‘Tis the season for all things gingerbread! These vegan gingerbread cookies taste just like the traditional holiday cookie recipes, but without the refined sugar or guilt! This recipe is gluten free and incredibly easy to make.
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I don’t know about you, I absolutely LOOOOVE this time of year! I feel like most people dread the dark days and frigid weather (which I get), but there’s something so cozy and comforting about it.
These cookies took quite a bit of trial and error to get right, but oh my goodness I swear I have finally nailed the most perfect gingerbread cookie ever.
They meet all of my criteria for a gingerbread cookie. Soft on the inside with a *slight* crisp when you first bite in, a deep golden color from molasses, perfectly gingery, just sweet enough, and perfect for decorating.
How to make this recipe
Use an electric mixer to beat together all of the wet ingredients. I prefer handheld electric mixers, but a stand mixer will work just the same.
Beat in all of the dry ingredients. BE SURE to measure the flour properly. This is SO important!! You don’t want to scoop the flour right out of the bag. But rather pour it into the measuring cup and then level off the top. You don’t want to pack it in there, it should just naturally fall into the measuring cup and then level off the top so it’s smooth.
Cover the dough and let set in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you’re in a rush, 10 minutes in the fridge will be fine, it just makes the dough much easier to roll out because it won’t be quite as sticky.
Use a rolling pin and roll into about ¼ – ½ inch thick. You can make them any thickness depending on what you want the final texture to be like. Thinner will yield a crispy cookie, thick will yield a chewy cookie.
Be sure to flour both your surface AND your rolling pin so the dough doesn’t stick to either. Don’t be afraid to add a lot of flour to the surface, this will make it much easier to transfer the cookies to the baking sheet.
Use cookie cutters (see notes for tips) and carefully place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-11 minutes. The cookies will continue to harden as they cool and should be quite soft when removed from the oven.
How to tell when they’re done
Usually, you can tell a cookie is done because the edges are golden brown. But with darker cookies that contain molasses like these vegan gingerbread cookies, sometimes it can be hard to tell.
You’ll know they’re done when the cookies are one even color and the center doesn’t appear raw. They will continue to harden as they cool, so avoid touching them for about 20 minutes after they come out of the oven so they don’t fall apart.
These cookies over bake really easily, so if you want a chewy cookie it’s best to take them out on the early side. Every oven is different, but 8 or so minutes in my oven is perfect. The cookies are really soft when they first come out, but firm up a bit as they cool.
Tips & tricks
When using the cookie cutters, I suggest lightly oiling the cookie cutter and then dusting it with some flour. This will ensure the cookie dough doesn’t stick to the cutter and the cookie retains it’s shape really well. I like to cut the cookie, leave the cookie cutter on, and get a spatula to transfer the cookie to a baking sheet and then remove the cookie cutter.
If you don’t have or want to use cookie cutters, you can just make these cookies into regular circle cookies! Form the dough into even balls (about 1 ½ tbsp of dough) and then flatten out with your fingers before baking so they have a nice cookie shape. You can also add ½ tsp of baking soda to the dough if you want them to spread. Bake for the usual 8-10 minutes.
Once prepared, these vegan gingerbread cookies will store in an air tight container for about 1 week. I like to pop them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to warm them up before eating.
How to keep them from spreading
These cookies should not spread at all while baking, and that’s for a few reasons! One is that there is no baking soda. I used baking soda in my initial trials, but the cookies always spread (duh!).
So I omitted the baking soda and added a bit more flour to ensure they don’t spread. Chilling the dough and keeping the baking time short ensures the cookies don’t spread, are nice and chewy but don’t dry out. Be sure to measure all of the ingredients precisely and chill the dough to ensure these cookies retain their shape.
The best molasses
Try these next!
- Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Pumpkin Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- ¼ cup liquid from can of chickpeas OR 2 egg whites
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp water (as needed)
- Beat together all of the wet ingredients until well combined using an electric mixer.
- Mix in all of the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, making sure to spoon and level the flour.
- Cover the dough and let set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a rolling pin and roll into about ¼ – ½ inch thick. You can make them any thickness depending on what you want the final texture to be like. Thinner will yield a crispy cookie, thick will yield a chewy cookie.
- Use cookie cutters (see notes for tips) and carefully place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper leaving some space between each cookie.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes. You'll know they're done when the cookies are one even color and the center doesn't appear raw. They'll be soft when they come out of the oven, but will continue to harden as they cool.
- To make the icing, beat either ¼ of the liquid from a can of chickpeas (aquafaba) OR 2 egg whites until foamy. Beat in the sifted powdered sugar until completely smooth and creamy. You want the icing to be thick enough that it doesn't run off the cookies, but not so thick that you can't pipe it properly.