Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Are you ready for another holiday cookie recipe? I hope so, because these vegan gingerbread cookies are a keeper and they’re based on a secret family recipe!

For as long as Aaron can remember (and definitely as long as I’ve known Aaron), his mom, Kathy, has been making big batches of cookies from Thanksgiving through Christmas. There is never a shortage of cookies at the Scott house any time of year, and this is especially true around the holidays. Each year, Kathy makes candy cane cookies, almond cookies, snickerdoodles, and my favorite—gingerbread cookies. It’s not a visit to Aaron’s parents’ house unless you’ve eaten at least five cookies and left with a tupperware of more to take home.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

This abundance of cookies growing up is for sure why Aaron asks me, half seriously, “where are the cookies?” most nights after dinner. (he knows the answer is almost always, “the cookies are at the store.”) There is so much nostalgia associated with these cookies, and I really like the idea of making the same few treats at certain times of the year. Aaron and I don’t have a lot of our own traditions just yet, so when we visited his family for Thanksgiving and his mom brought out a plate of her classic gingerbread cookies, I knew I wanted to see if I could put my own spin on her recipe and make vegan gingerbread cookies a regular part of our winter celebrations.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

I think it’s always important to use quality ingredients, but especially around the holidays when you’re often making food for other people. For these vegan gingerbread cookies, I used McCormick Ground Cinnamon and Ground Ginger, and added ample amounts of both because I love their cozy flavors. Even though I don’t have any really strong family cookie traditions, those two spices take me right back in time to some of my favorite memories, when my mom also used the McCormick brand and her spice cabinet was lined with little red-capped containers.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

To make the cookies vegan, I swapped the egg and butter for a flax “egg” and vegan butter, traded white sugar for coconut sugar, and then replaced the light molasses with blackstrap, although you could certainly use regular molasses if you prefer a less molasses-y cookie.

The icing is a non-dairy version of a classic mix: vegan butter, powdered sugar, and a little almond milk to thin it out. I filled a small, sealable plastic bag with icing, cut off a tiny portion of one corner, and then decorated to my heart’s content! You can be as simple or as fancy as you like, or skip the icing entirely and quickly dust your gingerbread cookies with powdered sugar. I got really into “the baking zone” and before I knew it, I had spent nearly an hour creating different snowflake patterns. It was kind of like those adult coloring books that people use to reduce stress, except I got to eat my work when I was done!

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

If you’re looking for a classic and vegan gingerbread cookie recipe, I think you’re going to love this one. The original recipe has stood the test of time in the Scott family, and I expect this version will stand the test of time in our little family now too.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays (and lots of cookies)! xo


Thank you to McCormick® for sponsoring this post!

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Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan,

Serves: 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies


Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Cook Time: 8 mins

These vegan gingerbread cookies are based on an old family recipe and are always a big crowd-pleaser! They use simple ingredients and are so easy to make.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

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Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 flax "egg" (1 tablespoon flax seeds, freshly ground + 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the icing:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk

Cuisine: Vegan Servings: 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins Cook Time: 8 mins

These vegan gingerbread cookies are based on an old family recipe and are always a big crowd-pleaser! They use simple ingredients and are so easy to make.

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax and warm water. Set aside for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter, sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and flax "egg" on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, or until combined. Mix in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until just combined. The dough should be very thick.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour in the freezer.
  • Once chilled, divide the dough in half and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper, flouring the bottom piece of parchment paper and top of the dough as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. The rolled dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking to help them retain their shape.
  • While the cut dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges begin to turn a darker brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the icing: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the texture is thick but pliable. Transfer the icing to a sandwich-sized sealable bag. Squeeze out any air, then seal the bag. Use scissors to cut a tiny hole (about 1 mm) in one of the bottom corners.
  • Decorate the cookies however you like. Leftover cookies should be kept covered and stored at room temperature (up to a few days).

Notes [3]

I like the strong taste of blackstrap molasses, but it’s not for everyone. Feel free to replace it with regular or light molasses for a more mild flavor.

You can replace the ground ginger and cinnamon with 2 1/2 teaspoons of McCormick Gingerbread Spice if you like.

Bake times will vary depending on your oven. I found 8 minutes to be the ideal time for softer cookies, 9 minutes for crispy edges with soft centers, and 10 minutes for an all-around crisp cookie. Keep a close eye on them though because they bake up fast.

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Karlie says

    these are so gorgeous! definitely going to try that icing technique. Have a great week!

  2. Damn girl you have mad icing skills. Why don’t my cookies ever come out this beautiful!? Teach me your ways!!!

  3. Maddie says

    They look awesome! Is the texture soft or crunchy?

    1. Thank you, Maddie! I made mine softer (thicker cookies + an 8-9 minute bake time). You could make them crisper by rolling the dough thinner and baking for 10 minutes if you’d prefer!

    2. Victoria Taylor says

      These cookies look incredible. Thank you to Maddie for asking the soft or crunchy question above. Exactly what I wanted to know. I also want to compliment you on your beautiful photos. I know how much time goes into creating such exquisite images. Oh and the icing, you’ve got skills! Keep it up and thank you for posting. Happy Cooking!

      1. Thank you, Victoria! So sweet of you to compliment our photos and my icing skills. 🙂 Decorating these cookies totally took me back to my days working at an ice cream shop. I was the cake decorator there whenever an order came in and it was one of my favorite parts of that job. <3 Happy holidays!

