Vegan gingerbread cookies (easy)

Vegan gingerbread cookies (easy)

vegan gingerbread cookies easy

As we have just stepped into December, I consider Christmas cookie baking season officially open. Any nay sayers out there? I started off with a most popular Christmas cookie – gingerbread cookie. Although I already have two delicious gingerbread cookie recipes on this website (here and here), I’ve decided that I need one more. Firstly because I felt like going on a cookie decorating spree – I won’t lie – and secondly because I wanted to create a simpler recipe with only basic ingredients that any vegan will find in their pantry or the nearest shopping aisle.

This recipe is exactly that, it contains common pantry ingredients that anyone will be able to find without much effort. The only maybe slightly unusual ingredient is molasses. Molasses is a by product of sugar refining process and it has been traditionally added to gingerbreads to deepen their flavour. I used pure blackstrap molasses as that’s what I already had in my cupboard. If you add a lot (I tested another version with double the amount), they do contribute a slightly bitter taste, but dialling down to 2 tbsp was perfect. You can use black treacle or unsulphured molasses instead. You can also just skip them altogether and compensate as per my recipe instructions. Right, so let’s get down to it, below you can see all of the ingredients needed at a glance…

vegan gingerbread cookies easy ingredients revised


VEGAN BUTTER: vegan butter block (I like using Naturli and Violife, but of which are available in most UK supermarkets) replace traditionally used butter. You could also use coconut oil. I recommend using a refined coconut oil like this one as it does not contribute any coconut flavour.

MUSCOVADO SUGAR: Muscovado sugar, which is less refined than other sugars so it contains a lot of molasses, contributes a lot of flavour to these cookies. I used dark muscovado but light version can be used too, especially if you are using molasses too.

MOLASSES: Molasses, which are a byproducts of refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar, are traditionally used in gingerbreads to add flavour. I used blackstrap molasses, which have a slighly bitter flavour. If you want to avoid bitterness altogether, use unsulphured molasses instead. You could also use black treacle, which is more traditionally used in the UK, instead. If you don’t have any of these ingredients, don’t worry – you can totally make beautiful gingerbreads without either of them – I explain everything in step 4 of my instructions.

GROUND FLAX: If you are making these with regular flour, there is no need to add flax at all. If however, you want to make these gluten-free use a well-balanced GF flour mix (that contains some starches) and add some flax to keep these from crumbling.

SOY MILK: A dash of protein rich soy milk is used here to replace eggs. You don’t have to use soy milk if you don’t have it though, any plant milk will do.

BAKING SODA: Baking soda is what helps these cookies rise a little and stops them from being too dense.

SPICES: I used the following combination of classic gingerbread spices to flavour these Christmas cookies: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves. You can adjust the amounts and maybe swap out some spices to your liking. All spice, coriander and black pepper are often also used.

FLOUR: all purpose (also known as plain) flour is what I used to make these and this GF flour mix to make gluten-free version.

vegan gingerbread cookies creaming butter sugar

Start off by placing vegan butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. If your butter is cold, allow it to sit on the counter for a bit to soften. Using electric beaters cream vegan butter and sugar together until fluffy and thoroughly combined.

vegan gingerbread cookies adding flax molasses

Next, add in molasses and activated flax (if making GF version) or soy milk (if making regular version). Whip untill well combined, scraping the walls of the bowl with a spatula now and then. You will end up with thick homogenous mixture.

vegan gingerbread cookies incorporating flour

Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in baking soda, spices, salt and half of the flour. Fold it in gently using a spatula first, then add the second half of the flour and switch to your hands – be gentle if using regular (containing gluten) flour. You should end up with quite a soft dough by the end.

vegan gingerbread cookies cutting

After chilling the dough, roll it out until 5 mm / 0.2 inch and cut out gingerbreads using cookie cutters. Bake and cool before decorating.

vegan gingerbread cookies easy baked

vegan gingerbread cookies baking tray

And if you are after a few more Christmas cookie and truffle recipes, I’ve got you covered…

30 min
12 min
30 min
12 min
  • 75 g / 2.7 oz (about 1/3 cup) vegan butter block or coconut oil
  • 9 g / 1½ tbsp ground flax (if using GF flour)
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup soy milk (or other plant milk)
  • 100 g / packed ½ cup dark muscovado sugar
  • 40 g / 2 tbsp molasses* or extra 25 g / 2 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 2¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • heaped ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 250 g / 2 cups all purpose flour or GF flour mix


