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.

4.6 from 8 reviews
Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
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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.

60 Comments

  1. I have to say I did not have high hopes for these. I was looking for something sweet, but a little better for you than a sugar cookie. I was wowed by these cookies! They are so good! Now my problem is not eating the whole stinking batch because I don’t think that’s better for me than a sugar cookie! Thank you for this recipe!

  2. The sweet potato cookies are really delicious. Almost like pumpkin pie bites. Need to go dairy free and these are a perfect snack.

  3. I’m sorry these didn’t work for your needs Sarah. It sounds like you aren’t a fan of traditional cookies, since these are lower sugar (as is) than classic cookies like the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. If you do reduce the sugar too much, it will dramatically affect the results – particularly the texture. Please keep in mind these are cookies, not snack biscuits.

  4. These cookies are yummy! I made them gluten free with 1 1/2 cups of brown rice flour and 1/2 cups oat flour. As I mixed them I added extra oat flour as needed.

    My question to you is : can you offer a suggestion/ alternative to using 1/2 cup of oil? They seem to have an oily aftertaste and I’d like an option with less oil.

    • Hi Michelle, I’m glad it worked out gluten-free for you! They turned out a little oily because you swapped the flour. The gluten in the flour helps to bind and emulsify so that the oil doesn’t separate from the dough. You can try a couple of things – replace some of the oil with an egg (if you aren’t vegan and don’t need egg-free) or reduce the oil and add milk beverage as needed to get the right dough consistency. You won’t need as much milk beverage. For example, you can reduce the oil by about 2 tablespoons and splash in just a little milk beverage if needed. Keep in mind though that this is already a lower fat cookie recipe. Most batches this size would use about 1 cup of butter. So I wouldn’t cut the oil too much more. Another option is to add a little binder, like xanthan gum. I hope these tips help you find your perfect gluten-free cookie!

      • Thank you for your suggestions. I am dairy, soy, gluten, nut free. So I could maybe do a flax egg? Or what about apple sauce? Just some thoughts….

        • Flax eggs and applesauce don’t really add enough binding to emulsify the dough properly. You can reduce the oil and use applesauce for part of it. I just don’t like to do this as cookies tend to get gummy when you go too low fat. I know this seems like a lot of oil, but it’s half the amount of butter normally used! Are you egg-free or vegan too? You stated just dairy, soy, gluten, and nut-free, so I wasn’t sure why you would be using egg alternatives.

          • I am allergic to eggs.

            What about a chia egg?

            What’s your suggestion for measurements of cutting oil down

          • Hi Michelle,

            It’s hard to say since I had already cut the oil amount in half, and I’m not sure how greasy your cookies came out. I would reduce the amount based on the greasiness. Maybe to 1/3 cup if not too greasy? That said, with a lack of proper binder they might still have greasiness in the taste. The problem isn’t too much oil, it’s that the oil is “separating” since there isn’t suitable binder to hold everything in. Chia egg really doesn’t provide the binding power that gluten or egg provides. Two other suggestions might be to substitute dairy-free buttery spread for the oil (it is already emulsified) if there is one that fits your dietary needs. Or just add some xanthan gum – perhaps a 1/4 teaspoon? Or use a gluten-free flour blend that contains a binder like gum. These are just suggestions, I would really have to test to tell you for sure what would work!

  5. I never thought of how the moisture varies between cooked versus canned and also probably the actual sweet potato. Thanks for making that note. These sounds like they would be a hit in my house.

  6. Lyndsay Schumacher on

    I made these for my sons African themed open house, we modeled them after “Mbatata Cookies” from Malawi Village in Africa! They were a HUGE hit!! I loved them! I’m making them again for my family vacation!!

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