Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies are a healthy spin on a Christmas holiday classic! Made with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and almond butter.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

It’s Christmas week! Yay!

So… we still haven’t put up that tree, but I’ve been doing a whole bunch of baking to make up for it (for Christmas and also for other upcoming holidays).

These cookies are so good that I’ve made them quite a few times this month. We (ahem, Jack) kept eating them before actually getting around to taking photos of them. Since no one needs a January gingerbread cookie, we made them again this past weekend. Better late than never! Here we go – these spicy little guys are ready to share:

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

The cookies are naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and molasses which makes them sweet but not too sweet. They’re spiced with ginger, cinnamon and (a surprise spice) cardamom, which gives a nice warm flavor. I mixed in a little almond butter, which makes these so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating little pieces of the dough while I was mixing it together.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

You could definitely decorate these gingerbread cookies if you like – I took a more minimal approach because they’re really tasty on their own, and also my decorating skills aren’t really so hot. (Remember these?)

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Make these vegan gingerbread cookies into your favorite cut-out shapes, OR take the easy (but still very delicious) way out and roll them into balls to make soft, chewy ginger cookies like these:

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

5.0 from 9 reviews

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

These Vegan Gingerbread Cookies are a healthy spin on a holiday classic! Delicious as cut-outs or rolled into balls to make soft, chewy ginger cookies.
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: about 20 cookies
  • 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)
  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.
Note: do not cut back on the amount of coconut oil or your cookies will be dry.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies


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  1. jacquie

    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

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

  2. Sarah

    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!


    • Stephanie

      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

    I am so happy I found your recipe!
    I’m gathering all the ingredients right now!
    I’ll need now are some cookie cutters 🎉👏🏾
    Thank you!

  5. Susan

    Can I substitute olive oil for the coconut oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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.


    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

      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.


        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

    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

      Ooh, I’m so glad!!

  8. Kristin & Ryan

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yay, so glad you enjoyed!!

  9. Elsie

    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

      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

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

  11. Sol

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

  12. Jeeb

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  14. Mary from

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

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

  18. Fiona

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

  19. CG

    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

      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.