Paleo Almond Flour Gingerbread Men Cookies (Gluten-Free)
These Paleo Almond Flour Gingerbread Men Cookies are soft, chewy, perfectly spiced gingerbread cookies that are Grain-free, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free.
If I said that I loved these gingerbread men cookies, it would be an understatement. They are the BEST Paleo, Grain-free, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free gingerbread cookies that I’ve ever made.
These gingerbread men cookies are soft, chewy, and perfectly spiced cut outs of holiday joy and I am thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you guys!
Table of contents
Why this recipe works:
- These Paleo gingerbread cookies are soft yet firm.
- They have a strong gingerbread taste that is not overpowering.
- This recipe is made with 10 ingredients.
- The dough comes together in the food processor.
- It’s allergy friendly. It is dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free.
- These almond flour gingerbread men come together quickly.
- It is tried and true. It took me three years to develop this recipe!
- After several failed attempts, I was inspired by the shortbread cookie base that I made for my Paleo Cranberry Sauce Bars. I tweaked that recipe and it worked great!
- These cookies are kid friendly!
- Extra light olive oil: I like baking with extra light olive oil. I use it to replace butter in baking. Make sure to use a light colored oil, so it doesn’t have an overpowering olive flavor.
- Blackstrap molasses: The key to the gingerbread flavor here is from the blackstrap molasses! Blackstrap molasses is an incredibly nutrient dense food. It contains iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
- An egg: Eggs help keep the cookies chewy.
- Vanilla extract: Make sure to use vanilla extract and not vanilla flavor. It’s healthier and the flavor is so much better.
- Almond flour: I prefer using blanched almond flour in my grain-free baking recipes. It has a better overall texture and flavor.
- Coconut sugar: I have found that coconut sugar is a great replacement for brown sugar.
- Cinnamon: When it comes to cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon has the best smell and taste. It is much stronger than the generic cinnamon found in many stores.
- Ground ginger and cloves: these spices give the cookies a great taste. Some people like using allspice as well.
- Baking soda– This helps the cookies rise.
- Tapioca flour or arrowroot flour: this ingredient isn’t in the cookie batter itself. The batter tends to be sticky, so tapioca flour helps you roll out the cookie dough more easily.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Is blackstrap molasses Paleo?
Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct that forms when sugar cane is refined. The juice that comes from mashing sugar cane is boiled to create syrup. It is boiled three times to make blackstrap molasses.
It’s funny because sugar has no nutritional value but blackstrap molasses is a superfood that contains many vitamins and minerals such as: iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
Since it is such a superfood, many consider it beneficial to have in their diet.
Check out this post on blackstrap molasses and if/why it is considered to be Paleo.
How to make these almond flour gingerbread cookies:
Step 1– Put the wet ingredients ( the olive oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla) into a food processor and mix.
Then, add the dry ingredients ( the almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and baking soda) to the food processor and mix again until a dough forms.
Step 2- Take the dough out of the food processor and put it into a bowl.
Step 3– Shape the dough into a ball with your hands, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 4– Sprinkle tapioca flour or arrowroot flour onto parchment paper. Put 1/2 of the dough onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle with more flour.
Step 5- Put parchment paper on top of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin.
Step 6- Take a cookie cutter and push it into the dough.
Step 7- remove the gingerbread man cut out and place on a cookie sheet.
Step 8- Bake and then decorate!
- Make sure to pack your almond flour into the measuring cups. This means you scoop the measuring cup into the bag and press against the side of the bag to fill the almond flour.
- Roll the dough into a ball prior to refrigerating.
- Be generous with the tapioca flour or arrowroot flour! Since this dough is sticky, using a lot of this flour on the parchment paper and on top of the dough, ensures it doesn’t stick.
- Use parchment paper or silicone mats to put the cookies on before baking.
Kid-friendly gingerbread cookies:
I did a taste-test to see how non Paleo people liked this recipe.
