Vegan Shirley Temple Cookies

I’ll never forget my first Shirley Temple drink. I was about seven, and I went with my dad to visit his old childhood friend. This was a rare sort of outing because it was just me with none of my seven siblings along to compete for attention. I was given a Shirley Temple, and when that was done, I was given another, and then one more! I fell asleep on the way home drunk on happiness and sugar.

These cookies don’t give me quite the same feeling of bliss, but they are pretty good, and I can imagine they’d make some little girl or boy mighty happy, too.

– Linda Nelson

Vegan Shirley Temple Cookies

For the Cookies:

1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350. Stir together the butter and oil in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar, then stir in the zests, juices, and almond extract.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. The dough will be somewhat thick.

Drop dough by the tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottoms are golden and the cookies are firm.

Garnish with cherry butter cream made with 1/3 cup vegan butter, 1/3 cup shortening. Cream together, and gradually add 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar. When the sugar is mostly incorporated, add 1 tablespoon grenadine and one tablespoon maraschino cherry juice. Top with a cherry. You may also top with a fizzy, sour cherry candy as the recipe suggests. That didn’t sound good to me so I left it off!

Adapted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets


Grandma Stonebrook’s Sugar Cookies

My family is a family of bakers, so I can’t imagine a celebration without homemade goodies.

My grandmother’s anise sugar cookies were big, thick, and the stuff of magical memories for me. It took very little to veganize her recipe, and the taste is identical to what I remember.

Our celebratory foods can taste the same while being so much kinder when we leave the animals out of them.

– Linda Nelson

Grandma Stonebrook’s Sugar Cookies


5 cups all purpose flour (my grandmother had 18 grandchildren to please, but you can halve the recipe.)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tablespoon anise seed (these are optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or with parchment paper.

Cream the sugar, vegan butter, and anise extract until smooth. Sift in the flour and baking soda, and mix with a wooden spoon, and then with your hands adding splashes of the soy milk as you do so. You might not need the full 1/2 cup.

Mix until you have a soft dough and fold in the anise seed, if using.

Work with about a fourth of the dough at a time. You can put the rest in the refrigerator to keep it from getting too soft.

Roll the dough out to the desired thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters of your choice and place the shapes on the cookie sheet with about 1/2 inch space between. Bake for about ten minutes or until the cookies are golden.

This dough can be refrigerated or frozen. My family used to make a big bowl of dough and then use it all up over several days.

Let the decorating begin! All of the cookies pictured here were made with the same dough. I often use wafer papers with edible, vegetable dyes and/or India Tree food coloring. This is expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Pretty in Pink Cookies

Why not make Mom some Pretty in Pink Cookies for her special day? You can tell her they are extra special because no other mother had to suffer for her treat.


1/2 cup vegan butter, softened (check out the easy recipe on our website)
1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream the vegan butter and oil together in a large bowl. Slowly add the powdered sugar until smooth. Add the juices, the almond extract, and the zest.

Sift the dry ingredients in with the butter mixture, and stir until all is combined.

Use a spring loaded cookie scoop for uniformity or drop by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake about 12 minutes or until the cookies are firm and the bottoms are a golden brown.

Pipe cherry buttercream on top and top with an undyed maraschino cherry.

To make the buttercream:

1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup vegan shortening or refined coconut oil
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

Cream the butter and the shortening together using a stand mixer or a hand mixer.

Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing it in well.

When it is almost all incorporated, add the cherry juice and beat until fluffy, about seven minutes.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cookies, and top with a cherry.

The Grass Is Always Greener at TCA Cookies

Since my vegan, organic sugar isn’t really white (no bone char filtering for me!), I decided to make these Black and White Cookies into The Grass is Always Greener at TCA Cookies.

Here is the easy recipe:

For the cookies
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 canola oil
1/3 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice

To make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients for the cookies. In a different bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, and pour this wet mixture into the dry mixture. Whisk until almost smooth.

This is a thick batter that I like to scoop up with an ice cream scoop to make uniform cookies. Oil the scoop first so that the batter falls out nicely, or use a 1/4 cup scoop. These cookies are large! Drop the scoops of batter on the cookie sheet with 3 inch distance between the scoops. Flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, and let cool on the pan.

To make the icing:
In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Transfer half of the icing to another bowl, and add the cocoa powder plus the remaining tablespoon of water a bit at a time. Add the lemon juice to the remaining icing along with food coloring of your choice. I use India Tree. If the icing is too thick add small amounts of water. If the icing is too thin, add small amounts of powdered sugar to achieve the right consistency.

This recipe was adapted from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.

– Linda Nelson