Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Austrian Style
Christmastime is when the smell of Gingerbread is in the air. So, what’s more Christmassy than baking homemade vegan gingerbread? And afterwards, you can decorate the cookies after your heart’s desire with icing or chocolate. But even plain with just some nuts as decoration they’re perfect for any vegan Christmas cookie tray.
Homemade gingerbread or Lebkuchen as it’s called in Austria always reminds me of my childhood, when my grandma used to bake really big batches. So I had to try to veganize her recipe which wasn’t that easy since gingerbread traditionally contains a lot of honey and eggs. In the end, I managed to keep my grandma’s most important ingredient for my vegan Lebkuchen, rye flour. So, I guess it’s not really my secret ingredient but my grandma’s. It gives the dough a sticky consistency, great colour and taste.
What I really like about this vegan gingerbread cookie recipe are the simple ingredients, the fanciest ingredients are gingerbread spice mix and rye flour. You can use the remaining rye flour for baking some bread and instead of a finished gingerbread spice mix, you can also mix it together yourself. Otherwise, you just need flour, brown sugar, oil, plant-based milk and baking powder. For the oil, you can use any oil with a mild flavour like rapeseed or sunflower.
Do you want to bake some Christmas cookies now but don’t have all the ingredients at home for the gingerbread? Maybe you have all the ingredients for my vegan Vanillekipferl recipe, you only need 5 ingredients.
How to decorate the Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
There are multiple ways to decorate the finished vegan gingerbread cookies, from minimalist shiny cookies to those submerged in icing or chocolate. It’s easiest to decorate the cookies once they’re already cooled out. If you’re not planning to completely cover the cookie with icing or chocolate later, you should brush some plant-based milk on the cookies before baking so they’ll be all nice and shiny afterwards.
If you prefer a minimalist decoration, you can just add some nuts on top of the cookies after you brush them with milk, before backing them. That way the nuts will stick to the cookies and add a nice touch to plain cookies.
Another idea for decoration is icing. You can easily make the icing yourself by adding a tiny bit of plant-based milk with some icing sugar (powdered sugar). I prefer a more natural look of the icing, but you can easily add some food colouring and get creative.
My final recommendation for decorating the gingerbread cookies is with chocolate. You can either cover the whole cookie in chocolate or add a chocolate pattern.
How to store the Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Like all cookies, vegan gingerbread cookies are best stored in a cookie jar in a cool place. I always use a tin Christmas cookie box but any cookie jar is fine.
Gingerbread can get quite hard, that’s why it’s so great for building a gingerbread house. If you want to make your vegan gingerbread cookies softer again, you can add a slice of apple to the cookie jar. Change the apple slice every few days and your gingerbread cookies will get all soft again.
- 250 g Flour
- 250 g Rye flour
- 8 g Backing powder
- 200 g Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Gingerbread spice mix
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 250 ml Plant-based milk
- Plant-based milk
- Icing sugar
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. The dough can be a bit sticky but don't worry about it, it's supposed to be.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
- Sprinkle some flour on your counter or table and on top of your dough and roll it out.
- Use your favourite cookie cutters to cut out some pretty cookies. If the cookie cutters are a bit sticky, just dust them in some flour.
- Place the cookies on a baking tray and coat them with some plant-based milk so they'll be shinier (optional).
- Bake the gingerbread cookies for about 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C.
Decorating the Gingerbread Cookies (Optional)
- Mix a little bit of plant-based milk with some icing sugar until you get a thick paste. Put the paste into a bag with a small hole and decorate your cookies.
- Let the icing dry completely before transferring the cookies to a storage container.
- It’s important to use enough flour while rolling out the dough since it’s a bit sticky otherwise.
- This gingerbread recipe is also great for making a gingerbread house.
- When the gingerbread gets too hard, you can add a piece of apple to the cookie jar and the gingerbread will get soft again.
Other Austrian Christmas Cookies you might like
Gingerbread cookies are almost universally known and beloved. Some other Austrian Christmas cookies might not be as well known but are just as delicious. If you’re in the mood for some more baking, check out these recipes:
- Vegan Linzer Cookies, a jam-filled delight
- Vegan Vanillekipferl, a melt in your mouth crescent-shaped cookie with vanilla flavour
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any of those traditional Austrian Christmas cookies at the Christmas market in Vienna, not even at the vegan-friendly one. So if you’re in Austria’s capital during Christmas time you’ll need to make do with some delicious treats from one of the many vegan restaurants in Vienna. But believe me, you’ll find the right treat for you in Vienna. It’s simply a great place for vegans.