It's officially gingerbread season! Vegan gingerbread cookies, along with this classic vegan gingerbread house are definitely a staple coming up to the holidays at home.

They are full of warming winter spices that will make your entire house smell like Christmas. Decorate them with vegan royal icing to bring them to life!

gingerbread men in a loaf pan on a grey surface.Pin
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🧾 Ingredients Needed

Here's everything you need to make this easy vegan gingerbread cookie recipe from scratch:

ingredients to make vegan gingerbread men measured out on a vintage tray.Pin

Ingredient Notes

  • Vegan butter: An important ingredient that gives a buttery flavor to the cookies. It’s important to use vegan block butter here and not margarine, as the water content in margarine is too high. 
  • Spices: You'll need gingerbread spices including ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and allspice or ground cloves.
  • Soft brown sugar: Lends a slight "caramel" flavor and that is perfect for festive cookies like these gingerbread biscuits. 
  • Molasses: The liquid sweetener for this recipe, helps to brown the cookies as well as give them a soft and chewy consistency on the inside. You can also use black treacle, which has a slightly milder flavor.
  • Orange zest. The secret ingredient to making this vegan gingerbread cookie recipe irresistibly good (and literally impossible to stop at eating just one), is the addition of orange zest. It adds a lovely freshness to cookies which compliments the warming spices of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • You also need aquafaba (chickpea brine), powdered sugar, and orange juice or lemon juice to make the eggless royal icing.
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🥣 How To Make Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

These ginger cookies come together in just a few simple steps. The dough can also be prepared a few days ahead and chilled in the fridge until you're ready to bake them.

  1. Whisk the vegan butter until light and airy. You can use a stand mixer if you have one, or an electric whisk is good too.
  2. Cream in soft brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
  3. Knead in the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, and salt) until they form a dough.
gingerbread cookie dough in a grey mixing bowl.Pin
  1. Roll out the vegan gingerbread cookie dough to approximately a quarter inch in height.
  2. Cut out the cookies using a gingerbread man cookie cutter.
  3. Bake the cookies on a lined cookie sheet or baking tray.
gingerbread cookie cutter being used on gingerbread cookie dough, and gingerbread cookies lined up on a baking sheet.Pin
  1. Decorate your gingerbread cookies with vegan royal icing, and melted vegan chocolate if desired. Make sure the cookies are cooled completely before icing.
vegan gingerbread cookie with royal icing on a piece of brown newspaper.Pin

💬 FAQs

How to store vegan soft gingerbread cookies?

These cookies will be slightly firm/crunchy once freshly baked and will soften after the first day. They keep in a sealed container for around 2 weeks.

How long should I bake gingerbread cookies?

Depending on the consistency you're after, the baking times will vary. Please also bear in mind that after the first day, your cookies will naturally become a little softer as they are exposed to air.

For soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, bake for 10 minutes.
For firm gingerbread cookies, bake for 12 minutes.
For crunchy gingerbread cookies, bake for 14 minutes.

Do I need to chill gingerbread before baking?

Yes, chill the dough for a minimum of 1-2 hours before baking (more time if you have it). Chilled dough is much easier to roll out, and it gives the ingredients a chance to absorb one another. (ref: The Kitchn)

gingerbread men with different facial expressions on a grey surface.Pin

🎄 More Vegan Christmas Cookies

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📖 Recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

4.89 from 34 votes
PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 26 cookies (6.5 x 5.3cm)
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Description

Soft and chewy easy vegan gingerbread cookies that come together in one bowl. Flavorsome and full of gingerbread spices with a hint of orange zest. Decorated with homemade eggless royal icing.

Ingredients

Gingerbread

  • 150 g ( cup) vegan block butter, room temperature, cut into small chunks
  • 150 g (¾ cup) soft brown sugar
  • 100 g ( cup) molasses
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 350 g (2 ¾ cups) plain flour, or all purpose GF for gluten-free option
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice, or ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Royal icing (optional)

  • 1 batch vegan royal icing , or half batch if only outlining them
  • 40 g vegan chocolate, melted, optional

Instructions

  • Make the cookie dough: Add the butter to a large bowl and use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk the butter for 2 minutes. It will become light and airy. Add the soft brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, and vanilla extract and whisk again until combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough consistency.
    Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, roll the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film or place it in an airtight container. Note: if you find your dough is crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of extra molasses or plant-based milk to bring it together.
    Place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour (or make ahead and chill overnight). Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Roll out the cookies: Lightly flour your countertop and roll out the dough to approximately ¼ inch in height.
    Cut out cookies using a 6.5 x 5.3cm cookie cutter and place them on baking trays lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Bake: Bake for 10 minutes (soft) or up to 14 minutes (crunchy). Allow the cookies to sit on the baking tray to cool for about 5 minutes. Next, carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies off of the tray and onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 15-20 minutes until they reach room temperature.
  • Transfer the icing to a piping bag. Snip the very tip of the bag with scissors and start by piping an outline on your cookies. You can get creative with drawing faces and designs on the cookies.
    If you wish to coat the cookies completely in royal icing you can flood the cookies by continuing to pipe inside the outlines. You can also melt some vegan chocolate and pipe more faces/designs if desired.
  • Place the iced cookies back on a cooling rack to allow the icing to dry completely for a minimum of 1-2 hours before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Storage: These cookies will be slightly firm/crunchy once freshly baked and will soften after the first day. They will last in a sealed container for around 2 weeks.