My husband, mother and sister loved them, and actually didn’t believe me that they were Paleo.
My 2.5 year old nephew loved them the most! He ate 2 in 5 minutes. Now I make them for my own kids that are 2 and 4 every year.
Other healthy holiday cookie recipes you’ll love:
These Gluten-free Ginger Molasses Cookies by a Dash of Megnut. They are a Vegan and Gluten-free twist on the holiday classic.
These Paleo Cut-Out Cinnamon Maple Sugar Cookies (GF) are sugar cookies but made with maple sugar instead of refined white cookies.
These Paleo Snickerdoodles (GF) are a reader favorite. They have all that great cinnamon flavor!
I personally love these Soft Paleo Pumpkin Molasses Cookies (GF), they have the best taste and flavor!
Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!
Paleo Almond Flour Gingerbread Men Cookies (Gluten-Free)
- 2 Tbs extra light olive oil
- 3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
- 1 extra large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups packed almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- tapioca flour (to sprinkle on the dough prior to rolling it)
- Put the wet ingredients ( the olive oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla) into a food processor and mix. Add the dry ingredients ( almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and baking soda) to the food processor and mix until a dough forms.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and form into a ball shape with your hands. It can help to use a rubber spatula and put the dough into a bowl and then, grab it and form it into a ball. Put the ball into a bowl, cover the bowl in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat.
- Sprinkle some tapioca flour on a piece of parchment paper. Cut the dough in half ( put the other back in the fridge) and put it on the parchment paper with tapioca flour on it. Sprinkle tapioca flour on top of the dough. Then, roll the dough out between the 2 pieces of parchment paper with a rolling pin, until ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough with gingerbread man cookie cutters. Note: If the dough is too sticky and sticks to the cookie cutter, wet the cookie cutter. If the dough sticks to the parchment paper, sprinkle a little tapioca flour onto the parchment paper. I noticed that using metal cookie cutters was easier than plastic ones.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough. Once all the gingerbread shapes are cut from the dough, take the dough scraps and form into a ball and roll it out again. Keep doing this until all the dough is used up and cut into shapes. Note: you may need to put the dough in the fridge or freezer in between rolling it out to harden it a bit.
- Place the gingerbread men shapes onto a lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on the cookie sheet for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove and put on wire racks to cool. Decorate cookies once they are cooled.
- This recipe yields 15 cookies, using a 9 x 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter.
- * Make sure to pack your almond flour into the measuring cups. This means you scoop the measuring cup into the bag and press against the side of the bag to fill the almond flour.
- * Roll the dough into a ball prior to refrigerating.
- * Be generous with the tapioca flour or arrowroot flour! Since this dough is sticky, using a lot of this flour on the parchment paper and on top of the dough, ensures it doesn’t stick.
- * Use parchment paper or silicone mats to put the cookies on before baking.
• 2 Tbs thick honey
• 2 Tbs tapioca flour
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Add the coconut oil to a small bowl. Mix in 1 Tbs honey, then mix in the 2nd Tbs honey. Add the tapioca flour and vanilla to the bowl and mix until frosting forms.
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79 Comments on “Paleo Almond Flour Gingerbread Men Cookies (Gluten-Free)”
These were wonderful! They did start out very sticky as others have mentioned but I later realized I did not pack the almond flour; maybe that would have made a difference. After a few failed attempts at rolling out between layers of parchment, it was so sticky, I changed gears and was successful by generously flouring the parchment paper with tapioca starch and sprinkling it all over the dough, patting it into a ball and rolling it around in the starch, squishing flat and re- forming into a ball until it was very covered in starch. Then I covered my rolling pin in the starch and was able to roll out without it sticking and the cookies came up off the paper with the cookie cutters pretty easily. The only difference I’d say in my final product is that they don’t look nice and clean like the picture in the recipe – they are powdered white on top from the starch. Maybe I could have brushed it off with a bit of water so it looked nicer, but they baked wonderfully, are firm enough to hold their shape while remaining soft, and they taste lovely. I might add a bit more spice next time as I enjoy a spicy gingerbread. Overall very pleased and will return to this recipe! P.S. I was making these with the assistance of a 3 and 1.5 year old and they still turned out!
