Soft and Chewy Vegan Gingersnap Cookies

This vegan gingersnap cookie recipe is soft, chewy, and oh-so satisfying! The blend of warm molasses, ginger, and cinnamon captures the essence of the holiday season in every bite! No matter what time of year you make them, these ginger cookies will become a family favorite!
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A stack of sugar-coated vegan gingersnap cookies.
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Snap out of your baking rut with these spicy little morsels! While most gingersnaps are hard and brittle, you can really sink your teeth into these soft and chewy vegan gingersnap cookies. Warm and spicy, brown sugar and molasses round out the flavors with unrivaled richness. A crunchy layer of granulated sugar on the outside gives them a satisfying bite, yielding to a tender interior for the perfect textural contrast.

This recipe comes from Vegan Christmas Cookies and Cocoa by Audrey Dunham and is an easy win this holiday season, and beyond! They’re the kind of cookie that Santa would leave extra presents for, though they might be hard to share.

Chewy Vegan Gingersnap Cookie With a Bite Taken on a Table

Why You’ll Love These Vegan Gingersnaps

  • There’s never a bad time for cookies, but these warmly spiced vegan ginger cookies are especially well-suited for winter celebrations. Vegan holiday parties, Christmas Eve gatherings, even New Year’s Eve with a side of bubbly! Everyone will go wild for these at cookie swaps big and small.
  • So simple you’d think that baking is child’s play, but you really can get the kids involved in this one. Create sweet memories in the kitchen while the little ones learn how to mix and measure to make their own treats.
  • No need to shop for rare, specialty ingredients for this fool-proof formula. That makes this recipe especially affordable, too.
  • Perfect for a crowd, you can easily double, or even triple the recipe. Everyone on your list can get a sweet, homemade gift!

Ingredients Needed

Ground Flaxseeds: Making these eggless ginger cookies is a snap with ground flax! Taking the place of conventional eggs, a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (also called flaxseed meal) mixed with water functions as a binder and helps retain moisture, keeping this cookie soft and chewy.

All-Purpose Flour: Standard white flour provides a neutral foundation to build such a flavorful spice profile upon. While we haven’t tested gluten-free flours, we imagine they would work well with this recipe. If you do try making these gluten free, please let us know how it goes in the comments below! 

Cinnamon: You can’t have a classic gingersnap without cinnamon! This sweet spice rounds out the sharper edges of the flavor profile with a nostalgic taste and subtle warmth.

Ginger: The namesake of this cookie, powdered or dried ginger is used here to easily incorporate its bold essence evenly throughout.

Cloves: Just a tiny pinch will do, since this spice goes a long way. It’s less commonly used in American households, so you could also experiment with using ground nutmeg or cardamom for a delicious change of pace, if you’re all out.

Brown Sugar: Crucial to the sweetness and moisture in these gingersnap cookies, brown sugar imparts a rich, caramel-like taste that complements the warm spices.

Vegan Butter: Plant-based butter is easily substituted 1 for 1 in any recipe that calls for conventional dairy butter. All brands have a different blend that is typically made from avocado oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, or some combination of those. Check labels for soy-free options, if needed.

Molasses: This sticky stuff is a thick, dark syrup made from sugarcane or beet sugar, and is less sweet than refined sugar. It has a robust, unique flavor most commonly associated with gingerbread, and also baked beans.

Granulated Sugar: Used just to gild the lily here, a touch of granulated sugar is used to roll the cookies and create that irresistible crunchy crust on the outside of your vegan gingersnap cookies. Feel free to amplify that texture by using coarse sugar, such as turbinado, instead.

Gathered ingredients for these vegan gingersnap cookies, on a baking tray with labels.

Recipe Swaps and Substitutions

If you have a hard time going by the book for any recipe, don’t worry! This formula is so solid that you can easily modify it to fit your needs and cravings.

  • Make these extra-chewy by using part oat flour instead of all-purpose flour. For this version (which is actually Audrey’s original recipe), use 1¼ cup of oat flour, and 1½ cup of all-purpose flour. You can get oat flour at the grocery store or grind up your own by popping old fashioned rolled oats in the blender until you have a silky smooth flour. 
  • Make it gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Spice it up by adding finely chopped crystalized ginger, and/or grated fresh ginger to the batter.
  • Everyone loves chocolate, so go ahead and add a generous handful of vegan chocolate chips for an extra sweet finish.
  • Vegetable shortening can be used instead of vegan butter in a pinch, but the texture will be much more cakey than chewy.

How To Make

Don’t worry, there’s no dairy involved! This classic technique involves beating together the butter and sugar very thoroughly before adding in the remaining ingredients to lighten and leaven the dough, while ensuring even distribution of fat and sweetener throughout. It’s a very simple but essential skill to master.

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseed with water and set aside to thicken. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Step 2: Using a stand or handheld mixer, cream together brown sugar, butter, and molasses until fluffy. Pause to scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once about halfway through, to make sure everything gets incorporated.

Step 3: Add the flaxseed mixture and mix again. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture, scraping the bowl as needed, until a thick dough forms.

