These vegan gingerbread men with crispy edges and a soft middle are so easy to make and are the perfect base to decorate with a simple icing. These cookies are so fun to make at Christmas and also make wonderful homemade gifts.
Gingerbread men are one of the most fun cookies to make around the holidays. This year I went looking for a nice big cookie cutter, about the size of my hand, to ensure I could make them nice and big which is what allows for that perfect combination of crispy edges and a soft and chewy middle.
While I found my cookie cutter at TK Maxx which had a lot of range this year, if you cannot find one you can easily use this dough to make any cookie shapes you want. I also made some snowflakes and I am really happy with how they turned out.
It’s no secret how much I love Christmas baking, and this year I found myself deep into my spice collection and quickly running out of golden syrup as the smell of gingerbread filled my home.
This recipe is so easy to make, and the shapes hold their shape perfectly making this an ideal dough for cut out cookies and even a gingerbread house. These cookies also last well in a cool dry location, so they can be easily made ahead or given as edible gifts.
How to make vegan gingerbread men
To make this gingerbread, you start with a pretty basic biscuit dough that comes together in just two steps.
First, sift the flour, baking powder and spices and mix together. Then using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, cream together the dairy-free butter, dark brown sugar and golden syrup.
Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until a crumbly dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a piece of baking paper that has been lightly dusted with flour to prevent the dough from sticking, and with floured hands press the dough into a ball.
Press the dough into a flat, round disk before using a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about a 5mm thickness. Make sure to flour the rolling pin if the dough is getting too sticky.
Place another piece of baking paper over the rolled out dough and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can leave it up to overnight if you want to break up the steps.
Chilling the dough is essential to ensure your shapes hold in the oven.
Once your dough is cold, carefully cut out your shapes and place them on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake the shapes in a preheated oven for about 8 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn golden. The middles will still look quite soft. Let the cookies sit on the tray for 5-10 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine any excess dough and roll out again, continuing to cut out shapes until all of the dough has been used.
Decorating your gingerbread men
While these gingerbread men will taste just delicious plain as they are, they really do need a touch of simple icing to bring them to life. Because decorating is really the fun of these cookies.
Just like my vegan cinnamon sugar cookies, I’m using the simplest icing to decorate which is just icing sugar mixed with a little vanilla for flavour and water. You really don’t need much water at all as you want to make sure your icing is thick and firm to be able to pipe these decorations.
Place your icing in a small piping bag with a round tip attached and begin to pipe your designs. I went quite simple for these and I love how they turned out. But if you want more, make a double batch of the icing and tint some different colours and really have fun with the personality of each cookie.
Gingerbread men tips!
- Don’t skip the chilling time. This ensures that your cookies don’t spread in the oven and keep their shape.
- If you’re in the US and can’t find golden syrup, you can use molasses instead.
- Personally these cookies have the perfect level of spice for me, but if you love them strong and fiery, increase the amount of ground ginger up to 1 tablespoon.
- Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before icing otherwise the decorations will melt off.
- Let the icing dry completely overnight to harden before stacking the cookies.
- The difference between soft and crispy gingerbread is simply cooking time. I found 8 minutes to give me the perfect combination of crispy edges and soft middles, but adjust the time based on your preference.
- Note that all ovens are slightly different so bake times may vary. If you’re unsure I recommend baking a test cookie first to test the best bake time for you.
How to store gingerbread cookies
These cookies last up to two weeks in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, which is why they make perfect gifts.
You can also leave the cookie dough in the fridge for up to three days before rolling out and baking, which makes these the ideal recipe to break down into smaller steps to fit into a busy schedule.
Making gingerbread men is such a fun holiday activity and you can really get creative with how you dress them up with your decorations.
More gingerbread recipes:
Vegan Gingerbread Loaf with Orange Glaze
Classic Ginger Snap Biscuits
Poinsettia Christmas Cupcakes
Vegan Gingerbread Men
- 2 ¼ cups plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup (185 grams) dairy-free butter
- ¼ cup golden syrup
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ – 1 tablespoon water
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and spices and mix together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, cream together the dairy-free butter, dark brown sugar and golden syrup. Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until a crumbly dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of baking paper that has been lightly dusted with flour to prevent the dough from sticking, and with floured hands press the dough into a flat, round disk before using a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about a 5mm thickness. Make sure to flour the rolling pin if the dough is getting too sticky. Place another piece of baking paper over the rolled out dough and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter and place them on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Combine any excess dough and roll out again, continuing to cut out shapes until all of the dough has been used.
- Bake the shapes in a preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn golden. The middles will still look quite soft. Let the cookies sit on the tray for 5-10 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the icing. Mix together the icing sugar and vanilla with a little water at a time until a thick paste forms. Add the icing to a piping bag with a small round tip fitted and pipe decorations on the cookies. Let the icing set at room temperature overnight to completely harden before stacking and storing the cookies.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.
Good recipe, I found it just a tad bland for my taste. Next time I will up the ginger to 3 tsp and the cinnamon to 2. Otherwise, it worked great and I’ll continue to use it in future. Cheers!
Glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