These vegan Mexican sprinkle cookies (galletas de grageas) are crunchy on the outside with a soft, buttery inside. Made in under 30 minutes and with just 7 ingredients, you'll be lucky if you can stop at just one!
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Galletas de grageas are quick, easy, and fun to bake. They are commonly sold by vendors throughout Mexico, but now you can make a plant-based version at home!
What are galletas de grageas?
Mexican sprinkle cookies go by many different names like galletas de grageas, galletas con chochitos, polvorones Mexicanos — it really depends on who you're talking to.
These galletas (cookies) are essentially vegan sugar cookies that have been covered in nonpareils, making them both cute and delicious! Soft, tender, and buttery flavors melt in your mouth with every bite.
Plus, this is a great recipe to get your kids involved with since it's so simple and they will love working with the colorful sprinkles!
Galletas de grageas are usually enjoyed around the holidays, but they are also sold year-round at pretty much every panadería (bakery) in Mexico.
Are Mexican sprinkle cookies vegan?
Unfortunately, the majority of recipes contain egg, butter, lard, and sometimes milk. But we were on a mission to create an equally tasty vegan cookie, and we think we landed on a winner!
We tested a few batches with shortening and coconut oil. They came out alright but lacked a certain richness, so we ended up deciding on vegan butter.
For the egg replacement, we swapped in arrowroot powder. Made from a tuber native to South America, this starch creates the perfect chewy texture with a slight lift. You won't even notice the eggs are missing!
The sugar cookie itself was created by German settlers in the Nazareth colony of Pennsylvania back in the 1700s. Before baking, the cookies were shaped into the symbol of the state — the keystone.
However, the invention of sprinkles can be credited to French bakers in the 18th century. They called these sprinkles nonpareils, which means “without equal” in English.
Apparently, the name is intended to describe superiority. It implies that topping your creation with these sprinkles helps it achieve magnificence.
While both sprinkle cookies and sugar cookies aren't inherently Mexican, you will spot "galletas de grageas" (sprinkle cookies) in many bakeries here. But, they definitely have quite a diverse and multicultural history.
Galletas de grageas are best enjoyed with a warm drink like:
If you're not in the mood for something hot, we've got you covered. Dip your vegan sugar cookie in some refreshing aguas frescas such as:
Let us know if you have a favorite drink to serve with treats like these sprinkle cookies!
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
- Arrowroot: This is a great egg replacement in baking. It creates a chewy vegan sugar cookie with a slight lift. If you can't find arrowroot, use cornstarch.
- All-purpose flour: This is what keeps the cookies together. You can replace the flour at a 1:1 ratio with gluten-free AP flour if you need.
- Baking powder: Baking powder is used to make these sprinkle cookies rise and add to a fluffy texture. Leaving this out will make for a dense cookie.
- Granulated sugar: To add a touch of sweetness. Use cane sugar or regular sugar — whatever you prefer.
- Vegan butter: To add richness to this vegan cookie recipe, and to replace traditional ingredients like butter or lard. You can also use vegetable shortening at a 1:1 ratio.
- Vanilla: Similar to the role of salt, vanilla enhances and rounds out all other flavors in this sprinkle cookie recipe.
- Salt: Another flavor enhancer when it comes to baked goods. Salt also strengthens protein in the dough, making a chewier cookie.
- Vegan nonpareils: It's impossible to have galletas de grageas without nonpareils. Just double-check the ones you have are vegan or try ordering from a brand like Super Natural Sprinkles.
If you have questions about these galletas de grageas, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Mix together arrowroot powder with water and set that aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Step 2: In a stand mixer or another bowl with a hand mixer, beat sugar and vegan butter together for about 1 minute.
Step 3: Add in the arrowroot “egg” and vanilla extract. Beat together for another 30 seconds to incorporate.
Step 4: Slowly add in the flour, continuing to mix on low until all of it is gone. Cover and chill cookie dough for 30-60 minutes.
Step 5: With a few minutes remaining, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer cookie dough to a lightly floured surface.
Step 6: Roll the cookie dough out until it reaches about a ½-cm thickness. Cut the cookies using a large circle cookie cutter.
Step 7: Add nonpareils to a shallow bowl or plate. Transfer cookies to the dish and gently press down to bind sprinkles with the tops. If the sprinkles aren't sticking, lightly brush the tops of the cookies with water beforehand.
Step 8: Transfer the cookies to your pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottoms turn a light golden brown.
