These delicious ginger nut biscuits with chewy little pieces of stem ginger are utterly moorish and, thankfully, easy to make too! Whether you like a soft chewy cookie texture or a crunchy ginger-snap biscuit style, these vegan and gluten-free stem ginger cookies can be either with just a little adjustment to the cooking time! Loved by children and adults alike, they are perfect for an after school snack or for mid-morning dunking into a cup of tea or coffee!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- These cookies are gingery and delicious with the perfect level of crunch or chewiness depending on how you like them!
- Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free.
- Can be made nut-free or with nuts depending on what you like.
- Only takes a few minutes of active preparation and mixing time.
I’ve been wanting to do a stem ginger biscuit (cookie if you’re American) recipe for a while as I just love stem ginger and couldn’t find any recipes that I liked online. I've also had quite a bit of stem ginger to use up recently while I've been playing around with creating a vegan cheesecake recipe using the syrup from the stem ginger jar. So it was the perfect excuse to finally work on my stem ginger biscuit recipe as well!
Incidentally, these gluten-free ginger biscuits are perfect to use in the biscuit crumb mix for the cheesecake base! I actually had a tray of cookies that I accidentally dropped when taking them out of the oven. So, I scooped up the broken cookies, reheated them on the tray for a few more minutes to kill any germs, and then used it to make cheesecake instead! Just a little solution if you ever find yourself in a similar scenario! Anyway, I digress…
- Ground Flax Seeds – these serve as the egg replacement in the biscuit. Like egg, they give the springy texture and also provide liquid that creates steam while cooking and helps to make lighter biscuits. You could use an egg replacer like Just-Egg or alternatively you could try using psyllium husk mixed with water instead.
- Stem Ginger – these provide a chewy sweet and gingery contrast to the cookie texture. You can usually find stem ginger in jars either in the baking ingredients or dried fruit section of the supermarket or in the tins and jars section.
- Gluten-Free Flour Blend – As for most gluten-free baking, you can't just swap ordinary wheat flour for one type of gluten-free flour. The recipe needs a blend of gluten-free flours - either a store-bought ready-mixed blend of gluten-free flours - either a store-bought blend or a homemade mixture of a variety of wholegrains and starches. I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour blend when I make this recipe.
- Almond Flour or Tigernut Flour (optional) – if you want to add some nut flour for extra protein and flavour, you could substitute 50g of the gluten-free flour blend for almond flour or tiger nut flour. This works really well and adds a lovely depth of flavour. Tiger nut flour is good if you need the cookies to be nut-free (such as for school lunchboxes) since it is actually not a nut but a legume but its flour works in the same way as almond flour in recipes.
- Muscovado Sugar – I know a lot of gingernut biscuit recipes use golden syrup but I prefer not to use such a highly processed ingredient. Muscovado sugar is less refined, has a richer flavour and is very soft so it blends easily into the cookie dough. You could use caster sugar instead if you prefer but, again, it is more refined.
- Vegan Butter – I used Earth Delight vegan butter in my recipe testing. If you prefer not to use vegan butter, I would imagine you could use hard coconut oil instead but I haven’t tried this myself.
- Ground Ginger – this adds more ginger flavour to the cookies themselves but you can easily leave this out and they will still taste great!
- Vanilla Extract – Make sure to use good quality vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence which has a synthetic flavour that doesn’t give the depth of flavour we are after.
- Baking Powder – this ensures a lighter texture rather than hard rock-like cookies! Note that this is different from baking soda (bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate).
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full list of ingredients and their quantities.
How To Make This Recipe
180°C / 350°F
To make these delicious vegan and gluten-free stem ginger biscuits, you can choose to make them by hand or with a machine. I like the ease of quickly whizzing them up in a food processor but you could also easily stir the ingredients together by hand instead!
1 - Make the “flax egg”. In a small jug or cup, mix the ground flax seeds with the water and set aside for 5-10 minutes to thicken up. (The flax will soak up the water until it becomes a gel-like consistency. This helps to give “chew” to your cookies)
2 - While waiting for the flax mixture, chop your stem ginger into small dice. I’ll leave it to you to decide how small but I like it to be just a little bigger than chocolate chip size. That size is enough for you to notice it when you chew one but not overpoweringly gingery either!
3 - Make the dough:
- with a mixer or food processor: place all the ingredients, except the stem ginger, into the food processor or mixer and mix until well combined. It should be a fairly wet cookie dough.
- by hand: sieve the flours, ground ginger and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and stir well. In a separate bowl, beat together the vegan butter, vanilla extract and sugar until pale and light. Add in the flour and mix well together until well combined.
4 - Add the stem ginger pieces and stir into the cookie dough by hand until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Then put the bowl of dough into the fridge, covered, for 10 minutes to harden up a bit.
(If your kitchen is very cool you may not need to do this. I live in the Middle East so constantly battle the heat in my kitchen!)
5 - Next line a baking tray (cookie sheet) with baking paper (parchment paper). Scoop out spoonfuls of mixture (about a tablespoon size) and roll into a ball with your hands, then place onto the cookie sheet. Keep doing this until you have done all of your mixture. It should make about 12-14 cookies depending on the size of your dough balls.
Since the dough is likely to have warmed up in your hands during rolling, it is best to put the cookie sheet into the fridge to firm up for 10-20 minutes before baking (again, depending on the heat of your kitchen and your hands!). It is important that the cookie dough balls are cold when they go in the oven otherwise they will just instantly melt into one big pool of dough!
