Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies with Maple, Cinnamon, and Brown Sugar

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The recipe for Maple Pumpkin Spice Cookies in my book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, is one that I reach for often. It produces tender, pillowy morsels with a rich infusion of pumpkin, warm hints of maple syrup, and the perfect accent of cinnamon and nutmeg. And that pumpkin cookies recipe makes a wonderful base for experimenting! A while back, I adapted it to make some amazing vegan sweet potato cookies.

And today, I’ve got a big update of my dairy-free sweet potato cookies recipe for you! It includes new photos (of my maple pumpkin spice cookies too!), recipe tips, and delicious variations.

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Cookies Recipe from Go Dairy Free, The Guide and CookbookMaple Pumpkin Spice Cookies from my book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook

Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies with a “Tollhouse” texture

Like my original pumpkin cookie recipe, these sweet potato cookies have a warm infusion of maple syrup and are both dairy-free and egg-free. But I made cinnamon the star, swapped sweet potato for the pumpkin (you can use pumpkin in a pinch!), and changed a couple more ingredients to give these more of a “Tollhouse” texture.

Honestly, we couldn’t pick a favorite. Both recipes are unique, delicious, and perfect for holiday cookie exchanges. They’re also quite versatile. I’ve made different batches of the pumpkin cookies and these sweet potato cookies with a cinnamon sugar sprinkle (pictured below), pecan topper, and chocolate chips (pictured further down the page) thrown into the mix. All of those variations are included with the recipe below.

Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe adapted from the Maple Spice Pumpkin Cookies Recipe in Go Dairy Free, The Guide and CookbookVegan Sweet Potato Cookies with Cinnamon-Sugar Sprinkle

Recipe Tips: Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies

Moisture Variations of Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Puree

Sweet potato puree and pumpkin puree (canned and fresh cooked) can vary in moisture levels. This can effect how cake-like or thin and tender your cookies come out. They will be delicious either way, but the texture might turn out just a little different from my pictures.

High moisture can also cause the dough to be stickier. If it’s too sticky, even after refrigeration, you can stir in just a little more flour. I would start with just 1 tablespoon, and wouldn’t go any higher than 2 tablespoons. Too much flour can take away from the flavor and tenderness.

If your dough is too dry (perhaps you have some overly fluffy sweet potatoes!), just drizzle in a little more maple syrup. It provides moisture without greasiness and flavor without too much sweetness. Or you can add just a little splash of dairy-free milk beverage.

Choosing the Right Baking Oil for You

Coconut oil is my favorite for cookie baking because it adds a butter-like richness without the need for finicky dairy-free butters. If using coconut oil, be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. I often refrigerate our maple syrup, which can cause the coconut oil to solidify into little chunks.

You can use your favorite baking oil instead of coconut oil. It doesn’t affect the flavor much at all, and still adds richness and tenderness. By neutral-tasting, I mean oil without a pronounced flavor. I like to use grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, or extra-light olive oil (not extra-virgin!). You can use other common baking oils like non-GMO canola oil or safflower oil.

Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe adapted from the Maple Spice Pumpkin Cookies Recipe in Go Dairy Free, The Guide and CookbookVegan Sweet Potato Cookies with Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips

Special Diet Notes: Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

I haven’t tested this recipe gluten-free, but it might work with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. See the comments below for others who have made these into gluten-free sweet potato cookies.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These deliciously tender cookies are perfect for sharing this holiday season. The recipe is adapted from my Maple Pumpkin Spice Cookies recipe in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.
Author:
Serves: about 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree (can sub pumpkin puree)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (can sub coconut sugar for less sweet)
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil or neutral-tasting baking oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sweet potato, brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla with a hand mixer or whisk until well combined.
  4. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture. The dough will be rather sticky.
  5. If time permits, refrigerate the dough for 1 hour to make it a bit more manageable. If using coconut oil, it will firm up quite well.
  6. Drop the dough by the heaping tablespoonful onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle the mixture on the cookie dough tops.
  8. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the tops take on a golden hue.
  9. Let cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or put the cookies in plastic freezer bags and freeze to enjoy later.
Notes
Pecan Topper: I like the festive touch of pressing one half pecan into the top of each ball of dough before baking. The pecans toast up nicely.

Flavorful Add-ins: Fold ½ cup to 1 cup of cranberries, raisins, dairy-free chocolate chips, or chopped nuts into the dough after you stir in the dry ingredients.

Cinnamon-Sugar Sprinkle: In a small bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture atop each ball of dough before baking.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

38 Comments

  1. I am on a very restricted diet due to allergies. I made these using only rice flour (one cup glutenous or sweet rice flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, and 1/2 cup white rice flour). I used canola oil, and added dried blueberries (you can get these at target, they taste and look like raisins). They were awesome…looked and tasted like actual cookies. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this recipe! Thank you!

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    • Hi Carney, white-wheat flour isn’t quite as light as whole wheat pastry flour, so they may turn out a little denser. Half white / half white-wheat would work a little better. But honestly, I like my cookies hearty, so I’d personally try it. They should turn out more soft and chewy. With pumpkin their even more tender than with sweet potato as pumpkin adds more moisture.

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  5. Christina Wrigley on

    Hi Alisa,
    I made these GF and they were amazing.
    I made 1/2 a batch at first and they turned out great and I made the 2nd 1/2 batch while eating the first.
    I substituted 1 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour-1/2 cup Oats for the 2 Cups of Flour.
    I also cut the sugar in half.
    Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours and I needed to flatten them as they baked but-YUMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks!
    Chris

  6. Terrie Robbins on

    Does anyone happen to know the nutritional information on these cookies. I want to make them with Agava nectar instead of sugar.

  7. Just made these and they are so yummy! I also added a little nutmeg and ginger to the dry ingredients. Thanks!

  8. Hi! These cookies look great, and I’d love to make them for my open house! I was just wondering if you think I’d be able to make the dough ahead of time and freeze it so I could bake the cookies later. Thanks!

  9. I made these cookies for my 15 month old granddaughter who is allergic to eggs, dairy and nuts. They were a huge success with both big “kids” and little Ember. I used half whole wheat and pastry flour, coconut oil and home canned pumpkin. They are delicious!! Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Duh. I’m sorry. I was looking at another one of your pins- with holiday inspired cookies. It’s a blog post with 6 different Christmas cookies. Snicker doodles, chocolate cookies, a macaroon cookie. Anyways- sorry for the confusion!! I’m going to give the sweet potato cinn ful cookies a whirl with gf flour. I’m crossing my fingers it works bc I’m not going to ‘test bake’ before cookie day.

    • I’m not sure what other cookies you are referring to. As for the pumpkin cookies in the book, I have been told by many others that they enjoy them gluten-free with a gluten-free flour blend.

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  13. Holy sh*t these are good. Like actually amazing, and sans dairy. I’m in love. Thank you for the recipe!

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  15. Finally, something different! It was starting to feel like all the cookie ideas I saw this year are close variations on existing classics, or just recycled recipes. That’s all well and good, but not entirely inspiring… Love the fact that you featured sweet potato, which often gets the short end of the dessert stick. I bet these would be great with marshmallows stuck on top, too!

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