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Nordic-Style Cardamom Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Jam

Nordic-Style Cardamom Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Jam

These vegan Nordic-Style Cardamom Sugar Cookies are easily the BEST sugar cookies I’ve ever had! They’re rich and buttery, with crisp edges, tender centers and all the cozy Nordic flavors you’ll need to create a truly Hygge Holiday Season! (or Hyggelig as we say in Norwegian 😉🇳🇴)

vegan sugar cookies with strawberry jam and powdered sugar

What Makes These Cookies Nordic-Style?

Almond and cardamom are very commonly used flavors in Norwegian baking. From Serina Kaker to Vafler to Boller to Fyrstekake, almond and/or cardamom are what create that quintessentially cozy Nordic flavor profile.

The look of these cookie sandwiches isn’t particularly traditional though. My Bestemor (Grandma) made a lot of holiday cookies but none that looked like these!

In fact, these sweet sandwich cookies more closely resemble Austrian Linzer Cookies, but the the similarities end there.

vegan sugar cookies on a cookie sheet

These Norwegian inspired sugar cookies are buttery and rich, with a hint of almond and a light sweetness that pairs well with strawberry jam. The texture is a bit like a shortbread cookie in that they’re a little crispy around the edges and soft and crumbly in the center.

I created the dough recipe by veganizing my Grandma’s Norwegian Teabrød recipe and played around with it to make it more like classic sugar cookie dough. The result is this delicious cardamom infused sugar cookie that’s easy to roll out and cut into fun shapes with a cookie cutter.

How to Make Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies

The first step is to make a flax egg by mixing ground flax seeds with water. Then we’ll set that aside to thicken.

measuring flour in a measuring cup

Next, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, sea salt and cardamom in a mixing bowl and whisk combine.

PRO TIP 👩🏻‍🍳 HOW TO MORE ACCURATELY MEASURE FLOUR: Instead of digging into the bag of flour with a measuring up, use a spoon to fluff up the flour first and then spoon it into the measure cup. Level it off with a butterknife and then add the flour to the bowl. Spooning the fluffed-up flour into the measuring cup vs scoping directly into the bag yields a more accurate measurement.

What Does Cornstarch Do in Sugar Cookies?

In this vegan cookie recipe, the cornstarch helps hold the cookies together so it doesn’t spread out too much in the oven.

The WORST is when you make beautiful cookie shapes only to bake them and find that they’re risen and spread into a shape that looks completely different than it did when it went into the oven!

In another bowl, cream the softened vegan butter and cane sugar.

The goal with a sugar cookie is to make a cookie that holds it shape in the oven but isn’t hard or bland. To keep these books soft and tender, we want to focus on creaming the vegan butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.

making vegan butter sugar cookies

What kind of vegan butter is best for baking cookies?

You’ll want to use the kind that comes in sticks rather than the buttery spread that comes in a tub. I personally use Earth Balance sticks when veganizing my family’s recipes because I find the water content to be most similar to dairy butter.

Make sure it’s softened to room temperature but don’t microwave it. I used to do this all the time to soften butter and my cookies would end up really dry and crunchy. I couldn’t figure out why! Then I learned that melting the butter makes the water evaporate which changes the water to fat ratio, leading to a drier, crunchier cookie. Instead I just leave the butter on the counter to soften and if I want to speed things up, I’ll cut it into small pieces so it comes to room temperature quicker.

Then I add in the powdered sugar which also helps add a lovely softeness to these cookie and mix one more time.

Add the pumpkin puree, almond extract and flax egg. Beat for 1-2 minutes. It will already smell great at this point!

Do these cookies taste like pumpkin?

Nope! You can’t taste the pumpkin. Its purpose here is to act as a binder and it also helps keep these cookies from drying out.

Can I substitute apple sauce?

Yes but the texture will be a little different. If you have the option to use pumpkin I would recommend going that route for best results.

Next, combine half of the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix until mostly combined, then add the remaining flour and lightly mix until it you have a shaggy dough.

PRO TIP 👩🏻‍🍳For the best cookie texture, don’t over-mix the dry ingredients. You do want to beat the wet ingredients until light and fluffy but once you stir in the dry mixture, just mix until combined and then stop.

mixing the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl

Add one tablespoon of plant milk. I usually use pea, almond or soy and then knead until the dough is smooth. This should take about one minute.

