August 4, 2021

Vegan Lemon Gingersnaps

Gingersnap cookies are a must during the holidays in my family. Each of my grandmothers have a recipe, my dad has a signature oatmeal gingersnap recipe, and this is my addition to the gingersnap cookie canon. These Lemon Gingersnaps were inspired by an old-fashioned dessert that I grew up with - gingerbread with lemon sauce. It might seem odd, but trust me - the bright lemon and the warm spices are a beautiful flavor combination.

Gingersnaps have always been one of my favorite cookies, so I thought they would be the perfect way to kick off my holiday cookie recipe series. Gingersnaps were always part of my grandma’s cookie extravaganza - she started baking in October, and freezing batches of cookies in preparation for the holiday open house she and my grandpa hosted to showcase their massive Santa Claus collection. I used my grandma’s recipe as the base for this cookie, and found that it was easily adapted to be vegan by using coconut oil in place of the traditional shortening.

I especially love a chewy gingersnap cookie (not a crisp one). These Vegan Lemon Gingersnaps are perfectly soft and chewy, and they stay that way (in fact, they get a little better as they sit for a day). I’ve also made a gluten-free version; see my notes at the bottom of the recipe for details. These are a versatile cookie for anyone on your holiday treat gift-list - vegan, gluten-free, or anyone in between!

Ingredients assembled for Lemon Gingersnap cookies
Assemble your ingredients.

Ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer
Start by creaming coconut oil and brown sugar until fluffy; then add molasses, lemon zest and juice, and spices.

Prepared gingersnap cookie dough
Mix remaining ingredients in, until the dough is well combined.

Rolling gingersnap cookie dough into balls and then into granulated sugar
Portion dough out by the tablespoon, form into balls by rolling between your palms, roll the balls into granulated sugar to coat, and place on a lined baking sheet.

Gingersnap cookie dough rolled into balls and arranged on parchment paper
I like to roll out all my cookies at once, so my hands only get dirty once, while the oven is preheating.

Gingersnap cookies side by side, left unbaked, right baked
These babies bake up to chewy perfection!

Baked gingersnap cookies cooling on a wire rack
Cool baked cookies on a wire baking rack.

A stack of gingersnap cookies next to a cookie with bites taken and a small milk carton that says 'happy'
Serve up a stack and enjoy!

Original publication date: December 3, 2020

Vegan Lemon Gingersnaps

Vegan Lemon Gingersnaps were inspired by an old-fashioned dessert - gingerbread with lemon sauce. It might seem odd, but trust me - the bright lemon and the warm spices are a beautiful flavor combination.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











1/2 cup coconut oil, at room temperature (still semi-solid)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup molasses

2 lemons, zested and juiced

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add coconut oil and brown sugar, and beat until creamy and fluffy.
  2. Add molasses, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and mix again until combined.
  3. Add spices, baking soda, and salt, and mix again until well combined.
  4. Gradually add flour to the mixer while running, and mix until dough is fully incorporated.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop dough and roll into balls using your palms. Roll balls of dough in granulated sugar to coat, then place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or a silicone baking mat).
  7. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool on the tray for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • I have also made these cookies using gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix). I found that the cookies did not spread as easily using the gluten-free flour, so it helped to flatten the dough balls gently with the bottom of a drinking glass before baking. Also, I found that the cookies took closer to 12 minutes to bake when using the gluten-free flour. Other gluten-free flour blends may perform differently, but that’s my experience with the brand above. The cookies still turned out great!
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