These Vegan Gingerbread Cookies are soft and chewy with a hint of molasses flavor! Perfect for holidays or any day you need a treat!
Why This Recipe Works
Do you just love gingerbread cookies but feel like they're a little bit of a hassle to make? I couldn't agree more. First you gotta make the dough. Then you chill it for what seems like forever. Then cutting out all the little gingerbread guys and gals.
These Vegan Gingerbread Cookies are everything you’ve ever needed when it comes to delicious winter-time cookies:
- Packed full of ginger-y flavor.
- Soft on the inside with a crisp outside.
- So easy to make - you really can't mess these babies up.
- No hassle of rolling out the dough and cutting into shapes.
Add these to your holiday cookie plate, and Santa will be sure to be happy all night long!
Ingredient Spotlight & Substitutions
Fresh Ginger - I love using fresh ginger in these gingerbread cookies. The flavor is just more authentic tasting. But one thing you want to be sure of is making sure to get the ginger pieces itty-bitty small (check out my pro tips below to see how I do it). The worst is taking a bite of a cookie and getting a big ole piece of ginger in your bite.
If you'd rather, substitute the fresh ginger for 1 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger.
Maple Syrup - using maple syrup in place of sugar is my favorite sweet baking hack. But just be sure you're using pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup.
Alternatively, you could use agave or honey.
Molasses - Molasses is an ingredient you just cannot replace in this recipe. I mean, what is a classes gingerbread recipe without the rich flavor of molasses?
Applesauce - Here's yet another one of my favorite plant-based baking hacks. Applesauce makes a great binder for recipes that would normally call for eggs. Just be sure to use unsweetened applesauce so it doesn't effect the sweetness too much.
Vegan Butter - My favorite brands of vegan butter are Earth Balance sticks and Miyokos. Both have great flavor and work well in baking recipes. Alternatively, you can use shortening sticks here.
All-purpose Flour - This recipe has not been tested with any other flours, but I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments if you try a different flour.
Granulated Sugar - This is totally optional, but I love sprinkling granulated sugar on top of the cookies before baking to get that classic crystalized crunch in each bite. You can use coconut sugar, raw sugar, or just plain old white cane sugar here.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Step 1 - Combine wet ingredients. In a large bowl, beat together the ginger, maple syrup, molasses, applesauce, and vegan butter.
Step 2 - Combine dry ingredients. In a separate medium mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix well.
Step 3 - Add dry to wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated. The dough does get quite thick, and you may be better off using your hands toward the end.
Step 4 - Form dough. Form mixed dough into a dough ball.
Step 5 - Form dough balls. Using a Tablespoon-sized scoop, form round balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass or small dish. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of each cookie.
Step 6 - Bake. Bake for 12-14 minutes in preheated oven.
Step 7 - Cool. Let cookies cool on a cooling rack.
Holly's Insider Pro Tips
Make sure the ginger is tiny
The last thing you want when you bite into one of these cookies is to have a massive chunk of ginger in your mouth. Talk about a kick of spice! My trick to keeping the ginger as tiny as possible is to grate it with a zester or microplane. Just peel the ginger and grate away.
Chill the dough
This recipe doesn't require you to chill the dough like many other gingerbread recipes, but chilling for even 10-20 minutes before baking will ensure your little dough balls aren't spreading all over the baking sheet and into each other.
Use room temperature butter
I highly suggest using room temperature butter in this recipe, making it easier to beat with the other ingredients and allowing it to incorporate easier.
Measure flour correctly
There's a right and a wrong way to measure flour, and it makes a huge difference in your baking results. The way I recommend is to first start out by fluffing the flour in its container or bag so it's not all packed in there. Then with a spoon, scoop the fluffed flour out into a measuring cup until its overflowing a bit. Don't pack it in there. Just place spoonfuls into the measuring cup. Once filled, using the back of a knife, level off the top of the flour so it's flush with the measuring cup.
For softer cookies
If you want to ensure soft cookies, I would opt for the lower cooking time, pulling them out of the oven when they're JUST baked in the center and still seem a little underdone. Leave them on the baking sheet when you pull them out of the oven and they'll finish off perfectly! If you want more of a gingersnap, feel free to bake for the full 14 minutes.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookie FAQs
Store these cookies in an air-tight container for up to a week for best results. To keep them soft for as long as possible, add a slice of bread in the container.
Yes! As long as you have wrapped the dough well, it can be frozen for up to a month. Just let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then bring it up to room temperature before rolling into balls. Alternatively, you can roll into balls and then freeze. Thaw, bring to room temperature, and bake per instructions.
Usually vegan butter is found right near the regular butter in your grocery store's refrigerator section. Every so often though, a store will have a separate vegan or dairy-free section that will have items such as this. Look for Earth Balance or Miyokos brands.
I haven't actually tried a gluten free version of this cookie, but I've had success in the past with other recipes using Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour.
Looking for more Vegan Baking Recipes?
Now that you know how to easy it is to make this Vegan Gingerbread Cookies recipe, please give it a star rating below and comment letting me know how it turned out for you.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
- 4 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup molasses
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- granulated sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the ginger, maple syrup, molasses, apple sauce, and vegan butter. Mix well using a hand held mixer.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix well.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until ingredients are incorporated. Toward the end, it may work best to use your hands, as the batter gets quite thick. Form the dough into a ball.
- Taking Tablespoon-sized scoops of dough, form into round balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass or small dish. Sprinkle a small amount of granulated sugar on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool on a cooling rack.