These soft Homemade Vegan Fig Newtons are your perfect cookie! This is an easy vegan recipe and a delicious take on the classic recipe.
A homemade vegan spin on the classic fig newton cookie, this recipe only requires a couple of basic ingredients for the dough and soft dry figs for the filling. No need to wait for the fig season, you can make these homemade vegan fig newtons any time of the year, and they are an absolutely perfect Christmas cookie.
These cookies get better after they rest a bit, so they are best enjoyed the next day after baking. They also keep about a week in an air-tight container.
And although these Homemade Vegan Fig Newtons need a bit more work than a drop cookie, they are so so worth the effort and time to make them. I absolutely LOVE these cookies!
The vegan fig controversy
Some say figs are technically not vegan because they rely on wasps to pollinate them so the wasps crawl inside the figs and die there.
After research, there is only one type of fig that gets pollinated by wasps and is a natural and essential process to the pollination of said fig.
That said, the rest of the figs are perfectly fine, self-pollinating, and wasp-free. In fact, I have never seen figs being pollinated by wasps in our region, so you too should be perfectly fine.
If you are still unsure about consuming anything containing figs, you can substitute the fig filling with your favorite jam, or just replace the soft dried figs with soft dried apricots or prunes.
To make the cookie dough you will need:
- Vegan butter. Keep your vegan butter at room temperature before baking, so it’s softened and ready to go. Room temperature butter will cream fully with the sugar for an optimal tender texture.
- Sugar. Brown sugar works best in this recipe, as it adds a hint of caramel taste. But granulated sugar will also work.
- Vanilla extract. Sweetens the batter with that familiar vanilla taste. Vanilla paste will also work, but it is pricier.
- Cinnamon. Just a small teaspoon will go a long way in adding flavor to the dough and the baked cookie. You can skip it if you happen to not like cinnamon.
- Pinch of salt. Use fine salt to help season the dough and balance out the sweetness.
- Plant-based milk. We like to use soy milk when baking as it has a higher protein content and works better than other milks, but almond milk should also work fine.
- All-purpose flour. As we will be adding baking powder you don’t need self-rising flour for this recipe.
- Baking powder. Helps give the dough some lift.
For the fig filling you will need:
- Dried figs. I like to use soft dried figs for this recipe, as it makes handling easier. Soft figs are especially useful if your food processor is not very powerful (I have almost broken a food processor trying to blend hard figs).
- Orange juice. The acidity will help balance the sweetness of the figs and the juice will add flavor to the filling.
- Water. Water will help loosen your filling if it is dense when processing. Start by adding a few tablespoons, and proceed to add more as needed to make a filling, that is dense enough to stay when piped, but also loose enough to be able to pipe it out of the dressing bag.
How to make these Homemade Vegan Fig Newton
Making these newtons consist of 4 steps:
- making the dough
- making the filling
- assembling the cookies
The good news is, you can make steps 1 and 2 in advance, and then just assemble and bake the cookies the following day. This is especially useful if you – like me – hate waiting around for the dough to be ready to continue with the recipe.
To make the dough, add the dough ingredients to a food processor: vegan butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse to combine, then add in the plant milk. Lastly, sift in the flour and baking powder and gently knead the dough until combined.
Next, divide the dough into 3 equal parts, tightly cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate (for up to 3 days).
To make the filling you will want to slice the stems off the figs, then combine the figs with the orange juice and a splash of water in a food processor bowl. Mix into a smooth paste, adding more water as needed.
You will want the paste to be dense enough to retain the shape once piped on the dough.
At this point, you could add the fig paste to a piping bag, or refrigerate it for later use.
To make the cookies, roll a disc of dough out into a narrow rectangle, then pipe the filling in the center from one end to the other. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the ends together to make the dough stick.
Then just slice the dough into cookies about 5 cm / 2 inches wide.
Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake them for about 15 minutes at 160°C / 320°F, until the cookies turn a golden brown color.
When the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool down completely.
- This recipe works best when using soft dried figs, instead of fresh figs, which could be too watery. Choose soft dried figs over hard dried figs for best results and easier work.
- To make this recipe I recommend using a food processor. If your figs are too hard and dry you will need to soften them before processing, especially if your food processor is not very powerful. You can also use a blender if you like.
- To soften hard figs, soak them in boiling hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and proceed as in the recipe.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
Yes, you can totally make the dough and the filling up to 3 days in advance, store them refrigerated, and then just roll out, pipe the filling, assemble the cookies, and bake.
Also, these cookies are best served cooled down and well-rested, so they are best to eat the next day after baking.
These cookies are best served the next day after baking, so give them time to rest so the flavors have a chance to combine.
You can also dust them with some icing sugar before serving.
Keep the fig newtons in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes, these cookies can be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove them from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature overnight.
- 85 grams vegan butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp plant milk
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (245 grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup dried figs
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 cup water, or as needed
Make the dough:
- To a food processor add 85 grams of vegan butter at room temperature, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Pulse to combine, then add also 2 tbsp plant milk. Transfer the mixture to a bowl for easier handling.
- Sift 1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder onto the mixture and gently fold into the batter until a compact dough is formed.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal parts, shape them into discs, wrap each disk into plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (or up to 3 days).
Make the filling:
- Slice the stems of the soft dried figs, then slice them and add to a food processor bowl. Add 2 tbsp of orange juice and a couple of spoons of water, then mix into a smooth paste. If your mixture is too dense, add more water by the tablespoon, as needed. The paste should be thick enough to be able to pipe it.
- When your filling is done, add it to a piping bag.
Assemble the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place a disk on a floured surface. Working quickly, roll it out into a long but narrow rectangle.
- To the center of the rectangle pipe the fig filling from one end to the other - you should use about 1/3 of the filling for each dough disc. Then, fold the sides of the dough over the filling, to create a long "pipe" shape.
- Slice the dough into rectangles, about 5 cm / 2 inches long, and place them on the prepared baking tray.
- Repeat until you have used up all the dough and filling.
Bake the fig newtons:
- Place the baking tray into the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes at 160°C / 320°F, until the cookies turn a golden brown color.
- Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool down completely.
- Dust with icing sugar before serving.
- Store the cookies in an air-tight container for up to 1 week. The cookies are best enjoyed the following day when they soften and the flavors combine.
You can prepare the dough up to 3 days ahead of time and store it refrigerated and wrapped in plastic wrap.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 33mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.
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This recipe is brought to you by Hofer.