These healthy Gingerbread Cookies are just as delicious as the traditional version, only they are made with gluten-free almond flour. They are so fun to decorate!
Why You’ll Love Them
They taste amazing. These cookies have the perfect balance of sweet and spicy gingerbread flavors. You can top them with any icing you love, or just roll them in a little coconut sugar for an easy holiday cookie.
They’re allergy friendly. These cookies are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan. If you have friends or family members following a grain-free or Paleo diet, they will love them, too!
They’re easy to make. All you need is 1 bowl and a few minutes to stir the dough together. For drop cookies, you can cook them right away, or let the dough chill for easier cut-out cookies.
They’re nourishing. Made with almond flour (which is simply ground almonds), these healthy cookies will leave you feeling more satisfied than the kind made with white flour and sugar.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in healthy gingerbread cookies?
- Blanched almond flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Ground ginger
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves (optional)
- Maple syrup
- Coconut oil
The arrowroot starch in this recipe acts as an egg substitute, and it also lends a more flour-like texture to the cookies. If you don’t keep arrowroot on hand, you could probably also use corn starch or tapioca starch with similar results.
The most important thing to know about this recipe is that you can tweak the ratios slightly. I’ve been playing with this one for years, and if you prefer less molasses flavor, you can reduce that to just 1 teaspoon, and add an extra 2 teaspoons of maple syrup for a slightly sweeter flavor. (My kids love it this way now that they are getting older and are exposed to more sugar at school.)
How to Make Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
1. Mix the dough.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, starch, spices, molasses, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking powder, and salt.
Once the dough has been stirred together, it’s important to chill the mixture so it’s easier to work with for cut-out cookies. You’ll need to chill it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
2. Make the cut-outs.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface, and then set the chilled cookie dough down in the center of the paper.
Cover it with another piece of parchment paper, to help prevent sticking, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough evenly into a flat layer, about a 1/4-inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes, then carefully remove the excess dough and transfer the cut-outs to a large parchment lined baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough, rolling out the scraps again to cut-out more cookie shapes. You should get at least 12 cookies from this batch, but it will vary based on the size and shape of your cookie cutters.
Bake the cookies in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them. The longer you cook them, the crispier they will be. For a soft center, remove the cookies after just 10 minutes of baking.
Let the cookies cool for at least 10 minutes on the pan, as they will be fragile when they are warm. Once they have firmed up, you can transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling, if you need to use the pan to bake more cookies.
Once the cookies are cool, you can add any decorations you like! Frost them with a simple powdered sugar frosting (recipe below) or try coconut sugar frosting, for a naturally sweetened option.
Serve the cookies at room temperature, or transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months.
Healthy Gingerbread Cookies (Almond Flour)
- 1 ½ cups almond flour (almond meal works, too)
- ¼ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl combined the almond flour, starch, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and stir to combine. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup and molasses and stir again until a sticky dough is formed.
- To make cut-out cookies, place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to help it firm up, or in the fridge for up to 2 hours. (Alternatively, you can skip the cut-out cookies and just roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, roll them in a bit of coconut sugar, and flatten them on the baking sheet with your hand.)
- Once the dough has been chilled, place the dough in the center of a large piece of parchment paper, then place another piece of parchment paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat layer, about 1/4-inch thick. Pull away the excess dough to reveal each shape, and re-roll the dough to create more shapes. You should end up with 12 to 15 cookies, if use use cookie cutters about the size of the palm of your hand.
- Bake the cookies at 350ºF for about 10 minutes for cookies with a soft center, or 12 to 14 minutes for a more crisp cookie. (The edges should brown for a crispier cookie.) Allow them to cool completely on the pan before icing and serving. They will firm up as they cool.
- Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Nutrition Note: The values listed above are calculated per cookie, without the frosting. These are only general estimates, so be sure to check the labels on your ingredients for more accurate calculations.
- I’ve made these cookies with almond meal and almond flour, both with good results. If you need a recipe that doesn’t use starch, try my original ginger cookies.
- Melted butter can replace the coconut oil, if you don’t need a dairy-free or vegan cookie.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make a modification, I’d love to hear how that works out for you, too. We can all benefit from your experience!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite holiday cookie? These are definitely the winners for me, but my husband’s favorite are these Peanut Butter Balls (or “Buckeyes”).