  4. I just love the look of these! Your photos are gorgeous. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the sweet compliment, Natasha! <3

  5. Leo Sigh says

    Wow, was just looking for a vegan gingerbread recipe, and here one is 🙂 And it looks fabulous. Thanks!! I just moved into an apartment with an oven, for the first time in 14 years, so am really looking forward to making cookies 🙂

    1. I bet you’re looking forward to making cookies, Leo! 14 years is a looooong time to go without an oven. These vegan gingerbread cookies will be a wonderful way to celebrate! 🙂

      1. Leo Sigh says

        LOL, yes indeed. I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 14 years and most Thai apartments don’t have ovens as most Thai food is cooked in a pan or a wok. So, it’s been nice to be in Austria now and actually be able to cook 🙂 Thanks for the reply!!

  6. Hahaha my icing never turns out this beautiful! give me your skillz 🙂 I was after a vegan gngerbread recipe for my neighbour so thank you for the inspiration lovelies!

    1. I think the key with decorating cookies is to do a few test runs to get the hang of it (I definitely had some not-so-pretty cookies when I was warming up! haha). But the good thing is that even the messy ones still taste delicious. 🙂

  7. Kate R. says

    Girl, you are one talented cookie decorator! I saw your recipe featured on FoodGawker and I had to check it out. Your blog is amazing! I was reading about your 1 year road trip and I’m in awe. I would LOVE to do a similar trip one day! Adding Pickles & Honey to my feedly. <3

  8. Debbie says

    I have been looking for a good gingerbread recipe for a while and yours looks perfect. I will be making these on Christmas morning, although my icing skills won’t be nearly as good as yours. Thank you for sharing your family recipe, Amanda and Aaron. Merry Christmas!

  9. Jessica says

    By far, these are the prettiest gingerbread cookies I’ve ever seen. You are so so talented. I’m planning to make your recipe for Christmas this weekend. Fingers crossed my cookies turn out half as pretty as yours! 😉

  10. Michelle says

    I made these for my family for Christmas yesterday and no one could tell they were vegan! The flax “egg” worked so well, I plan to use that in more of my baked goods. Thank you for a perfect gingerbread cookie recipe, Amanda! Merry Christmas to you and Aaron!

  11. Wow! These look absolutely perfect! Gorgeous photos and mad icing skills! Thanks for sharing these, Amanda & Aaron. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet comment! Happy New Year to you too!

  12. Brittany says

    This recipe is amazing! I made these a few days ago for my blog (and of course credited you for the cookie recipe). Here is the post I wrote about it:

    https://panthersandpeonies.com/lebkuchenherzen-for-oktoberfest-german-gingerbread-hearts/

    Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  13. Elaine says

    Can you sub maple syrup for molasses?

    1. Hi Elaine! I’m not sure maple syrup will work, because molasses is what gives gingerbread it’s quintessential flavor and it’s also quite a bit thicker than maple syrup.

  14. Devyn says

    Hi, how long can I leave the dough frozen before making the cookies? Will it work if the dough is frozen more than an hour?

    1. Hi Devyn! If the dough is frozen for more than 1 hour, it will likely be too hard to roll out.

  15. Dana says

    Can I make the dough a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake?

    1. Hi Dana, Yes, that should work! 🙂

  16. I was never a fan of gingerbread but I made this recipe for Christmas this year and they are soooo good! I used blackstrap molasses and it was the perfect amount of flavor. They are super soft and fluffy and I will be making these again. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the gingerbread cookies, Amanda! I love the blackstrap molasses in this recipe—it’s so flavorful.

      1. Karina says

        Hi,

        I was wondering if this will work with bobs red mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour

      2. Hi Karina! I haven’t tried using gluten-free baking flour in this recipe, but I have had success using that Bob’s Red Mill flour for other recipes in the past. If you give it a try, please let me know how it turns out!

  17. Anne says

    Hii, the cookies look beautifull! Can you tell me what is the weight of 1 stick vegan butter? Here in the netherlands we don’t have sticks like that so its easier for me to know the weight of the amount of butter thats needed for this recipe. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Anne I just checked the weight of the vegan butter and each stick is 1/4 pound, or 113.5 grams. Hope this helps!

      1. Anne says
  18. Katelyn says

    Hi! Can I use vegan margarine instead of sticks? Thanks

    1. Hi Katelyn, I’ve only ever made this recipe with Earth Balance (both the buttery sticks and tub of vegan butter will work). I imagine other vegan butters/margarine should work, assuming they have a similar consistency to real butter.

  19. Michelle says

    Wow! These cookies are absolutely beautiful. Does the icing go hard or does it stay soft?

    1. Hey Michelle! It’s a royal icing, so it will harden once it sets. 🙂

  20. Heather Correa says

    HOLY COW this is amazing! My batter is in the freezer now and it’s taking everything I have to not pull it out and eat the entire thing!!!!! Thank you so much.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that, Heather! I hope you loved the gingerbread cookies!

  21. majid says

    you are one talented cookie decorator!

  22. Matilde says

    I’m so excited to try out this recipe for my upcoming Christmas dinner with my friends! I was wondering if I can swap both the spices for Pumpkin Spice mix, I have a huge container left and I have to use it somehow 😅
    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe 🧡

    1. Amanda says

      Yes, I think swapping the spices for Pumpkin Pie Spice should be great! I always have extra and it’s so seasonal…I think that’s a pretty genius idea!

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