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iced vegan gingerbread cookies on a dark wood background.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan gingerbread cookies – these perfect vegan gingerbread cookies are easy to make and ideal for decorating at Christmas. They make lovely gifts or edible decorations and can be made soft or crunchy as you prefer.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 20 people
Author Domestic Gothess

Ingredients

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies:

  • 150 g (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp) vegan block butter (I use Naturli Vegan Block)
  • 120 g (2/3 cup) light brown soft sugar
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) golden syrup
  • 50 g (1 ¾ oz) black treacle (or molasses)
  • 3 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 380 g (3 cups + 2 Tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour (plus extra for dusting)

Vegan Royal Icing:

  • 300 g (2 ½ cups) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (plus extra as needed)
  • 2 Tbsp aquafaba (or use extra lemon juice or water instead)

Instructions

  1. Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle in a medium saucepan over a low heat and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.

  2. Add the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and bicarbonate of soda and whisk until smooth. The mixture will foam up a bit.

  3. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and no dry patches of flour remain. Wrap the dough in clingfilm or an environmentally friendly alternative and refrigerate for a couple of hours until it is firm enough to roll out.

  4. Roll the dough out either on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of baking parchment to about 3-5mm thick, depending on how thick you want your cookies.

  5. Cut out as many shapes as you can with your choice of cookie cutters. Bring the scraps together into a ball and re-roll to cut out more shapes.

  6. Place them well spaced apart on a couple of baking sheets lined with baking parchment. (They will spread a little as they cook so make sure they have a bit of room).

  7. Place the trays in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  8. Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes depending on whether you want them soft or crunchy and how big they are. Little ones will cook more quickly than larger cutouts. The cookies will still be very soft but will firm up as they cool. I bake mine until they are beginning to brown around the edges.

  9. Leave the cookies to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes then carefully transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

  10. Once the cookies are cold make the royal icing. Place the sifted icing sugar in a bowl and stir in the lemon juice and aquafaba. The icing should be thick but pourable. If you drizzle some back into the bowl the pattern should disappear after 10 seconds or so. If it is too thick stir in a drop more lemon juice, and if it is too runny add some extra sifted icing sugar.

  11. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round writing nozzle and decorate the cookies as you like.

  12. Leave the decorated cookies to dry flat for a couple of hours before storing in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  • As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
  • The dough needs to chill for a couple of hours before you roll it out so make sure that you start making these gingerbread cookies early enough in the day. Alternatively, the dough can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days but you may need to let it come up to room temperature a bit before you roll it out as it gets quite firm.
  • You MUST use a block butter/margarine, not the spreadable kind in a tub as it has too high a water content for baking. I use Naturli Vegan Block. Stork or Vitalite block, Tormor or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks would all work.
  • You can use coconut oil instead of vegan butter, or part butter part coconut oil but the dough may feel a bit greasy. (The cookies will be fine once baked).
  • Make sure that you accurately weigh out the golden syrup and treacle otherwise your cookies may spread too much. Even a difference of a few grams can affect the texture of the dough.
  • If you are in the US and can’t get hold of golden syrup then you can use light molasses instead (NOT blackstrap molasses).
  • Freezing the cookies before you bake them helps them to keep their shape so don’t skip this step.
  • The difference between soft gingerbread cookies and crunchy ones is simply the baking time. If you want soft cookies bake them for a shorter amount of time and for crunchy ones leave them in for longer.
  • As all ovens vary and the bake time will be different depending on the size of your cookie cutters and whether you want soft or crunchy cookies, I suggest baking a couple of test cookies first to figure out the perfect bake time for you.
  • If you don’t want to use aquafaba in the icing you can just swap it for more lemon juice or water.
  • The icing can be coloured using gel food colours (not liquid ones). I believe that Sugarflair colours are vegan friendly.