This Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Recipe is a real show stopper! This recipe creates a slightly crispy cookie with a tender middle, perfect for decorating! Make vegan Gingerbread Cookies with all the right spices today!
Making the best gingerbread cookies is always a goal during the holiday baking season! I love making a double batch and sharing them with neighbors or as gifts.
I realized at some point I needed to make some gingerbread cookies vegan! It wasn’t that hard!
Why Homemade Gingerbread Cookies?
Store-bought cookies are fine, but sometimes you want to take it up a notch with these easy gingerbread cookies from scratch! You can make the recipe in steps by making the dough ahead of time.
This easy gingerbread cookie recipe is not only fun, but pretty tasty too!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Ground flaxseed
- Plant-based milk
- Vanilla extract
- Apple cider vinegar
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies
If you’re wondering how to make vegan gingerbread cookies, I’m glad you’re here! The thing is, I love making gingerbread cookies! Here are the steps involved:
Step One: Make the Gingerbread Cookie Dough
To make the gingerbread cookie dough, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then add the spices — ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg. Stir and set aside.
Now it’s time to make your egg replacement. In a small bowl combine soy milk with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Set aside.
Why is there vinegar in my gingerbread cookie dough? I love this explanation from Eating Well on why adding vinegar to cookie dough helps tenderize the dough.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl beat together the sugar and vegan butter for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add in the soy milk egg replacer and molasses. Beat a little longer until all the ingredients are combined. This may cause the butter to separate, but that’s ok. This will be resolved in the next step.
Mix in flour/spice mix and stir until a soft dough forms and the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill out in the fridge for an hour or two (this will make the dough much easier to work with).
Step 2: Roll the Chilled Dough
- Cut the dough in half, so you can roll half of the dough, and return the other half to the fridge to stay chilled.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper (you can substitute parchment paper).
- Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread people shapes. Be sure to press the cookie cutter through the dough. That helps to remove them and transfer easily to the cookie sheet.
Most gingerbread men cookie cutters are labeled as male, but personally? I think they look pretty interchangeable.
Gingerbread dough is sticky, so refrigerating it helps. If the dough gets too stick to work with during the rolling process, you can return it to the fridge for more chilling time.
I recommend the waxed paper method of rolling so you’re not constantly sprinkling it with flour. To do this, lay a piece of waxed paper on the counter. Place half of the dough on top of the waxed paper. Add another piece of waxed paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the gingerbread dough out to about a 1/8″ thickness.
You may notice the paper wrinkles as you roll the dough. Just flip the dough, and then peel off the paper and put it back on. That way your dough won’t have wrinkles.
Step 3: Transferring the Cutout Dough
- Remove the excess dough from around the cutout gingerbread people.
- Use a thin spatula or even a large kitchen knife to transfer the cutout dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- You may need to adjust arms or legs and gently press any shaggy edges of the dough. use your finger or the back of a spoon.
Step 3: Bake the Cookies
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to lightly brown. Place the cookies on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely before decorating.
Chewy Vs. Crisp Cookies
For a softer, chewier cookie, bake them for 8 minutes. They will firm up as they cool. For a bit crispier cookie with more color, bake for 10 or even 12 minutes. The molasses in the dough creates a soft cookie either way.
Step 4: Frost the Cookies
Use the Egg-Free Royal Icing recipe in the post or you can use the frosting recipe from my Vegan Sugar Cookies to make a delicious frosting to dip cooled cookies in. Then add colorful sprinkles to look like buttons for very simple decorated gingerbread man cookies.
If you want your gingerbread cookies to look like mine, here’s how I did it:
- Use the egg-free royal icing in the recipe below.
- I added it to a frosting bottle and used a fine, round tip (see my Amazon recommendations for this recipe).
- Keep a toothpick nearby so you can “close the frosting”. It tends to hang on between the cookie and icing tip and will leave little trails. Using a toothpick can help.
- If you don’t want to use a toothpick, just pull the frosting tip away from the decorated cookie very slowly. This frosting is very forgiving — if you end up with a trail of frosting off of an eye, simply use your finger or some other utensil to wipe it off.
- To make the cute scallops for the arms and legs, I faced the cookie’s arm towards me, and simply made the shape of a W with an extra dip (sometimes two if there is room). Then I turned the cookie and faced the leg towards me. Add another W there with an additional dip or two. Then turn the cookie so the other leg is facing me. Add the same “W” figure. Then turn the cookie so the final arm is facing me and did the same.
- For a skirt vs. pants, simply continue with the “W” pattern all across the top of the legs.
My Amazon Picks for this Recipe
More Christmas Cookies
Sure, these dairy-free gingerbread cookies are amazing, but here are some more favorite vegan holiday cookie recipes:
So, that’s that for these gingerbread cookies! If your holidays are in need of some cheer, I can testify from personal experience that making these vegan gingerbread cookies can sure help.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup vegan butter , softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar , packed
- 2/3 cup unsulphured molasses
- 3 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- To make the egg replacer, in a small bowl stir together the ground flaxseed and cornstarch. Add plant-based milk with vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Stir and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the softened vegan butter. Beat on medium speed for approximately 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat again for a minute or so until completely combined and it looks creamy again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vegan egg replacer and mix on high speed for another minute or so.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Slowly pour the flour mixture in with the rest of the dough, mixing on low speed until the flour is incporporated. This creats a thick but soft, somewhat sticky dough.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill out in the fridge for an hour or two (this will make the dough much easier to work with).
- Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours.
- When you're ready to bake, begin by heating your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Next, prepare your surface by lightly sprinkling it with flour. Alternatively, use a rolling bag or place a piece of waxed paper on the bottom of the dough and another sheet of waxed paper on top. This makes cleanup so much better!
- Take a chunk of the dough and roll it out to about a 1/4" thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut shapes. Place cut-outs on either an ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, approximately 1" apart. Roll again any unused dough and cut into shapes.
- Bake the cookies for 8–10 minutes (depending on the size of the cookie shapes – smaller cookies need only 8 minutes, larger cookies need up to 10 minutes). I prefer a soft center and the cookies will firm up as they cool, so don't bake longer than 10 minutes. Remove the cookies when the edges begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate cookies once completely cooled.
For the Egg Free Royal Icing
- Combine the egg replacer, water, and extract in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Pour the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the egg replacer mixture and begin stirring. It will be crumble at first, but keep at it. The mixture will become smooth and creamy. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes so that any bubbles will dissipate. This recipe thickens as it sits so you may need to add 1/4 teaspoon of water.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag or frosting squeeze bottles. Once cookies have cooled decorate the cookies (see post tips for easy decorating ideas).
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your holiday baking, I hope you love my favorite Gingerbread Cookie decorations noted above!