The ultimate healthy gingerbread cookies
So these might actually be my favorite of all Christmas cookies this season, and I’ll tell you why.
These gluten free vegan gingerbread cookies have a beautiful warm spiced flavor, and they’re not overwhelmingly sweet. Just enough sugar to satisfy the craving but not give you that sugar rush.
They also snap like a traditional gingerbread man cookie should. It’s literally like eating a Pepperidge Farm gingerbread cookie (those were my mom’s words, not mine!), only fresh out of the oven ;).
Plus, these healthy Christmas cookies are completely vegan and gluten free, yet you’d never know, making them the ultimate Christmas cookie to bring to any cookie exchange. I mean, that’s pretty cool right?
But before we go over how to make these cookies, let’s get a few questions out of the way!
Are gingerbread cookies soft or hard?
Really, gingerbread cookies can be soft or hard! I personally believe that gingerbread snaps and the gingerbread man cookies that you make with cookie cutters tend to be on the crisper side, like these ones. I’d go so far as to say Paul Hollywood would even approve of this crispness.
Meanwhile, some people prefer their gingerbread to be soft and chewy. I think it really boils down to what you personally enjoy!
Ingredients for vegan gingerbread cookies
For these vegan ginger cookies, you’ll need only a few key ingredients:
- Flour: you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour or all purpose here.
- Coconut sugar: or regular sugar.
- Spices: I like to use ginger and cinnamon.
- Vegan butter or coconut oil: a note about the coconut oil- make sure it’s soft, and not solid!
- Flaxseed with water: you can also use applesauce here.
How to make gingerbread cookies
As delicate as these Christmas cookies look, they are actually extraordinarily easy to make, and really fun to involve the kids too 🙂
Make the dough
Much like my vegan chocolate chip cookies, the cookie dough part of these vegan gingerbread cookies is very easy to put together!
First start by whisking together all of the dry ingredients (save for the sugar): the flour, spices, and sea salt. Then set that aside.
Combine the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl: vegan butter, molasses, sugar, and ground flaxseed mixed with water.
Next, combine the wet and dry ingredients together until it forms a consistent and slightly sticky gingerbread dough. Place the dough into plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
How do you make gingerbread man cookie cutters?
One of my favorite parts 🙂 When your gingerbread cookie dough is ready to be rolled out, simply dust a clean surface and your rolling pin with flour and begin to gently roll out the dough.
- Roll the dough out to be about 1/4 of an inch thick and make sure to flour your cookie cutters on the side that will cut into the dough.
- Press your favorite cookie cutter shape (I recommend a little gingerbread man cookie cutter, a Christmas tree cookie cutter, snowman, or snowflake! But have fun with it!).
- Repeat until there is no more space to make a cookie, then peel off the scraps. Use a spatula to gently carry the cookie onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- You can re-roll the dough out to make more cookies as well!
- Then simply bake the cookies at 350F until done, and let cool before piping your vegan icing 🙂
Tips, Tricks, & Questions for making vegan gingerbread cookies
- How do you know when gingerbread cookies are done? You’ll start to see them puff up in the oven just slightly, and they’ll be slightly firm to touch (be very careful not to burn yourself!). They shouldn’t be soft still, like a regular cookie, so if it’s still soft, they need more time to bake. They’ll harden and be crisp to break after a few minutes outside of the oven.
- How do you make a vegan icing for gingerbread cookies? Making the vegan icing is so easy for these vegan gingerbread cookies- all you need to is combine powdered sugar, coconut or almond milk (or any dairy free milk really), and vanilla extract. Mix it all together until it’s a thick paste, then spoon into your piping bag! You’ll need just a drop really of dairy free milk- it’s less than you think!
- What piping tip do I use for decorating? I recommend Wilton Tip 3 for the piping if you want really fine lines! For the piping bag, I just picked up an icing bag at my local grocery store for $2 (it came with about 10 bags!).
- Can I use regular flour in these vegan gingerbread cookies? Absolutely! These are one of my favorite healthy Christmas cookies because they can be made just vegan or vegan and gluten free for those who need it! Because I made this recipe with a 1-to-1 gluten free flour, just swap in your favorite all-purpose flour- I highly recommend King Arthur’s Organic All-Purpose!
- How do I store these gingerbread cookies? One of the best baking tips I learned from my mom is to store cookies in the freezer. There is something about biting into a frozen gingerbread cookie or sugar cookie that just tastes so good! They will also keep on the counter in a ziplock bag or covered on a plate. And if you’re leaving them for Santa, just on a plate will do 😉
- Can I make them into a gingerbread house? Stay tuned for that recipe, because I’m going to give you the exact measurements for building your gluten free vegan gingerbread house!
I hope you love making these vegan gingerbread cookies as much as I do! They’re the perfect treat for Santa 🙂
If you make these cookies, let me know how they went in the comments below, as well as if you have any questions! As always, I would absolutely love to see your beautiful decorations on these cookies, so be sure to tag me on Instagram and Pinterest!
Happy vegan gingerbread cookie baking!
More vegan Christmas cookies!
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Easy and delicious vegan gingerbread cookies that are crisp, lightly sweet, and packed with flavor! Naturally gluten free, these gingerbread man cookies make for one of the best healthy Christmas cookies for Santa!
- 1 3/4 cup gluten free 1-to-1 flour or all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, softened
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 1/3 cup water
- 1 batch vegan royal icing
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the vegan butter or coconut oil and sugar until combined. Add in the molasses and ground flaxseed, and continue to beat until completely combined.
- Add wet ingredients into dry and combine into a stick dough. Round dough into a ball, and wrap with plastic wrap. Place the dough into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- When the dough is chilled, lightly flour a clean surface and rolling pin, and roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick (it doesn’t have to be exact!).
- Choose your cookie cutters, lightly flour the side that is going to be cutting into the dough, and press the cookie cutter into the dough. Repeat for the remaining dough, rolling out the dough with the extra scraps until all of the dough is gone.
- Place the gingerbread men cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you can use a spatula if it’s hard to pick them up!) and place the cookies back into the fridge to chill while the oven preheats to 350F.
- When the oven is preheated, baked the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until slightly puffy and slightly tough to touch (they shouldn’t be soft).
- Let the cookies cool for 15 minutes before icing.
- Make the vegan royal icing according to the post instructions.
- Spoon icing into an icing bag with tip, and pipe a design onto each cookie. Let set for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Keywords: gingerbread cookies, vegan gingerbread cookies, christmas cookies