These vegan ginger cookies are chewy and soft with crispy edges and have lots of ginger flavor. They're easy to make, use only 8 pantry ingredients and come together in one bowl and are similar to my vegan pumpkin cookies.
Ingredients to make vegan ginger cookies
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Notes about the ingredients
Brown sugar adds sweetness, moisture, and flavor to these cookies. It also pairs wonderfully with the spices!
Molasses for a traditional ginger cookie flavor. You might be able to substitute this with maple syrup or golden syrup however, I haven't tested it. A different syrup will change the cookies' flavor and make them lighter in color, like my vegan Anzac biscuits.
Vegan block butter for the best results. This recipe may work with softened coconut oil or a vegan buttery spread. If using a buttery spread, I recommend skipping the milk as a butter spread is softer than block butter. You may also need to add more flour.
Ground ginger and cinnamon. We're using a whole tablespoon of each for extra flavor and nostalgia!
Tips for preparing the cookie dough
These vegan ginger cookies are prepared in just one bowl which means less washing up! I used a hand mixer to mix the ingredients however, you can use a wooden spoon with a bit of arm power.
First, we need to beat the butter and sugar. This helps ensure there are no chunks of butter in the final cookies!
Then add the rest of the wet ingredients (molasses and milk) and beat until the mixture is fluffy!
Next, add all your dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The key is to not overmix but make sure there are no pockets of flour or butter. The final cookie dough should be slightly sticky.
If your cookie dough is a bit dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk and mix again. If it's extra sticky, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour and mix again.
Rolling the cookie dough in sugar
For ease, I recommend using a small ice cream scoop to divide your vegan ginger cookie dough. If you don't have one, you can simply pinch the dough into pieces.
Roughly roll your dough into balls. The balls don't have to be perfect as any imperfections will turn into beautiful cracks in the final cookies. Then roll each cookie dough ball in sugar.
Tips for baking vegan ginger cookies
For regular thick cookies about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick, I recommend gently squashing the cookie dough balls on your baking tray. I used my fingers but a glass jar or fork will also work!
For slightly thicker cookies about ⅓ inch (8 mm) thick, leave the cookie dough balls as is. They will still spread out!
To make sure you get those beautiful cracks in your cookies, this is what I recommend:
- Make sure your oven is hot enough, especially when the cookies first go in. If you don't have an oven thermometer, err on the side of a slightly hotter oven! Cookies crack when the outside cooks quicker than the inside. The inside then expands and forces the exterior to crack.
- Make sure your baking soda isn't expired
- Don't overmix your cookie dough
Soft or crunchy cookies?!
For SOFT ginger cookies, bake them for only 10-12 minutes. They will look underbaked but will continue cooking on the baking tray. For even softer cookies, when the cookies have finished baking carefully use a turner to transfer the hot cookies to a wire rack.
To keep vegan molasses cookies soft, store them in an airtight container with a slice of bread. And warm up your cookies in your oven or microwave before you enjoy them!
For crunchy vegan gingersnaps, bake your cookies for around 15 minutes. The edges should be golden brown cookies will look almost cooked through. Allow the cookies to completely cool on the baking tray. When baked for longer, these cookies snap beautifully!
Customizing this recipe
Yes! Make the ginger cookie dough and roll it into balls. Chill the cookie dough for 3 days or freeze the cookie dough for up to 1 month until you need it.
Before you bake the cookies, roll them in sugar. The cookies can be baked straight from the fridge or freezer but you may need to bake them for a few extra minutes.
More easy vegan cookie recipes
Vegan Ginger Cookies
Vegan Ginger Cookies
- 1 cup (190g) packed light brown sugar, (note 1)
- ¾ cup (170g) vegan butter, room temperature (note 2)
- ¼ cup (85g) molasses, not blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons (30g) dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 2 ¼ cups (280g) all-purpose plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- Pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Make the vegan ginger cookies:
- Add the sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl (if using a hand mixer) or the bowl of a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment). Beat until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, milk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
- Add the flour, spices and baking soda and mix until just combined. The dough should be thick and slightly tacky but not too sticky. If your dough is sticky, add 1-2 tablespoons flour and mix (or let the dough rest for 30 minutes). If your dough is dry, add 1-2 tablespoons milk and mix through.
Coating the ginger cookies:
- Place the sugar in a small flat bowl.
- Use a small ice cream scoop or a spoon to divide the cookie dough into around 22 balls. Roll each cookie dough ball in the sugar.
- Arrange the cookie dough balls on your lined baking sheets with about 5 cm (2 inches) between each.
Baking the ginger cookies:
- Bake the cookies for around 11-15 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden brown. For softer cookies, bake them for less time or for crunchier cookies, bake them for longer. When you take the cookies out of the oven, the cookies will look soft but they will continue baking on their cookie sheets.
- Enjoy the cookies warm or at room temperature.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Alternatively, you may use granulated sugar for cookies that spread more or coconut sugar for cookies that are slightly less sweet.
- I haven't tested this recipe with spreadable vegan butter or softened coconut oil but, from experience, either will work. If using a buttery spread, I'd recommend omitting the milk and adding more flour if necessary. Your dough will be a little softer and your cookies will be puffier. If using coconut oil, I recommend more salt, to taste.
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