Spicy vegan gingerbread man cookies that are spicy and soft, yet sturdy enough to decorate and use as gifts or decorations. Made with healthier ingredients, such as maple syrup, whole wheat flour and grated ginger root, these traditional Christmas cookies are refined-sugar-free and egg free.
These vegan gingerbread man cookies are quick and easy, and perfect for beginner bakers and is kid friendly. Make your gingerbread man cookies full-size or mini, either way they will turn out delicious, soft and sweet.
These Christmas cookies are made with pumpkin puree instead of oil and eggs, and with maple syrup instead of refined sugar. The result is delicious soft spicy gingerbread cookies that will make your kitchen smell amazing. I decorated mine with my easy vegan royal icing for a festive holiday finish and a bit more sweetness. And if you love these, also consider my other spicy cookie, my old fashioned hermit cookies.
Why You'll Love These
Quick to make. This vegan gingerbread man cookie recipe is quick and easy, welcome characteristics for a recipe during busy holiday season. It mixes in one bowl, doesn't require chilling and take only 10 minutes to bake.
Kid-friendly recipe. Kids can help in so many steps including, mixing the batter, cutting out the dough, and decorating the baked cookies.
Perfect for all diets. These cookies are egg free, dairy free, and can be gluten free with gluten free flour.
Molasses. Molasses has a ton of nutrition, including essential minerals, including tons of calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Maple syrup. An excellent refined-sugar-free sweetener.
Pumpkin puree. Use canned, and not pumpkin pie filling. Some recipes use applesauce or even yogurt instead.
Grated ginger root. Grate this using a garlic press and it makes your cookies so flavorful.
Gingerbread spice blend. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
Flour. There is lot of flexibility for the flour. I used white whole wheat flour, but I've also used all purpose flour or you can use gluten free baking flour. Almond flour, coconut flour and oat flour won't work with other adjustments.
Other ingredients. Milk, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt.
See the recipe card at the bottom for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
For more detail, visit the complete recipe at the bottom of this post, but here are general steps.
Preparations: Butter needs to be at room temperature or microwave for 10 seconds. The maple syrup, milk and pumpkin puree should all be at room temperature. Grate or chop fresh garlic root. Add parchment paper to two quarter-sized cookie baking pans.
Step 1: Mix up the wet ingredients - maple syrup, pumpkin puree, molasses, milk, fresh ginger in a bowl.
Step 2: Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl, and add to it the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and gingerbread spices. Brush back and forth with a spoon.
Step 3: Mix the dough together with a hand mixer until it's sticky but malleable. You can chill but there is no need to roll it if you press it between two pieces of parchment paper.
Step 4: Roll the dough flat about ½-inch thick using a roller and pressed between two pieces of parchment. Use a cookie cutter to cut out gingerbread men, and peel away the excess batter. Repeat.
Step 4: Once your pans have gingerbread men lined up ready to bake, bake the at 350 F for 10 minutes. Look for golden edges and don't overbake. Cool in the pan before decorating.
Step 5: Decorate. I used my vegan royal icing , a white icing that is made without egg whites and hardens so it is perfect for gingerbread men buttons and squiggles. Put the icing in icing bags or ziplock bags and snip the tip. Add finishing touches such as cinnamon.
1. The dough does not have to be chilled unless you are having trouble using cookie cutters. If it tends to stick to your cookie cutter, set the rolled-out dough in the freezer for 15 minutes and try to cut again.
Store these cookies at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 4 days. After that, refrigerate for two weeks. To freeze the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in a sealed container. It can be frozen for three months.
In general gingerbread cookies are hand cakes so they should certainly be soft to bite into. And yet sturdy enough to hold the shape of a gingerbread person.
I used unsulphured original molasses . It has the best flavor, not too bitter.
My vegan royal icing is perfect to use to decorate gingerbread men with a face and buttons. The icing, which does not use egg whites but instead uses aquafaba, the liquid from a chickpea can, hardens well and can last a year.
These cookies do not have a strong sweet flavor, but they are spicy and taste like molasses and the spices, and have a soft texture.
Other Holiday Cookie Recipes
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Healthy Vegan Gingerbread Man Cookies
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Make sure milk, maple syrup, molasses and pumpkin puree are at room temperature.
- Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Peel and chop 1 inch of fresh ginger root. Push chopped ginger through a garlic press and capture 1 teaspoon of the pulp and liquid that you squeeze through.
Make gingerbread cookies
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the liquid ingredients together using a spoon, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, molasses, ginger root and milk.½ cup maple syrup, ⅓ cup pumpkin puree, ¼ cup molasses, ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger root
- Place a fine mesh strainer over the mixing bowl and to it add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.2 ¾ cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Run a spoon around the dry mixture to send it through the strainer into the wet ingredients.
- Mix up the dough using a spoon or hand-mixer to mix up the dough. It will be sticky dough. You can refrigerate for 10-20 minutes covered if the dough is too sticky to work with, but I didn't need to.
Bake gingerbread cookies
- In one lined pan, press the dough flat, and lay another sheet of parchment paper on top and roll it out. No flour is needed if you use a parchment paper sandwich or even foil or plastic wrap.
- Peel off top sheet and cut out your shapes about ½ inch apart. Peel away the excess dough. Repeat by rolling and cutting out excess dough in other pan. Or you can lift cut cookie dough shapes and arrange them on another parchment lined pan.
- Bake each pan separately for 10 minutes.
- Remove pans, let cookies cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.
Store gingerbread cookies
- Store these cookies in a container at room temperature for 4 days, and for 1 month refrigerated or longer if frozen.