Allergen-Free Cooking, Holidays

Dairy-free, Egg-free Ginger Snaps

Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas like the smell of ginger snaps baking. Warm, spicy, sugary goodness is what you’ll find in this recipe. 

This recipe is taken from one I grew up using, and has graced nearly every Christmas treat plate I’ve made and taken to friends and family for the last fifteen years. I found it very easy to substitute both eggs and dairy in this recipe. 

You’ll notice that in some of my cookie recipes I use oil, and in some I use shortening. Substituting oil for shortening or butter is fairly easy. It’s important to remember, however, that you will need less oil. It may take a little experimentation in getting it right. When in doubt, start with a smaller amount (about 2/3 of the amount of butter required) and add in increments of 1 tablespoon until the dough holds together well. 

As always, remember to talk to your allergist about your specific needs, and to substitute accordingly. And: check every label, every time! Make sure that your oils, cooking sprays, and shortenings are safe. Most oils, cooking sprays, and shortenings contain soy . . . most, but not all. Be sure you’re using what is safe for you.

These yummy cookies are made with soy-free shortening, but you can easily make them with whatever is safe for you and your family.

All right! Let’s get to this recipe! 

Dairy-free, Egg-free Ginger Snaps

  • Difficulty: easy
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½ c shortening, melted and cooled*
½ c brown sugar
1/3 c dark molasses
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (I used a flax egg**)
¼ c sugar – for coating


1. Stir together your flax egg, if you’re using one, and set it aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shortening, brown sugar and molasses.
3. In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add to the large bowl of shortening/sugar/molasses and mix well.
4. Add your flax egg and stir well. If the dough is crumbly, add water in increments of 1 tablespoon until it holds together when you roll a small amount into a ball.
5. Chill in the fridge 1-3 hours (or overnight), or cheat like I do and pop it into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
6. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Line a cookie sheet with some parchment paper, or spray it down with a cooking spray that’s safe for your family. Roll about 1 ½ tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball and then roll on a plate with the ¼ c sugar, coating it. Your cookies will not spread much if they are chilled, so you can put them fairly close together.
8. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes. After removing from the oven, allow to rest on the cookie sheet another two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Remember to check your shortening to make sure it is safe for your family. I use palm fruit oil shortening.
**To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon of milled flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit a few minutes and it will gel up to an egg-like consistency.

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