Because the holidays would be incomplete without some sort of gingerbread, my son and I spent some time together making these dairy free gingerbread cookies. It's a yearly tradition for us to make a gingerbread house together, but this year we decided we wanted to make something different that we would actually want to eat.
I had all intentions to decorate my gingerbread with swoon worthy icing designs worthy of Instagram, but we had so much fun and laughed so much at the silly faces we made, that my ideas went right out the window. If there's one thing that 2020 has taught me, it's to cherish these little moments of laughter and joy together. So, instead of worrying about creating the perfect gingerbread man and what it would look like in my photos, I just enjoyed the moment, laughed my tail off with my son, and consumed entirely too many of these cute little cookies.
An Egg Free Option
If you'd like to make these vegan or can't have eggs, you can substitute the egg in the recipe for one flax egg. If you aren't familiar with a flax egg, it's 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of hot water. Let the mixture site for a minute or two until it reaches a thickened, gel-like consistency. This mixture can be used in place of an egg, and will work as a binder. The important thing to note here is that you need to use flaxseed meal, which is ground flax seeds.
Your Cookie Cutters
The size of the cookie cutters you use for this recipe will play a role in how many cookies you get and how long the baking time is affected. If you have a rather large cookie cutter, you may get less cookies out of the recipe. A smaller cookie cutter will produce more cookies. I used three different sized cookie cutters that ranged from small to large, and got 16 cookies out of the dough.
If you use cookie cutters that are on the larger side, you may need to bake your cookies for a few minutes longer. A smaller cookie will need shorter baking time, so use the 12 minute baking time as a guide. The longer they bake, the more crispy the cookies will be. The shorter the baking time, the more soft and chewy the cookies will be.
Dairy Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice can substitute nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ cup nondairy butter I used Earth Balance sticks
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 egg see notes and above for substitutions
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 tablespoon nondairy milk I used almond
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking tray (or two depending on the size) with parchment paper.
- Cream your nondairy butter and brown sugar together using an electric mixer.
- Add in the molasses, vanilla, and egg and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix it all together.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients in to the butter mixture with your mixer on medium low. You don't want to overmix here, or your cookies will be tough.
- The batter should be thick and not too sticky. If it's still very sticky, try adding it just a teaspoon of flour at a time. Don't add too much because we'll be adding more flour in the next step.
- Flour a clean surface to roll out the dough. Pat a bit of the flour on your hands, and roll your dough into one big ball.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about ¼ inch thickness. *see notes*
- Dip your cookie cutters in a little bit of flour so the dough doesn't stick to them. Cut out your cookies, and place them on your parchment lined baking trays.
- Add more flour to the dough as needed, forming the scraps back in to a ball and rerolling the dough out to cut more cookies. Repeat this as many times as needed until there is not enough dough left to cut out a cookie.
- Bake your cookies for about 12 minutes. See notes about cooking times.
- Let the cookies cool completely before decorating.
- To make the frosting, mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Be sure to add your milk a bit at a time. The frosting needs to be thick, or it will run right off your cookie. If you've added too much milk, add a bit more sugar until it's thick again. I like to let my frosting rest for five minutes before I scoop it into a piping bag for decorating.
- Decorate your cookies with the frosting, and enjoy!