Chewy, warm, and soft, these Vegan Ginger Cookies with Maple Icing couldn’t be easier to make. They’re absolutely delicious and make the perfect holiday (or any occasion) treat.
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Hey Internet, I think it’s about time I made another Christmas cookie. I don’t have that many… probably because I’m Jewish…
But I love cookies as much as the next person.
In fact, my grandma (on my dad’s side) used to send us Christmas cookies every year even though we didn’t celebrate Christmas. What, cookies are delish!
So I’ve always loved ginger cookies. I think sometimes they’re called gingerbread--but only if they’re shaped? I don’t know.
But my Grandma loved to bake ginger cookies because my dad and her both LOVE ginger. Like, eat the ginger candies kind of love.
I don’t like ginger candy, but I do love ginger cookies.
And I love ginger in other foods, like curry. I especially like ginger in soup, like in my butternut squash carrot ginger soup.
These aren’t quite gingersnaps though, although I suppose if you baked them a bit longer they could be harder like a gingersnap.
You could also call them molasses cookies because they do have molasses in them which gives them both a lovely texture and flavor.
These soft and delicious vegan molasses cookies have a strong ginger flavor that isn’t overwhelming, complemented by a bit of cinnamon in the dough and the maple in the icing.
They’re sweet, SUPER easy to make, and a great holiday treat. I gave the extras away to some folks who told me they were really good with coffee--so if you’re a coffee drinker, definitely give that a try.
Anyway, let’s get into the recipe.
What You’ll Need
- All purpose flour: I use plain unbleached all purpose flour--my favorite is King Arthur Baking Company All Purpose Flour.
- Substitutions: To make these gluten-free, try substituting a good quality gluten-free flour. I’ve heard marvelous things about Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour, but I’ve personally had good results with King Arthur Baking Company Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour).
- Ginger: I recommend using powdered ginger. Grated fresh ginger is definitely spicier in my opinion, and it tends to clump in the batter.
- Cinnamon: This is optional, but I feel it compliments the ginger well and makes a deeper flavored cookie. You could also play around with adding ground cloves, allspice, or nutmeg. I personally like it simple with just the ginger and cinnamon.
- Sea salt: Don’t skimp on this. It makes a difference in the cookie (almost all baked goods use salt), and it helps bring out the flavors. Your cookies won’t taste salty. If using table salt, knock it down to ¼ teaspoon. The grains are much more finely processed in table salt, which makes each spoonful more than twice as salty as sea salt.
- Baking soda: For leavening.
- Softened vegan butter or canned coconut cream: I highly recommend using softened vegan butter. I personally love the Miyoko’s vegan butter or the Melt vegan butter sticks. I haven’t personally tried any others with this recipe but any good vegan butter should work. It DOES need to soften on the counter for at least 10 minutes before you can cream it though.
- Substitutions: You need fat to make good vegan ginger cookies. That’s just how it is. You can try these with pumpkin or applesauce if you need to, but I can’t guarantee it will work. I do think pumpkin puree would be delicious in this, so if you’re watching your fat grams I’d try the pumpkin.
- Organic cane sugar: I say organic because at least in the US, sugar companies are not required to state whether or not their sugar is filtered using animal bone char. So go with organic.
- Molasses: Sticky, warming and delicious, ginger cookies classically contain molasses. I go for plain old original organic unsulphured molasses as opposed to the dark variety.
- Just Egg: I have recently started to love baking with Just Egg. It mixes well, it binds well, it tastes good, and you don’t have to prepare it. Just pour and go. However, I think other egg replacers will work just fine, like Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer or a flax egg with ground flaxseed.
- Water: I use a tablespoon of water to help the wet mixture cream together, but only use it if necessary.
For the Maple Icing
How to Properly Measure Flour
We want to measure our flour by weight, not by volume. When you scoop flour out of a bag or tin with a measuring cup, you're packing it in there and not necessarily getting the same amount each time.
What's better is to use a food scale with a tare function (allowing you to zero out the scale after you've put the bowl on it so your bowl isn't playing a factor in your equation).
Working in grams, put your bowl on the scale and zero it out. Scoop the flour into the bowl until you reach the desired measurement.
How to Make Vegan Ginger Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and line two baking trays with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Mix together the additional 3 tablespoons of organic cane sugar and ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium wide bowl (ideal for rolling the dough in the mixture) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the organic cane sugar and the softened vegan butter until smooth using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a strong wooden spoon (and some arm strength!).
- Add in the molasses, water, and vegan egg replacer and mix until well combined.
- Slowly add in the dry mixture while the mixer is running (or while your other hand is mixing the ingredients. Mix until just combined (try not to overmix).
- You can refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes to make it easier to work with, but it’s not a necessity. Cookies will be delicious either way. I find that refrigerating the dough first does make for a slightly firmer cookie.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, about 2 tablespoons, scoop out around 24 dough balls. Roll into smooth cookie balls in your hands, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 12 per half sheet pan. I like to place each cookie at least 2 inches apart because they do spread.
- Bake approximately 10-12 minutes. I found that 11 was perfect for soft but not too soft cookies. Note that they will look puffy and soft (even a bit under done) when they come out of the oven. Let them cool on the pan for 20 minutes before attempting to move them. They’re very impressionable at this point--my husband was removing a tray from the oven and marred a cookie with his oven mit, so be careful.
- After cookies have cooled for at least 20 minutes on the tray, you can transfer them to a cooling rack to cool them faster if you like. If you’re going to ice them, they need to be completely cooled otherwise the icing will melt and get gloopy.
- If icing the cookies: Whisk together the organic powdered sugar, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk. You can add a little more of the milk to thin if needed, or a little more powdered sugar to thicken. Whisk until smooth. Either using a piping bag fitted with a very small tip or a spoon to drizzle the icing in whatever design you wish on the cookie. I was trying to make my cookies look neat with a zig zag drizzle, but didn’t realize it was glooping out of the other end of the piping bag onto the rest of the cookies… oops--but my husband thought it looked cool that way, so… I guess it was meant to be? Haha. You can also just dip the cookies in the icing if you prefer.
- Let the icing set on the cookies for 30-60 minutes and enjoy!
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 4-5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
More Vegan Cookie Recipes
- Vegan Matcha Cookies
- Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft No Chill Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Hamantaschen
- Vegan Ladyfingers
- Coconut Almond Butter Cookies
- Apple Butter Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
- Vegan Rice Crispy Treats - Okay, not really a cookie, but close??
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants. They have a habit of magically disappearing at our house, so I always bring the extras into work and to my friends.
The vegan ginger cookies are:
- A slight bit spicy (adjustable)
- Warm (in flavor profile)
- Chewy yet soft
- Easy to make
- Great with coffee
- And the perfect dessert for kids and adults! They make a great gift too!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!