Easy, soft, and chewy vegan gluten-free molasses cookies that are so good, you’ll want to add them to your yearly holiday baking list! These cookies are dairy-free, nut-free, and egg-free, plus, they’re packed with warm spices and fresh ginger flavour.
If you're a cookie lover, like me, the holidays just aren't the holidays without cookies.
I used my soft gingerbread cookies recipe as a starting point for this one because I wanted to share a molasses cookie recipe to the mix since I don't have a lot of vegan gluten free Christmas cookies here yet (I have no idea why!).
These eggless cookies are easy to make, but they do require a little patience since the dough needs to be fully chilled before baking, but they're worth the wait, you'll agree once you taste them!
They're soft and chewy on the inside with a little crunch on the outside (kinda like my chocolate crinkle cookies!). They're also perfectly spiced with those warm, spicy molasses and gingerbread flavours you associate with the holidays.
That's vegan gluten free ginger molasses cookie perfection if you ask me!
Oh, and if you like gingerbread flavour as much as I do, be sure to check out my other gingerbread flavoured recipes:
Ingredients You'll Need
All of the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe can be seen below. A flax egg, gluten-free flour blend (Bob's Red Mill in the blue bag), spices, baking soda, salt, vegan butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses, vanilla, and freshly grated ginger.
Molasses - I always bake with "fancy" molasses. If you can't find this type, then you can use the type labelled "unsulphured," "dark," or "baking." I would avoid using blackstrap molasses since its flavour is so strong.
Sugars - I always use organic cane sugar in my recipes any time granulated sugar is called for, if you don't have this type, regular granulated sugar can be used instead. Coconut sugar can be used in place of the brown sugar.
Fresh Ginger - I tested without the fresh grated ginger and I preferred the version with the fresh ginger much better. If you don't have fresh ginger, I've included info in the recipe notes on how to substitute.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
How to Make Them
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
The cookie dough comes together quickly and easily. Your first step will be to mix all the dry ingredients together and set it aside.
Next, using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, blend the butter and the sugars together. Once blended, add the flax egg, molasses, and vanilla. Blend again and then finally, gradually mix in the dry ingredients to complete the dough.
The dough will be soft and sticky, that's okay, it should be like that.
The next step is the chill the dough for AT LEAST 2 hours. Don't skip this step, it's very important for your cookies to turn out correctly and not spread too much.
After the dough has chilled, using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop up some dough and using your hands, roll it into a ball.
Next, roll each ball in sugar. Continue until all of the dough has been used and then bake. (Don't press them down, baking them will take care of that!)
When they first come out of the oven, they'll be very soft, so you need to let them sit for a while on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. They will flatten and firm up as they cool.
These are the kind of cookies kids will like to see bake, they start out as a ball but melt into the perfect cookie with a crackly, sugary top.
After you take them out of the oven, let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes so they can firm up, if you remove them too soon, they can fall apart. When ready, place them on a cooling rack.
These gingersnap crinkle cookies are delicious when served warm, and even more delicious when served with a glass of non-dairy milk.
They also make a thoughtful vegan edible gift to give to others during the holidays, they're great for a cookie exchange, or gatherings and potlucks.
Store leftover cookies for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
You can freeze baked cookies for up to 2 months. Just wrap them tightly and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. When you're ready for them, thaw them in the refrigerator. When thawed, bring to room temperature and serve.
I have only use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour Blend (the one in the blue bag) for this recipe so I can’t speak for any others. Results will vary with other blends since ingredients and ratios will differ.
Coconut sugar can replace the brown sugar, but outside of that substitution, I have not tried this recipe with any other sugars. I can tell you that liquid sweeteners will not work without changing the other ingredient quantities and I have not baked with sugar substitutes so I can't offer any guidance with those.
Both brown and cane sugar is used in this recipe to achieve a specific texture. It’s best to follow the recipe as written for the best results.
Use your favourite brand. Personally, I like Melt Sticks and Becel Plant-Based Sticks, but other brands like Earth Balance and Miyokos will also work.
If you can’t find unsalted butter, it’s okay to use salted, just omit the salt from the recipe.
I use both Wholesome Sweeteners brand and Crosby's fancy molasses in my baking, but if you can't find either of those, look for molasses that is labelled as "unsulphured," "dark," or "baking." I would stay away from blackstrap molasses since its flavour is so strong.
Yes, make the dough and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Molasses does not contain any animal products, it's just a by-product of the sugar manufacturing process and that would make it vegan. BUT depending on the manufacturing process, if they use sugar that was filtered using bone char, then that would make it not vegan. Look for organic molasses, like Whole Sweeteners brand to be sure it's vegan.
