The Best No Spread Sugar Cookies (Vegan)
This easy no spread sugar cookies recipe is vegan, easy to roll out, and make cutout sugar cookies! With this recipe, you will get perfect sugar cookies that have crisp edges, chewy centers, and a sinfully delicious buttery taste.
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You can use your favorite cookie cutters and royal icing or sugar cookie icing recipe to decorate them. You could also use colored dough like we did and leave the royal icing out.
Either way, you will get soft sugar cookies that are guaranteed to remain soft for days! This easy no spread sugar cookie recipe requires only simple ingredients and is beginner-friendly.
Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. You can find important tips/tricks in the blog post.
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What makes sugar cookies spread?
One of the main reasons sugar cookies spread is due to the improper ratio of flour and butter (fat) ie too much butter and not enough flour.
Another reason could be that your oven isn’t heating up to the right temperature. You can use an oven thermometer to check and fix this. Also, make sure to use room temperature butter.
Importance of room temperature butter for no spread sugar cookies
Room temperature butter is easy to mix with sugar. Cold butter is hard to mix and you won’t get a smooth dough.
When sugar and butter are creamed, it traps air and creates air bubbles. This trapped air expands when the sugar cookie is being baked. This gives the fluffy texture and lightness of these no-spread sugar cookies.
But be aware – if your butter is too warm, it will cause your cutout cookies to overspread!
How to tell butter is at room temperature?
Room temperature butter should be cool to touch and about 65°F (18°C).
Another way to tell if your butter is at room temperature is by trying to bend the butter stick. If you can bend it without breaking it in half then your butter has reached room temperature.
Also, if you press the butter, there will be a slight indentation but your fingers won’t sink in completely. If your fingers do sink into the butter, it has become too soft. You can put it back in the fridge and wait for it to firm up a little.
Ingredients and Alternatives
Vegan unsalted butter – You can also use regular butter if you don’t need this to be a vegan recipe. Use room temperature butter so it is easy to cream butter.
You can also use salted butter but I prefer to use unsalted one so I can control the amount of salt I add. If using salted butter, omit the salt listed in this recipe.
All-purpose flour – Provides structure and strength to the cookie dough. I haven’t tried this recipe with any other type of flour so I wouldn’t be able to provide substitutes for this.
Vanilla extract – This adds flavor to the cookies. You can replace this with almond extract or any of your favorite flavors. You can even add both vanilla and almond extract to the dough. Make sure to use pure vanilla and almond extracts for best results.
Unsweetened almond milk – This moistens and binds the dough. You can use regular milk or any other plant-based milk in its place.
Baking powder – This is a leavening agent and gives our cookies a bit of lift.
Salt – I add a little bit of salt to balance out the sweetness. Omit this if using salted butter.
Food color (red, orange, green, yellow) – I recommend using gel color* to get those vibrant colors. You would need to use a lot more Water-based color to get the same vibrancy and this would increase the water content of the dough and make it sticky and prone to spreading.
How to make the best No spread sugar cookies
Make No Spread Sugar Cookie Dough
Fluff up vegan unsalted butter and sugar using a hand mixer in a large bowl. Then mix in vanilla extract and almond milk.
In a separate bowl whisk together all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. I recommend sifting the dry ingredients to get light, airy no-spread cookies.
Then add this flour mixture to the wet ingredient and mix with your hands to form the cookie dough. You can also use a paddle attachment in a stand mixer to form the dough.
Divide, color, and chill the sugar cookie dough
Split the dough into 4 equal parts. Add green, red, yellow, or orange color to the dough – one on each part and mix well. Wrap each colored dough in different plastic wraps and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
Chilling cookie dough helps prevent sugar cookies from spreading. After chilling, let your cookie dough sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes or so before going to the next step.
Roll out cookie dough
Add some flour to the work surface. Rip out small portions from each colored dough and arrange it as shown in the video. Now roll out the dough using a rolling pin to your desired thickness.
If you like having really thin crispy cookies, 1/8 inch thickness is perfect but if you prefer a softer cookie or thicker cookie then roll it out to 1/4th thickness.
