These vegan strawberry sugar cookies are packed with 3 cups of fresh strawberries and use only common pantry ingredients. They are soft and chewy, rather than cakey because we skip the eggs and use a strawberry reduction.
Why you'll love these cookies
FLAVOR/TEXTURE: Lots of sweet strawberry flavor with the soft and chewy texture of classic sugar-coated cookies.
DIFFICULTY: The recipe uses only common accessible ingredients! To make the cookies, all you need is a small pot and a mixing bowl. No stand mixer is needed.
OCCASION: These are the perfect dessert for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or any occasion. They work with fresh AND frozen strawberries so you can make them all year round, just like my double strawberry muffins!
Ingredients you'll need
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Notes about the ingredients
Strawberries (fresh or frozen). Strawberries contain A LOT of water which will naturally make cakey cookies. However, we're going to cook down the strawberries to remove excess moisture and intensify their flavor! We don't need any expensive freeze-dried strawberries or strawberry flavoring.
Pink food coloring, red food coloring or beetroot powder. All brands of colors/powders have different strengths so you may need to add more or less, as needed. With no coloring, these vegan strawberry cookies are a pale pink color.
Reducing the strawberries
For cookies with absolutely no strawberry chunks, puree your strawberries with a stick blender or food processor. Alternatively, you can just add chopped strawberries straight to a saucepan for cookies with very small chunks of strawberries.
I started with 360 grams of strawberry puree and reduced it to around 120 grams (just over ⅓ cup). The reduced mixture should be very thick, with a consistency similar to tomato paste. If you're in doubt, the more you reduce the strawberries, the better (excess moisture = cakey strawberry sugar cookies)!
Making the strawberry cookie dough
Once you've made the reduction, the rest is straightforward!
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the strawberry reduction and food coloring then mix until combined. If you're not sure how much color you'll need, start with less and add more later.
Then add all the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Feel free to add more food coloring if you'd like pinker cookies. The color will fade in the oven, so add more food coloring than how you'd like your cookies to look.
Your final cookie dough should be soft and tacky, but not too sticky just like regular cookie dough. If it's a hot day or your cookie dough happens to be too sticky, chill your dough for 30-60 minutes.
The sugar coating is an easy and quick way to decorate these vegan strawberry cookies! Sugar extracts moisture from the surface of the cookie dough and encourages pretty cracks to form.
If all the ingredients are measured correctly and you don't reduce the sugar, these cookies will spread by themselves in the oven.
If your cookies don't fully spread, gently flatten them with a fork or spatula when they're still hot from the oven.
Yes! It's best to prepare the cookie dough and chill it as a whole in the fridge until needed. When you want to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge, roll it into balls, and coat them in sugar. Alternatively, you can freeze the cookie dough balls (without the sugar coating) until needed.
The cookie dough balls can be baked while they're still cold or defrosting. They'll just need a few extra minutes in the oven.
Yes, you can also add:
- white chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips to the cookie dough
- freeze-dried strawberry pieces to the cookie dough
- sprinkles (roll the cookie dough balls in the sprinkles)
You can also make strawberry cookie sandwiches using vegan ice cream, my dairy-free strawberry cream cheese frosting or strawberry buttercream.
Strawberries contain a natural chemical called anthocyanins which give strawberries its bright red color. Anthocyanins break down in heat and can turn into a purple color. Normally, you can add a little acid (such as lemon juice) to prevent this from happening. I tested these cookies with lemon juice but there was no different with color and the cookies spread much less than the original recipe. Instead of adding an acid, I recommend using another variety of food coloring that will balance out any strong purple hues.
More eggless strawberry recipes
Strawberry Sugar Cookies (vegan)
- 3 cups (360g) strawberries, fresh or frozen (note 1)
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup (150g) vegan butter, room temperature
- ¼-1 teaspoon pink food coloring, or red food coloring, as needed (note 2)
- 2 ¼ cups (280g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 3)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- Pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter
Sugar coating (optional)
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
Make the strawberry reduction:
- Optional: Blend or puree the strawberries with a stick blender or food processor. You should have about 1 ½ cups of pure strawberry puree. If you don't blend the puree, you'll just have very small chunks of strawberries in your cookies.
- Add the strawberry puree (or whole strawberries with a dash of water) to a pot or saucepan over medium heat. Cook the strawberries for 15-20 minutes while stirring occasionally. Your puree is ready when it weighs 120g (heaped ⅓ cup) and is thick like tomato paste. If you're in doubt, it's better to have less puree rather than more. Allow the strawberry puree to cool.
Make the strawberry cookie dough:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the sugar and butter to a large bowl and beat until well combined. Add the strawberry puree, and food coloring and beat until combined.
- Add the flour, and baking soda to and beat until just combined. Mix in more food coloring if desired, keeping in mind that the color will fade in the oven. My dough was almost hot pink but the cookies baked into a medium-pink color. The cookie dough should be soft and tacky but not too sticky. If your cookie dough is too sticky, cover the dough and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes.
- Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to divide the dough into about 20 balls (around 2 tablespoons or 38g of dough each).
- Add the remaining ¼ cup (50g) of granulated sugar to a small bowl. Toss and roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar.
- Arrange the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches (5 cm) apart as they will spread in the oven. If you'd like thinner chewier cookies, slightly flatten each cookie dough ball.
Bake the strawberry sugar cookies:
- Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes or until the edges appear cooked then remove from the oven. Allow them to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack (note 4).
- Enjoy the strawberry sugar cookies warm or at room temperature. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- For the best results, I recommend weighing the strawberries and flour. The volume of strawberries varies a lot and adding too much flour to the dough will prevent the cookies from spreading. Plus, using a scale means you can wash less utensils!
- For a medium-pink color, I used ¾ teaspoon of liquid pink food coloring (preferred) or a heaped ¼ teaspoon of pink gel food coloring. Red food coloring is stronger than pink so you'll need less. Keep in mind that the color will fade in the oven so add more than you think you will need. You can also use beetroot powder but the color doesn't always 'stick' during baking and it can dull the strawberry flavor. With my old beetroot powder, I added around 3 tablespoons to get a pale pink color and flattened the cookies before baking.
- For chewier cookies, you can reduce the flour to 2 cups (250g). The cookies will crack more and the dough will be stickier. You don't need to chill your dough, unless it's overly sticky.
- If the ingredients are measured accurately, these cookies will spread in the oven. If they don't spread, flatten the cookies with a fork or bottom of a glass when they come out of the oven.
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