Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

These vegan gingerbread cookies are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, and deliciously spiced, they're fun to make, fun to decorate, and fun to eat.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

These vegan gingerbread cookies might just be my new favorite holiday cookie! They’re so good that I’ve made them quite a few times this month already. We (ahem, Jack) kept devouring batch after batch, so I just had to make them again this weekend so we could snap some photos and share them with all of you!

These vegan gingerbread cookies are soft, chewy, and deliciously spiced. If you ask me, they’re just as good as traditional gingerbread, but they’re made with wholesome, plant-based ingredients like coconut sugar, coconut oil, and almond butter – my secret ingredient. It makes these vegan gingerbread cookies so tasty that I couldn’t stop eating little pieces of the dough while I was mixing it together!

Wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls with whisks

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Ingredients

These vegan gingerbread cookies are a treat, don’t get me wrong, but they’re still packed with good-for-you ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Ground flaxseed – You’ll mix it with a little water to make a flax egg. It helps bind the other ingredients together and adds fiber and healthy fats to these vegan gingerbread cookies.
  • Spelt flour – If you don’t have spelt flour on hand, don’t worry! A 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat flour will work here too.
  • Spices – You can’t make good gingerbread without them! I use ginger, of course, as well as cinnamon and cardamom. They fill these cookies with delicious warm flavor.
  • Baking soda – To help the cookies puff up as they bake.
  • Melted coconut oil – It makes these vegan gingerbread cookies rich, soft, and chewy.
  • Almond butter – It adds extra richness and nutty depth of flavor.
  • Coconut sugar – This natural sweetener has a dark, molasses-like taste, so it adds depth to the cookies’ spiced, sweet flavor.
  • Molasses – A gingerbread essential! Along with the coconut sugar, it makes these cookies lightly sweet.
  • And sea salt – Don’t skip it! It makes all the sweet, spiced flavors pop.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Rolling out cookie dough with a rolling pin

How to Make Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Like classic sugar cookies, these vegan gingerbread cookies are a bit of a project. Still, they’re super fun to make – the perfect holiday activity to do with family, friends, or all on your own! Here’s what you need to do:

First, mix up the dough. Whisk together the flax and water, and set it aside to thicken. Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients. Then, add the remaining wet ingredients to the flax mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour in the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. When the dough becomes too thick to stir, use your hands to knead and form it into a thick disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

Then, roll it out. Place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper, and roll it out until it’s 1/4-inch thick.

Hand cutting out vegan gingerbread cookies

Now for the fun part! Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes. I like to start near the edges and work inwards, puzzling together the cut-outs to create as many cookies as I can. Re-roll the scraps as necessary to cut out more cookies.

Vegan gingerbread cookies cut-outs

As you work, transfer the cut-outs to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Gingerbread men on a baking sheet

Finally, bake! Transfer the cookie sheet to a 325° oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. If you have too many cookies for a single baking sheet, bake one sheet at a time so that the cookies bake evenly.

It’ll be tempting to eat these cookies right away (they smell amazing right out of the oven!), but it’s crucial that you don’t. They’re soft and tender, so let them rest for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies on a plate

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Variations

These vegan gingerbread cookies are really tasty on their own, but they’re also fun to decorate. Top them with this vegan frosting, the glaze from this recipe, or traditional royal icing. I think they’d also be adorable with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.

If you’re not in the mood for decorating or cutting out cookies, you can skip both! Instead of rolling out the dough, roll it into balls to make chewy, soft gingerbread cookies instead. Both versions of these vegan gingerbread cookies are delicious, so you really can’t go wrong. Just note that if you choose to decorate the cookies, they’ll need to be at room temperature before you begin. If they’re still warm, the frosting or icing will melt. Happy holidays, friends!

Soft Vegan Gingerbread Cookies on a baking sheet

More Favorite Holiday Treats

If you love these vegan gingerbread cookies, try one of these tasty holiday treats next:


5.0 from 9 reviews

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These vegan gingerbread cookies are perfect for the holidays! Roll the dough into balls to make soft ginger cookies, or use cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: about 20 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2¼ cups spelt flour (or white/wheat mix)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (3 for a stronger ginger flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup unsulphured molasses (I used this one from Wholesome)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed and water. Stir and set aside to thicken.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt.
  3. Give the flax mixture another stir, and then add the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, almond butter and molasses. Whisk until smooth. Add the dry mixture and stir to combine. When the dough gets thick, use your hands to lightly knead the dough to form a thick disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Remove the disk from the fridge. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough until ¼“ thick. (If your dough is too sticky, you can add a little bit of flour). Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and carefully place them on the baking sheet. Re-roll any remaining dough.*
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned (although this is hard to see since the cookies are dark). Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes on the hot baking sheet without touching them before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  7. *Optional: Instead of re-rolling any extra dough, form the remainder into soft ginger cookies. Place ¼ cup cane sugar into a small bowl. Roll the dough into 1½“ balls, and then roll them in the cane sugar. Place the balls on a cookie sheet and press down on them lightly to flatten. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
Notes
Note: Do not cut back on the amount of coconut oil, or your cookies will be dry.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

35 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. jacquie
    12.19.2016

    the cookies look wonderful!

    but i’m confused since when has there been a rule against having molasses or ginger cookies all year round? please say it isn’t so….

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.19.2016

      Ha, I guess not, I just thought gingerbread men wouldn’t be as popular after the holidays!