Step 9: Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 10: Eat your galletas de grageas while warm with a hot chocolate or an afternoon tea & coffee. Happy eating!
If you're the type of person who likes to keep cookies around, then it's important to keep those babies fresh! The following instructions will help give your Mexican sprinkle cookies a longer shelflife.
Make them ahead
You cake make vegan cookie dough ahead of time and keep it frozen until you're ready. Follow the instructions up until the dough is formed.
When your dough is ready, cover it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months or until you're ready to use it again. Thaw the dough in your fridge overnight before you roll it out, shape it, and bake it.
Keep your galletas in an airtight glass container so the flavors are preserved. Stored this way, they will last about 6-7 days as long as they're in a cool and dry place.
Sometimes you prefer a cold cookie and we don't blame you. Stick them in an air-tight container and you should get up to 7 days or so in the fridge.
If you're not able to get through all of your sprinkle cookies, freeze them in a freezer-safe bag or container for 3-4 months for optimal freshness.
💭 Tips & variations
We'd like to share some tips and variations we learned while experimenting with vegan galletas de grageas:
- Check the bottom. If you want perfectly cooked galletas, make sure to remove them when the bottoms are a light golden color.
- Make them thicker or thinner. If you'd like a thicker or thinner cookie, just roll the dough out to your preference. Keep in mind, the cook time may vary.
- Use different sprinkles. If you prefer a different type of sprinkle, swap in your favorite. Nonpareils have a crunchier texture than other varieties.
- Half the sugar. If you're minding your sugar intake, half the amount called for in this recipe.
- Skip the rolling. To save time, you can roll the cookies individually in your hands rather than rolling the cookie dough out and cutting it.
🍴 Tasting notes
Mexican sprinkle cookies are both fun to make and eat. They're:
- Crunchy on the outside
- Soft on the inside
If you try this vegan cookie recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Galletas de Grageas
- Large baking sheet
- Circle cookie cutter
- Hand or stand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups & spoons
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ($0.11)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder ($0.01)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt ($0.01)
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder + 3 tablespoons water ($0.06)
- ½ cup vegan butter, softened ($1.16)
- ½ cup sugar ($0.02)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ($0.21)
- ¼ - ⅓ cup vegan rainbow sprinkles ($0.10)
- Mix together arrowroot powder with water. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a stand mixer or another bowl with a hand mixer, add sugar and vegan butter.
- Beat until creamed together, about 1 minute. Add in the arrowroot “egg” and vanilla extract. Beat together for another 30 seconds to incorporate. Slowly add in the flour, continuing to mix on low until all of it is gone.
- Cover and chill cookie dough for 30-60 minutes. With a few minutes remaining, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer cookie dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out until it reaches about a ½-cm thickness. Cut the cookies using a large circle cookie cutter.
- Add sprinkles to a shallow bowl or plate. Transfer cookies to the dish and gently press down to bind sprinkles with the tops. If the sprinkles aren't sticking, lightly brush the tops of the cookies with water beforehand.
- Transfer the cookies to the parchment-lined pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottoms turn a light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat your galletas de grageas while warm with a hot chocolate or an afternoon tea & coffee. Happy eating!
- The arrowroot egg can be replaced with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch + 3 tablespoons of water.
- To ensure your sprinkles are vegan, Vegan Dollhouse has an informative sprinkle post on which brands to look for.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty Mexican desserts, check out some of our other favorites:
- Arroz con leche to try a Mexican version of rice pudding made extra creamy and 100% plant-based.
- Carlota de limón for sweet Maria cookies layered with cashew cream and infused with tangy limes.
- Vegan churros to try an iconic Mexican treat sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and served with a side of chocolate sauce.
- Buñuelos for crispy, golden-brown fritters that are also sprinkled with a delicious cinnamon-sugar coating.
If you want to make this galleta recipe gluten-free, sub in your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour. Just be mindful of the conversion as it may differ from brand to brand.
You can use vegetable shortening instead of vegan butter in this recipe. However, we don't find it adds as much depth or richness as butter.
It's a crazy thought, we know. Some sprinkles contain ingredients like shellac, carmine, and confectioner's glaze (all sourced from animals). For more information, check out the Vegan Dollhouse sprinkle post or Peta sprinkle post.
There are brands like Supernatural on Amazon that are fully plant-based. Otherwise, brands (like Wilton) make some vegan sprinkles. Just check the ingredient list if you're not sure.