Easy Slice & Bake Cookies (Vegan)

One of my earliest childhood baking memories is of Pillsbury slice-and-bake cookies, so this year I made a vegan version of this classic holiday treat. These taste even more buttery than the packaged cookies, and better yet you can customize them with your own flavours and colours!

vegan slice and bake shortbread cookies
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Slice & Bake Cookies (Vegan)

Yep, I made those classic Pillsbury slice and bake cookies vegan! They taste even richer than the packaged kind, and you can customize the flavours and colours.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: copycat recipes, easy cookies
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 101kcal
Cost: $0.05 per cookie


  • 1 cup margarine, or butter if not vegan 220 g
  • 3/4 cup sugar 150
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 250 g
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • few drops food colouring optional; see recipe notes


  • Cream margarine and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed, for at least 1 minute or until soft and fully combined.
  • Add flour and salt and mix on low speed, until just combined (be careful not to over-mix).
  • Transfer half of the cookie dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Spread it into a rectangular shape, about 3/4-inch thick.
  • To the remaining dough, add a few drops of food colouring (and flavouring extract of choice, if desired) and gently combine with a fork until the colour is even all the way through.
  • Add the coloured dough on top of the first rectangle of dough and spread it to cover the first layer (see pictures below for reference).
  • Roll the dough into a tight log, then wrap with the plastic wrap and twist the ends to close. Chill in the freezer, with the twisted ends tucked under the log, for at least 20 minutes (see pictures below for reference).
  • After 20 minutes, the log should be quite firm. Slice cookies about 1/3 inch thick and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375 °F for about 15 minutes, or until edges have just begun to brown.
  • Let cool fully on baking sheet before eating!

Recipe notes

I prefer my shortbread cookies crumbly on the edges and just slightly soft in the centre – best of both words situation. If you like them softer, take them out of the oven a minute or two early. For a fully crunchy cookie, leave them in an extra couple of minutes.

You can make these slice and bake cookies vegan or not. 220 g of butter can be substituted for the margarine, the taste is much the same.

If you don’t have food colouring or don’t want to bother with the swirl pattern, you can just skip steps 3–5 and form the entire batch of cookie dough into one log. Slice and bake cookies as normal.

Flavour suggestions for your slice and bake cookies

christmas shortbread swirl cookies

These are the combinations I’ve tried and had success with. Feel free to play around with your own flavouring extracts!

  • Brownie Swirl: In step 2, add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 drops of red food colouring. In step 4, add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder.
  • Red Velvet Chocolate Swirl: In step 2, add 1 tbsp of cocoa powder. In step 4, add 10 drops of red food colouring.
  • Peppermint Swirl: In step 4, add 2 tsp of peppermint extract and 7–10 drops of green food colouring.
  • Matcha Swirl: In step 4, add 2 tsp of matcha powder and 3 drops of green food colouring.

My favourite has to be the Matcha Swirl, but that’s just because I love matcha 🙂

The most versatile vegan cookies

5 ingredient slice and bake cookies pinterest

One of my earliest childhood baking memories is of Pillsbury’s sliceable cookies, with their holiday-themed shapes. I remember being so taken in by those cute designs. Although they were fun to eat, they didn’t exactly… taste like much, you know? This year as I developed my vegan slice and bake cookies, I knew that they actually had to taste good, as well as look good.

Good news, these are more buttery and rich than the packaged cookies, even though they’re made exclusively with simple, affordable ingredients. Better yet, you can customize them with your own flavours and colours!

Vegan shortbread biscuits should be a staple during the winter holiday season. These slice and bake cookies look adorable, taste just as good as the non-vegan version, and best of all can be stored in the freezer and baked right away whenever you need them. With the swirl pattern, they look like they take a lot of work, but actually are so easy to make! They’re are also great to put in a cookie box for giving away.

Nutrition information

Each cookie is 101 cal, full recipe is 3,039 cal. Specific nutrients breakdown can be viewed here.

Step-by-step instructions for vegan slice and bake cookies

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