Paleo molasses cookies are soft and chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside with a light coating of cinnamon sugar, these are going to make it to your holiday baking list every year!
Paleo ginger molasses cookies are packed with flavor and only require one bowl and a spoon to mix up! These healthy gingerbread cookies are also gluten free, grain free, dairy free and vegan!
Growing up, one of my favorite activities was baking cookies with my mom! Typically I would be responsible for cracking the eggs and adding the chocolate chips. I’m pretty sure that if my mom had a recipe this easy to make, she would have let me make it from start to finish, only having to help me stir the batter and put the cookie sheet in the oven.
You can feel good bringing these vegan gingerbread snickerdoodle cookies to cookie exchanges or parties, they are naturally sweetened and packed with flavor! This recipe makes a small batch of 12 larger cookies, so if you need more you can either form the dough into smaller cookies (and bake for 10-12 minutes) or double the recipe.
Reasons to love these healthy gingerbread cookies
- Great recipe for beginner bakers! The recipe is so easy to follow and turns out fantastic every time! These paleo molasses cookies are so fun to make with kids or as part of a holiday baking party! Kids will love rolling the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and pressing down the cookies on the baking sheet!
- These paleo gingerbread cookies are vegan (egg free and dairy free) and made with almond flour and gluten free flour making it gluten free as well! You can also make this nut free or grain free if needed (see notes below)!
- These vegan gingerbread snickerdoodle cookies are lower in sugar than most recipes but are just as good for gifting! They freeze really well and are perfect for baking ahead of time and taking to parties or gifting to a friend!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Ground flax + water – this replaces a typical egg in a recipe. You could also use ground chia seeds and water.
- Maple syrup – this adds sweetness and also helps create the chewy center. If you don’t have maple syrup date syrup may work. You could try a monk fruit syrup for a low carb option.
- Molasses (unsulfured blackstrap) – I used unsulfered blackstrap molasses you can find in most grocery stores. Because of how it’s made, blackstrap molasses is less sweet than unsulfered molasses. If all you can find is unsulfered molasses, you will just have slightly sweeter cookies but it will still turn out great!
- Almond butter – this really helps bind the ingredients and form the cookies. You can also use cashew butter or sunflower seed butter for a nut free version.
- Almond flour (or almond meal) – the finer the flour you use, the better texture you will have. I use almond flour from Aldi since it’s easy to find and inexpensive. You can also use cashew meal or even ground up sunflower seeds to make it nut free.
- Gluten free flour – I use tigernut flour to make these cookies grain free but you can use your favorite all purpose flour in this recipe. Note: Because of how coconut flour absorbs liquid, if you want to use coconut flour, you will only want to use 2 tablespoons.
- Cinnamon – I love cookies that have lots of flavor. I would highly suggest using the full tablespoon of cinnamon but if you are unsure, start with ½ tbsp.
- Ground ginger (dried) – I think that ginger molasses cookies should taste like ginger so if you agree, be sure to use the full 1.25 tsp. If you are adverse to ginger or you have kiddos that may not like the kick, start with ½ tsp. and go from there.
- Baking powder – this helps the cookies rise. If you cannot have baking powder, you can use ½ tsp. baking soda in it’s place.
- Coconut sugar – this is just like brown sugar but is lower on the glycemic index and is just as sweet tasting. If you cannot find coconut sugar, you can use light brown sugar or your favorite low carb replacement.
- Cinnamon – the outside of these cookies get extra flavor with more cinnamon.
How to make paleo molasses cookies from scratch
- Start by preheating the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl combine the ground flax and water stirring immediately so the flax doesn’t clump. Add the maple syrup and molasses and stir well.
- Add the almond butter to the wet ingredients and stir well to fully incorporate the almond butter and wet ingredients.
- Add the almond flour, gluten free flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and baking powder to the wet ingredients. Stir well.
- The batter will be thick and you will think that it won’t all mix in the beginning, just keep stirring.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray (optional). Take about 1.5 tbsp. of batter in your hand and roll into a ball. Place ball of dough on the parchment paper.
- Once you have 12 cookie balls made, combine the cinnamon and coconut sugar in a bowl.
