{drumroll…} Presenting Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies

{See this post for reasons why I don’t actually have an amazing photo of these cookies.}

It’s kind of reassuring to know that, amidst the recipes for Orange-Scented-Rum-Infused-Salted-Caramel-Shortbreads-with-Saffron-Glaze floating around the internets, most people just want a good old-fashioned ginger cookie.

Hold the milk, please.

While my heart and thoughts are moving in a direction toward Alton’s pinwheels (which I do like to make yearly, and outside of the kids breaking at least one Hallmark Christmas Ornament and my putting off shopping until the point where expedited shipping is my only option, might be one of our only holiday traditions to date), I did make these cookies several times in the last few weeks, and have received possibly the most requests for a cookie recipe, ever.

This is a marriage of two recipes; the mother is my favorite ginger cookie recipe ever, and the father just some random link found after searching for “vegan ginger cookies.” I tweaked over the course of the batches, and ended up with a classic cookie, flat but chewy (bake a little longer and they’ll be crisp), and impeccably gingery (thanks in part to the addition of candied ginger, a trick I picked up from Trader Joe’s).

Since I baked dairy-free treats for a few years when my son was allergic to milk, I have an arsenal of my favorite substitutions for dairy. Coconut oil is the fat, and coconut milk tonic is the liquid — but the recipe should work using vegetable oil and another dairy milk substitute (though the cookies might be a touch heavier — make sure your oil doesn’t have a stale smell, or it could be rancid and won’t bake good cookies).

With most holiday baking, it is imperative that your spices are fresh. It’s worth a $6 investment to buy small bags of the most called-for spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg — usually around $1/oz) at the beginning of each holiday baking season — they can be found at health food stores, and when bought in bulk are much cheaper than buying jars at the grocery. As a bonus, they are usually much fresher, more potent, and often organically-grown. Simply replacing your spices will make a dramatic change in your baking results.


Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
makes about 2 dozen 3″ cookies

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can use sprouted) or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk tonic (or other alternative to dairy milk)
  • 1 cup sucanat (can substitute cane sugar or light brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped very fine
  • 3-4 Tbsp turbinado (coarse) sugar, for dipping

Preheat oven to 350º, and place oven racks in two middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients (flour through cloves).

If using coconut oil, warm the oil until it is liquefied (about 80º). Combine oil with the molasses, coconut milk tonic (or other milk substitute), sucanat, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the candied ginger, and stir with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Knead a little with your hands if any streaks of flour remain.

Scoop out dough with a 1-Tbsp measure, and roll into a ball. Dip the balls into turbinado sugar, and place 2″ apart on sheet. Flatten balls with the palm of your hand. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom, halfway through baking. For chewy cookies, removed them when the tops are just beginning to crack (they will still look slightly undercooked). Let cool on sheet for about 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.


3 thoughts on “{drumroll…} Presenting Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies

  1. Made these last weekend and am repeating (doubled) today. I even made my own candied ginger! My husband loves them. My only question is do you have any other recipes I could use up the coconut tonic in (that maybe aren’t so elaborate as this) as I hate to use only a 1/2 cup of it and its shelve life is only 4 days, according to the can.

    Can it be used in any recipe calling for milk, like tapioca pudding?

    1. YES! Barbara, you can use the tonic wherever dairy milk is called for, with great results. Pancakes, puddings, etc. — you can even “sour” it to use as a buttermilk replacement: just put one tablespoon vinegar in the bottom of a measuring cup, and top with coconut milk tonic until the level reaches one cup. Let sit for about 5 minutes before using to replace 1 cup of buttermilk in a recipe.

      The tonic, if kept in a closed jar in the refrigerator, should last about a week — at least that’s what I remember from when I was making/using it regularly.

      So glad you enjoyed the cookie recipe!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s