Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Are you ready for another holiday cookie recipe? I hope so, because these vegan gingerbread cookies are a keeper and they’re based on a secret family recipe!

For as long as Aaron can remember (and definitely as long as I’ve known Aaron), his mom, Kathy, has been making big batches of cookies from Thanksgiving through Christmas. There is never a shortage of cookies at the Scott house any time of year, and this is especially true around the holidays. Each year, Kathy makes candy cane cookies, almond cookies, snickerdoodles, and my favorite—gingerbread cookies. It’s not a visit to Aaron’s parents’ house unless you’ve eaten at least five cookies and left with a tupperware of more to take home.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

This abundance of cookies growing up is for sure why Aaron asks me, half seriously, “where are the cookies?” most nights after dinner. (he knows the answer is almost always, “the cookies are at the store.”) There is so much nostalgia associated with these cookies, and I really like the idea of making the same few treats at certain times of the year. Aaron and I don’t have a lot of our own traditions just yet, so when we visited his family for Thanksgiving and his mom brought out a plate of her classic gingerbread cookies, I knew I wanted to see if I could put my own spin on her recipe and make vegan gingerbread cookies a regular part of our winter celebrations.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

I think it’s always important to use quality ingredients, but especially around the holidays when you’re often making food for other people. For these vegan gingerbread cookies, I used McCormick Ground Cinnamon and Ground Ginger, and added ample amounts of both because I love their cozy flavors. Even though I don’t have any really strong family cookie traditions, those two spices take me right back in time to some of my favorite memories, when my mom also used the McCormick brand and her spice cabinet was lined with little red-capped containers.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

To make the cookies vegan, I swapped the egg and butter for a flax “egg” and vegan butter, traded white sugar for coconut sugar, and then replaced the light molasses with blackstrap, although you could certainly use regular molasses if you prefer a less molasses-y cookie.

The icing is a non-dairy version of a classic mix: vegan butter, powdered sugar, and a little almond milk to thin it out. I filled a small, sealable plastic bag with icing, cut off a tiny portion of one corner, and then decorated to my heart’s content! You can be as simple or as fancy as you like, or skip the icing entirely and quickly dust your gingerbread cookies with powdered sugar. I got really into “the baking zone” and before I knew it, I had spent nearly an hour creating different snowflake patterns. It was kind of like those adult coloring books that people use to reduce stress, except I got to eat my work when I was done!

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

If you’re looking for a classic and vegan gingerbread cookie recipe, I think you’re going to love this one. The original recipe has stood the test of time in the Scott family, and I expect this version will stand the test of time in our little family now too.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays (and lots of cookies)! xo

Thank you to McCormick® for sponsoring this post!


Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies


Serves: 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Cook Time: 8 mins

These vegan gingerbread cookies are based on an old family recipe and are always a big crowd-pleaser! They use simple ingredients and are so easy to make.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies | #vegan #cookies #gingerbread #recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies



For the cookies:

  • 1 flax "egg" (1 tablespoon flax seeds, freshly ground + 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the icing:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk

Cuisine: Vegan Servings: 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins Cook Time: 8 mins

These vegan gingerbread cookies are based on an old family recipe and are always a big crowd-pleaser! They use simple ingredients and are so easy to make.


  • In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax and warm water. Set aside for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter, sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and flax "egg" on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, or until combined. Mix in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until just combined. The dough should be very thick.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour in the freezer.
  • Once chilled, divide the dough in half and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper, flouring the bottom piece of parchment paper and top of the dough as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. The rolled dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking to help them retain their shape.
  • While the cut dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges begin to turn a darker brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the icing: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the texture is thick but pliable. Transfer the icing to a sandwich-sized sealable bag. Squeeze out any air, then seal the bag. Use scissors to cut a tiny hole (about 1 mm) in one of the bottom corners.
  • Decorate the cookies however you like. Leftover cookies should be kept covered and stored at room temperature (up to a few days).

Notes [3]

I like the strong taste of blackstrap molasses, but it’s not for everyone. Feel free to replace it with regular or light molasses for a more mild flavor.

You can replace the ground ginger and cinnamon with 2 1/2 teaspoons of McCormick Gingerbread Spice if you like.

