The fourth recipe in my healthier holiday baking series are these Healthier Sugar Cookies! These are incredibly easy and simply yummy Sugar Cookies that are made better-for-you! They are sweetened with organic cane sugar to make them a healthier version of the classic drop sugar cookie. These cookies are melt-in-your mouth delicious and the perfect cookie palette for your favorite frosting and sprinkle artistry! They are easily made festive to celebrate a holiday or simply make any day extra special.
What Do These Healthier Sugar Cookies Taste Like?
What Ingredients Are Used to Make These Healthier Sugar Cookies?
These Sugar Cookies are made better-for-you as they contain no refined flours or oils. They are grain free, dairy free, and nut free! They are made with only 8 total (including the salt) real, simple ingredients. Here’s a look at the ingredients and some substitution options.
- Cane Sugar – I use organic cane sugar instead of my usual coconut sugar in this recipe to keep the cookies the classic white color you would expect from a sugar cookie. It gives the cookies a deliciously soft and chewy texture. Cane sugar is a less refined version of conventional white sugar so the flavor is very similar.
- Tahini – Tahini is the base fat for these cookies and gives the cookies that dense chew. Feel free to sub for any other, single ingredient, nut/seed butter. I tested this recipe with both tahini and cashew butter subbing for equal amounts and both versions were excellent. I will say that the tahini does leave a subtle flavor that I didn’t mind. Use cashew butter for a more neutral, classic tasting sugar cookie. Some other good substitutes are sunflower seed butter or almond butter, there is a chance, however that these will turn the cookies a darker color.
- Avocado Oil – Avocado oil is my favorite liquid fat for dairy free baking. I find it leaves a much more neutral flavor than other options and there’s no need to wait for the oil to melt and cool. Feel free to sub for olive oil or melted and cooled coconut oil.
- Egg – To help puff the cookies.
- Vanilla – For that classic sugar cookie flavor.
- Cassava – An unrefined flour made from yucca root. It’s very similar in texture and density to white flour but is not bleached or overly processed. It is gluten free, grain free, and nut free. I find the best pricing to be on Amazon.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – We use two different powdered leaveners to puff up the cookies.
- Salt – To counterbalance the sweet!
- Frosting – Honestly, I’m usually all about homemade everything. I feel that homemade goods usually taste better (and are better for you) than most store-bought stuff. But I find that it’s extremely difficult to come close to the quality and flavor of the healthier frosting options now available. I used Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting. Miss Jones is another good option. Both are vegan, dairy free, and organic! Or use your favorite homemade frosting recipe instead.
- Sprinkles! – I am obsessed with the sprinkles by Supernatural. All their sprinkles are naturally colored (therefore dye free) and made with conscientious ingredients. Plus, their sprinkle mixes are always so fun and adorable. They also make natural food color kits if you want to color your frosting using plant based ingredients!
How Do You Make These Healthier Sugar Cookies?
These Sugar Cookies are so easy to make. They whip up in just one bowl, require no chilling time, and bake up quickly! You can make these in just under 30 minutes! Here’s a look at the steps:
- Mix the cane sugar, tahini, and avocado oil together until well combined.
- Add the egg and vanilla and cream together until thick and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add dry ingredients and stir until just full incorporated and a thick dough forms.
- Scoop balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. I use a 50 mm scoop to make twelve 3 ½ inch cookies, which I find to be the ideal size.
- Lightly press down the cookies to form fat discs. This step in only necessary if using a thicker nut/seed butter such as cashew, sunflower seed, or a thick almond butter. If using a thin and drippy tahini, skip this step.
- Bake for just about 10 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Frost and sprinkle to your heart’s content.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a day or so. However, some natural frostings need to be refrigerated once open, check the package to see if this applies (like the Simple Mills one). If so, store frosted cookies in the fridge. Unfrosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature 2-3 days, then move to freezer for longer storage. Defrost completely before frosting.
Make Ahead: The cookie dough and cookie dough balls can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just add another minute or so onto the baking time.These Sugar Cookies are everything you expect from a classic sugar cookie; chewy but so soft that they melt in your mouth and simply delicious, but secretly made healthier. They are perfect as is or dressed up, frosted and sprinkle studded to celebrate any holiday! These would also make the perfect festive gift for your favorite dessert lovers. Just be sure to make a double batch because you’ll definitely want to keep one all for yourself.
paleo friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), naturally sweetened, vegan, oil free
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Healthier Sugar Cookies
These Healthified Sugar Cookies are everything you want from the classic cookie: chewy but so soft they melt in your mouth and just straight up yummy. These are the perfect amount of sweet that they can be enjoyed straight up or topped with a healthy dose of your favorite frosting and sprinkles.
paleo-ish (gluten/grain/dairy free), nut free
- 3/4 cup cane sugar (147 grams)
- 1/3 cup tahini, well stirred before measuring (95 grams) sub other nut/seed butter, SEE NOTES
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (61 grams) sub coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (6 grams)
- 3/4 cup cassava flour, spooned and leveled (117 grams)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour (30 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder (5 grams)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
To Top It Off
- your favorite frosting
- sprinkles of choice
Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, cream together the cane sugar, tahini, and avocado oil until light and well combined, about 1 minute.
Add the egg and vanilla and cream together until thick and fluffy, 1 more minute.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the dry ingredients and stir until just fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl once during mixing to ensure everything is well distributed while avoiding overmixing. The dough will be thick.
Scoop out 12-13 ping pong sized balls of dough and place at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
If using a thicker nut/seed butter such as cashew, sunflower seed or almond butter gently press the dough balls down just slightly with the palm of your hand. If using a thin, drippy nut/seed butter like tahini, skip this step.
Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are puffed and edges are just starting to brown.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Top with your favorite frosting and sprinkles!
Storage: These cookies can be stored, unfrosted, in an airtight container for a day or so. Some natural frostings need to be refrigerated once open, check the package to see if this applies (like the Simple Mills one). If so, store frosted cookies in the fridge. Store unfrosted cookies in freezer for longer storage. Defrost completely before frosting.
Make Ahead: The cookie dough and cookie dough balls can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just add another minute or so onto the baking time.
Tahini - Feel free to sub for any other, single ingredient, nut/seed butter in equal amounts. I tested this recipe using tahini and cashew butter and both versions were excellent. I will say that the tahini does leave a subtle flavor that I didn’t mind. Use cashew butter for a more neutral, classic tasting sugar cookie. Some other good substitutes are sunflower seed butter or almond butter. These will likely turn the cookies a darker color. For best results, be sure to mix the nut/seed butter in the jar well before measuring.
Frosting – I used Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting which is a great store-bought, healthier frosting. Miss Jones is another good option. Both are vegan, dairy free, and organic! Or use your favorite homemade frosting recipe instead.
Sprinkles! – I can't recommend the sprinkles by Supernatural enough. All their sprinkles are naturally colored (therefore dye free) and made with conscientious ingredients. Plus, their sprinkle mixes are always so fun and adorable. They also make natural food color kits if you want to color your frosting using plant based ingredients!
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