These vegan Easter cookies are a bunny-shaped version of those pink and white Mother’s circus animal cookies with sprinkles from your childhood. These iced animal crackers are fun to make and can be for any occasion.
Table of Contents
(click the links below to skip to the section you’re looking for)
- Circus Animal Cookies Recipe
- Frosted Animal Cookies Pink and White Chocolate Recipe
- Frequently Asked Questions About Iced Animal Crackers
- Ingredient Substitutions for Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies
♫ Listening to ♫
Repetition by Purity Ring
These frosted copycat mother’s cookies made their debut at my pastel and bunny themed vegan tea party. I managed to keep myself from eating them all before my guests arrive, but it wasn’t easy. These vegan Easter cookies will make a fun addition to whatever your plans are this year.
I’ve been wanting to make these vegan Mother’s iced animal crackers for years! I used to LOVE these circus animal cookies before I was vegan. I stopped thinking about them for like 10 years until I discovered Fatally Feminine who makes the CUTEST circus animal necklace modeled after the cookies from our childhood. I’ve wanted this necklace for years, but couldn’t bring myself to spend $100 on something that I would probably only wear a few times a year. But then, when I was updating this blog post, guess what I found?! A new etsy seller named xxx makes a very similar animal cracker necklace for a way more affodable price! And my birthday is in May, so if you want to show me how much you love me, I will accept that display of affection in the form of kawaii jewelry.
This recipe makes ~80 cookies. You can also freeze half the dough and only make 40 cookies.
Buy the cookie dough instead of making your own. Eat Pastry and Hampton Creek both sell vegan cookie dough.
- 1 cup (222g) vegan butter or margarine (if you avoid soy, buy the soy-free earth balance; otherwise buy the organic whipped earth balance)*
- 1 cup (192g) organic sugar, blended*
- ½ tablespoon (4g) ener-g egg replacer
- 1 tablespoon (15g) water
- 1 teaspoon (4g) pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons (9g) baking powder
- 3 cups (390g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
Vegan Circus Animal Bunny Cookies Directions
Mix together 1 cup (192g) organic sugar and 1 cup (222g) vegan butter using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer.
Sift 2 teaspoons (9g) baking powder and 3 cups (390g) flour into a large bowl, whisk, and set aside.
Prepare the egg replacer according to the directions on the box: mix ½ tablespoon (4g) ener-g egg replacer with 1 tablespoon (15g) water
Add the egg replacer and 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract to the sugar and margarine mixture, mixing after the addition.
Add the flour to the mixing bowl, half at a time, mixing in between additions.
Scrape the sides (and bottom) with a baking spatula, and remix.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to line 2 baking sheets.
Roll some of the dough on a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin to ¼” thickness.
Cut out baby bunny shapes using a mini bunny cookie cutter.
Dip the cookie cutter into flour if the dough starts to cling to the cutter. Place the bunnies on the parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Freeze each tray of cookies once they’re filled for 5-10 minutes (or the amount of time it takes you to fill the next tray).
Bake in a 350º oven for 9 minutes. You want them to barely brown on the bottom.
Remove tray from the oven and let sit until cookies have cooled.
Repeat until all the dough has been used up. If you decide to save some of the dough for a future project, you can use it to make these unicorn cookies.
- 7-8 ounces (200-225g) vegan white chocolate
- pink vegan food coloring
- 4 tablespoons (54g / ¼ cup) melted coconut oil
- vegan nonpareils
Vegan Mother’s Cookie Icing/Frosting/Coating Directions
Cover part of your counter with parchment paper (tape it down at the corners with scotch tape if it tries to curl at the edges).
Melt half the vegan white chocolate (4 ounces or 110g) either in a double boiler or in the microwave. If you use the microwave, only set it for 30 seconds each time and stir in between each time. Once you stir it and see no more chunks, it’s ready. You’ll want to work quickly at this stage so that your chocolate doesn’t start to firm up before you finish.
Add some of the coconut oil (just a teaspoon at a time is a good increment) to the bowl, little by little, stirring in between each addition. You want it thin enough to dip the cookies in.
Dip the cookies, one at a time, into the frosting and scrape all the excess off before setting them onto the parchment paper .
Sprinkle the vegan nonpareils onto each vegan Easter cookie individually (before the white chocolate starts to harden). See my list of vegan sprinkles for which ones are vegan.
Repeat all the steps once the pink chocolate is all used up, starting with melting the remaining white chocolate chips, but this time, don’t add any color.
Leave iced cookies on the counter for a few hours to harden before trying to stack them. Or put them in the fridge to harden faster.
This icing is also an excellent substitute for the chocolate in my chocolate covered pretzels recipe.
How can I make these Easter cookies gluten-free?
To make gluten-free Easter cookies, simply replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
How do I store Easter cookies to keep them fresh?
If you like to make your cookies in advance of holidays to minimize stress, you can keep these Easter cookies fresh by storing them in an airtight container and keeping them in the freezer until the day before you want to serve them.
Are iced animal crackers vegan?
Unfortunately, Mother’s Iced Animal Crackers are not suitable for vegans. That’s why I created this recipe. Now the vegans in your life can enjoy a nostalgic treat, thanks to you!
- Vegan Butter: If you avoid soy, Earth Balance makes a soy-free vegan margarine. I always buy organic whipped Earth Balance, but I have also used Miyoko’s butter successfully. If vegan butter or margarine is hard to find or not something you have in your house, you can use an equal amount of spectrum organic palm shortening in its place.
- Sugar: For the sugar in this cookie recipe, you can use any number of sugars, as long as they’re vegan: raw sugar, organic sugar, or vegan sugar. If you’re not sure if your sugar is vegan, you can contact the company and ask, but basically, just avoid conventional white sugar or granulated sugar, and you should be ok.
- Ener-G Egg Replacer: You can replace the egg replacer in this recipe with any brand of egg replacer you prefer. If you don’t have any egg replacer, simply mix ½ tablespoon of any starch (organic cornstarch, potato starch, or arrowroot powder) with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Vanilla Extract: Make sure your vanilla extract is pure vanilla extract and not artificial vanilla flavoring. Imitation vanilla is often not vegan, because it’s made from beaver butts. (I can’t make this shit up.)
- Flour: If you don’t have all-purpose flour or you have some, but not enough, fear not. You can replace some or all of the flour in this gothcore cookie recipe with any combination of wheat flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat pastry flour. It will taste healthier with some of these though. If you avoid gluten, or if you have friends or family who are gluten free, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend to make these cookies gluten free.
- Baking Powder: Keep in mind that baking powder does expire, so it works best if it’s fresh/newish. I use non-aluminum because my memory is already terrible and I don’t want Alzheimer’s Disease. But if all you have is regular baking powder, that will work. If you’re out of baking powder, you can replace the 2 teaspoons of baking powder in this recipe with ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda.
- Food Coloring: I used wilton gel color for this recipe, but you can look at my entire list of vegan food coloring for other options.
* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook. I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to buy only organic ingredients. So, I only specify organic on the ingredients that matter: when buying the organic (or non-GMO) version is the only way to ensure that an item is vegan.