Bake times will vary depending on your oven. I found 8 minutes to be the ideal time for softer cookies, 9 minutes for crispy edges with soft centers, and 10 minutes for an all-around crisp cookie. Keep a close eye on them though because they bake up fast.

Copyright © 2022 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Karlie says

    these are so gorgeous! definitely going to try that icing technique. Have a great week!

  2. Damn girl you have mad icing skills. Why don’t my cookies ever come out this beautiful!? Teach me your ways!!!

  3. Maddie says

    They look awesome! Is the texture soft or crunchy?

    1. Thank you, Maddie! I made mine softer (thicker cookies + an 8-9 minute bake time). You could make them crisper by rolling the dough thinner and baking for 10 minutes if you’d prefer!

    2. Victoria Taylor says

      These cookies look incredible. Thank you to Maddie for asking the soft or crunchy question above. Exactly what I wanted to know. I also want to compliment you on your beautiful photos. I know how much time goes into creating such exquisite images. Oh and the icing, you’ve got skills! Keep it up and thank you for posting. Happy Cooking!

      1. Thank you, Victoria! So sweet of you to compliment our photos and my icing skills. 🙂 Decorating these cookies totally took me back to my days working at an ice cream shop. I was the cake decorator there whenever an order came in and it was one of my favorite parts of that job. <3 Happy holidays!

      2. Kristin says

        These are delicious! Thanks for the recipe. My vegan friends are going to love me 🙂 once baked, could these be frozen and thawed when needed? I was hoping to save some for next weekend. Thanks!

      3. Amanda says

        I’m so glad you like the recipe, Kristin! Yes, they freeze really well. 🙂

  4. I just love the look of these! Your photos are gorgeous. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the sweet compliment, Natasha! <3

  5. Leo Sigh says

    Wow, was just looking for a vegan gingerbread recipe, and here one is 🙂 And it looks fabulous. Thanks!! I just moved into an apartment with an oven, for the first time in 14 years, so am really looking forward to making cookies 🙂

    1. I bet you’re looking forward to making cookies, Leo! 14 years is a looooong time to go without an oven. These vegan gingerbread cookies will be a wonderful way to celebrate! 🙂

      1. Leo Sigh says

        LOL, yes indeed. I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 14 years and most Thai apartments don’t have ovens as most Thai food is cooked in a pan or a wok. So, it’s been nice to be in Austria now and actually be able to cook 🙂 Thanks for the reply!!

  6. Hahaha my icing never turns out this beautiful! give me your skillz 🙂 I was after a vegan gngerbread recipe for my neighbour so thank you for the inspiration lovelies!

    1. I think the key with decorating cookies is to do a few test runs to get the hang of it (I definitely had some not-so-pretty cookies when I was warming up! haha). But the good thing is that even the messy ones still taste delicious. 🙂

  7. Kate R. says

    Girl, you are one talented cookie decorator! I saw your recipe featured on FoodGawker and I had to check it out. Your blog is amazing! I was reading about your 1 year road trip and I’m in awe. I would LOVE to do a similar trip one day! Adding Pickles & Honey to my feedly. <3

  8. Debbie says

    I have been looking for a good gingerbread recipe for a while and yours looks perfect. I will be making these on Christmas morning, although my icing skills won’t be nearly as good as yours. Thank you for sharing your family recipe, Amanda and Aaron. Merry Christmas!

  9. Jessica says

    By far, these are the prettiest gingerbread cookies I’ve ever seen. You are so so talented. I’m planning to make your recipe for Christmas this weekend. Fingers crossed my cookies turn out half as pretty as yours! 😉

  10. Michelle says

    I made these for my family for Christmas yesterday and no one could tell they were vegan! The flax “egg” worked so well, I plan to use that in more of my baked goods. Thank you for a perfect gingerbread cookie recipe, Amanda! Merry Christmas to you and Aaron!

  11. Wow! These look absolutely perfect! Gorgeous photos and mad icing skills! Thanks for sharing these, Amanda & Aaron. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet comment! Happy New Year to you too!

  12. Brittany says

    This recipe is amazing! I made these a few days ago for my blog (and of course credited you for the cookie recipe). Here is the post I wrote about it:

    Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  13. Elaine says

    Can you sub maple syrup for molasses?

    1. Hi Elaine! I’m not sure maple syrup will work, because molasses is what gives gingerbread it’s quintessential flavor and it’s also quite a bit thicker than maple syrup.

  14. Devyn says

    Hi, how long can I leave the dough frozen before making the cookies? Will it work if the dough is frozen more than an hour?

    1. Hi Devyn! If the dough is frozen for more than 1 hour, it will likely be too hard to roll out.

  15. Dana says

    Can I make the dough a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake?

    1. Hi Dana, Yes, that should work! 🙂

  16. I was never a fan of gingerbread but I made this recipe for Christmas this year and they are soooo good! I used blackstrap molasses and it was the perfect amount of flavor. They are super soft and fluffy and I will be making these again. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the gingerbread cookies, Amanda! I love the blackstrap molasses in this recipe—it’s so flavorful.

      1. Karina says


        I was wondering if this will work with bobs red mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour

      2. Hi Karina! I haven’t tried using gluten-free baking flour in this recipe, but I have had success using that Bob’s Red Mill flour for other recipes in the past. If you give it a try, please let me know how it turns out!

  17. Anne says

    Hii, the cookies look beautifull! Can you tell me what is the weight of 1 stick vegan butter? Here in the netherlands we don’t have sticks like that so its easier for me to know the weight of the amount of butter thats needed for this recipe. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Anne I just checked the weight of the vegan butter and each stick is 1/4 pound, or 113.5 grams. Hope this helps!

      1. Anne says
  18. Katelyn says

    Hi! Can I use vegan margarine instead of sticks? Thanks

    1. Hi Katelyn, I’ve only ever made this recipe with Earth Balance (both the buttery sticks and tub of vegan butter will work). I imagine other vegan butters/margarine should work, assuming they have a similar consistency to real butter.

  19. Michelle says

    Wow! These cookies are absolutely beautiful. Does the icing go hard or does it stay soft?

    1. Hey Michelle! It’s a royal icing, so it will harden once it sets. 🙂

  20. Heather Correa says

    HOLY COW this is amazing! My batter is in the freezer now and it’s taking everything I have to not pull it out and eat the entire thing!!!!! Thank you so much.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that, Heather! I hope you loved the gingerbread cookies!

  21. majid says

    you are one talented cookie decorator!

  22. Matilde says

    I’m so excited to try out this recipe for my upcoming Christmas dinner with my friends! I was wondering if I can swap both the spices for Pumpkin Spice mix, I have a huge container left and I have to use it somehow 😅
    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe 🧡

    1. Amanda says

      Yes, I think swapping the spices for Pumpkin Pie Spice should be great! I always have extra and it’s so seasonal…I think that’s a pretty genius idea!

  23. Nicole says

    I made these this weekend and although the flavor was delicious, about half of them broke. I’m not sure what would have caused this? Should they have baked longer or been thinner? Also, my icing separated and came out very runny. I used Earth Balance. Would you recommend a different brand of vegan butter? They are good enough for my family to eat, but unfortunately didn’t turn out pretty and won’t be making it into my Christmas Cookie gift boxes for friends and coworkers. 🙁

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Nicole, I’m sorry you had trouble with the recipe! Let me see if I can help you troubleshoot it… When you say that some of your cookies broke, do you mean they cracked while baking? What shapes did you use for the cutouts? (The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick before they go into the oven.) I also use Earth Balance when I make these, and with good results. Did you make the icing just prior to using it? Since you described it as runny, it sounds like it had too much milk, and perhaps you also made it too far ahead of time, which would have given it time to separate. The recipe calls for 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk that gets added 1 tablespoon at a time to form a “thick but pliable” consistency. If you end up making the icing again, I would err on the side of less milk and perhaps even start with 1/2 tablespoon at a time because it’s possible your measuring spoons are a little bit different from mine. I hope this helps! These cookies are a favorite of mine (and a reader favorite too!) so I hope we can get this sorted. 🙂

      1. Nicole says

        Thanks so much for your response, Amanda!
        When I say that they broke, I mean that when I picked them up after baking, at least one “arm” of the snowflake of nearly every cookie fell off. I’m thinking that they may have been too thick. I will try rolling them out thinner next time. For the icing, I did not make it ahead of time, but your suggestion to use less milk might be the tip I need. I will give that a whirl and try these again! Appreciate the response. Happy holidays!

