Spicy, gingery, crisp, chewy and sweet – these simple, dairy-free Ginger Cookies are divine
Ginger Biscuits, whether you call them Ginger Nuts, Ginger Snaps, Fairlies or Ginger Crisps (might have made this last one up), are a universal favourite in the cookie world.
Ginger biscuits come under many guises: Gingernuts in the UK, Ginger Snaps in the US, Pepparkakor in Sweden and sometimes they are known as Fairings. There are lots of different variations of the ginger cookie, and my recipe is just one of them.
Whether you look a chewy or crunchy ginger cookie, there is no doubt that this is one of the world’s favourites. At Christmas time we bake them to a hard consistency, shaped like people, stars or bells, and then hang them on the tree. Maybe we turn them into gingerbread houses. We often use them, crushed up to make a delicious bake for cheesecakes or in delicious refrigerator cakes.
Because ginger cookies have such a sturdy texture, they really are the biscuit that does it all. And all this versatility on top of being utterly delicious! Truly the little black dress of the biscuit world!
My version of a vegan ginger cookie is based on the Cornish Fairing, a heavily spiced cookie (or biscuit) from Cornwall, with a crackle top and rich flavour. The method is slightly unusual in that you rub the vegan butter into the dry ingredients before stirring in golden syrup.
If you can’t find golden syrup (although amazon sell a tin that lasts forever in the cupboard), you can use a mixture of molasses and corn syrup. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it will still be delicious!
It may seem like there is a lot of spice in this recipe (4 teaspoonfuls!), but this cookie can take it. And whilst the cookie is heavily spiced, it is balanced sweetly by the syrup, so it is never overpowering.
Table of Contents
- plain flour
- spices: ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice
- vegan butter
- golden syrup
Mix the flour, spices and salt together, then rub the butter into the mixture.
Stir in the sugar, then mix in the golden syrup until you have a thick consistency.
Pinch of chunks of the dough and roll into walnut sized balls. Space at least 3″ apart on the baking sheet.
Place into oven at 180c for about 18 minutes, moving them from the top shelf in the oven to the bottom halfway through cooking. This ensures the bottoms don’t get burnt!
Hint: please make sure to space the cookies quite far apart on the baking sheet as they will spread out to almost completely flat!
- Flour – if you follow a gluten-free diet, simply replace the plain flour with gluten-free
- Golden Syrup – if you can’t find golden syrup, you can use molasses or corn syrup, but bear in mind, these will both give a different flavour to the finished cookie.
Store the baked and cooled cookies in an airtight tin for up to 7 days.
You can chill the cookie dough for up to a week before bringing up to room temperature and then rolling into cookies and baking.
I love to pop these cookies in cellophane gift bags tied with a ribbon and give them as festive gifts at Christmas!
A Cornish Fairing is a spiced biscuit/cookie, originating from Cornwall. The word fairing referred to an edible treat sold at fairs around Britain, but came to be known synonymously with the ginger biscuit. The ginger flavoured cake or biscuits were first sold at fairs in the 11th century, and continued into the 18th century.
According to Wikipedia, a fairing can mean cake or biscuit, and was also offered as a love gift.
Vegan Ginger Cookies
- 2 Large Baking Sheets lined or lightly oiled
- 225 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 100 g butter
- 115 g golden caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup - gently heated
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Sieve together the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb and spices.
- Rub in the vegan butter with the fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Pour in the syrup and mix thoroughly to a fairly stiff consistency. This does seem like hard work, and don't worry if you don't get a cohesive ball of dough. You will be able to smoosh them together when you start rolling them! You might find it easier to knead the dough too.
- Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls. You might need to wet your hands or wipe them off during this process!
- Place them on a greased baking sheet, well spaced out to allow room to spread.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes, moving the sheet from the top to the bottom of the oven after
- 5-7 minutes or as soon as the biscuits start to brown.
- Leave the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cake rack to cool completely.
Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.