These soft and chewy healthy sugar cookies are easy to make, refined sugar-free, and naturally sweetened coconut sugar and maple syrup. This is hands down the best dairy-free sugar cookie recipe ever!
Sugar cookies sweetened with coconut sugar
I love sugar cookies, so keep reading but don’t forget to check out these delicious cookie recipes too: oat flour chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter almond flour cookies, and gluten-free pumpkin cookies. They are all healthier versions of classics and taste so delicious!
Sugar cookies are an all-time classic loved by everyone, no matter the occasion. This recipe creates the absolute BEST healthy sugar cookies I’ve ever tasted! They are wonderfully soft and chewy, just the right level of sweetness, sweetened with wholesome coconut sugar, and dairy-free since we use coconut oil.
Believe it or not, perfecting these soft and chewy healthy sugar cookies took some trial and error since using coconut sugar and maple syrup instead of refined brown or white sugar can be tricky. I think I recipe-tested these cookies at least 20 times. But the good news is, I’ve perfected them for you.
What’s even better? These cookies are fantastic year-round; no one will ever guess they’re healthier and dairy-free. Share them during the holidays, enjoy them with a cozy cup of hot chocolate, or transform them into sweet ice cream sandwiches on a warm Summer day. These refined sugar-free healthy sugar cookies are irresistible!
Why you’ll love this refined sugar-free recipe:
- Soft & Chewy: These sugar cookies have crinkly tops and chewy centers.
- Healthier Choice: This recipe uses natural sweeteners and coconut oil instead of butter.
- Refined Sugar-Free: They are sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup.
- Easy: Any level baker can make these delicious cookies.
- No Artificial Additives: This recipe is made with wholesome ingredients.
- Dairy-Free: These sugar cookies are made with coconut oil instead of butter.
- Holiday Baking: These healthy sugar cookies are perfect for the Holidays.
- Try these incredible oat flour chocolate chip cookies or these healthy apple pie oatmeal cookies next!
These refined sugar-free sugar cookies call for basic baking ingredients and are sweetened with a combination of maple syrup and coconut sugar. Here is a list of ingredients you need; make sure to scroll to the bottom of this blog post to get measurements:
- Flour: You need all-purpose flour for these cookies. You can use gluten-free, all-purpose 1:1 baking flour if needed, too.
- Baking Soda: This helps the cookies rise and become soft and chewy.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor and balances the sweetness.
- Coconut Oil: These healthy sugar cookies are made with coconut oil instead of butter. It makes them super soft and delicious.
- Maple Syrup: These cookies are refined sugar-free. They are sweetened naturally with maple syrup and coconut sugar.
- Coconut Sugar: Instead of brown sugar, we use coconut sugar, which adds sweetness and a caramel-like flavor.
- Egg: You only need one egg to provide structure and help bind the ingredients together.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor with a sweet and aromatic note.
- Almond extract (optional): Offers a subtle almond flavor classic to sugar cookies for those who enjoy it.
Kitchen equipment needed
I love simple and easy-to-follow recipes. Here is a list of all the kitchen tools you’ll need to make these healthy sugar cookies successfully:
- Two mixing bowls
- Rubber spatula
- Baking sheet
- Cookie scoop (2 tablespoons)
- Measuring tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1/2 cup.
How to make healthy sugar cookies
These soft and chewy healthy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and you don’t need an electric stand mixer; any level baker can make them! Here are step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference:
First, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and set them aside.
Combine softened coconut oil (NOT MELTED), maple syrup, and coconut sugar in a larger bowl. Use a whisk or a fork to mix them well.
Then, add the egg (make sure it is room temperature), vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using). Mix everything until it’s smooth.
Next, gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until there’s no dry flour left.
Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can chill it overnight if desired.
Then, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a spoon to scoop out portions of dough (about two tablespoons) and roll them into balls. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and gently flatten them.
Finally, bake in the preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is slightly underdone.
After removing them from the oven, gently tap the baking sheet on the countertop to create a gooey crinkle center.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Expert recipe and baking tips:
- Chill the dough. This is my #1 tip to ensure these cookies are thick and chewy. Chilling the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes allows the coconut oil to solidify and prevents cookies from spreading too much during baking.
