There are some foods that you love as a child, and probably love EVEN more as an adult! These foods are nostalgic, comforting, and downright tasty. That's why I just had to make these vegan gingerbread people for Christmas, suitable of course for both children and adults! We used to call them gingerbread men, but we are inclusive here at The Vegan Larder, and are holding a vegan party for gingerbread people no matter how they identify! Ha ha! They are decorated in a simple but super cute way (kids can get involved too), have a fantastic crunch, and are full of those warm Christmasy-gingerbread spices.
If you love Christmas cookies, you have to check out our round-up of the Yummiest Vegan Christmas Cookies!
Really, this vegan gingerbread is suitable all year round, not just for Christmas. They can be made into standard gingerbread cookies or biscuits; all it takes is changing the shape of the cookie-cutter! I used a gingerbread-shaped cookie cutter as I wanted to make these special for the festive season. You can get a set of Christmas-shaped cookie cutters which are brilliant for all sorts of Christmas baking, such as our Vegan Cinnamon and Macadamia Biscuits with White Chocolate Drizzle. If you just want to use a standard cookie cutter for any day of the year, go ahead - they will always be super yum, whatever the shape!
Vegan gingerbread people are, underneath it all, just a simple biscuit recipe with those all-important gingerbread spices added in, whether you're eating them at Christmas or any other time of the year. The ingredients are:
- Oil / vegan butter - either will work fine, and give it that buttery biscuit taste! I love using Naturli vegan butter which is totally organic, uses high quality ingredients and gives that real 'buttery' taste.
- Plain /all-purpose flour - which we generally all have already in our cupboards. I also tested this with a gluten-free flour and it worked well!
- Baking powder - to give it a little rise
- Bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
- Brown sugar - I prefer unrefined sugar to standard caster sugar, but any sugar will work. The darker the sugar, the darker the biscuit
- Golden syrup - molasses will also work
- Gingerbread spices - I made these quite spicy, as I love the strong gingerbread taste. So I used 3 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. But you can use less or more, or even other spices, like mixed spice. If the kids (or you!) are less partial to a pungent gingerbread taste, you can reduce the amounts
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar - optional decoration for these adorable vegan gingerbread people! Dress them up! It also makes them look super Christmasy.
- Silver edible balls - also optional for Christmas gingerbread decoration. You could use other sweets and chocolate; get creative! Double-check the packet that these balls are vegan, many still aren't. We found some from Waitrose that are!
So do you make these gorgeous gingerbread people? The simple steps are:
- Add the vegan butter to the flour.
- Rub the butter and flour together until they become like breadcrumbs.
- Add in brown sugar and salt.
5. Heat the golden syrup in a pan.
6. Add the spices to the syrup and warm through.
7. Add syrup to the flour mix and combine.
8. Keep mixing until you get a soft smooth dough ball.
9. On a clean surface, roll out the dough. Make sure you have a great rolling pin.
9. Cut the vegan gingerbread out into shapes.
10. Bake in the oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
11. Decorate and hold a vegan gingerbread people party!
So this step is 100% optional. You may just want to make standard gingerbread cookies or biscuits, and not decorate them at all. But if you DO want to get fun and creative (a great one to involve the kids!) then get out your icing sugar / powdered sugar and decorations.
To make the icing, you take powdered sugar / icing sugar and sift it. Then you add (ever so slowly) drops of water. You need such a small amount of water. You just keep mixing in the water until you get something that's the consistency of toothpaste. Then it is ready to go on the vegan gingerbread! To pipe it on, you can get a very reasonably priced piping kit complete with nozzles. If you don't have the kit, you can take a plastic food bag, fill it with the icing, and just cut out a very small corner, so just a small amount of icing comes out. Draw on your Christmas gingerbread to your heart's content!
Yes, just pack away in an airtight container. They freeze really well.
Well, as quick as you want! But they'll last at least 5 days if stored in an airtight tin / container.
Yes! You could add small chocolate chips to the dough, or decorate with melted chocolate and/or chocolate chips.
So I tested these with gluten-free flour when I made them with a friend another time, and they came out great! We used this gluten-free flour.
If you liked our Christmas Vegan Gingerbread recipe, then you'll love these recipes:
The Best Vegan Gingerbread People
For the Gingerbread People
For the Decoration
- 300 g icing sugar / powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoon water
- decoration of choice e.g. edible silver balls (double-check they are vegan!), vegan chocolate buttons
For the Gingerbread People
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Rub the oil / butter together with the flour and baking powder until it becomes like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and the salt.
- Warm the golden syrup through in a pan, then stir in the bicarbonate of soda and the spices (you can use less spice if making for kids).
- Add the syrup to the flour, sugar and oil / butter mixture. Combine until you have a soft, smooth dough ball.
- Roll out the dough on a clean, floured surface.
- Using a gingerbread-person shaped cookie cutter (or any shape you want), cut out as many people as you can. Then re-roll the remaining dough so you can cut out more gingerbread people.
- Place all gingerbread people on a lined baking tray (you may need more than one tray).
- Put in the oven for 15 mins. When they come out they’ll be a little soft. Let them harden for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
To Decorate the Gingerbread People
- Sift the icing sugar / powdered sugar into a big mixing bowl.
- Add the water one drop at a time and mix in. When you have something that’s the consistency of toothpaste, don’t add any more water. If you get a consistency that’s too runny, then add in more icing sugar / powdered sugar.
- Put the icing in a piping bag (or just a plastic food bag with a small corner cut off) and pipe eyes, buttons and ‘clothing’ on to the gingerbread people.
- While the icing is still wet (act quickly as it hardens fast) stick on any decorations. Leave to dry.
- Hold a gingerbread gang party!!!