Notes

  • Vegan butter: Take this out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 30 mins to 1 hour. Use vegan block butter NOT spreadable butter from a tub. I use flora plant butter or Violife Block.
  • For soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, bake for 10 minutes. For firm gingerbread cookies, bake for 12 minutes. For crunchy gingerbread cookies, bake for 14 minutes.
  • For the green icing pictured, simply mix in half a teaspoon of matcha powder for every 3 tablespoons of royal icing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Tag me TodayBe sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and mention @addictedtodates or tag #addictedtodates

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*This recipe was originally published in November 2020. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions.

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Dough was a little dry and crumbly so I added some water before chilling to get it to stick together. I needed a bit more water before rolling out since it still crumbled a little. But otherwise, the recipe worked well and tasted good. One thing I really like about this recipe is that the cookies don't spread much from the original cut shape - an important quality for making custom gingerbread architecture!

    1. Hi Carly,

      Thanks so much for your feedback and I'm delighted you enjoyed the recipe! And thank you for your feedback about the consistency - I'm going to add a note to add some liquid if needed, it seems to happen to a few readers and not to others. Hope you have a lovely Christmas 🙂

  2. 3 stars
    Christina, I’ve made a great many of your recipes and this is the only one I’ve had some trouble with. Did everything as written, but the dough was incredibly difficult to work with and crumbled apart when I rolled it out. Maybe this dough could benefit from a spoon or two of yoghurt just to keep things held together?

    1. Hi Juliette,

      Thank you so much for trying so many of my recipes, and for your feedback! That's interesting, another person mentioned the same before, but I just made a few batches a few weeks ago and they were all good. I'm wondering if it could be down to a particular ingredient. If you find it a little dry I would recommend adding 1-2 additional tablespoons of molasses to the dough. I think a tablespoon or two of vegan yogurt or plant milk is also a good idea. Next chance I get, I'll test them out with yogurt as well!

  3. 4 stars
    I don't have the right size cookie cutter! Can I use this recipe to make gingerbread snaps? If so how should I adjust the baking? I want to make these for Christmas and baking is not my best area so fingers crossed for me! Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Denise,

      Gingersnaps are a different cookie, but you can make this recipe with any size and shape cutter you like!

  4. 5 stars
    My family raved about these! I made four batches for Christmas and people couldn't stop eating them. They stay soft even if they sit out for a while. They froze really well and I like the thickness shown in the picture. Surprisingly they were the favorite dessert.
    They also all asked me for the recipe. Biggest comment I got is these are not too sweet even with icing on them.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Ah this makes me so so happy to hear! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible feedback and wishing you a very happy New Year x

  5. 5 stars
    I've made these twice now and I think they desperately need some kind of binding agent, like a vegan egg substitute (Bob's Red Mill or the like). No matter how much I knead or add tiny amounts of plant milk, the dough is always crumbly. With that being said! When you do manage to roll out a cohesive layer of this dough, the cookies hold together well and taste really delicious. This recipe is good and easy, just based on my personal experience I would argue it needs an egg replacer for cohesion. Otherwise, if you're okay working with crumbly dough, this recipe is perfect for you.

    1. Hi Kaitlyn,

      Thank you so much for your feedback 🙂 The dough should actually be quite sticky before chilling due to the molasses. Can I ask what type of molasses you are using? In any case, if you feel the dough is a little dry, you can simply add a little more sweetener to the mixture to bring it together. I'm glad that you enjoyed them nonetheless. Hope you have a lovely Christmas x

  6. Is there anything else I can use instead of molasses? In France it has such intense and strong taste, I have used it once in a cake and it was overwhelming, didn't like at all 🙁 I would really love to try making these! Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Sanja,

      You should be ok to use maple syrup, but I haven't tested it yet. Just note that the consistency of the dough may vary so you may have to add a touch more flour if it's too sticky - I don't have exact measurements for this I'm afraid.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks a lot, it definitely helps! I will try and let you know how it turned out 🙂

  7. Is there a substitute for aquafaba? I don't want to buy it for just one recipe. 🙁 Thanks!

    1. Hi Gina, the aquafaba helps to harden the icing as it dries. You can leave it out but the icing will be runny.

      1. Thanks! Are there any other ingredients that will give it that same effect? A starch or a flour?

  8. 5 stars
    Made these this evening they were so simple!! I have a feeling ill be making these very frequently. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Symone,

      That's so great to hear, they're a regular in this house as well. Thanks for the feedback x