Healthy Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan & Paleo!)

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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!

healthy gingerbread cookies with coconut sugar icing

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.

cutting out and baking gingerbread cookies

Time-Saving Tip

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.

gingerbread cookies on a pan

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.

healthy gingerbread cookies overhead on pan

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 overhead on pan
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4.9 from 29 votes

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan & Paleo)

These healthy gingerbread cookies are made without white flour or refined sugar, but they taste like the real thing!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy gingerbread cookies
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 103kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.)

Video

Notes

The coconut sugar 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 get softer when sealed in a bag, but they stay firm if left on a plate.

Nutrition

Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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.

Recipe Notes:

  • 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”).

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Comments

Mack

Is this dough sturdy enough to make a gingerbread house out of??

    Megan Gilmore

    I think if you baked it until the edges are brown, and then let it cool completely, that it would be sturdy enough. But I haven’t tested that theory yet, so please let me know if you try it!

Fanny

Hi,

I have a nut allergy how much coconut flour would I use instead of almond?

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tested this recipe with coconut flour, so I couldn’t say for sure. You might want to see if you can tweak my coconut flour cookie recipe, but keep in mind that the texture will be a lot softer, more like a muffin top. (Coconut flour just makes weird cookies!)

Jane

So good!!!

Just made them!

April

These cookies are amazing! I was really wanting a healthier option for gingerbread cookies and these did the trick! I’ll be making them all year long 😊. Thank you for sharing !

Maria

Wow these look amazing! I wonder if there are any suggestions to make these nut free?

Mas

Thank you so much for all your recipes! We make your date brownies regularly. I love that your ingredients are usually things I have at home and nothing weird. I’m excited to try this recipe but I’m wondering if I can sub arrowroot/tapioca for something. Corn starch? Flour? We are trying to reduce refined sugar intake, but are flexible with the other stuff ;). Please let me know if either of those work. Thanks!!

    Megan Gilmore

    Corn starch would be the most similar substitute, I think!

      Mas

      Thank you! Looking forward to trying it 🙂

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