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Chewy Vegan Ginger Cookies (Without Vegan Butter)

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Is there anything better than a chewy ginger cafe-style cookie? I think not. These chewy ginger cookies are perfect for the holidays, gift-giving, or whenever the sweet tooth strikes.

Vegan chewy ginger cookies without butter

Made with oil instead of vegan butter, these cookies are still soft, chewy, and absolutely addictive. The festive spices combined with the molasses and dark brown sugar make these cookies one of my all-time favorites.

About The Ingredients

Many of the ingredients for these cookies you likely have on hand. You can adjust the spices to your liking by adding more or less cinnamon, ginger and clove.

  • Neutral oil (canola, sunflower, vegetable) – Provides moisture to the cookies and ensures they have that soft, addicting, chewy texture. This acts as a fat component in the absence of butter in traditional recipes.
  • Dark brown sugar – Imparts a rich, molasses-like flavor and contributes to the chewiness of the cookies. The moisture content in brown sugar also helps keep the cookies soft.
  • Dark molasses – Offers a deep, robust flavor characteristic of ginger cookies. Provides moisture and helps in achieving the desired chewy texture. Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-making process and has a distinct, slightly bitter-sweet flavor.
  • Unsweetened applesauce – Acts as a binder in the recipe, helping to hold the ingredients together. Contributes moisture and a subtle sweetness to the cookies. Using applesauce can also reduce the amount of added fats/oils needed in this recipe.
  • Ground ginger – Provides the signature spicy, warming flavor that is characteristic of ginger cookies. It’s the primary flavoring agent in this recipe.
  • Cinnamon – Adds a warming, sweet-spicy note to the cookies. Complements the ginger and enhances the overall flavor profile.
  • Ground cloves- Adds a familiar pungent, aromatic flavor to the cookies. Cloves have a strong, distinctive taste that pairs well with ginger and cinnamon, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
  • All-purpose flour – Forms the structure of the cookies. Provides the necessary gluten for texture and helps in binding all the ingredients together.
  • Baking soda – Acts as a leavening agent, helping the cookies to rise and giving them a slightly airy texture. Reacts with the acidic ingredients (molasses in this case) to produce carbon dioxide bubbles, which contribute to the cookie’s rise and chewiness.
  • Salt – Enhances the overall flavor of the cookies by balancing the sweetness and spices. Also strengthens the gluten in the flour, contributing to the cookie’s structure.
  • Raw cane sugar for rolling – Adds a crunchy, sweet exterior to the cookies. Rolling the cookie dough in raw cane sugar before baking creates a delightful contrast in textures between the crisp exterior and the soft, chewy interior of the cookies.
Vegan chewy ginger cookies without butter

Ginger Cookies Vs. Gingerbread Cookies

Ginger cookies and gingerbread cookies, while both rooted in the distinct flavor of ginger, have some notable differences. I love them both. Ginger cookies, often referred to as ginger snaps, are typically thinner and have a crispier texture. They are characterized by a pronounced spiciness from the ginger, and their sweetness is often more subtle.

On the other hand, gingerbread cookies are often softer, thicker, and more cake-like in texture. They are usually richer in flavor, owing to a combination of spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Additionally, gingerbread cookies are frequently associated with decorative shapes and intricate designs, especially during festive seasons, whereas ginger cookies might be simpler and more rustic in appearance.

These chewy ginger cookies are not the same as ginger snaps. Instead, they’re a cafe-style cookie that tastes great with coffee or tea in the morning. They’re much softer in texture.

Vegan chewy ginger cookies without butter

Making Ginger Cookies Without Vegan Butter

To make vegan ginger cookies without vegan butter, you can rely on alternative fats (like oil) and binders to achieve the desired texture and flavor. In this recipe, applesauce also contributes to the binding and moisture content.

Making Vegan Ginger Cookies Chewy

To ensure that ginger cookies have a chewy texture, certain techniques and ingredients can be emphasized. Firstly, the inclusion of dark brown sugar and dark molasses in the dough provides both moisture and a rich, molasses-like flavor that contributes significantly to chewiness. These sugars have a higher moisture content compared to white granulated sugar, helping to keep the cookies soft and chewy.

Additionally, the use of unsweetened applesauce acts as a moisture-retaining agent, further enhancing the cookie’s chewiness. When baking, it’s crucial not to overbake the cookies. They should be removed from the oven when they are just set around the edges but still slightly soft in the center. As they cool on the baking sheet, they will continue to firm up without becoming too hard.

I hope you enjoy this vegan ginger cookie recipe. Be sure to leave a star rating if you try it out. And, check out these apple pie cookies for another sweet treat.

Chewy Vegan Ginger Cookies (Without Vegan Butter)

Vegan chewy ginger cookies without butter
These chewy vegan ginger cookies are made with oil and applesauce for a chewy texture that doesn't use vegan butter.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serving Size 18 cookies


  • ½ cup neutral oil canola, sunflower, vegetable
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp. raw cane sugar for rolling


  • In a large bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, molasses, and applesauce. Beat on low for 2 minutes until smooth.
    chewy ginger cookies
  • Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and mix.
  • Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda until combined. If too thick, add 1-2 tbsp non-dairy milk.
    chewy ginger cookies with flour in bowl
  • Chill dough for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets.
  • Place raw sugar in a bowl. Shape dough into balls, coat in sugar, and space on sheets.
    ginger cookie dough coated in sugar
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden at edges. Tap tray once after baking to help the cookies settle. Cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to rack.
    Vegan chewy ginger cookies without butter
  • Store airtight at room temp for 3 days or freeze for 1 month.

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