- Roll the balls one at a time in the cinnamon sugar mixture, being sure to fully coat the outside of the cookies.
- Press down on the cookie balls once coated in sugar to flatten. You want about 1/4 inch thick cookies. I like to flatten by pressing down with my three middle fingers, then using the bottom of a glass to flatten out the top so you don’t see the marks from my fingers (don’t press to hard or the cookies will get too flat).
- Once the cookies are flattened, place the baking sheet in a 375F oven for 13 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack (optional).
Tips for making the best vegan molasses cookies
These vegan molasses cookies are very soft and fragile right out of the oven. Be sure to allow them to cool at least 5-10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Store leftovers in the freezer! These cookies are great fresh or stored in the freezer. You can leave them out on the counter for 1-2 days uncovered or eat them right out of the freezer. When stored in the fridge, these cookies tend to lose their crunchy exterior.
The batter for these ginger molasses cookies will be very sticky and thick when you are trying to form the dough into balls. One tip is to slightly wet your hands or spray them with non-stick spray so the batter will not stick to your hands.
This recipe creates a small batch of cookies (12) but they are quite large and very filling. You can easily double the recipe if needed. You will only need 3 tbsp. of coconut sugar and 1.5 tsp. of cinnamon to make the sugar coating if you double the recipe.
Vegan molasses cookies common questions
What is the difference between molasses cookies and gingerbread?
Molasses cookies and gingerbread cookies have many of the same properties – they both have molasses and ginger in them.
However, gingerbread cookies tends to be much softer and easier to roll out into dough to cut into shapes. The dough for molasses cookies is very sticky and tough to roll out flat and creates a more firm, crunchy exterior when baked.
What is molasses and can it be substituted?
Molasses is a thick, slightly sweet liquid that adds a distinct flavor to these molasses ginger cookies. It is a by-product of the sugar making process and adds a depth of flavor to recipes, sometimes it’s referred to as black treacle. It is slightly sweet but also a bit bitter if you taste it on it’s own. When paired with ginger, it creates the flavor you are used to having for gingerbread.
Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Because of the way molasses is made, there is not a good substitute for it. You could leave out the molasses and replace it with maple syrup or date syrup. These will not have the same flavor but will be just as tasty!
What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal?
Almond flour is made by first blanching the almonds (removing the skin) before grinding down into a flour. Almond meal is made by just crushing almonds down into a flour like powder (with the skins intact). Almond meal will create a slightly less smooth batter but will work just as well as almond flour.
If you need a nut free recipes, you can actually use roasted sunflower seeds and grind them up in the food processor until form into a powder (don’t allow it to go too far or it will turn into sunflower seed butter).
How to store these vegan molasses cookies
These cookies can sit at room temperature, uncovered for 2-3 days. When stored in the fridge even in a well sealed container they start to get soggy.
These are actually best stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. They can be eaten straight from the freezer as well or defrosted on the counter in an open container.
Paleo Molasses Cookies
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 3 tbsp. water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp. blackstrap molasses - see notes
- 1/3 cup almond butter - see notes for nut free
- 1 cup almond flour - see notes for nut free
- 3 tbsp. gluten free flour - tigernut to be grain free
- 1.5 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1.25 tsp. dried ground ginger
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground flax, water, molassas, maple syrup, and stir well.
- To the wet ingredients add the almond butter and stir well until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients (almond flour, gluten free flour, ginger, 1 tbsp. cinnamon and baking powder) to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.
- Take about 1.5 tbsp. of the batter and roll it into a ball, you will make 12 cookies. Place on the parchment paper.
- Combine the coconut sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a bowl. Roll the cookie dough balls in the coconut sugar/cinnamon mixture until full coated (one at a time).
- Place each cinnamon sugar coated cookie on the parchment paper and press the cookies down to about 1/4 inch. Flatten with your fingers or with the back of a glass.
- Bake at 375F for 13 minutes
- These cookies can sit at room temperature, uncovered for 2-3 days.
- These paleo molasses cookies are actually best stored in the freezer. They can be eaten straight from the freezer as well or defrosted on the counter in an open container.