Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Christmas sugar cookies with easy natural frosting.
Made with natural and easy to find zero waste ingredients.
Baking is not my strong point.
So when I decided to try making sugar cookies for Christmas, I got a little nervous the first time I gave it a try. I can easily toss together a dish from any cuisine with whatever leftover ingredients I have on hand. Adding a dash of this and splash of that is no science when you can taste the dish every step of the way.
But BAKING, baking requires a knowledge of science. It requires a sixth sense that only those who have other magical skills, like a green thumb, can truly embrace. Those are people like nanas and grandmas, your friend next door with the great big garden, and Pinterest moms.
But I have one trick up my sleeve that I pull out every year….
My Nana’s Christmas sugar cookie recipe!
My Nana’s recipes are famous for being easy. Since I’ve had almost two years to play around with gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives, that’s given me a little knowledge about swapping out ingredients to accommodate almost any diet, and these cookies were no exception.
Last year, I decided to add another challenge to the cookie making mix. I was confident enough to try and source all of my ingredients package-free and zero-waste. Now, I wasn’t 100% successful, since I couldn’t find spirulina for the icing package free (is that even possible?) that one for sure came in packaging. The good news is that I was able to find a really large size and I know that my family uses it regularly.
So, about the cookies? I’m pretty proud of them if I do say so myself. Last year I made only sugar cookies without any decorations so this year, I tried to step it with some festive frosting. They may not be making the pages of Martha Stewart Living anytime soon, but these cookies are a breakthrough.
Nay, a triumph.
Psst, try them with one of my favorite homemade coffee latte recipes here or tea latte recipes here.
Sugar Cookies and Icing | Zero-waste . Gluten-free . Vegan
- 1 large banana peeled
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup ground sugar cane or sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut flour I made mine by pulsing coconut flakes in a food processor.
- 1/2 cup cashew flour I used leftover cashew meal from making cashew milk after it dried, I pulsed it in a food processor until fine.
- 1/2 cup arrow root powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse banana a few times in food processor being sure not to over puree.
Add coconut oil and pulse once more.
Transfer to mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients.
Stire until well combined and the batter is soft and sticky.
Roll out dough onto a floured surface (any flour or arrowroot powder will do) until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. I used a mason jar lid and a smaller bottle cap to create a wreath shape.
Grease baking sheet with coconut oil or use a baking stone.
Bake for 15-20 min until golden.
Let cool on counter completely before icing.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp liquid I used cashew milk but any milk or water will work
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp spirulina
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 capsule activated charcoal or you can add a few pinches until you get the right color
- fresh and dried cranberries
- chocolate chips
- toothpicks, silicone spatula or butter knife for decorating
Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and liquid together until it becomes the consistency of Elmer's school glue. Add more powdered sugar or liquid as needed.
For green icing:
Mix about 3 tbsp of white icing with 1/4 tsp of spirulina. Be sure to mix really well.
For brown icing:
Mix 4 tbsp of white icing with 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
For black icing:
Mix 1 1/2 tbsp of white icing with 1/2 a capsule of activated charcoal.
I didn't use a piping bag for decorating. All I did was scoop a little icing into the center of the cookie. Then, I used a spatula or butter knife to direct the icing where I wanted it to go. I did this by skimming the surface of the icing very lightly with the spatula.
Careful not to let your icing dry out in the bowls as you are working. If you find your icing is a little lumpy, this means it's had time to dry before use. Just add a splash of liquid and stir well.
Leaving a little space around the edge of the cookie, set it aside and the icing will level out more.
To add more detail, dip a toothpick into the icing so that you have a big glob on the tip of the toothpick. Hold it over the icing bowl and let that glop drip off. You should see a little string left behind on the toothpick. That string is your friend. Drag it along to create lines, dipping and dripping again as needed.
Add more embellishments like fresh or dried cranberries, chocolate chips, or coconut flakes.
I really wanted to create a cookie recipe without sugar, but it didn’t taste the same as my Nana’s Christmas cookies without it. And, the 2 ingredients frosting is her signature, so I wasn’t about to mess with that.
Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that you can swap out naughty ingredients for nice ones?
I would love to know if you try out this recipe and how it works for you. Tag me on Instagram if you do.