If you want to use a brand that's not marked as vegan, the best way to know is to check the brand's website FAQ or to get in touch with them to ask. The other brand I use regularly, Crosby's brand, is not labelled as vegan but I got in touch with the company and they confirmed that their fancy molasses is made from 100% pure sugar cane juice that has been inverted and that there is no refining process involved in making their fancy molasses.
Molasses does not contain any added gluten but be sure to read the label to be sure there is no chance that it could have been cross-contaminated during manufacturing if that will be an issue for you. You can also read the company's website FAQ or get in touch with them to ask.
Expert Tips for Success
- Measure your flour correctly. Too much flour in this recipe can make your cookies dry, crumbly, and they won't spread while baking as they should. Please read my article about how to measure flour correctly.
- Make sure your butter is soft and at room temperature before starting. Soft butter will blend better and easier with the sugars.
- Don't skip chilling the cookie dough. This step is VERY important for the cookies to turn out properly. If the dough is not chilled, the cookies will spread too much, not form properly while they're baking, and you won't get the pretty crackle look on top of the cookies.
- Don't over bake them. If over baked, your cookies won't be soft and chewy, they'll still be delicious, but they won't have the intended texture.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it's written for the very best results.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
Why Didn't My Cookies Spread?
There are a few reasons why this can happen.
The first is you added too much flour which made the batter to thick.
The second is that your dough was TOO cold. If you chilled the dough for longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before starting to scoop.
Why Did My Cookies Spread Too Much?
Either your dough was too warm and not chilled enough or you measured either your flour (too little) or butter (too much) incorrectly.
If you find that the rolling process took you a long time and the dough is no longer cold to the touch, you can place the cookie sheet with the balls on them in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to cool them back down before baking.
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If You Make This Recipe...
Please let me know by leaving a comment and rating below, I'd love to hear how things went for you. You can also post a picture of your remake and tag me on Instagram, I'm @delightfuladventures over there.
And If You Like This Recipe...
You'll probably like these other vegan gluten-free cookies:
- Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Cut-Out Gingerbread Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Linzer Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Oatmeal Cookies
You can help others to find this recipe by pinning it to one of your food boards on Pinterest. Click here to pin it now!
Vegan Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups (296g) gluten free flour **see important note about flour below**
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60ml) molasses (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon (10g) freshly grated ginger
- ¼ cup sugar
- Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a medium bowl, add the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of your bowl when needed. Add flax egg, molasses, vanilla extract, and fresh ginger, blend again.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed with your electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until a soft dough has formed.
- Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
- When dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon (or a medium-sized cookie scoop), scoop up a small amount of the dough and roll it into a ball.
- Roll each ball in the granulated sugar and place on the cookie sheet, be sure to give each ball space, so they have enough room to spread while baking. (Don't press them down, they will flatten while baking)
- Bake for 11 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. They will appear very soft, but that's okay, they will firm up as they cool.
- Please read all of the information and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
- This recipe makes 26 cookies, which is the amount you’ll get if you scoop them with a medium-sized cookie scoop (medium scoops are usually 1.5 tablespoons). You'll get a few more if you use a tablespoon.
- It’s important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results may vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of gf flour to make this recipe other than Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour (Amazon link) in the blue package, NOT the red package, so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if you substitute with another gluten-free flour blend. The weight listed above is for this specific brand of flour.
- If the gluten-free flour blend brand you are using does not contain xanthan gum, add ¾ teaspoon to the dry ingredients.
- This recipe will NOT work with coconut flour.
- Make sure to measure your flour correctly.
- I use both Wholesome Sweeteners brand and Crosby's fancy molasses in my baking, but if you can't find either of those brands, look for molasses that is labelled as "unsulphured," "dark," or "baking." I would stay away from blackstrap molasses since its flavour is so strong.
- Salted butter can be used instead of unsalted, just omit the salt from the recipe.
- Coconut sugar can be used in place of the brown sugar.
- If you don't have fresh ginger, use 2 teaspoons of ground ginger instead of 1.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- To bake the cookies and freeze them for later: Wrap them tightly and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and when you’re ready to serve, just place them on a plate, bring to room temperature, and enjoy.
- To freeze the cookie dough for baking later: Scoop and roll the dough into balls, but don't roll them in the sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer. Once completely frozen, place the balls in an airtight freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake them, remove from the freezer and let them sit on a plate at room temperature for 30-minutes, preheat the oven, and after the 30-minutes have passed, roll them in the granulated sugar and bake as directed.
- Adapted from my soft & chewy gingerbread cookies recipe to be nut-free.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 of 26 cookies with the recipe made as written and is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.