If you loved my lemon sugar cookies, then get prepared for another epic citrus sugar cookie- Vegan Orange Cardamom Sugar Cookies to be exact! Tart and sweet orange is mixed with spicy & fragrant cardamom for an absolutely delicious eggless & dairy-free sugar cookie.
If you've been hanging around SGTO, you know we are spending 2020 celebrating all things sugar cookie with a sugar cookie of the month! So far we have lemon sugar cookies, funfetti sugar cookies, matcha sugar cookies, and earl grey sugar cookies. Plus, right after this recipe, I made coconut lime sugar cookies!
The newest lineup is these awesome vegan orange cookies filled with spicy cardamom!
Like all my sugar cookie recipes, these orange juice cookies contain easy & simple ingredients- and only 9 of them! So let's break them down real quick:
- Vegan butter (I prefer Earth Balance buttery sticks for baking, but Miyokos is a second favorite)
- Organic sugar
- Cardamom (I used Simply Organic)
- Orange zest
- Orange juice (must be fresh squeezed!)
- Ground flax (aka flaxmeal, not whole flax seeds, must be ground. I use Bob's Red Mill golden flaxmeal)
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Organic powdered sugar (for the glaze only)
Fun fact, but I actually tried these cardamom sugar cookies with baking soda and, while it still works, I felt like there was no orange flavor left in the cookies after baking them. That's why I stick to baking powder for all my citrus cookie recipes- it allows the orange flavor to shine through!
Orange cookie tips:
Since I have now made my fair share of vegan cookies, I thought rather than go into detail over the steps, I'd highlight the most important tips & tricks I've learned for the PERFECT CHEWY vegan sugar cookie every time.
Always cream butter & sugar
Why is this important?
Well, because it's what creates some structure in vegan cookies as creaming the butter and sugar traps air into the dough. When you are creaming vegan butter you want to make sure it is still cold, but I like to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to help it soften up a little.
Measure flour in grams
I can't stress how important this is for cookies!
Now, I know it sounds scary, but I have to say ever since I started measuring in grams baking has actually gotten WAY easier for me. It's so much more accurate and, when it comes to cookies, even 1 Tbsp of extra flour can make a huge difference in the texture and spread of the cookies.
Here's the scale I used that is perfect, affordable, and a must-have if you are an avid cookie baker.
Always chill the dough before baking
I know there are some recipes that say you have to do this for 24-48 hours, but I'm here to tell you I'm never going to make you do that because...well...I never wait that long! But, it is important to give these orange sugar cookies some chill time before baking.
All it takes is 30 minutes-1 hour. This not only makes the orange cookie dough easier to scoop, but it helps the cookies develop more flavor. Essentially, as the dough sits in the fridge the sugar will begin to soak up more moisture and it leads to a better and sweeter cookie overall.
Rolling dough in sugar before baking
This is my FAVORITE sugar cookie tip. Not only does it look pretty, but it also has a purpose.
Rolling the orange cardamom cookies in sugar before baking essentially helps to dry out the outer layer of the cookie. This prevents the dough from spreading too much AND creates that desirable crinkly texture that you see in these cookies.
Underbake cookies slightly
The best time to take your cookies out of the oven is when the centers are just barely cooked and are no longer raw and glossy. This is how you get chewy cookies! Over-baking cookies gives them a cakey texture vs. chewy.
I like to remove the orange cookies right around 12 minutes even if they look slightly undercooked. While they are cooling they will continue cooking on the tray, so don't worry you won't end up with under-baked cookies in the end.
The bang method
Essentially, as soon as the cookies are out of the oven they will look slightly puffy.
While they will naturally deflate, lightly tapping all sides of the baking tray on the counter helps to promote this deflating. Aka wrinkly chewier cookies. YAY!
FAQ & Substitutions:
While technically any granulated sugar like coconut or maple sugar works, the cookies don't taste quite as good.
If you do have a choice, I would say maple sugar is better because it is sweeter and not as dry as coconut sugar. Also, I recommend skipping the step of rolling the dough in sugar if using a sugar alternative for this recipe.
I haven't personally tried it, but I've heard from a few of you that these cookies work well with a GF 1:1 baking mix like Bob's Red Mill. If you try it, share in the comments and let me know how it goes!
I used standard navel oranges to make these cookies. However, any orange variety should work. I bet cara cara oranges would add amazing flavor and that these cookies could even work as tangerine cookies!
These cookies also taste AMAZING with a little drop of orange blossom water added in (like ½ tsp). Try it if you have some lying around!
Sometimes this happens when you add too much or too little flour to the dough.
That's why I include gram measurements and highly recommend you measure all cookie recipes in grams! Also, make sure to chill the dough or they will likely spread too much.
The ground flax in this recipe can be subbed 1:1 for chia seeds, but please know it will affect the look of the cookies. This recipe will not work with any other substitutes.
These orange cardamom cookies can be stored on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month and just need to defrost at room temperature before eating.
While cookies can be stored in a closed container in the fridge and will keep up to 2 weeks, I've found storing them in the fridge can dry them out or make them less chewy.
I truly hope you all love these chewy Vegan Orange Cardamom Sugar Cookies topped with a delicious tangy orange glaze. Enjoy!
More vegan orange dessert recipes you will love:
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Vegan Orange Cardamom Sugar Cookies
Orange Cardamom Cookies
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup+ 2 Tablespoons organic sugar ½ cup for dough, 2 Tablespoons for rolling before baking
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 cup+ 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt only need if unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice freshly squeezed
- ½ cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon orange zest optional, to top glaze/cookies
- First add the butter, ½ cup sugar, orange zest, and cardamom to a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Then, add in the orange juice and ground flax and gently mix together.
- Next, add in sifted flour, baking powder, and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix until a smooth and thick cookie batter forms. Do not overmix or else you will form too much gluten and the cookies will not spread as much and be tough.
- Then, add the bowl of dough to the fridge, cover, and let 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 (40 grams per cookie of dough). 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.
- Place the orange sugar cookie dough balls onto the baking sheet. If you want flatter cookies, you can lightly press the dough down with your palm. Make sure that each cookie is kept about 2 inches apart since they will spread slightly while baking.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and the cookie is cooked through but has slightly soft centers. The cookies will continue baking after they are removed from the oven so the centers should still be soft, but not glossy or raw, when they are removed from the oven.
- 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 5-10 minutes. The cookies will be soft and puffy out of the oven and will naturally deflate a little while cooling.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the orange glaze by adding orange juice to a small mixing bowl. Then, gradually add in the powdered sugar and whisk together until a thick glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze on completely cooled cookies and top with optional orange zest. Let sit 5 minutes to harden and then serve!
- For round cookies, swirl the warm cookies between a round pastry/cookie cutter while the cookies are still warm.
- Cookies can be stored on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 days. They can also be frozen up to 1 month 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 make them less chewy.
- If you are making smaller cookies, please adjust the cooking time. For a 1.5 Tbsp scoop cooking time is around 10-13 minutes. For even small cookies, adjust cooking time accordingly.