Gingerbread Softies – Easy Lactose-Free Cookie Recipe

By | January 22, 2015

Soft GingerbreadThese little fellows look like regular gingerbread men, but they’re both soft and veggie. I had a selection of guests to stay over the holidays, and one combination was a veggie, someone with a lactose intolerance, and an octogenarian who was struggling with a new set of teeth. I wanted festive gingerbread men, but they needed to be soft, veggie, milk-free ones.

One guest called them “Gingerbread Liberals”, I thought that was because they were inclusive, made so that everyone could enjoy them, regardless of age, religion or lactose-status, but no, he claimed it was because they had no backbone and crumbled easily. I thought that was mean. He still ate half a plate of them.

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Ready in:
  • Makes: 20


  • Dry:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, (You can use white flour, but whole wheat gives a nuttier flavor and bonus fiber)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Wet:
  • 6 tbsp vegan margarine, (you can use butter if you’re happy with dairy)
  • 3/4 cup soft brown sugar, (you can use white sugar, but the cookies are less flavorsome)
  • 1 medium free range egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses or treacle
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup or golden syrup


  1. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside
  2. Beat the sugar and margarine together til soft and fluffy
  3. Add the egg and beat (if it goes a bit curdled add a spoon of the dry mix to pull it back together)
  4. Mix in the molasses and syrup
  5. Add the dry mix, about a third at a time to mix together
  6. You can do this in a food processor, Kitchen Aid or with a hand mixer
  7. If should start to go to a breadcrumb like consistency before coming together as a dough
  8. You may need to do the last bit of mixing by hand to get it working as a dough, and if it’s just not happening add a teaspoon of water at a time until it does.
  9. Form the dough into a ball, pop it into a covered bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4
  11. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/3″ – you want your cookies to be fatter than normal to make them softer
  12. Cut out your people, or hearts, or dinosaurs, or stars, or whatever cookie shapes you like
  13. Place on a baking sheet, leaving a good inch between each cookie for expansion
  14. Bake for 7 minutes, allow to cool for about ten minutes before moving onto a wire rack, this gives them time to solidify and you’re less likely to lose limbs

Tip: Bake each batch separately, don’t load up all the racks in the oven, they just work better that way.

You can make these in any shape, but the classic gingerbread cutters are still my favorite. You can of course decorate them any way you like.

I love my tiered cooling racks, they take up much less space and you don’t have to worry about moving each set of cookies off to make room for the next batch before they’re fully cooled.
This has the upside of reducing accidental gingerbread limb amputations, but the downside is there’s less mutant gingerbread failures to eat yourself.

I could shut up about how much easier baking is with silicone baking sheets, but why would I when they’re so good?

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