Real Food Gingerbread Cookies


Real Food Gingerbread Cookies

Looking for a healthier version of your favourite little gingerbread man? 

These Real Food Gingerbread Cookies don’t contain boatloads of sugar, are limited in processed ingredients and actually have some nutrients (bonus!) All while remaining a "treat" and a respectable Gingerbread Cookie that is unrecognizable as a "healthy alternative.”
Real Food Gingerbread Cookies

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 22-27 cookies (depending on size)


3 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
3/4 cup date paste*
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar*
1 egg
1/3 cup organic blackstrap molasses (not regular molasses)
3 cups spelt flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (optional)


  1. Put the first 4 ingredients (and fresh ginger if using) into a large bowl (or stand mixer) and beat until well combined.  I just used a hand mixer.
  2. Add molasses and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir together until well mixed.
  5. The dough mixture is going to VERY sticky at this point.  Don't panic.  Do your best to scrape as much of it from the bowl and divide it into two flat balls.
  6. Put the balls back into the bowl, cover with saran wrap and put back in the fridge.  Let it chill for 2-3 hours.
  7.  Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover your work surface with a generous amount of spelt flour.
  8. Remove one of the dough balls from the fridge (keep the other one refrigerated until you need it) and roll it out with a rolling-pin to about 1/4 or 1/8 thickness (if you make them too thin, the cookies will be crispy instead of soft so be careful)
  9. Cut with cookie cutter of your choice and place onto a baking sheet.
  10. Roll remaining dough into a ball and put back in the fridge.  Repeat above steps with other ball of dough, and keep alternating until all the dough is gone.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven).  The key here is to take them out before they are fully cooked!  This is the difference between a soft, moist, chewy gingerbread cookie and a crispy gingersnap.
  12. Let cool before eating.
  13. Store in a sealed container (if they last that long!)

*Soak dates overnight and then blend with a bit of water until smooth

Just for comparison's sake, I went online to check out the ingredients of the cute little gingerbread cookies that I saw at Williams Sonoma the other day:

Sugar, enriched unbleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, 
reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), honey, eggs, 
unsalted butter (from milk), invert sugar, palm oil, palm kernel oil, cinnamon, 
baking soda, ginger, vanilla, caramel color, salt, soy lecithin, allspice, 
cloves, orange zest, natural flavors, artificial food colors (yellow 5 & 6, 
red 3 & 40, blue 1 & 2, titanium dioxide), cream of tartar, cellulose

I highly doubt there is anything real about caramel color, natural flavours, and artificial food colors.  Plus, with sugar being the first ingredient I would bet on the fact that it has way more than the 1/2 cup that my cookies do.  Homemade cookies for the win.

Sarah Bester, CNP