Maple Sugar Cookies (Refined Sugar Free)

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These maple sugar cookies are the perfect sweet, buttery treat. Unlike most sugar cookies, they are sweetened with maple syrup but still have that same flavor and crunch. They’re made with only 6 simple ingredients and make the perfect cut-out cookies to decorate with your little ones!

Maple sugar cookies served with berries and yogurt.

It’s that time of year for holiday baking and these maple sugar cookies are the perfect sweet treat to make for your little ones. They can be made crunchy or soft depending on how thin you roll out the dough and have that classic shortbread cookie taste. I like to set up an icing station with a simple cookie icing and sprinkles and let my boys go at it! Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes to make these cookies for any holiday or when you’re craving something buttery and sweet!

If you love these cookies, you’ll also love these 4-ingredient peanut butter cookies, mini gingerbread cookies and these warm spiced ginger cookies as well! And make sure to check out my top tips for baking with kids this holiday season!

What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need to make these maple sugar cookies:

Ingredients to make maple sugar cookies.
  • Butter: I used unsalted butter for these cookies. If you only have salted butter on hand, just omit the salt from the recipe. Make sure that the butter is softened to room temperature beforehand.
  • Maple Syrup: The source of sweetness for these cookies.
  • Egg Yolk: Make sure to use just the yolk and not the entire egg to prevent the dough from being too moist.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Make sure to measure your flour correctly. Scoop the flour into the measuring cup and use a knife to level it out.
  • Vanilla: Optional for a touch of flavor.
  • Salt: To balance out the flavors of the dough.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Recipe Substitutions & Additions

  • Butter: For a dairy-free option, swap the butter with dairy-free butter like these olive oil plant-based butter sticks.
  • Maple Syrup: You may replace the maple syrup with equal parts honey. Note – Honey should not be offered to babies under the age of 1 as per CDC guidelines.
  • Egg Yolk: You may replace the egg yolk with either 1 tablespoon of full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream. I have not tested these using a flax egg, but it should work! If you are using a flax egg, use only about half of one flax egg since this recipe calls for only 1 egg yolk and not the whole egg. Using a full flax egg may cause the dough to be too moist.
  • All-Purpose Flour: For a gluten-free option, swap the all-purpose flour with an equal part gluten-free flour blend. You may also use white whole wheat flour, but start with a smaller amount as whole wheat flour absorbs liquids a little differently than all-purpose.

Step By Step Instructions

Steps to make maple sugar cookies.

STEP 1: Add the softened butter and maple syrup to a bowl and use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to cream them together on high speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes (Images 1 & 2).

STEP 2: Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt to the bowl and mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 1 minute (Images 3 & 4).

Steps to make maple sugar cookies.

STEP 3: Add in the flour (Image 5) and mix on low speed until it forms a dough. It may seem crumbly at first (Image 6), but it will form into a soft dough (Image 7). Do not overmix. It will be slightly sticky but will firm up once it chills.

STEP 4: Scoop the dough into a small bowl and cover it tightly (Image 8). Place the bowl in the fridge to allow the dough to chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. This step is important and it will allow the flour time to hydrate and make it easier to roll out.

STEP 5: After at least an hour, place the chilled dough on the counter to allow it to slightly soften. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Steps to make maple sugar cookies.

STEP 6: Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour on a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on top (Image 9). Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick for crunchy cookies. If you prefer softer cookies, roll it out slightly thicker.

STEP 7: Use cookie cutter shapes to cut out the dough directly on the sheet of parchment paper (Image 10). Peel away the scraps and reroll them out to cut out more shapes from the dough until all of the dough is used. Add additional flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. Transfer the parchment paper directly to the baking sheet (Image 11). Doing this helps prevent the shapes from becoming distorted from transferring them.

STEP 8: Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating them (Image 12).

STEP 9: To make homemade cookie icing, mix powdered sugar and milk with a fork until smooth, adding a little more liquid as needed until you reach the desired consistency. Frost the cookies and add sprinkles immediately, before the icing hardens and sets.

Storage Instructions

Once cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. They may also be frozen for up to 2 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container. Thaw the cookies at room temperature.

Maple sugar cookies with icing on top.

