In this guide you’ll find awesome vegan Christmas cookie recipes. And lots of useful tips to help you have a joyful time baking fun and festive vegan holiday cookies!
This post is packed with tips and answers to commonly asked questions about Christmas cookies. We’ve got useful info on when to bake, how to store, ideas for packaging cookies and more.
And at the end you’ll find a list of 15 vegan Christmas cookies that you can enjoy making!
When to make Christmas cookies?
Well, I think it’s never too early to start baking Christmas cookies! They are yummy at any time of the year.
But if you are making them to serve over the Christmas holidays, then a week or two before Christmas is good. How far in advance you can bake cookies will depend on the type of cookie, with some being good for storing, and others best enjoyed fresh. (See the rough guide below!)
Making your dough and refrigerating it for up to 3 days or freezing it is a good way to get ahead with your holiday baking.
How long do cookies keep?
Most recipes will give you a guideline of how long they will stay good for. The most common change in cookies will be the texture becoming stale, drier or soft over time.
Use your senses and judgement to tell if a cookie is still good to eat. Any that have an off smell or appearance should be discarded.
Here’s a very rough guide to the average store time of some types of cookie:
Sugar cookies For the soft type 3-7 days is typical. Crispy, crunchy type sugar cookies will last longer.
Gingerbread and lebkuchen: Flavour is said to improve with age. Will last several weeks, and even up to a few months.
Shortbread cookies: Up to 1 month, texture will soften over time.
Biscotti: As these are double baked and quite dry, they usually keep for a few weeks, up to a couple of months.
Vegan Meringues: Best eaten fresh or within a couple of days. Hot and humid weather can lead to the meringues collapsing.
Mexican wedding cakes / Snowballs / Russian Tea Cakes: Most recipes suggest around 5 days, other sources suggest they will store for up to 1 month.
Spritz cookies or danish ‘butter’ cookies: These plain cookies keep well. Up to 1 month.
Can I freeze cookies?
Most cookies will freeze quite well because of their low water content. But some cookies with a more liquid dough or moister texture are best not frozen.
For best results, don’t freeze already iced, filled or sugar coated cookies. Save the decoration for later.
Many cookie doughs can be frozen, then defrosted in the fridge overnight, and shaped and baked as normal.
- Slice and bake cookie doughs can be frozen in tightly wrapped log shapes.
- Dough for cut out cookies can be shaped into discs, wrapped tightly, and transferred to a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Drop cookie dough can be frozen in balls or scoops on a baking sheet until firm and then transferred to a freezer bag or airtight container.
What shop bought cookies are vegan?
Many shop bought cookies can be ‘accidentally vegan’. Always check the listed ingredients or look for the vegan label to be sure.
These are some brands and items to look out for:
- Lenny and Larry’s
- Vegan Bakery
- Rhythm 108
- Lotus Biscoff (The Airline Cookie)
- Mrs Crimbles Vegan Macaroons
- New England Cookie Co
You can also find lots of great vegan bakers selling vegan cookies on Etsy. It's a great way to support small businesses, and get cookies shipped by someone local to your lucky cookie recipient!
How to store Christmas cookies
Use an airtight container, such as a tupperware, glass jar or cookie tin. Store in a cool, dark place at room temperature, unless the recipe states otherwise.
Here’s a few tips:
Only store cookies when they are completely cool, otherwise they can go soggy due to trapped heat and moisture.
- Store different flavour and texture cookies separately. Keep soft cookies apart from crisp cookies, so they don’t affect each other's texture. Don’t mix strong flavour cookies such as peppermint or lemon with other cookies, as the flavour can transfer and taint the other cookies.
- Frosted or decorated cookies are best stored in a singer layer. For some other cookies, it can be useful to place a sheet of baking parchment between layers to prevent sticking.
- To help keep soft cookies moist you can add a piece of bread or slice of apple to the storage container
How can I veganise a cookie recipe?
We recommend using tried and tested vegan cookie recipes. But if you have a traditional holiday cookie recipe or a family favourite that you want to veganise, here's some substitution ideas to help you with your experiments!
