Continuing my current sugar cookie kick with these soft and chewy Vegan Matcha Sugar Cookies! With 8 simple ingredients, these matcha cookies are truly an easy and delicious vegan & eggless cookie recipe.
Funny enough, I'm usually that girl who prefers an iced latte over matcha any day. However, when it comes to desserts, baking with matcha is my absolute FAVORITE. There is just something so wonderful about pairing the slightly astringent & grassy flavor of matcha with sugar, vanilla, and flour.
Now for a little baking science!
This recipe is actually based on my incredibly popular Vegan Funfetti Sugar Cookies. However, instead of sprinkles, I added bright green matcha powder.
To my surprise, adding in matcha did lead to a few changes to the base of this recipe. For one, this recipe actually calls for less flour than my funfetti cookies. That is because, when I used the same amount of flour, my cookies hardly spread and were too puffy/cakey. Once, I reduced the flour, this solved the problem and allowed the cookies to spread and get chewy!
I also tested these matcha cookies with varying amounts of baking powder and baking soda as well. While I liked the texture of the cookies with ½ tsp baking soda, ultimately it left a bad aftertaste (from having nothing acidic for the baking soda to interact with) and left the cookies an undesirable brown color inside. Ultimately, I decided using just baking powder was the right move to keep these cookies bright green, chewy yet still soft, and full of matcha flavor.
Also, I have to give credit to The Little Epicurean whose matcha cookies inspired these matcha sugar cookies as well as a lot of my other matcha desserts!
How to make matcha sugar cookies
Not only are there only 8 ingredients required for these vegan matcha cookies, but they are SUPER simple to make. I only chill my cookies for 30 minutes-1 hour which also makes this delicious green tea sugar cookie quick!
- High Quality Matcha (I used Rishi Tea matcha to get the bright green color you see in my cookies)
- Organic Sugar
- Vegan Butter (I prefer Earth Balance or Miyokos for baking)
- Ground flax (used to make a flax egg aka the vegan egg substitute in these cookies)
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
Cream the butter, sugar, & matcha
Once you have all the ingredients ready, the first step is to cream the butter, sugar, and matcha together for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. This step is SUPER important as it helps to incorporate air into the batter and ultimately leads to a chewy matcha cookie.
P.S- the best butter to use is butter that is still cold, but not completely solid and that can be pressed into. Depending on the type of vegan butter you use, this could be butter right out of the fridge or butter that has been sitting at room temperature for around 15 minutes. I've tested this recipe with both Miyokos vegan butter and Earth Balance buttery sticks and recommend either of these options!
It's also important to add the matcha in at this step so it gets well dispersed throughout the cookie by being combined with the fat (vegan butter).
Add in wet ingredients
Then, add in the wet ingredients including the flax egg and vanilla and gently mix until just incorporated.
Add in the dry ingredients
Once the sugar, butter, and matcha are creamed, add in the sifted dry ingredients. I like to do this all in one bowl. The trick is to add the flour first and then top the flour with salt and baking powder. Use a fork to whisk the baking powder and salt into the flour before mixing the dry ingredients into the wet.
Another important step here is to mix the cookies JUST until a dough forms. Over-mixing your dough leads to tough cookies, and no one wants that!
Chill matcha dough 30 minutes- 1 hour
Another VERY important step. While you can certainly chill your dough for 24-48 hours, I choose to chill my dough for around 1 hour. I find this small amount of time makes a huge difference in the overall cookie texture. It really helps to prevent these cookies from spreading too much or becoming flat cookies. Plus, this is a very sticky dough and will be really hard to work with and roll in sugar if you skip this step.
Roll the cookies in sugar
Once the matcha cookie dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350F. At this point scoop out the dough using a 2 Tbsp cookie scooper (these are medium-sized cookies) and form it into a ball. Then, roll the cookie dough ball in sugar.
Rolling cookie dough in sugar was a fun trick I first tried in my Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies that I am now obsessed with! The science behind this is that adding granulated sugar to the outside of the dough dries out the outer layer of dough before the interior of the dough can set. Essentially, this leads to more "crackly" and "crinkly" vegan matcha cookies!
Bake & Bang
Then, bake the cookies! I personally like my sugar cookies just barely cooked for extra chewy goodness, so I pull them right out at 11 minutes in my oven. I HIGHLY recommend pulling your cookies out when the edges have set and the centers are still soft since cookies will continue baking on the pan once they are removed from the oven. At the end of the day, if you like softer fluffy cookies, cook a bit longer, but if you want chewy matcha cookies don't overbake them!