These Gingerbread cookies are absolutely amazing!!# 1 for us in the line of grain and gluten free …
Taste was good but definitely was way too wet. Tried to add coconut flour as it’s super absorbing and froze the dough for an hour and still impossible to cut shapes in. Sadly a waste of Almond flour. Ugh.
Were you able to roll the dough into the ball? Did you use tapioca flour under and over the dough to roll it out? Tapioca always does the trick for being able to cut them into shapes.
Can you freeze these? How long do they last of you want to make them ahead of time?
I’ve never tested freezing them, but I think if you made them and let them cool, then you could freeze them in between pieces of parchment paper. I also think you could roll the dough out between parchment or wax paper, then wrap it and freeze. I would say you could make them 3 days ahead of time.
Is there any suitable substitute for the blackstrap molasses?
You could us maple syrup but then you’d lose a pretty distinct flavor that makes these cookies.
You could also use treacle
Anyone know if you can use butter instead of olive oil? what about a Cuisinart to mix vs a food processor?
I’ve never tried using butter or a cuisinart to mix it. Let me know if you do use those and how it works out!
I had the wet/stickiness problem too, and the only thing I changed in the recipe was using brown sugar instead of coconut. The dough was impossible to cut out cleanly, and spread so much in the oven that the men lost their shape. I didn’t have tapioca flour or arrowroot in the house, so just ended up adding enough KAF 1:1 baking mix to make the dough manageable (and dusting it with that as well). Still, rolling it out on constantly-shifting parchment was painful enough that I gave up on cutting them out and instead rolled the remainder out into a large circle, cut it into diamonds with a pizza cutter, spread out the pieces, and baked them. The flavor was great – almost like a ginger marzipan – but I can’t imagine doing this again.
Ugh sorry to hear that! I know brown sugar has more moisture in it than coconut sugar so it is possible that this could have affected things. I’m not sure why it was so wet for you. I make these several times a year and haven’t had that issue. I wish I could know how to help troubleshoot this.
These are absolutely incredible!!!! So soft and delicious. My only problem is that I want to eat the entire batch in one sitting!!
I have the same problem!! 🙂
I made these with a few substitutions and they were fantastic. I subbed ghee for the oil, and used King Arthur Baking’s sugar alternative (a blend of ethrytol, monk fruit, allulose, stevia and fructan fiber- prob not paleo but bakes up wonderfully!). I subbed these in at a 1:1 ratio. I also upped the spices- a heaping teaspoon of ginger, and also added allspice, clove and cardamom (I love a nice spicy ginger cookie!). I then reduced the baking time to 7 minutes as the sugar alternative cooks up quicker and then turned off the oven to let them sit as it cooled. Spot on!!!
I will agree with reviewers who said the dough was too sticky to work with- I had to knead in an additional 1/2C of almond flour to make it useable- was perfect after that. Also, I was surprised at how dark the wet dough was- however it lightened up beautifully.
I will be making these again. Thank you!!
Thanks for sharing!!
These are delicious! I just made drop cookies as I didn’t have the cookie cutters. Flavor and texture are perfect! Thank you!
Hi, these looks so good! I was just wondering, would I be able to substitute pure maple syrup for the coconut sugar, or would the consistently be too different since one is a liquid, and not granulated? Thanks!
I think the consistency would be too different. You could use maple sugar or brown sugar if you have that!
My family and I loved this recipe! The dough was great, fantastic flavor. My husband was surprised of how good they were. I had the sticky problem too. But I think it just need to be in the fridge a bit longer and perhaps roll them in the cooking paper directly. That’s my next batch plan!
