These chewy gingerbread cookies are 100% whole grain (but can also be made with all-purpose flour) and have a vegan option. Seriously the best gingerbread cookies ever!
I know that a lot or even most of my readers are gluten-free but these cookies are just too darn delicious that I felt like I had to repost them (I had this recipe up on the blog since 2011 with the most hideous pictures) for my original audience – the ones here for the whole grain recipes!
For a grain-free and paleo version, try these equally amazing paleo gingerbread cookies. These grain-free chewy ginger sandwich cookies (with lemon filling!) are also amazing. If you can have grains, these gluten-free gingersnaps also look delicious.
I’ve tried making today’s cookie recipe gluten-free many, many times throughout the years. It doesn’t work using my usual mixes.
I don’t recommend trying! They’re dry and a bit gritty. Definitely go with one of the linked above recipes. :)
Back to these wheat-based ginger cookies! I make these chewy gingerbread cookies throughout the year, but nobody wants ginger cookies in July, so here they are now. They’re one of my favorite cookies ever.
Crystallized ginger is really expensive here, so when I went back to Texas the last time, I brought back over six pounds of the stuff just so that I could make loads of these cookies.
If you dislike crystallized ginger, use chocolate chips! Or chunks.
These gingerbread cookies are perfectly chewy. And awesome. I know this person who ate one of my cookies and now every time I see her, I get asked when I’m making chewy gingerbread cookies again.
And that is seriously the only thing this person ever says to me. I’m not exaggerating. “Hello, when are you making ginger cookies? Can I have? Gingerbread cookies? When are they coming?”
And I don’t know if this will help convince you but they’re adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. All I did was make it whole grain, use olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and reduce the sugar a little. And add orange zest to the sugar coating because orange zest makes everything better.
I followed the original recipe the first time and kept adding more and more whole wheat until they were 100%. And they taste just the same.
And the same thing with olive oil and less sugar. These cookies are seriously just as amazing as the original!
You can also use a chia egg for a vegan version. I imagine a flax egg would also work.
For the molasses, I used blackstrap molasses. I’ve only ever used blackstrap molasses in my baking and haven’t ever found the end product bitter. Neither have my taste testers.
But after getting crazy mixed reviews on another recipe where I used blackstrap molasses and said it was okay to use, I’m not going to recommend blackstrap ever again.
So just use the regular stuff!
And if you prefer crisp cookies, try these great-looking Gingersnap Cookies!
If you try these chewy gingerbread cookies out, I’d love to hear what you think!
Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (vegan option)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 16 cookies
- 2 1/4 cups (292 grams) whole spelt flour, whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (133 grams) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil (extra-virgin is fine or any neutral-tasting liquid oil)
- 1/3 cup (117 grams) molasses (something like Grandma's Original Molasses)
- 1 large egg (50 grams, out of shell), room temperature or 1 chia egg for vegan
- 1 1/4 cups (170 grams) chopped crystallized ginger
- Raw sugar, for rolling the cookies
- Orange zest from two oranges, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
- With an electric mixer, beat the sugar, olive oil, and molasses on medium for 5 minutes. Add the egg, and beat for 1 minute on low. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then beat for another minute. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
- Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.
- Roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and flatten them slightly with your fingers.
- Press each side of the cookie in sugar, which has been mixed with the orange zest, if using, and place them on a Silpat or a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. As soon as they’re crackly, I take them out. If they’re not crackly, they’re not ready.
- Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They freeze great.
Adapted from Ultimate Ginger Cookies from Ina Garten