Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies (Vegan Gluten-Free)

These Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies are the best festive cookie and they are so delicious. Crisp, golden and nutty sugar cookies (without the “sugar”) cut out as stars, decorated with green buttercream and stacked as a cookie Christmas tree – plus they are naturally vegan and gluten-free, too.

I have been really excited about this recipe and it has been a long time coming. I think I wrote down this recipe idea back in the summer, waiting until it was close enough to December to test it out and here it is. The “sugar” cookies are crisp and golden and it’s such a versatile, easy recipe that works every time. stack them high to make the most delicious Christmas tree!

A stack of Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

What do these Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies taste like?

These cookies are pretty special for a few reasons:

  • Nutty and sweet
  • Golden and crisp
  • Slightly tender in the middle
  • No “sugar” or butter
  • Naturally vegan and gluten-free
  • Easy to make the dough in 5 minutes
  • Delicious to make all year long
  • Great to make and decorate with little ones

Whether you choose to create a cookie stack or you enjoyed these cookies as they are, they are pretty delicious. Skip ahead to the recipe card to make them now, or let’s see what goes into these cookies.

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies on a small cake stand
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

What ingredients do we need?

The base for this cookie dough is so easy and much simpler than most butter and sugar mixes:

  • Nut butter: almond or cashew butter are the best as the taste is naturally sweeter and cookie-like but any nut or seed butter will work. Make sure it’s runny and smooth for the best cookies (I like the cashew butter from Koro – save with code Nourishing5)
  • Maple syrup: this is the sugar in these sugar cookies. It means the dough is refined sugar free and so easy to stir together. Other sticky syrups like agave, date, vegan honey or golden syrup will also work.
  • Vanilla essence: for the cookie flavour.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: simple is best so plain flour works a treat for these cookies. If you are using gluten-free flour, make sure it is a blend that has xantham gum in and one you usually bake with.
  • Salt: to bring together all the flavours.

As for the method, these Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies are very easy to make in a few steps. Simply whisk together the nut or seed butter, syrup and vanilla and then stir in the flour and salt to a sticky, smooth dough. Chill the dough so it firms up and then roll out the dough like other sugar cookies. Cut out your shapes and you’re ready to bake.

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies on a wire cooling rack
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

How do we make the Christmas tree shape?

Once your cookie dough is rolled out, have a few different shapes of star cutters to hand. 8 or 10 is a good number to make a taller tree but use whatever you have.

  • Cut out the star shapes: in a few different sizes.
  • Bake until golden: the smaller stars will bake more quickly, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the trays and bake the smaller cookies together and then the larger cookies which will take longer.
  • Allow to cool: before you can frost them they must be cool.
  • Make the buttercream: just like a normal buttercream mix and colour it green.
  • Pipe onto the cookies: pipe all over with whatever shaped nozzle you like, I used a star-shaped one.
  • Decorate with sprinkles: these acts as the baubles on the tree (Baking Time Club has a great range of vegan and gluten-free sprinkles – AMY20 saves you 20%).
  • Allow the buttercream to rest: pop the iced cookies in the fridge to set the buttercream so the cookie stack won’t collapse on itself.
  • Stack the cookies: from largest to smallest at the top.

Your Christmas tree is now ready to wow your guests and it’s so delicious.

Can I make other shapes using this recipe?

Yes, this is my go-to sugar cookie dough this year as it’s so easy and requires less effort than regular butter-sugar mixes (I also have gingerbread and eggnog versions coming soon). You can cut out any shapes and decorate them with plain icing sugar glaze or other coloured buttercream. Or dip them in chocolate, too.

A mini stack of Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, these cookies are gluten-free when using your favourite GF flour blend and to make them nut-free, make sure you use a seed butter like tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of the almond/cashew butter.

How long will the cookies last?

Once iced and stacked, they will last up to 1 week in the fridge in a sealed container, but you can keep un-frosted cookies at room temperature for 1 week also in a sealed container.

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 2 large trees or 40+ cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies are the best festive cookie and they are so delicious. Crisp, golden and nutty sugar cookies (without the “sugar”) cut out as stars, decorated with green buttercream and stacked as a cookie Christmas tree – plus they are naturally vegan and gluten-free, too.


    For the cookies:
  • 120g runny smooth almond butter
  • 80ml maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 105g plain or GF plain flour, plus extra
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the buttercream:
  • 100g vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 250g icing sugar
  • Green food gel or colouring
  • Sprinkles


  1. Add the almond butter, syrup and vanilla to a bowl and mix to a smooth paste. Add in the flour and salt and bring to a sticky dough (it may look dry to start but keep mixing).
  2. Bring the dough to a ball with your hands and wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line 2 to 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. On a floured work surface place the dough and sprinkle over some flour. Use a piece of parchment under the rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thickness.
  5. Cut out stars or other shapes and re-roll any scraps as needed to use all the dough. To make the Christmas tree, you need a minimum of 8 different sizes of stars.
  6. Lift off the cut outs and place on the baking trays (they don’t spread much so don’t need a lot of room). Arrange the cookies in order of size on different trays so they cook evenly.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes for smaller cookies, 10-12 minutes for medium cookies and 12-14 minutes for the largest cookies, turning the trays round halfway through.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes on the trays then cool fully on a wire rack.
  9. Once cool, make the buttercream. Beat the butter with an electric hand or freestanding mixer until fluffy. Now gradually beat in the milk, icing sugar and a couple of drops of green food gel to reach your desired colour. Keep beating to make a really fluffy buttercream.
  10. Use a star shaped nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cookies. Decorate with the sprinkles.
  11. If building a tree, pop the cookies in the fridge to set the buttercream for 10 minutes then stack them one on top of the other.
  12. Keep cookies at room temperature in a sealed container for 5-7 days in the fridge. The cookies will soften over time.
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies landscape image
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this cookie tree, I would love to see so please tag me in your bakes – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With Christmas tree cookie love x

  1. Jessica says:

    I am so excited to see this recipe! Vegan AND gf. Thank you so much!

    • This makes me SO happy to hear, I hope you will LOVE them!

      • Jessica says:

        Thank you so much! I must admit, I haven’t had very good luck with trying to bake vegan/ gf, but these look and sound doable! Plus, they are so beautiful. That tree is amazing. Maybe I will get them to turn out. Haha.

      • thank you Jessica and yes they are so good to make if you are slightly apprehensive! Make sure the cookie dough chills is key! Enjoy 🙂

  2. […] recipe for these cookies is based on my Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies (and also my Vegan Gingerbread Cookies) as it just works every time! They are crisp and delicious […]

  3. Heya Amy. Insane the idea of a Xmas cookie 🍪 tree sounds so festive. It reminds me of those small iced gems but in a bigger version the icing. So tasty 😋 and definitely want to bake all of your delicious recipes. Splendid photography as always and saved to my WordPress saved collection. Need to try vegan cookies /gluten free

  4. […] biscuit base for these little treats are based on my favourite “sugar” cookie recipe and come together in one […]

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