Another strategy I've recently started doing to ALL my cookie recipes is to bang the tray of cookies on the counter right after baking. This helps to deflate them and promote that desirable end texture. P.S- While the cookies are still warm you can also swirl them around inside a round pastry cutter to get perfectly round cookies as you see pictured here!
Finally, let the matcha sugar cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes as they will be soft right out of the oven and need some time to firm up before they are moved. Then, remove the cookies and serve!
FAQ & Substitutions:
Any matcha technically works in this recipe, but the quality of your matcha will greatly affect the end result and color. I used Rishi Tea everyday matcha in this recipe which led to the most vibrant green matcha I've ever baked with! I have also baked with Encha matcha before and recommend that brand. Lower quality brands are browner in color and will not taste as good in this recipe.
I haven't personally tried it, but I don't recommend it.
If you do need these to be refined sugar-free I'd recommend maple sugar. If you do use maple sugar or want to try coconut, do not roll the cookies in sugar before baking as it doesn't work the same as granulated cane sugar. Again, I fully recommend sticking to cane sugar for this recipe to taste as intended, but these are options you can try!
Yes! I can finally say I have tried making these cookies gluten-free and they will work with a 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking flour like Bob's Red Mill.
This recipe also works well with a "chia egg" made with 1 Tbsp chia seeds and 3 Tbsp water in place of the flax egg.
I haven't tried this recipe with other substitutes but it is possible a commercial vegan egg replacement would work- if you try it let me know! I used Bob's Red Mill Golden flaxseed in this recipe as I love how light it is in color.
Always store leftover cookies in a closed container to avoid them going stale.
On the counter- they will keep up to 1 week.
In the fridge- they will keep up to 2 weeks.
In the freezer- they will keep anywhere from 1-2 months. This is actually my preferred method of storing cookies to preserve the chewy texture- just let them defrost at room temperature before biting in!
I truly hope you love these 8-ingredient Vegan Matcha Sugar Cookies as much as I do! They're such a fun and delicious recipe highlighting the grassy & rich flavors of matcha in cookie form. Enjoy these simple & easy Japanese green tea cookies!
More vegan cookie recipes you will love:
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Vegan Matcha Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup vegan butter cold
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar ½ cup for dough, 2 Tbsp for rolling before baking
- 1.5 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 flax egg 1 Tbsp ground flax (10 grams mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup+ 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- First add the butter, ½ cup of the sugar, and the matcha powder to a mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Then, add in the flax egg and vanilla extract and whip together about 10 more seconds to combine.
- Next, add in sifted flour, baking powder, and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix until a thick, yet slightly sticky, cookie batter forms. Do not overmix or else you will form too much gluten and the cookies will not spread as much and will be tough.
- Next, cover the mixing bowl of dough and add to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes- 1 hour.
- Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F. Next, remove the dough from the fridge and use a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop to form your cookie dough (about 45 grams of dough per cookie). Roll into balls between your palms and then roll in the 2 Tbsp of sugar that was set aside so that each dough ball is coated in sugar.
- Place the matcha cookie dough balls onto the baking sheet. Then, slightly press each dough ball down with your palm. Make sure that each cookie is kept about 2 inches apart since they will spread slightly while baking.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and the cookie is cooked, but still has soft centers. The cookies will continue baking after they are removed from the oven so the centers should be soft and just cooked, but not glossy or raw, when they are removed from the oven. Please be careful not to overcook these cookies as they will still be soft but will lose their "chewy" texture if overcooked.
- Remove the cookie tray from the oven and immediately tap the tray on the counter to produce a more “wrinkly” cookie. Then, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. The cookies will be soft and puffy out of the oven and will naturally deflate a little while cooling.
- Once the cookies have cooled, serve and enjoy!
- Cookies can be stored on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 days. They can also be frozen for 1-2 months and just need to defrost at room temperature before eating. Cookies can also be stored in a closed container in the fridge and will keep up to 2 weeks, but it will slightly alter the texture and is my least preferred method for storing cookies.
- For extra crinkle cookies, remove the cookies at 6-8 minutes and tap the tray on the counter. Add it back to the oven to continue cooking until ready.
- For this recipe, I used Earth Balance Buttery Baking Sticks. If using Miyokos butter or earth balance from a tub add 1-2 Tbsp more flour (7-14 grams) to the dough as these kinds of butter contain more moisture.
- It's important to use a high-quality matcha powder if you want the cookies to remain green and not a green tea powder.