Instead of butter
A plant based vegan butter block designed for baking will work best as a direct 1:1 substitute. Dairy free spreads or margarine can also work, but can change the texture more. Some people use refined coconut oil as a 1:1 substitute, but we’ve found it to be not so successful. Coconut is 100% fat, compared to around 80% fat in butter, so using 80% coconut oil and 20% plant milk would be a more comparable substitute.
Instead of dairy milk
Any kind of plant milk is usually a good substitute, but we like soy milk best for baking. Soy milk has a high protein content comparable to dairy milk, so has a good binding and browning effect. Almond milk is also a good alternative.
Instead of eggs
Eggs play different roles in baking so the type of substitute you try will depend on the recipe. Here's some vegan egg alternatives to try:
Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
Use 3 tbsp aquafaba to replace a whole egg, or 2 tbsp for just an egg white.
It can also be whipped to make a foam or meringue. It takes much longer to whip than egg whites, and works best with a pinch of cream of tartar added to it to stabilise it and help it hold its shape.
Ground flaxseed and chia seed
These both work well as a binder in cookie recipes.
To replace 1 egg: Combine 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and leave for 5 minutes to gel.
Mashed banana, applesauce or other fruit puree can be used as an egg substitute. Use around ¼ cup or 50 grams to replace a medium egg. Pumpkin puree can also work.
Instead of honey
Golden syrup, agave syrup, maple syrup are good substitutes. You could also use our vegan dandelion honey.
How to package Christmas cookies
Vegan christmas cookies make the perfect gifts for all your family & friends, but what’s the best way to package them for gifting? Here’s some eco friendly ideas and ways to package cookies without plastic:
- Fill a jar with cookies, decorate with twine and a gift tag made from an old card.
- Repurpose a baking paper or foil box by painting or wrapping in paper, then line with baking paper and fill with cookies.
- Wrap cookies in compostable paper sealed with paper tape, and tied with a ribbon.
If you are planning to send your cookies by mail, you’ll want to package them well. Choose robust cookies that will stand up better to shipping.
Use a rigid container like a cookie tin, tupperware or box. You can use some bubble wrap or packing peanuts in the base to cushion them, then line it with baking paper or food grade tissue paper.
We personally avoid using plastic wrap. Something like a vegan wax wrap would be a good alternative if you want to wrap your cookies.
Fill the container so the cookies are closely packed and snug, without much room to rattle around. Then place your cookie container in a well padded cardboard box or mailer for shipping.
Before you start a Christmas cookie baking session, it's handy to gather all your equipment.
One of the things we use most when we're baking lots of cookies is a reusable baking paper or silicone liner. It's just so useful and cuts down on lots of waste. They can also be used to roll cookie dough on for convenient rolling.
Another alternative, would be to get a roll of this home compostable baking parchment which is more eco friendly than other types.
Here's a helpful list of useful cookie baking equipment to have ready:
- Measuring scales (weighing your cookie ingredients is much more accurate and produces more consistent results.)
- A set of measuring spoons (always use a level spoonful unless otherwise instructed, this set even comes with a handy leveler!)
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone spatulas - These flexible ones are so useful for getting all the dough out of your bowl.
- Baking trays
- Rolling pin - We really like our large wooden pin, you can find some lovely handmade ones here, plus some fun embossed rolling pins too.
- Wire cooling racks
- Cookie cutters - especially some fun festive shapes like these.
- Cookie press - If you want to make spritz cookies or pressed cookies, then investing in a press is a good idea. This Cookie Press gets great feedback.
- Cookie tins - you can get some fun vintage and personalised tins on Etsy.
- Icing syringe or piping bag
- Vegan food colours - Did you know many food colours aren't vegan? Watch out in particular for red which may contain cochineal beetles (E120). You can get plant-based food colours made with natural ingredients.
We hope you found all those cookie tips helpful and enjoy these recipes. We wish you a merry cookie time! Love, Sophie & Paul
Vegan Christmas Cookie Recipes
We hope you have fun baking and enjoying your vegan Christmas cookies this year!
If you're still looking for some lovely vegan gifts to give to your family and friends, check out our Vegan Gift Guide.
And be sure to check out this collection of 60+ Vegan Christmas Recipes to help you plan your holiday menu!