In my opinion, the best part of the end-of-year and beginning-of-year celebration are the sweets, and since I am the metaphorical conditional statement of my family, I am pretty much the deciding factor of all unnecessary dishes (desserts). With my many Pinterest boards of vegan recipes, including an entire board for vegan desserts, I had plenty of recipes to choose from, and with the input of a friend and my sisters, the first two dessert recipes I made were sugar cookies and “snickerdoodle” cupcakes. To put it simply, they were each phenomenal in their own right, but I personally enjoyed the cupcakes the most, mostly because I am a sucker for cinnamon.
So, those recipes, first up is the sugar cookie recipe. My friend found this recipe for sugar cookies, with some of the strangest ingredients to be found in baked goods, in my opinion, on The Minimalist Baker (great place for some killer recipes, vegan, gluten-free, and conscious of many other dietary restrictions). The original recipe would result in vegan, gluten-free cookies:
- 1/2 cup room temperature coconut oil OR softened vegan butter
- 1/2 cup cane sugar (can be substituted with coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (can be substituted with unsweetened applesauce)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (can be substituted with instant potatoes)
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp dairy-free milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to cream together coconut oil and sugars. Mix for 1 minute.
- Add pumpkin and vanilla. Mix.
- To a sifter, add gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Stir gently with a spoon or knife, then sift over the wet ingredients in small increments while blending.
- If the dough is clumpy (not formed into a ball – see photo), add 1-2 tsp dairy-free milk and mix once more until a dough is formed. Only add enough dairy-free milk to form a dough – adding too much will cause the dough to lose its shape.
- On a well-floured surface using a floured rolling pin, gently roll out half of the dough into a large 1/4-inch thick circle. Add more gluten free flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Use cookie cutters dipped in GF flour to cut out shapes (see photo). Then transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet prepared earlier. Once the sheet is full, transfer to freezer to let shapes harden. While the first batch is freezing, continue reforming and rolling out dough until all dough is used. You should have about 40-45 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
- Once the cookies are firm enough to pick up by hand, transfer to a bare baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes, or until slightly risen and very, very lightly golden brown on the edges. You don’t want to overbake these or they will get too crispy. Immediately use a spatula to gently transfer baked cookies onto a cooling rack to cool.
- Repeat this process of freezing the cookies until firm, baking, and cooling, until all cookies are baked.
- Enjoy or store leftovers between layers of wax paper in a well-sealed container. Make ahead of time and freeze for up to 2 weeks (though best when fresh).
And, the second recipe is for vegan “snickerdoodle” cupcakes. However, “snickerdoodle” is in quotation marks because there is a cinnamon brown sugar mixture that it just resting on the tops of the essentially plain vanilla cupcakes. If you want true snickerdoodle cupcakes, I suggest mixing in the cinnamon brown sugar mixture in with the rest of the cake batter. So, the recipe:
- 1 c soy milk
- 1 t apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 c + 2 t vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 c flour
- 2 T cornstarch
- 3/4 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 2 T cinnamon
- 2 T brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Mix together soy milk and vinegar and set aside for 1-5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and white sugar.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, brown sugar and 2 t of the vegetable oil.
- Add the remaining oil and vanilla extract to the soured soy milk. Stir together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix together to form a smooth batter. Pour into the lined cupcake pans.
- Spoon a heaping 1/2 t full of the cinnamon mixture into each cupcake. Make a zigzag with a bamboo stick or toothpick.
- Bake for 19-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely and frost with vanilla frosting, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
If you need a delicious vegan frosting recipe that is also super easy to make, just look below!
Ingredients for Vegan Frosting
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 1/2 – 2 cup powdered sugar
- splash of dairy free milk
- Mix everything together, let set for a few minutes and then frost away!