Cut it into shapes
Use maple cookie cutters* (or any of your favorite cutters), and cut out the rolled dough.
Keep the remaining dough and use it in the next roll. Do not overwork the dough, as it will develop gluten and you will end up with a tough cookie.
Bake and Cool
Move the cut cookie dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes. Bake time may vary depending on your oven. Wait until the center of the cookies is a little puffy and not shiny or till the edges are golden brown if you prefer crispier edges.
Let them cool on the tray for about 10 minutes. The cookies continue to bake with the residue heat on the baking tray. After 10 min, move them to a wire rack or cooling rack to cool completely.
If you did not color the cookie dough, you can decorate the top of your cookie using royal icing once they have completely cooled down.
How to Store no spread sugar cookies
Once the vegan sugar cookies are cool, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry.
They will keep for around 2 weeks at room temperature. Though it does taste best if eaten within a few days of baking.
PRO TIP: Add a slice of white bread to the cookie jar. The cookies will take moisture from the bread and remain softer for longer.
You can also freeze the baked sugar cookies (without frosting) for 3-6 months in zip lock bags. Thaw on the counter for around an hour before serving them.
no spread sugar cookies – Make ahead options
You can make the dough and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days, or it can be made up to three months in advance and frozen. Make sure to wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap before freezing.
If you freeze the dough, thaw in the fridge overnight and leave it on the countertop till it reaches room temperature before you roll it out.
You can also follow the steps above till cutting out the cookies and then keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days before baking.
LOOKING FOR MORE COOKIE RECIPES??
The Best No Spread Sugar Cookies (Vegan)
- 1 cup Vegan unsalted butter/ Vegan margarine Softened at room temperature
- 3 cup All purpose flour
- 1 cup Granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened almond milk + 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp Baking powder + 1 tsp
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Food color (red, orange, green, yellow) Preferably gel color
- Using a mixer, fluff up the vegan margarine/butter and sugar together
- Add vanilla and almond milk, and beat until well mixed
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
- Add half of the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients, mix and add the second half.
- Use your hands to mix in thoroughly
- The dough might be a bit dry and crumbly but its normal. Just press the dough together and it should come together
- Split the dough into 4 equal parts
- Add green, red, yellow and orange to the dough, one on each part and mix well
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour
- Rip out small portions from each color and arrange it as shown in the video
- Roll out the dough using a rolling pin to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. If you like having really thin crispy cookies, 1/8 inch thickness is perfect
- Using the cookie cutter, cut out the dough out. Keep the remaining dough for using in the next roll. Do not overwork the dough, else you will end up with a solid brown cookie.
- Move the cut out dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper
- Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes
- Let them cool for about 10 minutes before digging in!
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Tips to make the best no spread sugar cookies
- Make sure to measure the flour correctly. The best way to measure the flour is to use the scale or fluff your flour with a spoon and add it into your measuring cup, and then use a knife to level it off.
- Do not over mix the dough as it will lead to gluten formation and the cookies will come out tough.
- Never place cookies in a hot baking pan.
- Place the cutout cookie dough on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper for baking.
- Roll out the dough evenly to make sure the cookies are evenly baked.
Commonly Asked questions
Why are my cookies flat and thin?
Cookies come out flat and thin if the dough doesn’t have enough flour or if the butter used is too soft. Incorrect oven temperature or expired baking powder can also lead to thin and spread-out sugar cookies.
Why do sugar cookies puff up?
Sugar cookies puff up from baking powder. If you don’t use baking powder to make cookies, they will come out dense.
Why should you chill the cookie dough before baking?
Chilling the dough helps the fat solidify in the cookies which helps the cookies keep their shape and not spread.
What to do if your sugar cookie starts spreading?
If you see that your cookie has started to over-spread, take the baking sheet out of the oven. Use a spoon and push the edges of the sugar cookie back towards its center. Then place it back in the oven and continue baking until it’s done.
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About the Author
Hi! Akshita & Midhun here! Welcome to our blog where we show simple yet awesome recipes for your cravings.
Akshita being allergic to egg, we are committed to providing egg-free recipes along with some vegan friendly options. Read more about us here!
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