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!
For some less spicy but still gingery Christmas cookies, try these molasses cookies or these pepparkakor (Swedish ginger cookies, wihch are also made whole wheat).
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
37 comments on “Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (vegan option)” — Add one!
1 comment is awaiting moderation!
I make molasses cookies every year. I love them. My recipe is similar to yours but I use butter and a whole lot more ginger and cinnamon. I don’t measure so maybe 1T of ginger and probably more for cinnamon. I love the spiciness. I’ve been making these cookies for 20 years or more.
I love them, too! I’m surprised you use even more spice. I thought these were already spicy! :D And butter sounds delicious. I’ll have to try that, too! Merry Christmas to you, Kelly. :)
I have noticed that people either really like my cookies or not at all probably because of the spiciness. I just love it extra spicy and the bits of crystallized ginger is so perfect in this cookie. Merry Christmas to you too, Erin.
I know I’d love them! Hope you had a nice Christmas and get to do something fun tomorrow (if that’s your kind of thing – we’ll be hiding at home. :D)
YUM just made a batch! Crispy crust and chewy centre:):) I used gluten free plain flour and it worked out perfectly. Also used maple syrup instead of molasses, the cookies turned out a beige colour but besides this they tasted great. I love these spices so I tweaked them and the flavour was spot on (but might be too gingerbready for others!) 2 tsp cinnamon, 1.5tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves. I didn’t roll them in sugar and found they were sweet enough. The mixture was quite sticky to roll, maybe would try a bit more oil next time? Will be keeping this recipe!
I make a molasses cookies similar to this every year. Try refrigerating the dough for an hour or so and the dough will not be so sticky.
Thanks for the tip! That’ll definitely help. :)
I’m so happy you liked them! And great that your GF flour worked well. :) What brand was it? In case someone else is wondering. Like Kelly said below, try chilling the dough next time if it’s too sticky! Definitely do not add more oil. Thanks for your two recipe reviews! :)
Thanks! Hope you get to try them! :)
Your ebullience is refreshing!!
Haha. Thanks! :)
I made these recently – they were divine! I would like to make them again, however, I am now on a calorie-controlled diet & would like to know how many calories there are in each cookie, please?
I’m sorry for just now answering your question! I just got back from vacation. I don’t have the calories but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. :) I’m glad you liked the cookies!
These were very tasty cookies. Thank you so much for sharing!
You’re welcome! So happy you liked them. Thanks a bunch for your comment and sorry for my slow reply (Christmas chaos got in the way!).
This recipe looks great and I’d like to try it. I was curious as to the yield. I’ve read and re-read this entire page, and I cannot find any reference to how many cookies this is supposed to make. Could you please add that to this page somewhere?
Hello! It yields 16 cookies. :)
These are great cookies! My husband loves when I make them :) Thank you for creating a whole grain recipe.
I’m so happy you and your husband enjoy them so much! I love them, too. :) Thanks a ton for your feedback!
recipe looks amazing. Any substitute for molasses.
Thanks! The molasses (along with the spices) is what gives the cookies their gingerbread-like taste so I wouldn’t recommend using anything else. I think brown rice syrup may work, though I haven’t tried it and I think honey would just be too sweet. If you live in a country that has sugar beet syrup, I know that works. :)
Hello, Can I just omit the cristalized ginger or do I have to replace it with something?
You can omit it. No need to replace it! :)
These are great for ice cream sandwiches! I too love ginger cookies year-round, so a good vanilla is my choice to let the cookies’ flavor shine unencumbered. But for my brother, it’s chocolate. Also, butter pecan or dulce de leche is a great counterpoint to the ginger. Yum, yum, yum!
Thanks for sharing! [PS: I find olive oil feels heavy in the mouth, so I use avocado oil, if it’s in the house, or canola oil. Just something light textured and flavored. Otherwise, exactly as written.]
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the cookies! :) I’m with you on the ice cream sandwich thing. Especially with vanilla! And avocado oil? I didn’t even know that was a thing. I’m off to check it out! Thanks for the tip and for the feedback. :)
Do you think these could be rolled out for gingerbread men?
I haven’t tried it so I’m not positive, but I think if you refrigerate the dough and flour the surface you roll the dough out it… it should be okay! Good luck. :) And remember to reduce the baking time!
I love the taste but had trouble with sugar and orange zest . It clumped together. Looked bad but tasted great. Any suggestions?
You mean for the rolling of the cookies? Make sure that you dry the orange before zesting! It shouldn’t be clumpy at all. But if it is, rub the orange zest and sugar together with your fingers. That should distribute the orange zest nicely. :) So happy that you liked the taste of the cookies! Thanks for the feedback. :)
Yay! I'm just thrilled that you enjoyed them. And that you think they're better than regular ginger cookies! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback. It made my day. :)
These were so yummy! I made a few changes but I just had to leave a comment to say that I loved these. I especially love the little spicy ginger pieces :D I'll be keeping this recipe for sure, I think these are better than the regular ginger cookie recipe I use!
Warmvanillasugar – Try them! They really don't taste whole grain. They'll make you happy. :)
Sonia – Thanks! You could definitely try leaving out all the sugar, but I imagine the texture would be quite different. I would at least add some honey or increase the amount of molasses, but you're not the sugar addict I am. :) Please let me know how the ultra reduced sugar works out! I'd be ecstatic if it worked.
Oh my! These look spectacular! And what gorgeous pictures. I wonder if I could get away with not using any sugar at all? I think this is very worth the try. They look way too good to pass!
These cookies sound so yummy! Your whole grain posts make me so happy. I can't wait to try these!
Or you could try these. They won't let you down. :) The crystallized ginger adds a little kick! It makes them just a little more interesting.
Wow these really sound great with the cristalized ginger. I have not made my version in quite some time……maybe now I should :-)