  2. Sarah
    12.19.2016

    Hi Jeanine! This looks amazing, but any suggestions for replacing the spelt flour? I am avoiding gluten! I love your site and all of your recipes that I’ve used have turned out successful!

    xxSarah

    • Stephanie
      12.20.2016

      Sarah, I bet you can use a G-F flour blend with no problems. Spelt tends to act a bit more like G-F than like wheat–a little bit crumbly when cooked–so it will be a good swap.
      Depending on why you’re avoiding, you might want to try spelt. I get migraines from wheat, but not from spelt 🙂

  3. Between the Christmas tree comments and decorating abilities, this post made me laugh and was quite entertaining to read. 😉 I’m not a big gingerbread cookie fan but your recipe is convincing me to embrace them with the additions of cardamom and almond butter. Now to find molasses here in Madrid?!

  4. leti
    12.20.2016

    I am so happy I found your recipe!
    🎄🎁🌈🌲⛄️
    I’m gathering all the ingredients right now!
    I’ll need now are some cookie cutters 🎉👏🏾
    Yippeee!
    Thank you!
    ✨🙏🏽✨

  5. Susan
    12.20.2016

    Can I substitute olive oil for the coconut oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.20.2016

      Hi Susan, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. It may (or may not) affect how the cookies spread in the oven.

  6. Maria CONSTANTINIDES
    12.21.2016

    Hi Jeanine – I would really like to try making these, can I use light muscovado sugar instead of coconut sugar? Any suggestions for substituting Almond butter?
    Many thanks 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.21.2016

      Hi Maria, yep the sugar swap should work. The almond butter helps these stay together so I’m not sure how to skip that one.

      • Maria CONSTANTINIDES
        12.21.2016

        OK cool – I will go fetch a jar of Almond butter first thing & get started on Gingerbread 🙂 can’t wait to try this recipe!
        Thanks again Jeanine 🙂

  7. Erika
    12.22.2016

    I just ate one of my cooled gingerbread men and they turned out sooo good! I haven’t made a recipe of yours yet that hasn’t been delicious 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2016

      Ooh, I’m so glad!!

  8. Kristin & Ryan
    12.22.2016

    We made these today!! The entire apartment smells magical. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2016

      Yay, so glad you enjoyed!!

  9. Elsie
    12.24.2016

    Hey, love how this recipe looks but wondering if it’s necessary to use molasses or would I be able to use maple syrup as a substitute? Or anything else? (:

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.24.2016

      Hi Elsie – I tried these with maple syrup and they were ok, but they are really so much more wonderful with the molasses. The texture of (especially the cutout cookies) is overall better and the dough is so much easier to work with. Sorry, that’s not helpful!

  10. linda
    12.30.2016

    Any suggestions for a (healthier) icing recipe? I love your recipes and can’t wait to try these out.

  11. Sol
    07.11.2017

    Hi! Can the almond butter be subsituted with peanut butter? Will it change the flavour?

  12. Jeeb
    12.19.2017

    Can I use egg instead of flaxseed meal? Hello from Vancouver Canada 🇨🇦. Love your blog! Jeeb

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2017

      Hi Jeeb, I haven’t tried, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. Skip the 3 tablespoons of water too and use 1 egg.

  13. Emily
    12.21.2017

    I made a Vegan lemon icing for these guys and they were delicious! thank you!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2017

      Ooh, that sounds delicious, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies!

  14. Mary from rayquilts.com
    11.24.2018

    I just made these and they are 100% delicious. The dough is sturdy yet pliant, and the cookie is very soft in texture (cooked for the min time) and full of warm spice. Best of all, theyre satisfying and surprisingly filling. Very happy to have made a soft gingerbread cookie that wasnt a hard-as-a-rock biscuit.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.25.2018

      Hi Mary, I’m so glad you loved these! Ha, I feel the same way about hard-as-a-rock biscuit cookies!

  15. Aspen Link
    11.26.2018

    Hi, can I omit the almond butter? Or substitute it for natural peanut butter? It’s just that I NEVER use almond butter and it is quite expensive…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.26.2018

      Hello, I would not omit the almond butter because it’s one of the main binders in the recipe. Peanut butter might work but the cookies would have more of a distinct peanut butter flavor (which could be tasty?). Let me know if you give it a try. Hope that helps!

  16. Edmary
    12.21.2018

    I made these cookies this week and gave them to my co-workers in cookie tins. Everyone loved them! I followed the recipe as written except I used 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup whole wheat pastry, and 1/4 all-purpose. Oh, and I used cashew butter because I did not have almond butter. They definitely have a spicy kick to them but they are so good especially with coffee! Perfect holiday cookie. I topped mine off with cane sugar and baked them like that.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2018

      I’m so glad everyone loved them!! Thanks for coming back to let me know, it makes my day :). I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  17. DPLK
    12.25.2018

    Hi Jeanine, I tried this recipe today and LOVED it! The almond butter makes the cookie so flavorful and delicious! Only problem I had was that I ran out of molasses during this recipe (I only had about half of the amount called for), so I used honey for the rest of the volume and it didn’t quite have as much of the traditional gingerbread flavor, but that’s all my problem. I need to amp up the ginger next time too; I was a little shy in taking your recommendation for a full 3 teaspoons and now I regret it! But despite all that, this recipe is a real keeper and I will be adding it to my yearly repertoire!! Merry Christmas and thank you for this wonderful recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.27.2018

      I’m so glad you loved them! (Belated) Merry Christmas to you too!

  18. Fiona
    12.05.2019

    Hello, do you have a metric version of this recipe please?

  19. CG
    01.02.2020

    These were amazing!! I love that they are made with healthy ingredients but taste so delicious! The only change I made was to use 1/4 tsp cloves instead of cardamom and I lowered the amount of cinnamon. I used almost the full 3 tsp of ginger for a full ginger flavor. Was pretty simple to roll out and cut cookies out too. Yum! Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.03.2020

      I’m so glad you loved the cookies!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.