  • 140 g / 1 cup icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 20 ml / 4 tsp water, lemon juice or plant milk
  1. Measure out vegan butter, place it in a large mixing bowl and leave on the counter to soften.
  2. If making these with gluten-free flour, combine ground flax with 60 ml (¼ cup) of soy milk and set aside to thicken. Otherwise skip to the next step.
  3. Once the butter has softened, add sugar and whisk with electric beaters until homogenous and fluffy.
  4. Next add in molasses and ¼ cup of soy milk (or activated flax if using GF flour). If not using molasses, add an extra 25 g / 2 tbsp of sugar and 80 ml / 1/3 cup soy milk in total (or activated flax and an extra tablespoon of soy milk if using GF flour). Whisk until well combined and creamy.
  5. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in all of the dry ingredients including approximately a half of flour. Mix well to combine, then sift in another half of flour. Use your hands to gently bring the dough together but do not knead.
  6. The dough should be soft and a little sticky. Form it into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 3 hours, until the dough has hardend.
  7. Before you are about to take the dough out of the fridge, set the oven to 180° C / 355° F and line two baking trays with a piece of baking paper.
  8. Take the dough out of the fridge – if you used coconut oil, bring the dough to room temperature to soften a little. Roll half of the dough (place the other half back in the fridge) out on a lightly floured surface pressing gently with a rolling pin. Roll the dough until about 5 mm / 0.2 inch thick, then cut out cookies. If you want your gingerbreads extra crispy, roll them out even thinner.
  9. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays. You don’t need to leave a lot of space between them as they don’t expand much. Group similar size cookies together so that they cook in the same time. Bake small cookies for about 7-9 minutes and larger for 10-12 minutes.
  10. To make the icing, mix icing sugar with your choice of liquid until you obtain a thick yet pourable icing. Apply icing using a piping bag.
  11. Store the biscuits in an air-tight container away from moisture, they should keep for at least a week.

 *MOLASSES: I used blackstrap molasses, you can also use unsulphured molasses or black treacle.

*FREEZING: This dough freezes very well. You can make it in advance, divide into 2-3 portions (so that it thaws quicker) and freeze wrapped up in cling film. Defrost a few hours before you are ready to start baking.

3 g
1 g
0 g
1 g
8 g
*per 1 out of 40 cookies
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5 reviews, 15 comments
hi, can I substitute molasses and golden syrup for maple syrup?
    Hi Rebeka,
    There is no golden syrup in this recipe and molasses are better off substituted by dark muscovado and extra plant milk, as per instructions. Hope you'll enjoy these. x Ania
I just made this recipe and served it to my family – it was a great success! I doubled the recipe, divided it into four portions, and froze them for ten days before baking. It worked perfectly; after a day of thawing in the refrigerator, I just had to knead the dough a bit, and I was good to go. I followed the baking times according to the size of my cookie cutters, and they turned out exactly as I wanted – soft but firm, beautiful cookies. It's ideal. Thank you so much!
    Thank you so much, Philippine! I am delighted that these have turned out so well and thank you for taking the time to review - I really appreciate it. Merry Christmas! x Ania
Hej Aniu,
Po dodaniu melasy i siemienia z mlekiem, masło ubite z cukrem zważyło się. Myślisz że pierniczki udadzą się mimo to?
Pozdrawiam i dziękuję za przepis :)
    Nic nie szkodzi, tak czasami sie dzieje z weganskim maslem, ciagle wyjda fajne. Pozdrawiam serdecznie! Ania
Wow, Ania!! I keep coming back to your page because everything she makes is always so beautiful. My daughter can’t have dairy and my son-in-law has celiac disease so this cookie recipe was the winner for “Santa”. We made them on Christmas Eve and they were wonderful! Thanks for giving such great options!
    Thank you for your kind words, Daniela. I am delighted to hear that they were such a hit with your family and that everyone was able to enjoy them despite food intolerances - that makes me really happy to hear! x Ania
Rosalind Healy:
Best and easiest gingerbread I’ve ever made. Cooks quickly and looks great.
    Aw, thanks Rosalind, I am delighted to hear that and thank you for taking the time to review, much appreciated. x Ania
so far going well - nice and easy and the dough smells divine. Will the dough keep in the fridge for 3 nights (made Wednesday evening to bake on Saturday) or do I need to freeze it?
thanks for the recipe, my children have been asking for gingerbread men
ps making the gluten free version and had to add more flour to get the soft and slightly sticky consistency, though I suspect this is because I'm not using the same blend as you. gf does vary wildly!
    Thanks Helen, I am glad they are going well. No, you can safey keep the dough in the fridge for 3 days or even more. Yes, various flours/grains have different absorbency levels so if you are using a different brand to make it is very likely to impact the amount of flour needed. x Ania
I'm going to try these! Only thing I would suggest to make this post better are some links to your other cookie recipes you think might be good for the holiday season :)
    Great to hear, I hope you'll enjoy them! Good idea, I will do that later on today! x Ania
Just made these with my three year old. They are easy to make, bake perfectly, and are so delicious. They'll definitely be my go-to gingerbread. Next time I will decrease the ginger a little (personal preference only).
    Aw, I am delighted to hear that Julie! Thank you! And yes, the spices can be altered, I wanted a little bit of heat. x Ania
Made these last night with GF flour and coconut oil, part of my every-other-day holiday baking spree. The dough was easy to handle and looked just like in the instructions pictured. The finished product turned out perfect. Husband and kids had some for breakfast and packed these in their lunchboxes 🙏 Ania!
    Aw, that's so lovely to hear that they came out well and were so well received, Andra! And wow, you are quick, I only published it yesterday!! As always, thank you so much for taking the time to leave this lovely review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Priti Shah:
You must be a mind reader 😊
    Hahah, yes, that's what I did my Masters in ;) x Ania
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