Step 4: Roll the dough into 16 golf ball-sized portions, coat each in granulated sugar, and place them on baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time on the top rack for 9-10 minutes or until cracks appear. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Vegan Gingersnap Cookies Dough Balls Flatlay With Christmas Holiday Ornaments and Sugar for Dipping

Tips

  • Allow the vegan butter to warm to room temperature before beginning. Straight out of the fridge, it will be too hard to mix smoothly, but it shouldn’t be melted, or the cookies might turn out greasy. Generally, it helps to take the butter out 1 hour before getting started.
  • It’s easiest to use a stand mixer since it takes considerable and consistent stirring. Use the paddle attachment for more complete coverage. You can also use a hand mixer, though it may take a bit longer.
  • Like your ginger cookies crispier? You can bake for a few extra minutes if desired.

Storage

Cool your dairy-free ginger cookies fully on a wire rack before storing. Transfer them to an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking. These vegan gingersnaps will stay fresh at room temperature for one week.

If you want to store them for an extended period, place them in a freezer-friendly container and freeze them for 2-3 months. Thaw at room temperature when ready to enjoy.

FAQ’s

What’s the difference between gingersnaps and ginger cookies?

The terms “gingersnaps” and “ginger cookies” are often used interchangeably, but there can be subtle differences in texture and flavor. Gingersnaps tend to be less sweet and have a more crispy and crunchy exterior. However, the distinction can be subtle.

Can I make gingersnaps without molasses?

Traditionally gingersnaps include molasses because it contributes both a sweetness and a distinct flavor. However, an equal amount of maple syrup can be used as a replacement for molasses if you need an alternative. Note that the flavor and texture will change but it will still be delicious!

Stack of Dairy-Free Gingersnap Cookies With Christmas Lights in Background

More Spiced Treats to Try

If you try this recipe for vegan ginger cookies, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more vegan recipe inspiration.

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Soft & Chewy Vegan Gingersnap Cookies

Author: Audrey Dunham (modified slightly)
5 from 6 votes
There's something really special about these soft and chewy vegan gingersnap cookies. Perhaps it's the way they've carved out their own lane in the hypothetical cookie aisle or how they bring up warm memories of the holidays. No matter the time of year you decide to enjoy these delicious treats, you're truly in for a good time.
Easy Vegan Gingersnap Cookies-15
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 16 cookies

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, (8 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons water, (45 ml)
  • cups all-purpose flour, (345 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, (216 grams)
  • ¾ cup vegan butter or margarine, softened, (170 grams)
  • ¼ cup molasses, (59 ml)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar for rolling, (58 grams)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (approx. 190°C) 
  • Combine the ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and stir to combine. Set aside. 
  • Using a stand or handheld mixer, cream the brown sugar, butter, and molasses until fluffy, about 1 minute. Then add the flaxseed mixture and mix again for another 30 seconds.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix on low until mostly combined. Then add the second half of the dry ingredients and mix again, this time starting on a low speed and then increasing to high as the dough becomes thick and hard to mix. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The dough will be very thick when it’s done.
  • Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl and set aside. Then form 16 golf ball-sized dough balls and place them on parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheets. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar to evenly coat, then return to the baking sheet, ensuring they’re at least 3 inches (about 8 cm) apart from one another, as they will spread.
  • Bake the cookies one sheet at a time on the top rack in your preheated oven for 9-10 minutes or until cracks form across the surface. It’s better to slightly underbake than to overbake. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

FOR BEST GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: Try using your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of the regular all-purpose flour. Check the labels for all remaining ingredients to ensure they’re gluten-free, as well. 
STORAGE: These cookies are flexible and can be stored in airtight or non airtight containers, tins, or on plates covered in foil or plastic wrap. You can also freeze these cookies for several months and they’ll be just fine!
AUDREY’S ORIGINAL RECIPE: The original recipe calls for 1¼  cup of oat flour and 1½ cup of all-purpose flour, which makes these cookies extra chewy. We tested them using just all-purpose flour so the ingredient list would be very simple and familiar to people, and the cookies are absolutely delicious both ways!

Nutrition

Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Course — Dessert
Cuisine — American
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

Vegan Christmas Cookies Cookbook

This recipe for vegan gingersnap cookies comes from the cookbook Vegan Christmas Cookies and Cocoa by vegan recipe creator and personality Audrey Dunham. This book is a festive collection of holiday sweets and sips to enjoy with the whole family. Full of nostalgic classics and new favorites to explore, every recipe is 100% plant-based, with easy gluten-free options included. Now you can transform your kitchen into Santa’s workshop to delight both kids and kids-at-heart.

Vegan gingersnap cookie recipe adapted with permission from Vegan Christmas Cookies and Cocoa by Audrey Dunham. Photos by J.J. Steele for World of Vegan, all rights reserved.

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Recipe Rating




6 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Gingersnap cookies are one of my favourites, these look simple to make too!

  2. 5 stars
    One of my favorite cookies to make for the holidays! Just a note: you can pop them on the baking sheet as balls and they will bake down and retain a bit of a dome shape, or you can tap on the top to create flattened ginger cookies (as pictured). Cheers!!

  3. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    These cookies are the best! So soft and delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made a batch of these truly delicious cookies. I did use some oat flour as suggested, in addition to white flour, and they are maybe a bit more chewy. They are yummy either way!!
    Gifting these to friends for the holidays…after setting some aside for us to enjoy as well!! Of course!

  5. 5 stars
    These cookies are sooo good! Love them for this time of year, especially.

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