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Peter’s Vegan Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

Sharon Palmer

Christmas is here, and it’s time for Peter to dust off his Swedish cook book and make pepparkakor, a traditional Swedish ginger cookie. Peter has fond memories of his mom making home-made pepparkakor as a child, and now he’s instilling those memories in our boys. Every year he collects all of the ingredients together, with a quick run to IKEA for any missing items, and then he creates a massive mound of pepparkakor dough that will chill overnight before he starts rolling out dozens and dozens of cookies. The secret of pepparkakor is their thin, crispness. While Americans like a thick, cakey gingerbread cookie, the Swedes like thin, crisp little wafers with no decorations or icing. Now days, you can buy prepared pepparkakor dough in Sweden, but Peter still does it the old-fashioned way.

In Sweden, hosts and moms set out dishes of pepparkakor during the holidays for a little treat, and they’re especially good served with glögg, a traditional hot spiced wine. All during the month of December, the Swedes celebrate the holidays with glögg gatherings, during which they serve tiny, steaming cups of spicy red wine with raisins and almonds. And it’s essential to serve this festive drink with a tray of pepparkakor.

Here’s my husband’s vegan version of this traditional Pepparkakor. I hope you enjoy the holidays!

Step-by-Step Guide

Prepare dough and chill.
Roll out dough very thinly on floured surface.
Use floured cookie cutters to shape cookies.
Place on baking sheets and bake until golden and crisp.
Peter in the kitchen making his family’s traditional recipe for pepparkakor.
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Peter’s Vegan Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours to rest dough, and then make cookies
  • Yield: 6 dozen cookies 1x


This traditional recipe for pepparkakor—Swedish ginger cookies—comes from an old family cookbook. But it’s translated into a completely plant-based (vegan) version here.




  1. In a large bowl, combine room temperature dairy-free margarine with sugar and syrup until smooth using an electric mixer.
  2. Mix in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and baking soda.
  3. Add water and then most of the flour.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and mix in the rest of the flour by hand on the counter top. Wrap the dough in foil and let it rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Remove a little bit of the dough at a time, rolling it out very thin. Use more flour as needed so that it doesn’t stick to the counter or the roller, but not too much which will make the cookies too dry and hard. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
  6. Preheat oven to 390 F. Spray baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Place cookies on baking sheets.
  7. Place the sheets in the middle of the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown in color.
  8. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on pan for a few minutes. Store in air-tight containers.


*Swedish light syrup isn’t maple syrup, it’s a sweet, cooking syrup. You can buy this at a Swedish food store, online, or even IKEA. If you can’t find it, the closest thing you can find in the U.S. is light corn syrup.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Swedish


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 97
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 54 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Protein: 1 g

Keywords: holiday cookies, gingerbread, swedish

Look for other vegan Swedish classic recipes here:

Peter’s Swedish Waffles
Jansson’s Temptation (Swedish Potato Casserole)

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