Questions and Reviews
Finally! I’ve been waiting for these cookies to be published on ur site! Question: I don’t do a lot of piping or decorating. What are your favourite piping bags that you use?
I have one reusable Wilton bag that was a hand-me-down, but most often I just use plastic sandwich bags! I just cut off one tip on the bottom of the bag, place the decorating tip in that corner, and then add in the frosting. Easy cleanup!
I’m a cake and cookie baker… I myself prefer fat daddio’s silicone reusable bags; however, you can use a heavy duty Ziploc bag and trim a small portion off a corner to use until you’re committed to investing in piping bags and piping tips. Wilton also makes some nice reusable canvas bags, as well as Ateco.
Wow I can’t wait to make these cookies! I was wondering if I can sub the maple syrup with date syrup?
I’ve never worked with date syrup, so I couldn’t say for sure. I’m guessing date syrup isn’t quite as sweet, so you might be dealing with a spicier cookie. You’ll have to experiment and let us know how it works out!
Date syrup should work just fine……….. It’s very sweet! I think it would be a good combo.
My favorite holiday cookie is Iced Gingerbread Men, so you totally created the best recipe ever! 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that! They are my very favorite, too. 🙂
I’m shocked you can make cookies that are both vegan and paleo and look that good! This year we are making several varieties of cookies for the 3 Santa plates we have. And honestly, based on the Santa’s I’ve seen ~ they could use the paleo option, hehe. Seriously, I can’t believe guys are willing to do that job, imagine how many sick and miserable kids plop on their lap!!!
HA! Paleo cookies for all Santas! 😉
these are so cute! I love that they are both vegan and paleo!
Thanks, I hope you enjoy them!
Do you think I can use more maple syrup instead of the molasses? Or are the molasses used to bind the cookies? Really looking forward to making these. I have tried so many of your recipes and they have all been amazing!
Yes, I think it will change the flavor slightly but they should still be delicious!
Can you use almond flour instead of almond meal?
I haven’t had the chance to try this with almond flour, but I’m guessing the result will be similar. In my experience, blanched almond flour usually results in a more oily, shortbread-type of cookie, so you might need to reduce the oil a bit in this recipe when making substitutions.
I used almonds flour (I didn’t even notice until I was reading these comments the recipe said almond meal not almonfpd flour – oops). I did a double batch and they were amazing. My husband ate 1/2 a batch he liked them so much. I took them out at 10 minutes and had a slight crisp outside and a nice moist soft inside.
I did not due the icing as I cannot find red palm oil shortening in Canada where I live. I can only seem to find the red Palm oil. Regardless, they were perfect to us. Once again thank you for an amazing recipe. 5tars for sure!
Instead of the red Palm oil I just added that amount of coconut oil! It seemed to work well with the vanilla icing so I bet it would be fine in this as well.
I used almond flour, too, and didn’t bother to ice them. I love them, and I’m amazed how sweet they taste with just molasses and syrup. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks!
Awhile back I made this recipe with Almond meal then a year later I made it with fine Almond flour and the cookies were too fragile and didn’t hold together as well as the Almond meal. Now I only have the fine Almond flour to use. How much coconut oil should I use or how can I change this recipe and use the fine flour I always have? Thank you so much for your help!
Hi from New Zealand! What purpose does the molasses serve? Just wondering if I have a ready-substitute in the cupboard.
It gives them a rich flavor that’s hard to describe. I tried substituting coconut nectar for it in a couple of batches when I ran out, and it’s not quite the same without the molasses but they’re still good! You could probably get away with using an extra tablespoon of maple syrup as a replacement if you need to.
You can replace molasses in equal measure with black treacle!
I used golden syrup instead of molasses, and they were delicious! But I suspect using more maple syrup instead would have slightly healthier sugar.