Do you think it would work to use avocado oil in place of the olive oil? I only have darker olive oil!
I don’t see why not!
🙂 Also i just made the dough and its super dark! is that how its supposed to be or maybe I did something wrong?
I think it could depend on how dark your molasses or coconut sugar is. It should be ok!
How did you make the white icing to decorate with please? Is that paleo also?
The frosting in the photos isn’t Paleo, but I have a recipe for frosting in the notes of this recipe! I’ll post it below:
• 2 Tbs coconut oil (not melted) • 2 Tbs thick honey • 2 Tbs tapioca flour • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add the coconut oil to a small bowl. Mix in 1 Tbs honey, then mix in the 2nd Tbs honey. Add the tapioca flour and vanilla to the bowl and mix until frosting forms.
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I’m wondering about the stickiness too. Should the almond flour be packed or not? I’ve been wondering for a while if altitude affects paleo baking. (I know that it affects wheat flour baking.) Could this be a reason for more stickiness?
Mine looked nothing like the picture, but I covered it with saran wrap and refrigerated. Then i put the tapioca flour on the saran wrap and used that as my surface to patt out the dough (with my hand) adding more tapioca as necessary.
I used my mom’s trick of spreading the cookie cutter in the flour and didn’t have any problems with the plastic cookie cutter.
I 💛 this recipe and so does my husband!
Thank you for all your hard work!
I usually scoop the almond flour into the measuring cups while it is in the bag then level it off using the side of the bag. It is a bit packed. I am curious about altitude or even different blackstrap molasses brands affecting stickiness. I live in Florida and it is very humid so I wonder how that affects the dough as well. I’m glad you guys enjoy the cookies!! 🙂
Hi Dominique, do you use US metric spoons for your recipes? I’m in Australia and our metric measurements are slightly different to those in the US 🙂 Thanks, Caroline
Yes I do use US metric spoons. 🙂 I didn’t realize there were different ones!
I made these exactly like the recipe, the dough tasted great but it was too sticky! I couldn’t make it into a ball, what can i do?
Is it too wet or sticky? If it is just a matter of being too sticky, add some tapioca flour to the top of the dough and then make it into a ball and add some more tapioca flour to the outside. If it is too wet, add 1-2 Tbs more of almond flour. Let me know how that works!
Thanks!! I added some more almond flour & it seems to help’
Merry Christmas 🎁🎄
I JUST made these right now for a friend, and found that it helps to use a rubber spatula to put the dough into a bowl, then roll it into a ball. It is sticky, but I didn’t need any extra flours once I got it all out of the food processor. Let me know if that helps!!
could you replace the coconut sugar with monk-fruit sweetener to make these keto??
I have never tried baking with monk fruit sweetener before, but I did a quick internet search and it looks like it can be used at a 1:1 ratio to replace coconut sugar. I’ve never done it though, so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out!
These are amazing cookies… I did not make them into gingerbread men, just regular round cookies and they tasted so good. I will be making them often.
p.s. the icing was just as good, we ate them with and without the icing. They are so good either way!
I’m so happy to hear that! I make them every single year 🙂
I do not have tapioca flour on hand. Do you think arrowroot would work??
I know a lot of people do use it interchangeably at a 1:1 ratio but I haven’t tried with this recipe.
Made these today – I had the same problem with stickiness. I used two regular eggs and a regular mixer though, so that could be my problem. I had to make round drop cookies because they wouldn’t roll out but they were still delicious. And so puffy and soft!
The dough was so sticky for me. I used extra almond meal to try and form the ball while in the food processor but it just kept blending. It was difficult to handle, I coated it in tapioca flour so I could manage it into a ball, refrigerated and then rolled it out between baking paper. It all got so stuck to the paper. Kept using tapioca flour on the surface and flattened it out mostly by hand then gently rolled with the rolling pin and eventually got some shapes formed. I would use plenty of tapioca flour if you plan on trying this recipe. They do taste delicious and gooey when warm, and I can’t wait to decorate with my son later this afternoon!
