Sugar-Free Gingerbread Cookies
My first attempt at making a gingerbread cookie recipe was last winter. I was curious and hungry for the warm heat of gingerbread coupled with a chewy consistency, both of which I loved when I was a little girl.
Last year’s gingerbread recipe was pretty good for my first try but this year, these are over-the-top delicious.
When I was young, around 5 or 6 years old, I recall being disappointed with the thin gingerbread cookies that snapped in half when I attempted to bend them. They just didn’t do it for me. I wanted the gingerbread that felt so thick and soft that when I picked them up, my pudgy little fingers sunk deep into the moist cookies.
Fast forward to this winter and I’m still hungry for the same thick, soft cookies. This year’s upgraded gingerbread cookie recipe has the perfect blend of gingerbread flavor without added sugar. I started with last year’s recipe, added more flavor and increased the chewy-ness with a touch of unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened applesauce. I nailed it after three attempts (as you can see above from the scribble in my notebook).
I think you’ll be quite pleased with how these turned out. Feel free to doll them up with icing, if you wish, but it’s not needed. Eating these cookies warm out of the oven is my favorite way to serve them. I suggest making double if you’re entertaining. They’re a crowd pleaser and taste like Christmas!
A Note on Measuring Almond Flour
This little step is important and it’s something I did not realize when I first starting using almond flour or any flour for that matter. This can change the entire recipe so please listen up! I don’t suggest scooping the almond flour straight from the bag. Instead, spoon it into your measuring cup (ensuring you do not pack it down). Then, use a butter knife to level the top of the almond flour in the measuring cup before dumping it into the bowl with the remaining dry ingredients. That’s it.
All the tools I’ve used are laid out for you in The Kitchen. The rimmed cast iron baking sheet and unbleached parchment paper are two must-haves when I’m baking.
Take a look at the spices I’ve used for these gingerbread cookies in The Spices + Herbs. Make sure your spices are fresh (and not expired). Check the date on the spice jars! Expired spices will taste dull and you’ll be quite disappointed with the end result of your baked goods.
Click the Play button below to hear me share a few helpful tips and walk you through the simple steps of making this recipe. Maybe, like me, you’ve had times when you’ve struggle to read through a recipe and follow the steps. All kinds of life circumstances–grief, trauma, stress—can tax our cognitive processing abilities, which is why I’ve created these audio clips to further support you now that I’m in this more healed place.
Sugar-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups almond flour (see measuring note above)
- 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, almond milk, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine until it resembles dough. Use your hands to ensure you break up any clumps of almond flour.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface. Lay the dough in the center of the parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness. Note: I prefer 1/2-inch thickness. Make sure the top surface of the dough is even and smooth. Place the gingerbread cookie cutters into the dough. Carefully peel the excess dough away from the cookie cutters, using a fork, if needed. Place the gingerbread cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Note: This dough is moist and sticky. Be extra careful when peeling the cookies out of the cookie cutters.
- Transfer to the oven, in two batches, for 15 minutes. The cookies may not look done because they are soft. Let them sit for 10 minutes before lifting. Serve warm.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 1 month.