I lovvvvve anything ginger and molasses…but my favorite holiday cookie for every occasion is a simple cut out cookie with a vanilla, cakey taste, sprinkles or colored sugar on top of course! I have yet to come across a Paleo one, so wondering if you could dream up something!? I was thinking maybe cashew butter/bourbon vanilla extract/arrowroot powder- maybe a sugar cookie-like batter!? If there’s a girl for the job, it’s you!:)
I actually tried one with cashew butter, because my Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are my favorite cookies EVER, but the cashew butter was really overwhelming in the sugar cookie version. I have another alternative coming later this week, though! With sprinkles on the frosting and everything. 😉
Omg, awesome! Can’t wait! Thank you, my little sugar cookie, lol…❤️
Thank you so much Megan!
You are a star!
I just popped my cookies out of the oven and I devoured two already! This recipe is amazing.
So what else could I do? = making a second batch right now (no joke 🙂
Yay! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂
These are so goooooood!!! I also used more maple syrup instead of molasses. I made these for a friend who cannot have gluten, dairy products and eggs. Turns out, I’m going to have to make another batch, I had no idea how amazing ‘healthy’ cookies could be!
Thought you might like to know that this site is using one of your recipes (and they stole your photo, too): http://meanttothrive.com/naturalalternativestosugar
Thank you so much for letting me know, Ricki! I just contacted her– hopefully she’ll remove all of them!
Just made them! Love them! I love the texture of them! I will make the frosting for next batch! Theses were just balls!
These are very good! My husband ate four of them while they were cooling and has proclaimed them his favorite cookies now (I still have a weakness for the cashew butter). Thank you for another great recipe!
I have actually never liked gingerbread cookies but had to try these because everything you make is so great! My 4 year old son (the pickiest eater I know) said, “Mommy, these cookies are WAY too good!!” Awesome job, we are loving our gingerbread cookies this year!
Hi, Love so many of your recipes! My son has a nut allergy, any suggestions for making this one nut free? Thanks!
My GF son has been asking for gingerbread men, I’m so happy i found this recipe.
Made these wonderful cookies last night. They were good last night and after sitting on the counter overnight, delicious!! I save up almond meal after making almond milk never knowing what to use the meal for besides smoothies. Now I have cookies to dip in our almond milk.
Merry Christmas Megan!!!
Thanks so much for posting these in time for Christmas! Ever since our children were little, we’ve had a Christmas tradition of decorating gingerbread together as a family. Now that some of us our gluten free, it’s great to have a recipe we all can enjoy! We enjoyed your https://detoxinista.com/2012/10/grain-free-ginger-cookies/ the last couple of Christmases, so I was really excited when you said you were creating a version that could be cutout and decorated. We like to decorate with m&m’s & chocolate chips using a touch of royal icing – chocolate and gingerbread are the perfect combination! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe and making our Christmas a little sweeter 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
Just made this! So delicious, by far the best gingerbread recipe i’ve tried. Thank you for sharing!
These are absolutely delicious! We’re going to make another batch to ring in the New Year. Yum!!
I have made these cookies twice now. I think they will be a year long favorite. My kids love them. I love them a bit too much. Lol!!
Oh my! These look beautiful. I wish I would of found this recipe sooner, you should of seen the mess I made trying to make a vegan version of the ginger bread cookie. Thanks for the post, I’m saving this one 🙂
I recently saw a recipe that claimed that that omitting the Baking Powder resulted in the gingerbread cookies not spreading.
Do you think omitting the Baking Soda in this recipe would have the same result?
(Btw, I have made several of your recipes, and haven’t had a bad one yet. Thank you!)
I’ve always felt like it’s the oil/fat in a recipe that determines how much a cookie spreads, but the baking soda might affect it slightly, too. I add the baking soda so that the cookies will rise a bit, but if you don’t mind a flatter cookie you’re welcome to try it without!
This worked perfectly for ginger cookies, I’m attempting the gingerbread cut out cookies now. Thank you for an excellent, healthy recipe for the holidays!
Hi, can’t wait to make these but forgive me for subbing some ingredients! I need to know if it will work to use corn starch instead of arrowroot starch for the cookies? And will it work to use granulated sugar instead of the coconut sugar for the icing? Will these two substitutes work as well? Thank you!!
Hi Megan, thank you for this awesome recipe! We loved it! What brand dod you use for Almond meal? My dough was never sticky but I think because I blended my own almonds.
