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These Vegan Chai Sugar Cookies are infused with a blend of spices then baked into buttery, decadent sugar cookies. Prep this holiday dessert in just 15 minutes with no weird ingredients. Vegan, Gluten-Free Option.
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These Vegan Chai Sugar Cookies are soft and puffy on the inside, crisp and sugary on the outside and baked with the perfect blend of chai spices. They’re so addictive, they’ll disappear from the baking sheet within minutes.
A Festive, Holiday Spin on the Sugar Cookie
If you love the flavor of chai and sugar cookies, you’re destined to love these chai-spiced sugar cookies. They’re as soft and buttery as the Christmas classic, yet infused with cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and more, distributing the warmth and flavor throughout every sugary bite.
This cookie dough can even be stashed in the freezer in individual dough balls, making it easy to bake up a small batch anytime a cookie craving hits.
What You Need for Chai Sugar Cookies
This easy vegan cookie recipe requires just 7 ingredients, plus a blend of chai spices! It’s also got an optional cinnamon sugar coating, making these sugar cookies crispy on the outside and reminiscent of another crowd favorite: the snickerdoodle.
When shopping for vegan butter, opt for vegan butter sticks over tubs of buttery spread. Spreads typically have air whipped into them, making them lighter and fluffier, which is optimal for slathering on toast, but not the best for baking. Earth Balance is a reliable, widely available vegan brand.
How to Make Vegan Chai Sugar Cookies
- Mix together the ground flaxseed and water to form a flax egg. Set aside.
- Cream the vegan butter and brown sugar together until smooth.
- Add the flax egg, vanilla extract, and spices and mix to combine.
- Using a spatula, mix in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt until a uniform dough forms.
- Chill the sugar cookie dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Once chilled, form 2-tablespoon balls of cookie dough, then roll each cookie dough ball in cinnamon sugar (optional). Transfer the dough balls to a baking sheet, 2” apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then gently drop the cookie sheet on the counter to deflate the cookies.
- Serve warm or cool.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Don’t skip chilling your cookie dough: This is absolutely key to preventing your cookies from overspreading. Without this step, the cookies will fall flat and be missing that delightful puffy, soft texture.
- Use a cookie scoop. If you bake cookies, meatballs, or eat a lot of ice cream, you won’t regret investing in a couple different-sized cookie scoops. They ensure an even bake, are mess-free, and make scooping quick and easy.
- Break out your baking scale. Correctly measured ingredients are essential in baking and using a baking scale allows for the most accurate results. Use my weighted measurements for the most cookies.
Chai sugar cookies are the perfect spiced dessert to enjoy throughout the holiday season, but I won’t tell if you eat one for breakfast alongside a cup of coffee or tea. They also make the perfect treat for holiday parties, school festivities, and gifting neighbors. Moral of the story, you can’t go wrong serving chai-spiced cookies for any occasion.
If you’re looking for more vegan Christmas cookie recipes, you’ll also love these Wholesome & Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies, Vegan Pecan Sandies, Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies and these Almond Flour Thumbprint Cookies! For even more dessert inspiration, browse hundreds of my favorite vegan desserts here.
How to Store Vegan Chai Sugar Cookies
Baked chai sugar cookies will store best in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
If desired, you can also freeze unbaked cookie dough for quick and easy cookie baking in the future. To do so, follow recipe directions 1-3. Once chilled, form 2-tablespoon balls of cookie dough, rolling it smooth in between your hands. Place each cookie dough ball on a lined baking sheet, then stick the baking sheet in the freezer for 2-4 hours, or until the cookie dough balls are frozen solid. Transfer the dough balls to a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months.
When ready to bake, remove the cookie dough balls from the freezer and pick back up with recipe step 4. Bake for 1-2 minutes longer, or until puffy and serve!
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten-free option: Swap the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. I have not personally tested this, but based on experience, this should work just fine.
- Butter substitutions: Unsalted vegan butter or softened coconut oil will both work in place of salted vegan butter. If substituting, increase the salt measurement to ½ teaspoon. Note that unrefined coconut oil will slightly change the final flavor of the cookies.
- Brown sugar substitution: Coconut sugar can be used, but the cookies will be more dry.
- Spice options: Substitute a pre-made chai spice mix or if you do not have all of the chai spices, just use what you have! Your cookies will still be delicious.
Vegan cookies simply swap the butter and eggs in traditional cookie recipes with vegan butter and vegan egg substitutes like flax eggs, applesauce, or mashed banana. Most taste almost exactly like their non vegan counterparts and a great option for hosting during the holiday season.
If your cookies are dry or crumbly, it’s likely you did not use the correct amount of butter or flour. When baking with vegan butter, I highly recommend buying vegan butter sticks. 1 stick is equivalent to ½ a cup and makes baking fool-proof. Similarly, avoid digging your measuring cup into the bag of flour – this will pack 30%+ too much flour into the cup and can make your cookies dry. Another reason why baking with a scale is superior!
Cornstarch helps to give these cookies the perfect tender crumb. They’re slightly crispy on the outside, chewy and moist on the inside.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Vegan Chai Sugar Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature 1 stick
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating: (optional)
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the ground flax with the water, mix well, and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Cream the Butter: Add the butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and use a hand mixer (or bowl of a stand mixer) to cream them together until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thickened flax seed, vanilla, and cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper to the butter mixture. Mix again until combined.
- Make the Dough: Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt to the bowl and mix well with a spatula. Place the dough in the fridge for an hour, up to overnight. This allows the butter to firm up and the flour to absorb the moisture from the dough.
- Roll: Mix the cane sugar and the cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Form 2-tablespoon balls of cookie dough, rolling it smooth between your hands. Roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar, then place each cookie 2” apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake: Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are puffy. Gently drop the cookie sheet on the counter to deflate the cookies. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, to allow them to set.
- Serve: serve warm, or let the cookies cool before serving. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
- Gluten-Free: I have not tested this but you can probably sub with a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend
- Other Substitutions: vegan butter can be replaced with softened coconut oil, but this will affect the final flavor of the cookies. Brown sugar can be replaced with coconut sugar, but the cookies will be more dry.