Big soft Gingerbread Cookies spiced with our favourite pumpkin holiday spice blend. Each rolled in a sweet sugar cinnamon, and cardamom mix, so delicious you might not even care that these gingerbread cookies are totally dairy free!
Well, you might care. It’s the whole reason I bothered to create another Gingerbread cookie recipe in the first place!
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We were home this last weekend, and I wanted to make something different. Veer away from my usuals: hubby’s favourite Raspberry Jam hearts, chocolate chip cookie bars, or s’mores pies. (wow what a great threesome!)
I was thinking about Thanksgiving- already- and I had this really mad craving for gingerbread cookies, ginger-snaps, whatever you want to call them. I also had a bottle of Trader Joes pumpkin spice mix that I bought last time we were in New York and never opened. No, we don’t have a T.J. in Israel, yes it is quite the disappointment!
I planned on whipping up a quick batch for myself, as I didn’t think Sim or the kids would be into cookies like this. I grew up on ginger snaps- I doubt babe has ever had one in his life. And too much spices in there for the kids, I thought.
Yet- every cookie recipe I found online had creamed butter in it, and I specifically wanted to make these dairy free gingersnaps.
So I got out my pad, and well, you know the rest!
Dairy Free Gingerbread Cookies
Instead of butter, we use oil to make these cookies dairy free. I always use canola oil in my baking. While oil creates a soft cookie, we also use a very special ingredient to make these cookies moist and soft, and have them stay that way! (pet peeve- when cookies are dry and crumbly the next day, NO thank you!).
The Secret- vanilla pudding mix! This stuff is incredible I tell you. Just measure out 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dry pudding powder straight from the package into your cookie batter, and tell me it’s not magic when you take your first bite.
Special Gingerbread Pumpkin Spice Ingredients
There are a few key ingredients to make these the most special, it Smells-Like-The-Holidays cookies.
Pumpkin Spice. To save us from having to use a bunch of spices we don’t have on hand(hello, cloves!), we’re using the holiday favourite- ready spice mix. If you feel like you’re cheating you can make this mix yourself, and keep it in a little spice jar for whenever you need it..otherwise pick up a bottle at Trader Joes or online.
Cinnamon. While there is cinnamon in the pumpkin pie spice already, I wanted to add a bit more for extra seasoning. We also use it in the sugar-spice coating to give the cookies one final dip of deliciousness before baking.
Molasses. This is possibly the most important ingredient! Molasses gives these cookies that dark brown colour they are famous for. It also adds a rich flavour, and keeps the cookies soft for long after they’ve cooled from the oven.
what even IS molasses…and what type should I use for baking?
Molasses is made from boiled down sugar cane. The juice from the sugar cane is further boiled down- in three steps. The first resulting syrup is light molasses. The second variety is dark molasses, and the result of the third boiling process is Blackstrap Molasses. Personally, I use Blackstrap- it is the darkest in colour of the three, as well as the LEAST sweet. I find mine in the local health food store(I believe the variety most often sold in chain supermarkets is light molasses), but you can also order a bottle from amazon.
These cookies are really simple to make! You’ll need a regular bowl and a stand mixer.
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients with the spices, and in the mixer beat together the oil and brown sugar.
2.Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and vanilla pudding mix and beat that till it’s combined. Add 3 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, and let that mix for a full minute.
3. Lastly, add in the flour mixture, and beat only until the dough comes together and there are no specks of flour. Don’t over mix!
4. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes. While the dough chills, preheat the oven.
5. In a little bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom for the rolling sugar. Scoop big spoonfuls of dough and roll it lightly in your hands, then drop each into the rolling sugar. Toss the cookie around to coat it, and place them on the baking sheet. The cookies will expand, so be sure to leave space between each.
The last thing to do is flatten the cookies- just a bit. Use flattened fingers, or the bottom of a small glass cup.
6.Bake the gingerbread cookies for 8 minutes. Not longer- if you want the softest cookie possible!
I hope you love these Soft Gingerbread Pumpkin Spice Cookies like we do- be sure to leave a review and a comment below if you make it, and always share your photos with us on Instagram! As always, Happy Cooking!
Soft Gingerbread Pumpkin Spice Cookies(dairy free)
- 1 1/2 cup flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice I use the one from Trader Joes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Oil I use canola oil for baking
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Tbs vanilla pudding mix (just the powder, straight from the box)
- 3 Tbs molasses
Sugar Spice for Rolling
- 2 Tbs White sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice spice, and salt. Use a whisk, not a spatula! In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add oil and brown sugar. Beat until combined. Add egg, vanilla extract, and pudding mix. Beat to combine. Scrape the bottom of the mixer with a spatula to ensure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Add 3 Tablespoons of black molasses and, with the mixer on medium speed, beat for 1 full minute. Lastly, add in the dry ingredient mix and beat until just combined.
Freeze and Preheat
- Cover the bowl with the cookie dough in plastic wrap(or a plastic bag), and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. While the cookie dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C.
Roll and Bake
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar for rolling, cinnamon, and cardamom spice. Once the cookies are done chilling, take the bowl from the freezer and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out big balls of cookie dough-each about 1 1/2 Tablespoons in size. Drop them one by one in the rolling sugar/spice mix, coat them evenly, and place them on the baking sheets. Leave room in between because they will spread out! Using three fingers or the bottom of a small glass cup, press down on the cookie balls to flatten them slightly.
- Place the sheets in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes. Use a timer- if they bake much longer they won't be as soft and chewy! Store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter. I'm sure you could freeze them fresh but I haven't tried- they soften up even more the next day, and never last longer than that! How I usually freeze-once they cool place them in a ziplock bag with plastic sheets between to stop them from sicking to each other, freeze, and thaw at room temperature.