- Use softened coconut oil, not melted. This ensures proper cookie texture. If you use melted coconut oil, the cookies will be thin.
- The “bang” technique. Immediately after taking the cookies out of the oven, gently tap the baking sheet on the counter. This will create a crinkled texture in the cookies, making them extra chewy and gooey in the center.
- Add sprinkles or chocolate chips. Feel free to have fun with this recipe and add 1/2 cup of sprinkles or chocolate chips.
Ingredient substitution & variations
I’ve made these healthy sugar cookies hundreds of times, and these are my ingredient substitution suggestions. I don’t recommend swapping more than one or two, so the whole recipe doesn’t change.
- Maple Syrup: substitute with honey.
- Coconut Sugar: you can swap it out with light brown sugar.
- Flour: You can try using whole wheat flour or a gluten-free flour blend if you have dietary restrictions.
- Coconut Oil: You can use room-temperature butter or vegan butter sticks (like Earth Balance).
- Add-Ins: Customize your cookies by adding ingredients like chocolate chips, chopped nuts (e.g., walnuts or almonds), shredded coconut, sprinkles, dried fruit, or even spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Flavor Twists: Experiment with different flavorings, such as orange zest, lemon zest, or a touch of espresso powder for added depth.
- Glaze or Drizzle: After cooling, drizzle with a glaze made from powdered sugar and a liquid of your choice (e.g., lemon juice, or almond milk) for an extra touch of sweetness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to chill the sugar cookie dough before baking?
Yes, it’s essential to refrigerate this healthy sugar cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. Chilling the dough solidifies the coconut oil, resulting in thicker and chewier cookies. Skipping this step will cause your cookies to spread out during baking.
What’s the texture of these healthy sugar cookies?
These healthy sugar cookies are soft, chewy, and absolutely delicious, thanks to the combination of coconut sugar and maple syrup.
Why are the darker than normal sugar cookies?
Good question! These sugar cookies are naturally sweetened with both maple syrup and coconut sugar, which are darker in color than white cane sugar. Therefore, the cookies are darker.
What’s the best substitute for coconut sugar?
The best substitute for coconut sugar in this recipe is brown sugar, which provides a similar texture and flavor profile. You can use it in a 1:1 ratio to directly replace coconut sugar.
Can I make these cookies gluten-free?
Absolutely! You can use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour blend instead of all-purpose flour. Ensure it’s labeled as a 1:1 substitute for regular flour to maintain the proper cookie texture.
Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight?
Yes, you can prepare the cookie dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. This can help intensify the flavor. Cover it well to prevent it from drying out; I recommend plastic wrap.
Why are my cookies flat?
If your cookies spread too much, it could be due to the dough being too warm. Ensure you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking, and avoid overmixing the ingredients.
Can I add mix-ins like chocolate chips or nuts to these cookies?
Absolutely! You can add up to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, sprinkles, chopped nuts, dried fruit, or any other mix-ins of your choice to customize your cookies.
Can you freeze sugar cookies?
Yes, sugar cookies can be frozen. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag with layers separated by parchment paper to prevent sticking, and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them at room temperature when ready to enjoy.
How to store healthy sugar cookies:
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. You can also freeze the cookies for longer storage; ensure they’re well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn.
If you loved this recipe, try these healthier cookie recipes next!
- Oat Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses
- Healthier Pumpkin Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies without Brown Sugar
- Air Fryer Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Almond Flour Cookies
- Healthy Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy Sugar Cookies
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and set them aside.
- In a larger bowl, combine softened coconut oil (NOT MELTED), maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Use a whisk or a fork to mix them together well.
- Add the egg (make sure it is room temperature), vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using). Mix everything until it's smooth.
- Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until there’s no dry flour left.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can chill it overnight if desired.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a spoon to scoop out portions of dough (about 2 tablespoons) and roll them into balls. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and gently flatten them.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is slightly underdone.
- Right after taking them out of the oven, gently tap the baking sheet on the countertop to create a gooey crinkle center.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
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