6 - After refrigerating, put the cookie tray into the oven and bake for around 25 minutes at 180°C / 350°F. You will know whether they are ready as they should be golden brown and slightly springy to the touch. If they still feel soft, pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes. If you like softer chewier cookies then err on the side of softness, but if you prefer a harder ginger snap type crunchy texture, then cook a little longer.
Once you pull the tray out of the oven, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
This is a summary only. Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page for full detailed instructions. Thermomix instructions are also included in the recipe card.
The importance of cooling the dough before cooking
With vegan and gluten-free cookie making, it is vitally important that the balls of cookie dough are properly cold when they go in the oven. Since there is less structure without the gluten and the eggs, the cookie dough needs to be cold to allow a little time for the cookies to cook and set the structure in the oven before the mixture fully melts. Otherwise, if you put them in when the dough is warm, the mixture will immediately melt when it goes in the oven and go flat as a pancake, merging with all the other cookies into a flat sheet of cookie! Trust me, I’ve done this enough times to have it ingrained in my brain to always firm up the dough in the fridge before baking!
How to quickly and easily transfer hot cookies to a cooling rack
This is a little hack that I didn’t even realise was a hack until my mum was watching me one day and exclaimed in delight at how quickly and easily I transferred the cookies onto the cooling rack. It’s super easy – I literally just put the short-edge of the cooling rack along the short-edge of the baking tray and then just pull the baking paper across onto the cooling rack.
This hack takes seconds and the cookies cool just as easily even though they are still on the paper. Just make sure to set the cooling rack flush with the cookie tray and beyond any lip so that there is a smooth transition. Once, I was rushing a bit much and not concentrating and ended up pulling the paper at an angle and dropping and breaking half of the cookies!
How to make your cookies last longer
I can’t advise on how quickly these ginger biscuits get eaten in your household but I can advise on what to do if they have softened a little over time and you want to make them go more crunchy. Sometimes, we are so busy and just forget that we have homemade cookies in the house and then I find them a few days later looking a little sad and soft. If this happens, just pop them on a baking tray and re-heat in the oven at 180°C / 350°F for another 5 minutes or so to harden them up again. It works a charm!
Of course, these gluten-free stem ginger biscuits are perfect for elevenses (the British name for a mid-morning snack) or with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee. However, you can also use them for making the biscuit base in my vegan ginger & silken tofu cheesecake recipe. It is the perfect complement since it uses up some of the syrup from the jar of stem ginger.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They may soften a little over time but you can freshen them up with 5 minutes in the oven to make them more crunchy. In fact, I brought a bag of these on holiday and found them at the bottom of my bag a week later and they still tasted delicious - just a little more chewy than they had been!
Stem ginger is made from young ginger that has been peeled and preserved in a sweet sugar syrup. It is gingery and spicy but sweet and chewy as well and it's perfect in baked goods! You can find stem ginger sold in jars, usually in the baking ingredients section of the supermarket or in the preserved fruits section.
Stem ginger and candied ginger are both made by preserving fresh ginger in sugar. Candied ginger is dry and hard to bite into, with sugar crystals on the outside. Stem ginger is preserved in sugar syrup so it is soft and chewy instead. You can also use the syrup as it is sweet and gingery.
You can make these gluten-free stem ginger biscuits crunchy or chewy depending on the cooking time. Just cook for 5 minutes longer to make it crunchy like a ginger snap biscuit. Or cook for 5 minutes less time to make them soft and chewy ginger cookies instead.
📖 Recipe 📖
Stem Ginger Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoon water
- 90 g stem ginger pieces
- 170 g gluten-free flour blend, (or use 120g GF flour blend & 50g almond flour / tigernut flour)
- 120 g muscovado sugar
- 75 g vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper).
- Mix the ground flax seeds with the water in a small jug and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the stem ginger into small dice.1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 3 tablespoon water, 90 g stem ginger pieces
- Mix all the ingredients except the stem ginger, in a mixer or food processor until well combined.[TM: 5 secs. / sp.5. Then scrape down the sides. Set again to 5 secs. / sp.5]170 g gluten-free flour blend, 120 g muscovado sugar, 75 g vegan butter, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- Empty the mixture into a bowl and stir in the chopped stem ginger with a spatula to ensure the ginger is well distributed.[TM: 5 secs. / REV sp.3]90 g stem ginger pieces
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Then take walnut sized pieces of mixture and roll into a ball then place onto the lined baking tray leaving a little gap around each to allow for spreading while baking. Put back into the fridge for 20 minutes to ensure they are really cold when you put them in the oven*.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes at 180°C / 350°F. They should be browned and springy to the touch. If they feel too soft when you take them out, just pop them back into the oven for another few minutes.
- Transfer the baking paper (with the cookies on top) onto a cooling rack and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
- * You need to make sure the cookies are very cold before they go into the oven so that they don’t spread out into a big flat mess in the oven. They need to cook and firm up before they have had a chance to melt and spread!
- Store the cookies for up to 5 days in an airtight container. If you find they start to go a bit soft, just reheat them in the oven at 180°C / 350°F for 5-10 minutes to firm up again.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
If you like this vegan and gluten-free stem ginger cookie recipe, you may like these other delicious cookie recipes too: