It’s true: You can have delicious, aromatic, and most importantly CLASSIC holiday cookies that are not only super easy but also vegan!
This classic recipe was very easily “veganized” using only a few substitutions. Yes, that’s right! It’s actually very simple to turn your favorite holiday cookies into completely dairy and egg-free versions.
Replace Eggs With Ground Flaxseed
There are many varieties of egg replacers meant for baking, some packaged and some all-natural. Some ingredients can mimic the binding effect that real eggs offer in pastries. Try mashed bananas, chia seeds mixed with water, or for an apple-spice flavor, try applesauce (only a tablespoon or two should do).
My favorite option is the flaxseed egg because it allows bakers to avoid unwelcome flavors or textures. Flaxseed is flavorless, and when mixed with water, mimics the viscosity and composition of a real egg. It’s the perfect solution when you want traditional gingerbread.
Swap Out The Butter For Coconut Oil
Yes, coconut oil IS a magic ingredient you can use for almost anything, including baking.
For this recipe, it’s important the oil is melted or soft, and at room temperature (same as if you were using real butter). This will allow it to blend hassle-free with the brown sugar. If it’s kept cold, that means the oil is solid. If it doesn’t blend properly, you could end up biting into small chunks of oil in your finished product. Nobody wants that (unless you really like coconut oil).
So why didn’t we use plant-based butter or another kind of oil? A couple of reasons:
- Coconut oil is so good for you, and is classified as a “superfood”. It’s cholesterol-free, and an all-natural alternative to a plant-based butter or margarine.
- The coconut flavor is subtle. Because it can be substituted one for one with real butter, you end up with the same result, only lighter tasting. Plus, the hint of coconut complements the additional savory flavors.
Notes on Molasses
Fancy molasses should be your go-to when feeding a crowd. It offers a light flavor that kids and adults will both enjoy.
If you’re old school and love an extra spicy cookie, swap the fancy molasses for blackstrap. Be careful though – it’s dark, robust, and even bitter taste is not loved by all (think dark vs. milk chocolate). While it’s the healthier choice, its rationing should be lowered as to not overwhelm your mouth with flavor.
Decorating Your Cookies
Impress your guests by going above and beyond when decorating!
For this simplified recipe, rolling the dough into balls and adding a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar is going to save you time and wrist pain. BUT if you have an eye for beauty, roll out your dough on a floured surface until about 1” thick, and use a cookie cutter to create any shape you desire.
You can turn plain cookies into works of art with a couple of common icing recipes. Royal icing is an elegant choice. Traditionally made with egg yolks, a vegan version will use the brine from a can of chickpeas, otherwise known as aquafaba. Add a hint of lemon juice and/or zest to give your cookies a little zip!
If royal icing is going to take up too much of your time, try adding your favorite dairy-free milk and vanilla extract to confectioner’s sugar. Icing sugar can have a thick or thin consistency, depending on how much liquid is added. This is an extremely flexible recipe that is going to save you time, money, and effort. Much like royal icing, it’s no trouble to use icing sugar to outline shapes and characteristics onto your gingerbread.Print
A vegan spin on a classic holiday cookie.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yields about 30 cookies
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed, 3 tbsp water)
2 C alI-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
Pinch of salt
½ C coconut oil, soft or melted; room temperature
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C fancy or cooking molasses
¼ C confectioners sugar for decoration (optional)
- Begin by preparing your flax egg. Mix together the ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. The flax egg will resemble the texture of an egg and help the cookies bind together.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Using a hand or electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the coconut oil and brown sugar until fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add in the flax egg, vanilla, and molasses and mix to combine.
- Add your dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until a thick dough forms.
- Use your hands to roll tablespoon-size balls of cookie dough. Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are firm.
- After they’re done baking, place the cookies on a cooling rack.
- Using a sifter, lightly dust confectioner’s sugar over top the cookies. This can get messy, so place paper towels or parchment paper underneath the cooling wrack prior to sifting.
This recipe was adapted (and veganized) from Canadian Living.
- Category: Deserts
Keywords: gingerbread,vegan cookies