Bake

Stress-Free Vegan Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

November  4, 2021
3.7 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

One of the most intimidating parts of going vegan is figuring out how to create baked goods without eggs, butter, and milk. Fortunately, the process is a lot less stressful than it sounds. No recipe proves that better than this one, which requires no substitute egg and uses coconut oil in place of butter. It is inspired by a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, cookbook writer extraordinaire, webmaster of the Post Punk Kitchen, and the woman who taught me the art of vegan baking —Gena Hamshaw

Test Kitchen Notes

Vegan gingerbread cookies may sound like they'd be difficult to pull off or a bit of a project to make, but this recipe will prove all the doubters wrong. You can form them into people shapes or make a whole house out of the dough, whatever you feel up to doing. The possibilities and creativity are endless, and adults and kids will both be into this holiday baking project. You don't need any fancy ingredients or equipment either, which is always a pleasant surprise, and you can mix up the spices to suit whatever you have in your spice cabinet or your own tastes. This recipe calls for a spicy, savory mixture of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves; feel free to adjust the ratios to your liking. For sweetness, you could use your choice of demerara sugar, coconut sugar, or evaporated cane juice. If the dough is crumbly when you're rolling, just add a few tablespoons of water or chill in the fridge for a few minutes.

And keep in mind that these cookies are a bit molasses-forward, so if you're not a fan, you could use less and add more of the spices. Try with candied ginger, stevia, honey, or just lots of freshly ground black pepper if you want more of a kick. Make as much as the dough as you can to build a mansion of a gingerbread house. No one will know these cookies are vegan, and you'll find yourself going to this recipe again and again whenever the holidays roll around. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Stress-Free Vegan Holiday Gingerbread Cookies
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 8 minutes
  • makes 25 to 30 small cookies or one small gingerbread house. For a larger house, double the recipe.
Ingredients
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar, coconut sugar, or evaporated cane juice
  • 1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Into a large bowl, sift 2⅔ cups of the flour, the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, cloves, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, molasses, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Using a whisk, an electric mixer, or your hands, mix the sugar mixture into the flour mixture until uniform. Flatten the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  5. Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the dough out until it's a scant ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and arrange on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, until the edges are just browning. Let cool before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • K.V.
    K.V.
  • rebecca22
    rebecca22
  • Martin
    Martin
  • Sara Dudkowska
    Sara Dudkowska
  • Christina DaCosta
    Christina DaCosta
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.

22 Reviews

Moy O. December 18, 2021
I've been using this recipe for years and you can't go wrong. If it's a summer Christmas like it is in Australia you can't make them in humid conditions because of the coconut oil. I also use maple syrup instead of molasses and almond milk and then I coat them in white chocolate and they're a hit each year!
 
Halli February 14, 2021
These are definitely molasses cookies rather than gingerbread; you hardly taste the ginger, even increased a little, only the molasses. However, they're nice anyway and my 2-year old loves them, and we just made them a second time. The dough was MUCH too crumbly to roll out until we added 2-3 Tbl water. I made them in a cuisinart food processor.
 
K.V. September 7, 2020
Glad to have found a vegan recipe with such great flavors. I used fresh grated ginger, demerara sugar, and almond milk.
 
rebecca22 December 25, 2019
I dont understand how this recipe has such low reviews...its sooo good! Please try it
 
Martin December 2, 2018
It hasn't been said, but you will not like these if you don't like molasses. Also, mine were much darker than the ones in the picture. Mine look black, like chocolate.
 
jen M. November 30, 2018
Just made these tonight, and they were sooooo good! One of our kiddos has a lot of food allergies, so I followed this recipe exactly except for using Gluten Free One-for-One Flour rather than all purpose wheat flour. They turned out so great! I was worried the dough was too sticky, but after refrigerating for an hour it was very firm and easy to roll/cut. We will be making more batches of these all through the winter season and will probably freeze several dozen to have on hand as an allergen-free treat! Thanks!
 
Green T. December 21, 2017
This recipe is delicious. Go ahead and use the full amount of sugar and bake for 8 minutes -- I used a little less sugar and they're not as sweet as I'd prefer. I also took them out a little early but I think I should have left them in for at least 8 minutes - I'm going to put them back in again haha! For my own preferences I did 1.5 the ginger and triple the cinnamon - I think next time I'd increase the ginger even more. I should have halved the salt. Those are just my tastes though, it's a fabulous recipe!! Thank you!!
 
Green T. December 23, 2017
PS (later) my husband said these were one of the very best cookies I’ve ever made! I’ve been baking occasionally for at least 5 years. I guess I’ll make them exactly the same way for him in future! Thank you!!!!! =)
 
Sara D. November 2, 2016
What could I use instead of molasses? I also will try to use stevia instead of sugar :)
 
LisaBakesSometimes November 6, 2021
Lyle's Golden Syrup has a similar texture and I believe it's vegan friendly
 
Alice March 2, 2016
Best ever vegan gingerbread cookies. I substituted ground pepper for clove (I had no clove) and I added chopped candied ginger.
 
christina December 25, 2015
These turned out fantastic! They're not too sweet and I sprinkled a little bit of sugar on top before baking for that extra texture.
 
Christina D. December 13, 2015
Can you freeze dough for use later?
 
Sandi K. December 22, 2014
I made this up tonight using gluten free baking mix and subbed out the coconut oil for applesauce because we need it nut free too. My dough is not firm it is sticky. if anyone is out there still suggestions to save it? My grand baby wants to make cookies tomorrow
 
christina December 25, 2015
I know this was a year ago but if you make these again, you could use palm shortening instead of coconut oil. It needs to firm up in the fridge but it won't do that with applesauce.
 
CAROLINA M. December 18, 2013
This recipe is just delicious, I made them for my twin sister last night who is vegan. She absolutely loved them, and we also shared them with neighbors who don't know that their vegan or even what vegan means.
Try them their quick and easy to make.
 
trish November 14, 2013
HI. I was wondering if you thought it was possible to make a gingerbread house with this recipe
 
Johnny R. December 23, 2012
The dough tastes delicious, I love that it's vegan so I can just snack on the extra pieces of dough as I cut out the shapes. I can smell the cookies baking, listening to classical Christmas music with my wife. Life just doesn't get any better!
 
Johnny R. December 23, 2012
Making these right now...the dough is really nice and smells fantastic, can't wait to bake them!
 
Teresa58 December 19, 2012
I need to limit my sugar intake. Any chance the sugar can be substituted with Truvia baking blend?
 
Hannah December 17, 2013
Just use agave, honey, or maple syrup instead of sugar. That is what I did and it worked wonderfully.
 
AntoniaJames December 7, 2012
Yaaay! You read my mind! I was so hoping you'd post a ginger cookie recipe. And here it is. These will be joyfully included in the holiday-baking-for-sending marathon that begins tonight! Thank you, thank you, thank you. ;o)