Is there anything more Christmas-y than gingerbread cookies? The scent of these vegan gingerbread cookies baking in the oven will definitely put you in a holiday state of mind. Made with almond meal and arrowroot powder, they’re gluten free AND grain free and every bit as flavourful and fun as you remember.
Holiday baking is a big part of the Christmas lead up for me…but I still like to keep it simple. If it’s baking – and it’s complicated – I’ll mess it up, guaranteed. This is especially true if I’m baking with my kids and therefore distracted by preventing burns and massive dust clouds of flour!
Which is why I’m always on the look out for nostalgic vegan recipes that are easy to make and aren’t too sweet. Since I have yet to find a recipe for vegan gingerbread cookies that I love I thought it was high time I made my own. I’ll be making these in big batches this month and dropping them off on everyone’s door step for a little December pick me up.
What you’ll need for these vegan gingerbread cookies
These cookies are really simple: just five main ingredients, plus spices, and only ten minutes of prep! Really, the only thing that takes time is chilling if you want to do cut out shapes. Find yourself with some time to kill while the dough is in the fridge? Pour yourself a hot drink, sit down with a holiday movie cuz you probably need a little chill time yourself.
- Almond meal/flour: almond meal produces a tender crumb and it has a really light naturally sweet taste so you don’t have to use as much sweetener. It’s also like half the price at Costco so if you (or a friend!) have a membership, grab yourself a big bag or two!
- Arrowroot powder: arrowroot is a grain free starch that helps firm up the structure while keeping things light. You could try substituting with cornstarch if you don’t have arrowroot but be warned…I haven’t tested this option so can’t guarantee it!
- Vegan butter or coconut oil: if you’re using coconut oil, it’s important to use the refined version or you’ll add a coconut flavour to the cookies. For vegan butter, the best choices from a nutritional perspective are Melt Organic or Miyoko’s.
- Maple syrup: maple syrup adds to the rich flavour of cookies without needing a lot of added sugar
- Blackstrap molasses: blackstrap molasses is super flavourful, and it’s such a nutrient-dense food for folks on a plant-based diet…but in a pinch, you can absolutely use regular molasses if that is what you have on hand!
Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses really is the dark horse of the plant-based world. It’s thick, richly flavoured and absolutely packed with important minerals for those on a plant-based diet.
- Calcium: a single tablespoon (15ml) of blackstrap molasses contains 180mg of bone-building calcium!
- Iron: you’ll find 3.5mg of energizing iron in each tablespoon of blackstrap molasses, that’s more than a third of a man’s daily need (8mg) and about 20% of a woman’s (18mg).
- Potassium: blackstrap contains a whopping 520mg of potassium, which is critical for electrolyte balance and heart health in the body.
Blackstrap molasses also contains smaller amounts of copper, selenium and niacin for energy. You see? Granny was right…a spoonful of molasses everyday is good for you!
Looking for more vegan cookie recipes?
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten Free)
These vegan gingerbread cookies are the quintessential Christmas cookie. Richly flavoured with molasses and fragrant with cinnamon, ginger and cloves, they’ll put you in a holiday state of mind. Made with almond meal and arrowroot powder, they’re gluten free AND grain free so everyone can enjoy a holiday treat.
Servings: 15 cookies
- 2 cups almond meal/flour
- ½ cup arrowroot powder
- ½ cup vegan butter (I like Melt Organic), melted or naturally refined coconut oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses or regular molasses
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl combined the almond flour, starch, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and stir to combine. Add in the butter, maple syrup and molasses and stir again until a sticky dough is formed.
For cut out cookies
To make cut-out cookies, place the dough in the freezer for 60 minutes to help it firm up. (Or you could place it in the fridge overnight, if you want to make this a day in advance.)
Place the dough in the center of a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with a bit of arrowroot or tapioca starch to help prevent sticking. Using a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat sheet, about 1/4-inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes. Pull away the excess dough to reveal each shape, and re-roll the dough to create more shapes. (I ended up with about 15 cookies using cookie cutters about the size of the palm of my hand.)
For simple rolled cookies
Alternatively, you can skip the cut-out cookies and just roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, roll them in a bit of coconut sugar, and flatten them on the baking sheet with your hand. They are amazing this way, too!
Bake the cookies at 350F for about 9-12 minutes for cookies with a soft center. Allow them to cool completely on the pan before icing and serving. SO IMPORTANT! They will firm up as they cool.
Leftover cookies can be stored uncovered on the counter for up to 3 days, or you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (Freeze them for up to 3 months.)