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Friday, 15 December 2017

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies / Christmas Cookies Recipe

Gingerbread cookies are spice flavored sweet biscuits that are one of the classic Christmas dessert and a perfect festive treat for the winter holidays. These healthy gingerbread cookies are vegan refined sugar-free, molasses free and with the goodness of oatmeal, whole wheat and finger-millet flours. The cookies are mildly sweet as Jaggery is used as the sweetener here and the freshly ground spices compliment with it very well. I have used ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg for the warm spicy flavors. Result ?? A box full of flavorful treats loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients and a house filled up with wonderful aroma of the spices ! Did I tell you that these homemade healthy Gingerbread cookies make a great festive gift as well for your loved ones :)

We had a bad weather , for this entire week here in Mohali . At first it rained heavily for 2 days, then dust storm followed by drizzling and cool wind which brought down the temperature considerably. I was feeling too lazy to cook and so made a hearty bowl of Bajra Khichdi ( i must say such one pot meals are so much relief ) for my self. cheer up my little one who in-spite of having a sore throat and running nose , could not stay at home as he is having his unit test exams, i made these delicious gingerbread cookies with warm ginger and cinnamon flavors. He loved the cookies thoroughly and the spark in his eyes made me happy :) Another reason for my happiness is the lovely shapes of the gingerbread cookies. Yeaahhh...finally after a long wait , i managed to get hold of these lovely Christmas theme cookie cutter set. Do not get dishearten if you don't have one as you can cut the cookies in basic star shape too. 


What are Gingerbread Cookies?

For many foodies, Christmas is all about fruit cakes, muffins and cookies. One such cookie which is specially made during this time of the year is Gingerbread cookie. For those who have not heard about these cookies, Gingerbread cookies are basically ginger and spice flavored sweet biscuits. They are usually made using flour, eggs, butter, ground spices and molasses. The dough so formed is sticky and is hence refrigerated until it becomes easy to handle. It is then rolled out into thin sheets and cut into Christmas themed shapes using various cookie cutters and then baked.

What goes in to these healthy gingerbread cookies?

My gingerbread cookies are vegan, which means the recipe is egg-less and butter-less. I have used oil here instead of butter. These cookies are made using multigrain flour. I have replaced refined flour with whole wheat flour, ragi flour and oatmeal. Sugar is replaced with jaggery and molasses is also not used in this recipe. Warm spices like ginger, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon are used which makes the cookies flavorful.

Points to consider while making these gingerbread cookies 
You need a little patience to make these cookies , so plan them when you are not in a hurry or divide the work in two day if running short of time. You may prepare the dough the first day and refrigerate it overnight and then you can keep the rolling part and baking part the next day. The cookies are light brown in color because of the use of jaggery and finger-millet flour. The cookies are mildly sweet and the flavor of warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg compliment very well with it. The cookies turned out to be delicious, soft at the center and crispy at the edges.  Icing is optional as these cookies taste good on their own. You can dust the cookies with some powdered sugar if desired. The quantity of ingredients used here yields approx 2 dozen gingerbread cookies of medium size which stay good at room temperature for about 2 weeks in an air tight container. Serve these cute cookies along with milk to your kids or enjoy them yourself for some guilt free sweet cravings . 

This is an old post which i had published in 2017 . I have updated this post today with some new pictures and written content but have not changed the recipe. I have many such old posts where the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Such posts need to be updated with new pictures and written content. Thanks to Renu, my dear friend, and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing Old Posts as an initiative, wherein we bloggers can update our old posts with either new pictures or written content or both every two weeks. This is my 10th entry into this event (13th December).

Preparation time: 1 hour
Baking time: 12-15 minutes per batch
Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup - 250 ml
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ragi / finger-millet flour
  • 1/2 cup oats, powdered 
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt.

Royal Icing :
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon milk

  1. In a bowl sift the whole wheat flour, finger-millet flour, oatmeal , spice powders , baking powder and salt. Keep aside. Our dry ingredients are ready.

2. In another bowl dissolve the jaggery in warm water and add oil to it. Whisk well. Mix the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

3. The dough will be sticky at this stage. Cover it with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour or if you are not running short of time you can refrigerate it overnight. Refrigeration will make the dough easy to handle.

4.  Remove the dough and place a portion of it on a work surface lined with parchment paper. Keep the rest of the dough refrigerated until use. Roll out into 1 1/4 inch thick sheet.

5. Cut the cookies into desired shapes using a cookie cutter. If you feel the cut outs are difficult to handle, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for few minutes. When it turns hard, lift each cookie delicately with a flat spatula and place it on a baking tray spacing the cookies 1 inch apart as the cookies spread while baking.

6. For better results, keep the cookie tray in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes prior to baking.  Mean while , preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius .

 7. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes per batch at 180 degrees Celsius. Keep a watch after 10 minutes as temperature differs from oven to oven. On proper baking , the cookies are still semi-soft to the touch but start to harden around the edges as they cool.

8. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to stand until they are firm enough to move to a wire rack. Repeat the process with rest of the dough. Once the cookies are cool, they can be decorated as desired.


9.  For icing, take icing sugar in a bowl and add milk to it to get a thick icing. Put it into the icing bag ( i have used zip lock bag) and decorate the cookies. To keep the cookies crisp, transfer them into an air tight container until use. Serve the cookies with milk or plain and enjoy the lovely flavors with your loved ones !


Recipe Notes:
  • Use freshly ground spices for flavorful and aromatic cookies .
  • The cookie dough is sticky and refrigerating the dough prior to rolling and the cookie tray prior to baking makes handling easy and gives good results .
  • Icing is optional as these cookies taste good on their own. You can dust the cookies with some powdered sugar if desired.
  • The cookies are light brown in color due to the use of finger-millet flour and jaggery.
  • On baking properly, the cookies are semi-soft to the touch but start to harden around the edges on cooling. 
  • To keep the cookies crisp, transfer them into an air tight container until use.
I hope some of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow me on the following social media .
For more Christmas special recipes from this blog, check out the following




  1. Splendid delights, perfect for the season!!

  2. And such beautiful shapes/ presentation 👌👌

  3. Very often it is very difficult to find molasses to make gingerbread cookies, therefore love your recipe where you've used only jaggery. Cookies look very festive and tempting.

    1. You are right di. It is difficult to source some ingredients. Do give it a try. I am sure you will love these cookies as much as we do.

  4. Definitely a healthy bake Poonam with oatmeal and ragi flour and jaggery as the sweetener. We made this last time at home and was such a hit. Loved your recipe.