These healthy Gingerbread Cookies taste remarkably like the real thing, but they’re made without white flour or refined sugar. My whole family (including my picky kids) love them!
How to Make Healthy Gingerbread Cookies
These cookies are made with protein-rich almond flour, so they are naturally gluten-free and will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished after eating one (or two).
Paired with arrowroot starch, these cookies have the perfect texture when stored at room temperature, so you don’t have to keep them in the fridge like you do with other almond flour cookie recipes. Arrowroot starch is thought to be easily digested, may help with stomach upset, and may be a potential source of prebiotics, too. (source)
The arrowroot starch also acts as a binder, so you don’t need to use eggs or even an egg substitute, like flax eggs. You can mix the ingredients together all in one bowl, then chill the dough for a few minutes before rolling it out and making cute cut-out shapes.
If you don’t want to use cookie cutters, you can skip the chilling portion of this recipe and simply drop the cookie dough by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet and bake as directed. You can roll them in a little coconut sugar to make them extra-special!
Personally, I prefer decorating gingerbread cookies with icing. It’s a memory I want to make with my kids (just like I did with my mom) so I’ve tested naturally-sweetened frostings made with honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar to see what works best.
This coconut sugar frosting is by far the best result, both in taste and texture, and even though it’s not pure white like the versions made with refined powdered sugar, it’s ridiculously tasty and doesn’t melt at room temperature.
You might want to plan on making a double batch of these cookies because I’m confident they will disappear very quickly!
This icing doesn’t harden, so I recommend storing these cookies on a flat surface to keep the frosting in tact. They will dry out at room temperature after a couple days, so you’ll want to freeze them in an air-tight container if you want to make them much further in advance.
For best texture, don’t store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will get softer when sealed in a bag, but they stay firm if left on a plate uncovered.
Healthy Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan & Paleo)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour (almond meal works, too)
- 1/4 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Extra arrowroot or tapioca starch , for rolling & cutting
- 1 batch of Coconut Sugar Icing , for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl combined the almond flour, starch, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda 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 you could place it in the fridge overnight, if you want to make this a day in advance.) Place the dough in the center of a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with a bit of arrowroot or tapioca starch to help prevent sticking. Using a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat sheet, about 1/4-inch thick. Pull away the excess dough to reveal each shape, and re-roll the dough to create more shapes. (I ended up with about 15 cookies using cookie cutters about the size of the palm of my hand.)
- 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. They are amazing this way, too!
- Bake the cookies at 350F for about 10 minutes for cookies with a soft center, or 14 to 15 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 uncovered on the counter for up to 3 days, or you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (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”).