING (optional)

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance // softened* // 1 stick yields 1/2 cup)

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin butter* (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 splash non-dairy milk
Instructions

  1. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer for 1 minute.

  2. Add sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and beat for 1 more minute. Add pumpkin and mix once more.

  3. Set your sifter over something that will catch fall out and add dry ingredients. Use a spoon to briefly stir, then sift over butter and sugar ingredients, to combine.

  4. Mix until incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Then add almond milk and mix until a soft dough is formed. Freeze dough for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes (or chill overnight), preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), and position a rack in the center of the oven.

  5. Scoop out heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and roll into balls. Place on a clean baking sheet 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Dip a glass into cane sugar and then gently smash the cookie ball down into a disc (see photo).

  6. Bake on the center rack for 10-12 minutes or very slightly golden brown.

  7. Let rest on pan for a few minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Prepare frosting in the meantime.
For Frosting :

  1. Wipe/rinse your mixing bowl clean and add softened butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Then add vanilla, spices, and pumpkin butter (optional) and mix once more.

  2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Drizzle in a little non-dairy milk to thin. You want this frosting to be pretty thick so it will hold its shape once on the cookies, so only add a little milk and add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.

  3. Once cooled, frost cookies and top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a few days. Freeze for longer-term storage.


Notes:

  • *Vegan butter sticks are best for baking, as the tubs can often contain water to ease spreading, which can affect the final product. I prefer Earth Balance buttery sticks for baking.

  • *If you are trying to speed-soften your butter, simply cut it into thin slices from the stick and it will soften much quicker.

  • *Pumpkin butter can be subbed for pumpkin puree, but hold back 1 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) of cane sugar.


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