Yes. Vegan gluten-free chocolate sugar cookies do exist. And after one bite of these soft cookies smothered in chocolate buttercream frosting, you’ll be as thankful as we are for that.
One of my favorite recipes from my blog is my Softest Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies, and it appears to be a fan favorite too! So I knew I had to make a chocolate version. These are fun to make and fun to decorate with sprinkles.–Ciarra Siller
Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Sugar Cookies
For the cookies
- 1 3/4 cups store-bought or homemade gluten-free baking flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup non-dairy butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 to 6 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk
For the chocolate buttercream frosting
- 1/4 cup non-dairy butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sprinkles for decorating (optional)
Make the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the gluten-free flour, arrowroot flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together the non-dairy butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and beat again to blend.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Drizzle in the almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the almond milk.
- Scrape the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a disc. Top with another piece of parchment. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper.
- Cut out shapes using your preferred cookie cutters and carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheets, setting the cookies about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Place the baking sheets in the freezer and chill for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the freezer and bake until the edges just begin to crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Make the chocolate buttercream frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, use medium-high speed to beat the non-dairy butter until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the cocoa powder and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, mixing until well combined. Add the almond milk and vanilla and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly add another cup of confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. If necessary, continue to beat in additional confectioners’ sugar in small increments until the frosting has a smooth, spreadable consistency.
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies and then immediately top with sprinkles, if using, before the frosting sets. (The frosting will eventually set solid enough to allow the cookies to be stacked for storage, if desired.)
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
While these cookies do require more TLC than your typical drop cookie, they are delicious! The dough is subtly sweet and delicate, and the icing is a nice, vegan/dairy free option that works on the cookies and, I imagine, a cake as well!
When pressed for time, but craving a cookie, I’d make the dough again in a heartbeat.
Cookies are generally known for being full of goodness in the form of sugar, butter and flour…but I promise you won’t be missing the latter two in this vegan AND gluten-free recipe. My allergy-prone family loved that everyone could have a bite of these perfectly chocolatey cookies, and the little ones even got to lick the beaters while they were in the oven.
The cookies kept their shape very well (so would be perfect for more unique Christmas cookie cutters) and weren’t dry like most gluten-free cookies I’ve tried. I recommend using Earth Balance vegan butter if you can get it—it’s the best substitute I’ve found and worked great in these cookies.
The first thing you need to understand and accept about these cookies is that they are very, very sweet. The second thing is that they are soft sugar cookies. And the third is the buttercream. Who on earth puts buttercream on a sugar cookie? Well, someone did.
So now we are past that, and your expectations are appropriately adjusted, we can get to the recipe, which makes, as promised, a soft chocolate sugar cookie. This isn’t a strong, dark chocolate flavor. It’s more like a kid-friendly, super sweet, Cadbury bar of a cookie. Same goes for the buttercream. I was very skeptical about putting buttercream on a sugar cookie. After all, cookies need to be able to stack up in a cookie tin without getting glued together by the frosting. But this is a very thick, dry buttercream. And as the cookies sit, it hardens up to the point that the cookies can be stacked and not a dab of buttercream will stick to the cookie above.
We actually liked these cookies better after they had been around a few days, which bodes well for those of you who want to do holiday baking in advance and maybe ship some cookie love to friends and family.
Originally published February 03, 2021