Vegan Pfeffernusse Cookies

Pfeffernusse cookies!
Pfeffernusse cookies! Photo by C Osorio / Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 24 servings
Ratings (4)

I first learned of pfeffernusse cookies from my German roommate in college. They struck me as an even more delicious version of the spice or molasses cookies which I already loved making during the Christmas holidays, so I liked the pfeffernuse cookies right away, too. I'm not sure how common they are in the United States, but my German roommate absolutely wouldn't hear of spending Christmas without baking up a batch of pfeffernuse cookies!

Pfeffernusse cookies are a spicy and fragrant cookie perfect for Christmas. The essential ingredient is, in my opinion, the black pepper, which combines with the rest of the spices - and the molasses - for a truly unique taste. It may look like a lot of spices when you're baking these up, but the combination is, I promise, perfect. And, since they are vegan, you can feel extra good about treating yourself and the environment well for the holidays when you make your vegan Christmas cookies

This version of pfeffernusse cookies is made with no eggs and dairy, but with vegan margarine and an egg replacer making it dairy-free and egg-free. 

See also: More vegan cookie recipes

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, gently packed
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg (I like Ener-g or Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar

How to Make It

  1. First, pre-heat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease two baking sheets. 
  2. Once your oven is heating up, prepare your dry ingredients. Combine the flour with the baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat together the vegan margarine, brown sugar and molasses until well combined and as light and fluffy as you can get it. Then add in the prepared egg replacer and vanilla, again beating until well combined and as fluffy as possible. 
  1. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  2. Pfeffernusse cookie dough isn't as moist as other cookie doughs, and it may seem a bit more dry and crumbly than you are used to. That's ok. 
  3. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and place them on prepared cookie sheets. Do not flatten. If the dough is too crumbly, you can moisten your hands a bit when rolling the dough to get it to stick together.
  4. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, until just starting to crack; do not over bake.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool, then gently roll in powdered sugar until completely coated - no skimping. These are pfeffernuse cookies, not crinkles! They must be completely coated in sugar to get the right effect. You can place the sugar in a bag or a bowl and gently roll the cookies around. I prefer the bowl method. 

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