Classic cut-out Vegan Gingerbread Cookies that don’t spread or puff up when you bake them! Perfectly spiced, buttery, delicious and easy to make.

lots of iced vegan gingerbread people, with red towel in background

This is the perfect recipe for gingerbread cookies, and no one would ever guess they’re vegan. I adapted this recipe from several non-vegan gingerbread cookies (Gimme Some Oven, Sally’s Baking Addiction).

It took me several tries to get it just right, at first just replacing the butter with vegan butter and the eggs with flax eggs. But that left me with a dough that was too dry. So I added some more molasses to make up for it, and voilà! The perfect cut out gingerbread cookies with no animal products.

I love that they hold their shape in the oven, the same way my Vegan Sugar Cookies do. The trick? Refrigerate the dough for a while before sticking them in the oven.

How to make gingerbread cookies

(This is simply an overview with photos, please see the recipe card below for the full, printable recipe.)

It’s pretty simple!

  1. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt). Set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, add the softened vegan butter and brown sugar. Beat with a hand or stand mixer until creamy, then add in the flax egg, molasses and vanilla and beat until smooth. Slowly add in the dry mixture.
  3. The dough will be quite thick, but easy to smush together in your hands. It may look crumbly when you use the mixer, but when you form it into balls of dough, it should be plenty moist and easy to work with.
  4. Refrigerate the dough in two discs for an hour, them roll it out on a clean, lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes.

collage of how to make gingerbread cookies, step by step

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or longer for crispier cookies. Let them cool completely before decorating.

Helpful tools

  • Stand mixer – I love my Kitchen Aid, so if you have one, use it. A hand mixer works as well. If you don’t have either, you can probably mix by hand with a strong wooden spoon.
  • Rolling pin – For rolling out the dough.
  • Cookie cutters – I used this little set of 3. Love the different sizes.
  • Icing bottles – For decorating. You can also use a pastry bag or even a ziplock bag, but for kids the bottles make it so easy!

baked gingerbread cookies on a tray

Can I make them gluten free?

I haven’t tried it yet myself, but a quality gluten free flour mix should work here. It works quite well in my sugar cookies recipe, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t here. Don’t try to use almond flour or coconut flour, that will NOT work!

How to store vegan gingerbread cookies

Store leftover cookies in a covered container for up to 4 days, or freeze them for longer. They can be frozen iced or un-iced. I froze quite a few since I made several batches, and they taste wonderful right out of the freezer to me!

close up of a gingerbread cookie person, more around it

More pretty vegan cookies

square image of gingerbread people, red towel in back.
4.84 stars (18 ratings)

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Classic cut-out Vegan Gingerbread Cookies that don't spread or puff up when you bake them! Perfectly spiced, buttery, delicious and easy to make.
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chilling time: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 40 mins
Servings: 30 cookies

Ingredients 
 

Flax Egg

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 2.5 tablespoons water

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Easy Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons plant milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Make the Flax Egg: In a small bowl, stir the flaxseeds and water together, then set aside to thicken.
  • In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer (or stand mixer using the paddle attachment), beat the vegan butter and brown sugar together for 2-3 minutes until creamy and fluffy. 
  • To the bowl with the butter/brown sugar mixture, add the flax egg, molasses and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and well combined. 
  • Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed until just combined. 
  • Divide the cookie dough into two portions. Form each portion into a ball, then flatten with your hands into about a 1 inch disk (I used parchment paper on a counter to flatten). Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Overnight is fine as well if you want to prepare the dough a day ahead of time. If the dough was chilled longer than an hour, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling.
  • Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle flour on a clean, large surface (I just use my counter). Unwrap the dough and place on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until about 1/8th inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut them into shapes, and transfer to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes (for crispy cookies, bake for 12-14 minutes), in the center rack of the oven. They will be quite soft out of the oven, so let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough is used. 
  • Make the simple icing: Whisk all icing ingredients together in a medium bowl until very smooth. You want it to be fairly thick for decorating, so add more powdered sugar as needed, or more milk if it gets too thick.
  • Once the cookies have cooled completely, use a piping bag or plastic bottle to decorate the cookies however you like. Enjoy! Store leftover cookies in a covered container for 4 days, or freeze them.

Notes

  1. You may get more or less cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. I used a variety of sizes.
  2. If you prefer crispy gingerbread cookies, simply bake them longer, 12-14 minutes. I prefer them soft but so they are easily held and don't fall apart.
  3. Gluten free - I haven't tested it, but a gluten free all purpose blend will likely work quite well.
  4. Please don't skip refrigerating this dough, or your cookies may very well spread and puff up when you bake them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 30 cookies | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. I’m just wondering if I use egg replacer rather than the flax seed mix, what’s the equivalent egg amount to use? (i.e. does the flax seed mix equate to 1 egg). Looking forward to making these cookies, I just finished making your vegan sugar cookie recipe and they turned out great.

    1. Hi there! Yes, the flaxseed mix equals 1 egg, so replace it with 1 eggs worth of whatever replacement you’re using. I hope you enjoy and am glad you liked the sugar cookies!

  2. I normally love all your recipes and do minimal changes. I do love that these held their shape and didn’t puff, so I’ll for sure use this again. They were on the blander side for what I like in a gingerbread man cookie though. If you like a strongly flavoured cookie you’ll need to adapt. The dough tasted fine, but I had to really concentrate to taste the spice in the baked cookie. I’ll do again but I’ll at least double the spices, likely triple the cinnamon.
    I came to the comments after and was surprised I didn’t see that, so maybe it’s just me?
    I used becel plant based sticks and they worked great.
    Today I’ll be doing your sugar cookies which are my very favourite!

    1. Sorry they didn’t taste better to you! Make sure to use a good tasting vegan butter, as that will affect the flavor. I haven’t used becel so I can’t really comment on that, but I love Miyoko’s. Add more spices if you want, for sure. For me, they are perfectly flavored, but the vegan butter does matter. So glad you love the sugar cookies and have a merry Christmas!

  3. Can I use this recipe to make a gingerbread house in a mold?? Do you think it would hold up? Thank you, i love your recipes!

    1. Hi Claire. Thank you, I’m so glad you’re loving my recipes! I think this recipe would work for a gingerbread house, though I have never tried it! I’d bake it a bit thicker to make it sturdy. Let me know how it works out for you!

  4. I just mixed this together…got side tracked and forgot to add in the flax egg…oye! I was able to form it into a ball…what do you think will happen if I leave out the flax egg? I don’t want to over mix. Thank you for your help!

  5. Most amazing gingerbread cookies ever! Perfectly sweet and a little bit soft and chewy. Thank you for this amazing recipe Nora

  6. Have yet to make these but I imagine that these will be just as delicious as the other recipes of your’s I have made. Can I use coconut oil in place of the vegan butter?

    As someone who can mess up a box cake, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your easy, fool proof, can’t even tell it’s vegan recipes. Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you are having great success with my recipes, Vanessa! Isn’t it fun to make delicious food! I haven’t tried using coconut oil in place of butter, however, I sometimes find that coconut oil causes the cookies to spread and burn. Thank you for your great feedback about my recipes!

    2. My dough is very dry and not really coming together into discs. They very easily crumble. My measurements were fine and I can’t quite figure out how to correct the consistency before I roll them out. I am putting it in the fridge for now and hope to hear from you. Thank you

      1. It sounds like there may have been too much flour added or the butter/sugar wasn’t beaten long enough. You can try mixing in a little more molasses to help them come together.

  7. Hi Nora! I made theses they are absolutely delicious! And vegan? No way, Yes they really are and that’s even better for me.You gotta try these! And they make tons of cookies. Not to mention how delicious my house smells. My now go to gingerbread cookie recipe. Thank you for re inventing these recipe & God bless

    1. Hi Tamia. I’m so glad you love them! They are a must have in my cookie world! Your heartfelt words make me happy! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback, and for using my recipes! Happy cooking!

  8. Omg these cookies are amazing! I can’t buy vegan butter, so I used your recipe and they turned out perfectly. It doesn’t need 20 minutes to sit before rolling. It worked best to start rolling right after taking it out of the refrigerator. Otherwise the cookies were too soft. 

  9. Another great vegan cookie recipe. Thank you so very much for perfecting your recipes. There is not a single thing I need to do but follow the instructions. 

    1. Hi Joanne. I’m so glad the cookies turned out great for you, and that you love them! It’s really good to know that the recipe works well as written, thank you! Thank you or sharing your wonderful review and comments! Happy cooking!

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