Thanks for the comment and tips! I’m curious why these are more or less sticky for some people compared to others. I wonder if it’s the brand of ingredients used.
Turned out great, we had a lot of fun making these. Using a dusting of tapioca starch really cut the stickiness down and added no flavors.
That is a great tip! I’ll have to try that when I make these this week. Thanks!
Several in my family can’t eat nut flours…any way to substitute with casava flour or just plain GF flour?
I haven’t tried using casava flour but I’ve had luck using flour at a 1:1 ratio with almond flour. I’ve never tried it with this recipe but I don’t see why not! I have also heard sunflower flour works well in the place of almond flour. Let me know if you try it!
If I made just round cookies would the baking time change?
I don’t think so. Would you be rolling them out first or just drop and bake?
Would this work for gingerbread houses??
They are on the soft side, so I don’t think they’d work for a house :/
Made these tonight and they are delicious.
Thanks for letting me know!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Oh man, these look utterly perfect. My mouth is watering! I can’t wait to try making them!
How cute are these little guys!!! And they are paleo?! WOW! I’ve never made gingerbread before but now I’m dying to try it!
I am sharing the same ideas about how the gingerman man suppose to taste 🙂 and making him Paleo is a great success!
So, we didn’t have an issue with the dough being too sticky, it was actually the opposite. Too dry. We’re thinking of trying it again with 2 regular sized eggs (that’s what we have on hand), instead of 1 extra large egg. The flavor is delicious though and my 6 year old liked them too!!
Thanks for the update!! Glad your little one loved them. I’m making them again to check how different sized eggs work here. 🙂
Hello! The recipe looks so good! Excited to try it out before Christmas. Can you store the dough the fridge over night before baking? Also what is the shelf life for these cookies?
You can store the dough in the fridge overnight. I would say these last 3-4 days once baked!
Adorable Dominique! We need more paleo goodies around the holidays. I love the idea of making these cookies more protein rich with almond flour.
These are adorable. I love that they are healthier than the traditional recipes.
These gingerbread men are so cute, and I totally love that you made the recipe gluten-free. These would make such a great homemade Christmas gift!
Yum! I have yet to try baking with almond flour. I love almonds though, so I need to try these!
did anyone have any issues with the dough being too sticky? I even added a little more flour trying to roll it out and couldnt even get any cut outs…followed receipt to a T
Try freezing the dough for more time. Also, if you roll it out a bit thicker it should work. Using water on the cutouts is key so they don’t stick to them. I’m making them again on Sunday so I’ll let you know if I come up with any more tips. 🙂
Cute and healthy. Looks like the kiddos love them too.
Ah, what cute little guys. Almost a shame to eat them but I know that I couldn’t resist! 😉 Love the use of almond flour. I’ve got to try these!
Can you use two regular-sized eggs in place of one xlarge egg?
I’ve never tried that but these two sources suggest using only one regular egg in place of an XL egg. http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/extra-large-egg-substitutes/ or https://www.incredibleegg.org/cooking-school/tips-tricks/egg-sizes-equivalents-and-substitutions/
Soooooooo delicious! I almost ate the whole first batch myself!
I’m so happy to hear that! I LOVE this recipe as well!
Your gingerbread men look so perfect! And it’s as if they were golden, precious looking. They should use these for a Hänsel and Gretel movie =) I will need to test them on my nephew and niece.
I love gingerbread cookies, too, but I have several friends who are gluten free. I love that these cookies are kid tested (your nephew) and mother approved. (Your mom liked them, right?) In my cookie experiments with almond flour, I have been surprised at how well it swaps out for regular flour in baked goods. I’m looking forward to taking your recipe for a test drive.
These are such delightful looking gingerbread cookies! I’ve been looking for cookie recipes to give to a friend who is gluten free for Christmas and these will be perfect!