These chewy vegan ginger spice cookies are an easy sweet treat for the holidays. Made with whole wheat flour and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. These delicious vegan spice cookies are soft and chewy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. A perfect spice cookie experience.
Spice cookies are one of my favorites. Give me a soft cookie, spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and I'm a happy camper for the holidays (any beyond). Of course, I love the crunch of gingersnap cookies, but chewy spice cookies always steal my heart.
In our home, the holidays are filled with a fair amount of baked goods, with lots of gingerbread to go around. Christmas baking is a pastime for the whole family. And we eat a fair amount of it, too. As such, I try to make my holiday baking a little healthier, but that doesn't always happen. These vegan spice cookies border the line between healthy and sweet decadence (and I'm totally ok with that).
They're sooooo good!
Chewy vegan ginger spice cookies
Unlike most vegan ginger cookies, this recipe is made without vegan butter or molasses. Instead, this recipe is made with a base of whole wheat flour, several warming spices, coconut oil, and liquid honey (or maple syrup). The base of this recipe is made without refined sugar, however, they are rolled in a light coating of organic cane sugar because it's holiday time!
Also, this recipe doesn't need any binders like flax eggs, cornstarch or the like. It's pretty simple, actually. I also love not having to fuss with rolling out the dough or dealing with a messy floured surface. Simply drop sugared dough balls onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. They're chewy, sweet, spicy, and I'm so happy with how they turned out!
These cookies bake up about 3" across and about ⅓" thick. Of course, they can be made smaller if you want (just reduce the baking time and check them frequently to prevent burning).
Below, I share some tips on making this recipe, but I've also made notes in the recipe card if you would rather skip over this.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
The trick to getting chewy vegan ginger cookies
Conventional chewy cookies are made with eggs, brown sugar, and high gluten flour (like bread flour). And, if you're interested in that kind of recipe, you can check out the 'holy grail' of chewy cookies by visiting Alton Brown's recipe here.
However, these vegan ginger spice cookies are plenty chewy without using bread flour (or eggs). They really only need two things: whole wheat flour and liquid sweetener. Initially, I made this recipe with spelt flour, but I found whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour) work better for achieving a chewy texture. They both contain more gluten than spelt.
Moreover, a liquid sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup adds, not only sweet flavour, but additional moisture to these cookies. The extra moisture really helps with the chewy factor as well!
Substitutions for this recipe
Flour - this recipe works best with whole wheat flour. However, I've had success with light spelt flour as well. You can also use all purpose flour if you prefer. As noted above, spelt flour will make these slightly less chewy, but still excellent imo! I haven't tried this recipe with gluten-free flour, but let me know how they turn out if you give it a go.
Honey - most vegan recipes don't use honey... it's a rather contentious issue. However, I am not opposed to using it so long as it comes from a local and organic producer that I know and trust. However, if you prefer not to use honey, swap it for maple syrup or agave syrup in equal measure.
Coconut oil - you can swap softened coconut oil for vegan butter. However, try to source a vegan butter with no palm oil if you can. As well, because most vegan butter contains sodium, I recommend omitting the ⅛ teaspoon of salt in the recipe.
More Tips and Recommendations for this recipe
Sift the flour before you measure it- this will ensure you don't end up with a dry cookie that won't spread. The measurement is 1 ½ cups of sifted flour.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer - the dough can be mixed by hand, however, I find a hand mixer (or stand mixer) works best for combining the dough. The dough may seem dry at first, but continue mixing; it will come together perfectly like any cookie dough.
Use a medium size cookie scoop - this recipe can be made into smaller cookies, but I prefer the size of the medium cookie scoop. If you don't have one, simply roll the dough into 10 1 ½ - 2" size balls with your hands.
Cool on the baking tray first- letting them cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack will prevent the cookies from possibly cracking or breaking.
Let them cool completely - the cookies need to cool fully so they can set up and develop their perfectly chewy inside. These vegan spice cookies are also really good the next day, btw.
Want more vegan holiday cookie recipes?
If you love my chewy vegan spice cookies, here are a few of my other favorites:
And my favorite vegan gingerbread cookies that I shared over on Baked The Blog.
Chewy Vegan Ginger Spice Cookies
These chewy vegan ginger spice cookies are an easy sweet treat for the holidays. Made with whole wheat flour and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. These cookies are soft and chewy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside for a perfect spice cookie experience. Recipe substitutions can be found in the notes below.
- 1 ½ cups (8oz) sifted whole wheat flour (sift first, then measure)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the honey, vanilla and softened coconut oil. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until all the flour is combined.
Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Portion the dough into 10 balls with a medium size cookie scoop (or use your hands to make 10 ~2" dough balls). Roll each dough ball in the granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking tray 3" apart.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you roll the dough between your hands, the coconut oil may soften too much and make the cookies spread too thin. Put the rolled dough balls in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before baking if you use this method.
Light spelt or all purpose flour can be used in equal measure for whole wheat flour. If you prefer not to use bee products, simply replace the honey with maple syrup or agave syrup in equal measure. Vegan ginger spice cookies will last 5-7 days in an airtight container and are even better the next day.