Then form the dough into a ball, cover and chill for 45 minutes.

sugar cookie dough ball in a bowl

Do I have to chill the cookie dough before baking?

Short answer. Yep. Chilling the dough firms the butter back up and it also hydrates the flour. This makes the dough easier to cut into shapes and prevents spreading in the oven.

How Thick Do I Roll Sugar Cookies?

I like to roll this to 1/4 inch thick – which is pretty thick – but it means the edges will be crisp and the center will stay tender and soft (especially the next day if you refrigerate the leftovers. See storage tips below.)

Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and cut into shapes. I don’t find that flour is necessary when using this parchment paper method.

Cut the cookies into your desired shape using a medium-sized cookie cutter. Then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies. The solid cookies will be the base of the sandwich and the cut-out cookies will be the tops.

Place the cookies on a lined cookie sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Then bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once cool, top the solid cookies with 1 tsp of strawberry jam, and dust the cut-out cookies with powdered sugar. Then carefully place the powdered sugar cookie on top of the jam cookie to create a festive cookie sandwich.

How to Store Leftover Sugar Cookies

Store leftover cookies in an airtight container and place the container in the fridge for up to four days. The fridge will make sure these cookies don’t dry out. I actually like them best the next day!

If you like this recipe please leave a comment and rate this post below! And if you’re on Instagram, tag me in a pic so I can see your recreation! @nikkivegan  

For more free vegan recipes, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel here.

More Vegan Recipes You Might Like

Watch Me Make These Cookies in this Video 👆

Nordic-Style Cardamom Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Jam

Nicole Vranjican
These vegan Nordic-Style Cardamom Sugar Cookies are rich and buttery, with crisp edges, tender centers and cozy Nordic flavors like cardamom, almond and sweet strawberries.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Norwegian, Vegan
Servings 16 cookies

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 stick vegan butter Room temp. This equals 1/2 cup. Sticks work better than the spread that comes in a tub. I use and recommend Earth Balance sticks for this recipe 🙂
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  • ¾ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp plant milk

Dry Ingredients

  • cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cardamom

Toppings

  • strawberry jam
  • powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Make the Flax Egg

  • Combine the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to thicken.

Mix the dry Ingredients

  • Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cardomom in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Mix the Wet Ingredients

  • In another large bowl, add the softened vegan butter and cane sugar. Cream together until creamy and smooth (about one minute)
    Add the powdered sugar and then beat until very light a fluffy.
    Next mix in the pumpkin, almond extract, flax egg.
    Don't add the plant milk just yet.

Combine the Wet and the Dry

  • Add half of the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet and mix just until combined. Then add the remaining flour and mix until a shaggy dough begins to form.
    Then add the plant milk and knead the dough with your hands to bring it together into a ball. This should take about a minute.

Chill + Shape

  • I always hated chilling cookie dough until I realized that it made my life so much easier! The dough is much easier to work with because the butter isn't too soft and the result is prettier cookies that are easier to make. Who doesn't want that! 🙂
    Simply cover and chill the dough for 45 minutes. Then roll it to 1/4inch thick between two pieces of parment paper. I like to use the parchment paper method so that I don't have to use any extra flour when rolling, which can sometimes make the cookies a little dry if you happen to add to much!
    Preheat the oven to 350 degress.
    Then, using a medium sized cookie cutter, cut out shapes and transfer to a cookie sheet.
    Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out the center of half of the cookies to create the top cookie. The solid cookies will be our bases.

Bake + Decorate

  • Place the tray in the for 10 minutes and then bake for 8-10 minutes (8 for softer centers)
    Allow the cookies to cool completely on the tray and then spread 1 – 1.5 tsp of strawberry jam onto the base cookies. Then sprinkle the cut-out cookies with powdered sugar and place on top of the jam.
    The result will be a festive sandwich cookie that looks like it's been covered in snow. Serve alongside a nice cold glass of almond milk (such a nice compliment to these cookies) and enjoy!
Keyword baking, easy holiday recipes, healthy desserts, sugar cookies, vegan christmas recipes, vegan cookies

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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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2 Comments

  1. Liz
    December 25, 2021 / 7:01 pm

    5 stars
    Nice instructions and very yummy cookies. Delicious!

  2. Anonymous
    December 23, 2023 / 2:23 am

    I love your Vegan Cardamon cookies. They were so easy to make. My family loves them!

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