Pfeffernusse (which is German for “pepper nuts”) are spiced cookies traditionally eaten in Germany at Christmas time. Our vegan version with a hint of sweetness, saltiness and spice are perfect for sharing with guests this festive season.

Makes: 32 cookies
Preparation: 45 mins (including 30 minutes cooling time)
Cooking: 12 mins






75g vegan margarine
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
2 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp soya milk
200g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground star anise
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp salt
Icing sugar, for dredging


1. Preheat oven to 170°C / gas mark 3. Line a baking tray with parchment.
2. In a bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.
3. Beat in the molasses, soya milk and oil. Set aside while you mix the dry ingredients.
4. In another bowl place the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices, and combine with a whisk until they are well mixed.
5. While mixing together well with a wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients one spoonful at a time until they are incorporated. The mixture should have the consistency of short pastry dough.
6. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
7. Remove the dough from the fridge, cut it into 32 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls.
8. Arrange the dough balls on the lined baking tray and gently press each one to just flatten slightly.
9. Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies may be very soft, but they are done and will firm up when cooled.
10. Carefully dredge in icing sugar while still warm and place on a wire rack to cool.


Typical nutritional values per 2 cookies

Energy: 129 kcals
Protein: 1.9g
Carbohydrate: 19.1g
Of which sugars: 9.1g
Fat: 4.9g
Of which saturates: 0.7g
Fibre: 1.1g
Salt: 0.4g

© The Vegetarian Society