Tips For Success

  • The dough may seem a little sticky at first, but it will firm up once it chills. If the dough still seems sticky when you are rolling it out, add a little more flour to the surface/rolling pin to prevent it from sticking, or roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • I like to cut out cookie shapes directly on a sheet of parchment paper and transfer that sheet directly onto a baking pan to bake. This will help to prevent the shape cutouts from getting distorted.
  • Make sure to let the cookies cool completely before decorating. They will be soft at first right out of the oven but will firm up as they cool.
  • If you prefer softer cookies, roll them out a little thicker and bake them for 8 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies, roll them out thinner and bake them for 10 minutes.
  • Make sure that your butter and egg yolk are at room temperature beforehand. Cutting butter up into cubes will help it come to room temperature quickly.
Maple sugar cookies served with berries and yogurt.

Recipe FAQs

What should I do if my dough is sticky?

If the dough is sticky, add some extra flour to the surface and the rolling pin to help prevent it from sticking and make it easier to roll out the dough.

What is the texture of these cookies?

These cookies come out either crunchy or soft depending on how thick you roll them out and how long you bake them! If you prefer crispier cookies, roll them out thinner and bake them for 10 minutes.

How far in advance can I prep the dough?

You can prep this dough 3 to 4 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The dough will need to sit out at room temperature for a few minutes to soften before rolling out.

If you tried these Maple Sugar Cookies please leave a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

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Maple sugar cookies served with berries and yogurt.
5 from 9 votes

Maple Sugar Cookies (Refined Sugar Free)

These maple sugar cookies are the perfect sweet, buttery treat. Unlike most sugar cookies, they are sweetened with maple syrup but still have that same flavor and crunch. They're made with only 6 simple ingredients and make the perfect cut-out cookies to decorate with your little ones!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies

Ingredients 

Maple Sugar Cookies

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

Optional Cookie Icing

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk, or water

Instructions 

  • Add the softened butter and maple syrup to a bowl and use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to cream them together on high speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt to the bowl and mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Add in the flour and mix on low speed until it forms a dough. It may seem crumbly at first, but it will form into a soft dough. Do not overmix. It will be slightly sticky but will firm up once it chills.
  • Scoop the dough into a small bowl and cover it tightly. Place the bowl in the fridge to allow the dough to chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. This step is important and it will allow the flour time to hydrate and make it easier to roll out.
  • After at least an hour, place the chilled dough on the counter to allow it to slightly soften as you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  • Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour on a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on top. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick for crunchy cookies. If you prefer softer cookies, roll it out slightly thicker.
  • Use cookie cutter shapes to cut out the dough directly on the sheet of parchment paper. Peel away the scraps and reroll them out to cut out more shapes from the dough until all of the dough is used. Add additional flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. Transfer the parchment paper directly to the baking sheet. Doing this helps prevent the shapes from becoming distorted from transferring them.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating them.
  • To make homemade cookie icing, mix powdered sugar and milk with a fork until smooth, adding a little more liquid as needed until you reach the desired consistency. Frost the cookies and add sprinkles immediately, before the icing hardens and sets.

Notes

  • The dough may seem a little sticky at first, but it will firm up once it chills. If the dough still seems sticky when you are rolling it out, add a little more flour to the surface/rolling pin to prevent it from sticking, or roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • I like to cut out cookie shapes directly on a sheet of parchment paper and transfer that sheet directly onto a baking pan to bake. This helps prevent the shape cutouts from getting distorted.
  • Make sure to let the cookies cool completely before decorating. They will be soft at first right out of the oven but will firm up as they cool.
  • If you prefer softer cookies, roll them out a little thicker and bake them for 8 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies, roll them out thinner and bake them for 10 minutes.
  • Make sure that your butter and egg yolk are at room temperature beforehand. Cutting butter up into cubes will help it come to room temperature quickly.

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 118IU, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 0.4mg
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Until next time, Lily!

About Lily Payen

Hi, I’m Lily! The mama behind Feeding Tiny Bellies. I’m here to help you take some of the stress out of meal times for your little ones. My goal is to create simple recipes with baby in mind that can easily be adapted for the entire family.

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