Vegan Brandy Snaps

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Learn how to make perfect vegan brandy snaps with this dairy-free version of a classic Christmas treat. 

Creamed-filled brandy snap cookies on a cooling rack.

Golden caramel in color, with a delicate, lacy appearance, these vegan brandy snaps look as good as they taste. 

They are a beloved Christmas-time biscuit that fills many with nostalgia. The veganized version of this traditional treat is just as delightful as the original.

The satisfying crunch of these crisp cookie-like treats contrasts beautifully with the smooth cream filling. Warming ginger and lemon balance the sweetness of these cookies. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

Adapted from Mary Berry’s classic recipe, this vegan version will aid you in creating your very own. You’ll also master the technique of a treat everyone will enjoy. 

Ingredient Notes

  • Vegan butter or margarine
  • Brown sugar
  • Golden syrup – It gives these cookies their classic flavor and sweetness. Golden syrup is a byproduct of the cane sugar industry that’s close to a light treacle or molasses.

    It has a light, golden honey-like color and buttery flavor but is less processed than corn syrup. It’s also naturally vegan. I used Lyle’s brand, which can be found in grocery stores or online.
golden syrup in a can
  • All-purpose flour
  • Grated ginger (or ground)
  • Lemon zest
  • Brandy or lemon juice

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat and preheat the oven. Lightly oil the handle of a wooden spoon or rolling pin.

2. Heat vegan butter, sugar and syrup until melted, without boiling and then remove from the heat.

melted butter and syrup in a sauce pan

3. Stir in ginger, lemon zest and brandy (or lemon juice if making a non-alcoholic version), before adding the flour to make a smooth batter. 

mixing brandy snap batter in a sauce pan

4. For each brandy snap, spoon 2 teaspoons of batter, 2 inches apart, on to the tray, and spread slightly if too thick. 

brandy snaps batter on a baking sheet ready to bake

5. Bake until caramel in color. Then allow to cool on the tray until firm, but still flexible, before lifting from the tray. 

vegan brandy snaps on a baking sheet

6. Individually place each brandy snap on the spoon handle, bottom side down, wrapping around and pressing to seal. Allow to cool and become firm before removing.

wrapping brandy snaps on the end of a rolling pin

7. Place them seal-side down on a cooling rack to cool and harden. 

brandy snap shells cooling on a rack

8. Repeat for each brandy snap by pouring, baking and shaping the remaining as previously directed. If any have cooled too much, you can reheat them for a few seconds in the oven to soften them. 

9. Once cooled entirely, decorate by filling with vegan cream or dipping the ends in melted chocolate.

filling brandy snaps with cream

Key tips to follow 

  • When making the batter, take care not to let the mixture boil as it may crystallize.
  • Once you’ve placed a dollop of batter on the tray, gently spread it to ensure the mixture is not too thick. The brandy snaps should be thin and crisp and will develop a naturally lacy pattern. Not thick or chewy. 
  • Once baked, they need to be firm, but still pliable to allow you to shape them into cannoli-style tubes.
  • To remove from the parchment paper after baking, gently lift using a knife or flat spatula. 
  • If they become too cool and stiff, you can reheat them in the oven for a few seconds to soften them.
  • Check to ensure your brown sugar is vegan. Brown sugar is made from refined sugar with molasses. Some refined sugar could come from refineries that use bone char to process their sugar, so some brands of brown sugar are not vegan. Molasses, turbinado, demerara, and muscovado sugars are vegan-friendly. 

Other recipe variations and substitutions 

  • For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour. 
  • You can also use different types of sugar, such as demerara sugar or even white cane sugar. But if using light-colored sugar, add a bit of molasses to get that golden caramel color. 
  • Feel free to get creative with your filling. Use vegan cream, and add the zest of lemon or clementines to make a traditional Christmas clementine cream. Decorate with candied ginger, frozen berries or pomegranate seeds. 

Storage suggestion

  • Once cooled, store in an airtight tin or container. They will keep for at least a week.
  • Refrigeration of brandy snaps is not recommended, as they will become soft and chewy. 
Hand-holding cream-filled Brandy snap cookie.

Common FAQs 

Do brandy snaps have to contain brandy? 

Traditionally brandy snaps did not actually contain brandy. The name surprisingly comes from the word ‘branded’, meaning burnt.

However, you can add brandy to the batter, or more commonly, brandy is added to the cream filling. 