This looks like a terrific recipe. I’d like to use ingredients I have on hand. Do you think coconut nectar would work well in lieu of blackstrap molasses? Thanks! Happy holidays!
The flavor won’t be the exact same, but I think they’d still taste good!
These are very impractical – I made a double batch but they are 2/3 eaten before they’ve even finished cooling! Outstandingly delicious-thank you!
I loved this! I was able to make a gingerbread house out of the dough and it came out better than I imagined. Thank you so much! I featured it in this blog post: http://todayismyhappiness.com/2016/12/28/christmas-weekend/
Oh my god!!!! These are the best cookies ever!! They taste just like ginger snaps!!!
awsome recipe,easy to make and whole family loves it! 🙂
These were absolutely amazing! I’ve only had store bought gingerbread cookies and never liked them. Having a hard time not eating the entire pan…
These are absolutely incredible cookies. Such a simple recipe to execute. I mixed this recipe up with a fork! My daughter had a blast making these with me and I felt better making these with her than something loaded with grain flour and white sugar! We made some ginger snaps by adding a little bit extra ginger and letting them cook a little bit longer.
I made these with my kids. They turned into the dreaded blob of one large cookie on the pan. I followed the recipe exactly. What happened?! We’d made them into cute holiday shapes and everything. Bummer.
Just a viewer on this site, but I bake cakes and cookies as an occasionally lucrative hobby. Could be several things. Chilling the dough is important. Cookie sheet should be room temp–never pre-warmed unless directed, or just out of a warm dishwasher. Oven should be preheated and at baking temperature when cookies are put in oven. Could the baking powder possibly be expired or near expired? Are you at a higher altitude? Try placing the cookies approximately 2″ apart on the cookie sheet. Baking on parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet can also help deter cookies from spreading. Hopefully this might help. Happy baking.
I didn’t have molasses, so I just used honey, and came out great!! Thank you for the great recipe!!!
I made a batch of these cookies and to my surprise everyone in my home loved them. Everyone is very different and picky when it comes to foods yet they liked it despite it not being very sweet. I also used a lot more cinnamon and ginger by accident.
My poor husband was just smacked with the reality of a 9.0 A1C level, soooo I will be playing with this and using Stevia in an attempt to do my part in removing carbs where I can–really hard when your spouse embraces a steak, taters, gravy and dessert philosophy, but I’m trying to get him to reprogram his customary in-the-box thinking…
Thank you so much, Megan!!!
These are great!
Well done on creating a great recipe. Easy to make and very delicious. I can’t wait to make these again. My 5 yr old also loved them.
Hi there! Why is the carb count so high on these compared to other paleo, gluten free, sugar free cookies? I did make these are they are delicious but 25 grams of carbs 🧐
I actually just double checked this and the nutrition info wasn’t correct. (It’s automatically calculated when I enter ingredients, so sometimes it’s off!). I just corrected the numbers, and the carbs are only 10g, not 25!
Hi! I wanted to make these and put them in individual plastic cookie bags as gifts-would the icing harden enough for me to do this or would they smear? Has anyone stacked the cookies with the coconut icing? Thanks!
Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe… these are delicious!
I love these cookies and so does everyone who tries them! Just wondering the best way to store them for a few days to keep the crunchiness?
I can’t wait to make these! Can I leave out the oil if I use Almond flour? I am oil free.
We made a gingerbread house with this cookie recipe. We used an organic frosting (store bought) to decorate as it mentioned the coconut frosting may be a little drippy. The cookies held up super well as long as I baked closer to 16 minutes. Thank you!
Hi Can I freeze these biscuits? If yes should I do so once baked or before please?
I would freeze after baking.
Hi there! Planning on making this for a cookie decorating party on Saturday. Do you think I could make the dough today and keep it in the fridge until Saturday afternoon to roll out then? Let me know- can’t wait to make them!!!
Yes, I think you could roll it out a couple days later! I’d just keep it tightly covered until then.
I have one kind of stupid question. 😂 11/2 cups is actually how many cups/grams? I’m not American, sorry. Thanks. 🙂
Hey, are the blackstrap molasses necessary?
Molasses is a key flavor in gingerbread, but structurally the cookies will probably hold together without it.