  24. Theses are simply BEAUTIFUL!!! so so pretty – gorgeous for a treat, a present or the tree!

  25. Jenna says

    Once these are iced can they be stacked? Obviously let them cool and harden 1st but will they stack OK kept Room temp stacked while they are iced?

    1. Amanda says

      I’ve stacked them without an issue, but I would recommend stacking them gently (i.e. not packed too tight) because the icing can be a little bit delicate depending on how intricate you decide to get with your designs. 🙂

  26. Kim Sessions says

    I make gingerbread cookies also and the recipe has no eggs in it and the cookies are thick & medium soft.

    1. Amanda says

      Your gingerbread cookies sound wonderful, Kim!

  27. Jill says

    My girl is allergic to both flax and eggs (and dairy and nuts, ugh). Do you think a chia egg would be okay or maybe try the commercial egg replacer?

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Jill, I think either should work. I tend not to bake with egg replacer (just because I always have flax and chia on hand). I would probably go with the chia egg. 🙂

  28. Christine Pacanowsky says

    Hello Amanda,

    Perhaps I missed it, but did you say what the size of the cutters are? Do you have a link for the cutters?

  29. Christine Pacanowsky says

    Hello Amanda,

    Perhaps I missed it, but did you say what the size of the cutters are? Do you have a link for the cutters?

    Ooops! I just saw that you use almond milk in the icing. Is there a good substitute? My little guy is allergic to milk, eggs, and nuts.

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Christine, The snowflake cutter is Wilton brand: It looks to be out of stock (at least on the Wilton site), but the dimensions are 1.6 x 6.7 x 4.8 in.

      Most other non-dairy milks should work well. Oat milk would be my next choice, but rice milk should also work. Hope that helps! 🙂

  30. Margsret says

    Can I leave cookie dough in the refrigerator over night

    1. Amanda says

      Yes, that should work! 🙂

  31. TiffanY says

    Is there a substitute for the vinegar? Would it be possible to just leave it out?

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Tiffany, The acid from the vinegar helps to create a tender dough. I haven’t tried leaving it out, but please report back if you give it a try!

  32. Lisa says

    These turned out amazing! I chilled the dough overnight. They rolled out perfectly with a lil flour. I found that I didn’t even need the icing. Will be making every year!! Oh I did add some black pepper also! Thanks for great recipe!!

  33. Erin says

    Could I use cane sugar instead of coconut? If so, is it 1 to 1? Thanks for these! I’m super excited to bake them!

    1. Amanda says

      Yes, an equal amount of cane sugar will work! Brown sugar (light or dark) would be better if you have it. 🙂

  34. Willow says

    Hi Amanda! Does this icing harden? I am hoping to package them in a cute little cookie box, but wondering if the icing will get ruined that way.


    1. Amanda says

      Hi Willow, Yes the icing does harden, although it is a little delicate. You wouldn’t want them to jostle around too much. 🙂

  35. eMILY says

    These are the best gingerbread cookies ever! I am not usually too fond of gingerbread but these ones are so good. I love that there is coconut sugar in it, gives it something different. Would definitely make these again.

  36. Christine pacanowsky says

    Hello. I have been shopping for the flax seeds for this recipe and have found brown flaxseeds, and ground yellow flaxseed by Bob’s Red Mill. As you specified fresh ground, do you mean golden seeds, brown seeds, and are whole fresh seeds necessary for the cookies to rise?
    Best wishes,

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Christine, Either brown flaxseed or golden flaxseed will work. Golden have a more mild flavor, while brown are more nutty tasting. I like to buy the whole flaxseed and grind them myself because I find they gel up better than the pre-ground flax meal, and this acts as a better binder. That said, definitely use what you have on hand or what’s available to you—they should all work out fine. 🙂

  37. Olli says

    Hi, I made these for Christmas and they were WONDERFUL. Everyone loved them. Next month I’m going to drop some off for some friends doing travel nursing. I was wondering if I could freeze these cookies after I bake them. And if so, how long will they last In the freezer?

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Olli, I’m so happy to hear that everyone loved the cookies! You can definitely freeze these after baking. The Kitchn has a great article with some tips that have worked well for me in the past (scroll down to the baked cookies section): The cookies should be good for 3 months in the freezer. 🙂


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