How do I remove the rolled brandy snap from the spoon?

You should have lightly oiled the wooden spoon, rolling pin or any tube you opted to use for shaping. You may need to reapply a little oil halfway through to keep it lubricated.

They should then slide off with relative ease. If you do break a few, don’t despair, as they are just as delicious!

How do I make brandy snap nests instead? 

If you would prefer to create a nest rather than a tube, you can use an orange jam jar or even a yogurt pot. Anything that will provide a nest shape. This is an easier option and makes for a lovely way to serve vegan ice cream topped with fruit or chocolate chips.

Why are my brandy snaps not lacey?

If they are not taking the signature lacey appearance, then you have likely made them too thick. Ensure you spread the batter on the tray if it seems too thick.

More Holiday Cookies

Creamed-filled brandy snap cookies on a cooling rack.

Vegan Brandy Snaps

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Calories:62
Servings: 9 brandy snaps
Print Pin Rate
Learn how to make perfect brandy snaps with this dairy-free version of a classic Christmas treat.
Recipes: For more accuracy, use Metric measurements & measuring spoons.
How To Measure Baking Ingredients Correctly

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (28 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) grated ginger, or ground
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) brandy, or lemon juice

Instructions

  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat. Lightly oil the straight handle of a wooden spoon or rolling pin. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Add the vegan butter, sugar and syrup to a small saucepan and heat on low until the butter and sugar melts. Try not to bring to a boil.
    2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted) ,2 tablespoons (28 g) brown sugar ,2 tablespoons (28 g) golden syrup
  • Remove from heat and stir in the ginger, lemon zest and brandy.
    ¼ teaspoon (1 g) grated ginger ,¼ teaspoon (1 g) grated lemon zest ,1 teaspoon (5 ml) brandy
  • Gradually stir in the flour to create a smooth batter.
    4 tablespoons (28 g) all-purpose flour
  • Spoon out 2 teaspoons of the batter for each brandy snap, spaced about 2 inches apart to give them room to spread. You should have about 6 dollops.
  • Spread the batter on the tray slightly with a butter knife or offset spatula if it gets too thick as it cools.
  • Place the tray in the oven and bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until they have a caramel colour.
  • Cool the brandy snaps on the tray for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they are firm but still flexible enough to roll. Use a knife or offset spatula to lift them from the parchment.
  • Working one at a time, place each brandy snap on the spoon handle, bottom side down, and wrap around pressing slightly to secure the seal. If any of them hardens too much to roll, place the tray back in the oven for a few seconds.
  • Allow each to cool further until firm enough to remove. Place them seal side down on a cooling rack to completely cool and harden.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter on a clean tray for 3 more cookies. If it has cooled too much, reheat for a few seconds to soften. Pour, bake and shape as previously directed.
  • When fully cooled, they may be filled with vegan whipped cream or the ends dipped in melted chocolate to serve.

Notes

  • When making the batter, take care to not let the mixture boil as it may crystallise.
  • Once you’ve placed a dollop of batter on the tray, gently spread to ensure the mixture is not too thick. Brandy snaps should be thin and crisp and will develop a naturally lacy pattern, not thick or chewy. 
  • Once baked, they need to be firm, but still pliable to allow you to shape them into cannoli style tubes.
  • To remove from the parchment paper after baking gently lift using a knife or flat spatula. 
  • Once cooled, store in an airtight tin or container for at least a week.
  • Refrigeration is not recommended as they will become soft and chewy. 
  • Check to ensure your brown sugar is vegan. Brown sugar is made from refined sugar with molasses. Some refined sugar could come from refineries that use bone char to process their sugar, so some brands of brown sugar are not vegan.
  • Molasses, turbinado, demerara, and muscovado sugars are vegan-friendly.
  •  Recipe adapted from Mary Berry
Tried this recipe? Snap a photo & share it in the comments below!
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Brandy Snaps
Serving Size
 
1 Brandy Snap
Amount per Serving
Calories
62
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Sodium
 
21
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
8
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
1
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
3
mg
0
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

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2 Comments

  1. Can I use molasses or maple syrup instead of the golden syrup?

    1. Jhanelle Golding says:

      Light molasses is closer in consistency to golden syrup but will make the cookies dark and might give them a slightly bitter aftertaste. Maple syrup is thinner in consistency. You can try maple syrup but I recommend using half the amount to start.