Gingerbread cookies are a holiday favorite for many, so why not have a whole-food, plant-based option? With some simple swaps, these are a nutritious option. Bring in the dates, whole grains and almond butter, and out goes the refined sugar, white flour and butter.
Here’s a few of the key ingredients you’ll find in these treats:
- Dates – A great whole-food, plant-based sweetener, these replace the need to use refined sugar. Like, ever! This recipe uses Deglet Noor dates, which are found at most grocery stores, often with the dried fruit.
- Flax – We love this plant-based (and nutritious!) egg-replacement. Want to learn more about these small-but-mighty seeds? Check out our flaxseed post!
- Whole grains – This recipe has two whole grains: whole wheat flour and oat flour. Though these grains have been ground up, the entire grain is still present, meaning more nutrients, such as fiber. To make your own oat flour, add 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of rolled oats to a blender, coffee grinder or food processor and blend until no large chunks remain.
- Almond butter – Choose almond butter without added sugars or oil. If you’re prefer nut-free, we’ve had success replacing the almond butter with tahini. We don’t recommend replacing it with peanut butter.
- Blackstrap molasses – This is the most concentrated and thickest molasses and it’s rich in nutrients such as potassium, iron, Vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium. Blackstrap molasses (*affiliate) does give these cookies a rich flavor. If you’d prefer something more mild, feel free to use a light molasses.
Below are the supplies we used to make these handsome little holiday men:
- Of course you’ll need a gingerbread man cookie cutter (*affiliate). Though if you decide to simply scoop these into balls, there’s no doubt they’ll be equally delicious!
- You’ll also need a rolling pin (*affiliate) to roll out the dough.
- We used this food processor (*affiliate) to blend the dates.
- You’ll roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Silicone baking mats (*affiliates) don’t work as well as parchment for rolling out the dough, though they are GREAT for baking your cookies once they’re cut out.
Rather than lifting the cut out cookies, peel away the excess and then scoop cookies with a plastic spatula OR simply transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
The optional glaze makes these extra special. While it may not be necessary for an at-home batch of cookies, we recommend it if you’re taking these to a get-together. It ups the sweetness a touch and adds a little fancy!
Plant-Based Gingerbread Cookies with a Coconut Glaze
- Rolling Pin
- Parchment Paper
- Food Processor
- baking sheet
- Mixing Bowl (medium)
- 10 Deglet Noor dates, pitted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed, ground soaked in 3 Tbsp water
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 3/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 6 Deglet Noor dates pitted
- 3 Tbsp shredded coconut unsweetened
- Add dates, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup warm water to food processor. Let soak.10 Deglet Noor dates, pitted, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add ground flax and 3 Tbsp water to small bowl. Let soak to make a flax egg.1 Tbsp flaxseed, ground
- Combine dry ingredients (wheat flour, oat flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt) in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 3/4 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp baking soda, pinch salt
- Blend dates, vanilla and water until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
- Add date mixture, flax egg, molasses and almond butter to dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Texture will resemble a firm dough.
- OPTIONAL: Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The dough rolls out more easily when it it cold, though rolling it out is do-able without this step.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Using your hands, form dough into a ball and place it on the center on the parchment paper.
- Place another piece of parchment paper on top and then, using a rolling pin, roll dough until 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut out cookies using gingerbread man (or other) shapes. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Collect leftover dough and continuing the rolling/cutting process until all the dough has been used up.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until firm. Let cool.
- OPTIONAL GLAZE: Place glaze ingredients in food processor and let soak for 10-15 minutes. While your cookies are cooling, blend until smooth. There may be some small pieces of coconut, but that's okay. Once cookies are cool, use a knife to "frost" each cookie. This will give the cookies a nice glazed look and pretty white speckles.6 Deglet Noor dates, 3 Tbsp shredded coconut
*We are a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. We use the products and ingredients that we link to and recommend them because we believe they are the best choice for you.