Vegan Spelt Gingerbread Cookies
Perfectly crisp and chewy gingerbread cookies made with whole grain spelt flour. Vegan and refined sugar-free!
I’m ending the holiday season with a photo finish (literally) because I still have a few more cookie recipes left to share with you! Better late than never, right?
You guys, I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those bloggers who starts with the Christmas cookies in October or November. For one, I just don’t move that fast with recipe testing and for two, I like to enjoy these things when it feels seasonally appropriate.
In other words, there’s some major side eye happening when I go into a retail store and see Christmas decorations in October.
But NOW is the time to bake all of the cookies! And I’ve made it my personal duty to provide you with healthier options. :)
These gingerbread cookies are based off of a recipe from who I consider to be the queen of blogging, Deb from Smitten Kitchen. I started healthifying her recipe by swapping spelt flour for the all-purpose. If you’re new to spelt flour, it is an ancient grain that’s not certified gluten-free, however, it is naturally lower in gluten than modern-day wheat, making it ideal for those with gluten sensitivities. I personally like to use it because it’s high in fiber, iron and protein, and also has a mild flavor.
In addition to using spelt flour, I made them less spicy, used coconut oil and applesauce in place of the butter and eggs, and coconut sugar and pure maple syrup in place of the refined sugar.
I couldn’t be happier with the result. We’ve made two batches in the past week and they were both perfect! Crisp edges and a slightly chewy center with a flavor that is slightly spicy and sweet, but not overpoweringly so.
For the icing I used a combo of vegan powdered sugar, almond milk and lemon juice. Simple and delicious!
If you haven’t made gingerbread cookies yet this year then I hope these will inspire you to give them a try! They’re so much fun and they taste amazing. In the meantime, I’ll be finishing off the twenty something ginger men we have leftover. Mwuahaha!!!
2 cups spelt flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup unrefined melted coconut oil
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon almond milk
juice of 1 lemon
- Start by combining the dry ingredients (spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves) in a medium-size bowl and sift together.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (molasses, maple syrup, coconut sugar, applesauce, and melted coconut oil) until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and stir together with a spatula until a dough forms. It might look like the dough is dry but don’t worry, just keep stirring. After moist dough has formed, divide it in two separate halves and wrap each one with plastic. Refrigerate until cold and firm, for about one hour or up to 2 days.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, take the dough out and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a hard surface with parchment paper and lightly sprinkle it and a rolling pin with flour. Gently roll the dough out on the floured surface to roughly 1/4” thick. If it is too hard to roll, try giving it a minute to warm up some.
- Using cookie cutters, press shapes into the dough and use your hands to pull away any excess pieces. Form the excess pieces into a large ball and continue to roll out and cut shapes until all of the dough is gone.
- Transfer the cookies to two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely before icing.
- Meanwhile, make the icing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking together until smooth. Spoon it into a plastic bag and cut one corner off or use a pastry bag. Slowly pipe the icing on as desired.
- Store cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper for up to one week.
*I used Bob's Red Mill light spelt flour but any spelt flour will work. You can also use whole wheat pastry flour if you can't find spelt.
Time does not include hands-off time to chill dough
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen