These vegan molasses cookies are made with coconut oil and have the best ginger-molasses flavor with hints of cinnamon. These cookies are so chewy and soft and they have no butter in them! They are sweetened with applesauce for an extra moist texture and are absolutely perfect for the holiday season.
When you bite into these cookies, it's like biting into Christmas. They are rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking which gives them such a delicious taste. They remind me of gingerbread cookies with the spice flavor.
Believe it or not, there is no molasses in this recipe! What?! Don't worry. The coconut sugar and ginger are what provide that classic molasses taste that you love! You only need 8 ingredients to make these vegan molasses cookies.
- whole wheat pastry flour - you may also use white whole wheat flour instead. Using whole wheat flour gives these cookies a heartier taste that pairs well with the ginger molasses flavor.
- baking powder - baking powder is the leavening agent that lightens the texture of the cookies and helps them spread.
- ground ginger - ginger is a critical spice in these cookies to give them that cozy holiday flavor that you love!
- salt - this balances the flavors nicely.
- coconut sugar - coconut sugar is an unrefined sugar that tastes similar to brown sugar. It provides a rich "molasses flavor" to these cookies and gives them their deep brown color. Do not substitute this!
- coconut oil - instead of using butter, these vegan molasses cookies use coconut oil which adds structure and moisture to the cookies.
- unsweetened applesauce - unsweetened applesauce is another natural sweetener in these cookies and makes them super moist, chewy, and soft.
- pure vanilla extract - vanilla adds more flavor and warmth to the cookies. Be sure to use pure vanilla extract!
All of these ingredients are quite simple and they're definitely easy to find in stores if you don't have them at home. If you're a vegan baker, I bet you have most of them already!
How to Make Molasses Cookies
It only takes 10 minutes to mix the dough and have the cookies in the oven. Plus, they only need to bake for about 15 minutes. That means you can be eating these molasses cookies in less than a half-hour! Talk about quick and easy baking.
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with parchment paper.
STEP 2: Combine dry ingredients. Add the whole wheat flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
STEP 3: Cream wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, use an electric or stand mixer to cream together the coconut oil, coconut sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix on medium-high speed until you have a light and fluffy mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
STEP 4: Add dry to wet ingredients. In small increments, add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and then mix on low-medium speed until a dough begins to form.
TIP: Adding the dry ingredients in small increments makes it easier to combine without making a flour explosion in your kitchen. Plus, the ingredients are more easily distributed throughout the dough.
STEP 5: Make cinnamon sugar topping. In a small bowl, combine three tablespoons of coconut sugar with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
STEP 6: Scoop and roll dough. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough into balls. Roll the cookie dough in the bowl of cinnamon sugar and place on the cookie sheet 1-2" apart.
STEP 7: Gently flatten cookies. Use your hands or the back of a spatula to gently flatten the cookie dough. This will encourage the cookies to spread in the oven. I wouldn't skip this step unless you want tall cookies instead of flat ones.
STEP 8: Bake. Bake the vegan molasses cookies for 15-16 minutes, or until the tops have begun to crack and the edges have set. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to continue setting up, then transfer to a cooling rack.
TIP: Consider sprinkling some extra cinnamon sugar on top when the cookies are warm if you want a sparkly sugar texture on top.
These are vegan, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free ginger molasses cookies, but if you don't follow these types of diets, you can make some substitutions if you prefer. I've provided recommendations for you to ensure the cookies still turn out delicious:
- Flour - Instead of using whole wheat pastry flour, you can use white whole wheat flour or (red) whole wheat flour. You may also use all-purpose flour, but the cookies will have a lighter texture.
- Sugar - Coconut sugar is hugely important to this recipe! Using coconut sugar is what gives these cookies their molasses flavor. DO NOT use granulated sugar instead. If you must substitute sugar, use brown sugar. Dark brown sugar is the best option if you have to make a change.
- Oil - If you don't want to use coconut oil in the cookies, you can use vegan butter or normal butter if you are not vegan. The taste might be slightly different, however.
- Applesauce - Using applesauce provides moisture and chewiness to the cookies. If you don't want to use applesuace, consider using pure pumpkin puree or dairy-free yogurt instead.
- Ginger - You may use ground cinnamon in place of ginger in a pinch.
I don't recommend making changes to the recipe if possible, but I like to provide information like this to help you in the instance that you do need to make some changes. Please don't try to change more than one ingredient at once, because I can't guarantee your cookies will turn out!
Storing And Freezing
To store the cookies, place them in an airtight container and keep them on the counter for 5-7 days.
Freeze the baked cookies in an airtight container for 30-60 days. Remember to thaw them on the counter for an hour or two before enjoying again.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have not tested the cookies with gluten-free flour, so I can't say that they would turn out the same. However, if you try making these with a different flour, please let me know how they come out so I can educate others on the result.
The applesauce in the cookies provides extra moisture and a touch of sweetness. It pairs nicely with the ginger flavor and helps make the cookies super soft and chewy.
Nope! This is a vegan molasses cookie recipe which means there is no butter (or dairy) included. These cookies are made with coconut oil instead.
Yes, a little bit! The coconut sugar provides a rich molasses flavor to the cookies, which is an ingredient typically used in gingerbread cookies. These cookies are softer and chewier than gingerbread, however.
More Vegan Recipes
If you made these cookies, I'd love to know what you thought of them! Please consider leaving a rating and review below, and post a photo of your cookies and tag me on Instagram so I can see. For more vegan baking, check out these favorites:
Vegan Molasses Cookies
- Baking Sheet
- Electric Mixer (or stand mixer)
- 1 ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup coconut oil solid
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or ginger
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.1 ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the coconut oil, coconut sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.1 cup coconut sugar, ⅓ cup coconut oil, 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in small increments and mix on low speed until combined. Don't overmix! Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. A dough will form.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut sugar and ground cinnamon for rolling the cookies.3 tablespoons coconut sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out cookie dough into balls. Roll them in the cinnamon sugar topping and place on the baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Use your hands or the back of a spatula to gently flatten the cookies on the baking sheet. This will help them spread while baking.
- Bake the cookies for 15-16 minutes or until the tops have started to crack and the edges are set. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. This helps them set up.
- If you want, sprinkle some extra cinnamon sugar on top of the cookies while they're still warm to give them a sparkly sugar texture.