Healthy Ginger Molasses Cookies
Your new favourite cookie recipe! Slightly crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and spiced just right – you won’t be able to tell that these are healthy ginger cookies!
Healthy Ginger Cookies
When I asked my friends on Instagram what kind of content the wanted to see this holiday season, I got several requests for healthier Christmas cookies.
Now, let me start by saying it’s hard to make a cookie entirely “healthy”. Also, healthy is a term that really means something different to everyone. But I did do my best to create a healthier holiday cookie with nourishing ingredients as requested.
This recipe is based off of my mom’s recipe for ginger molasses cookies. Fun fact: she actually calls them ‘Spice Crinkles’.
So in order to make the recipe somewhat “healthier”, I subbed the all-purpose flour for whole grain spelt flour and reduced the sugar content a little bit. I promise you, you won’t even be able to tell!
How to Make Healthy Ginger Cookies
For this recipe, it’s easiest to use a stand mixer or hand mixer. You can also use a good old wooden spoon to mix the ingredients, this will just require further effort.
Step 1: Cream butter and sugar. Then add the egg and molasses.
Start by creaming the butter and brown sugar together, then beat in your egg and molasses, one ingredient at a time.
Step 2: Add remaining ingredients.
Add spelt flour, baking soda, salt, ground cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Mix to combine and cookie dough forms.
Step 3: Shape into balls and roll in sugar.
With clean hands, shape the dough into balls and then roll in a small dish of sugar until lightly coated. Place on a greased cookie sheet and lightly press each cookie with the back of a fork.
Step 4: Bake
Bake the cookies at 350F for 10 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown and will flatten slightly but this is expected. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack until completely cooled.
Tips for Making the Best Ginger Molasses Cookies
Just a few tips I have to ensure you get the best results with this recipe:
- Don’t skip rolling the dough balls in sugar. I know it adds a little extra sugar, but this helps the outside crisp a little, and it makes the cookies look nice and festive.
- When you press the cookies with a fork, just do it lightly and beware not to flatten them out too much. They will flatten a little in the oven, but we still want to maintain some airy, fluffy texture as well.
I have also tested this recipe with whole wheat flour and they turned out great. If you prefer to use all-purpose flour, this will work too, just add another 1/4 cup.
I have not tried this recipe with plant-based alternatives to butter or eggs, but if you do, please let me know how they turn out!
More Healthier Holiday Treats to Make:
Healthy Chocolate Peppermint Freezer Fudge
Healthy Pistachio Chocolate Cookies
No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Healthy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup fancy molasses
- 2 cups whole grain spelt flour, can sub. whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease 1-2 cookie sheets. Cream the butter and brown sugar together, then beat in the egg and molasses, one at a time.
- Add spelt flour, baking soda, salt, ground cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Mix to combine and cookie dough forms.
- With clean hands, shape the dough into balls and roll in a small dish of sugar until lightly coated. Place on greased cookie sheet(s) and lightly press each cookie with the back of a fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies should be golden brown and will flatten slightly but this is expected. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack until completely cooled.
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Very healthy! A must try recipe.
Thanks Eleanor! So glad to hear you like the recipe.
This recipe looks like a winner. I would like to know if I can use Paleo flour instead of spelt or whole wheat?
Thank you Janet! I have not tested the recipe with anything other than spelt or whole wheat flour so I can’t guarantee they will turn out the same with Paleo flour. If you do give it a try, let me know how it works out and I will update the recipe notes! Happy holidays!
Like your recipe..
Awesome recipe!! Will definitely make them again.
So glad to hear! Thanks Jim. Happy Holidays!
These cookies are super delicious and easy to make. Getting my baking on helped add a little extra Christmas spirit greatly needed this year.. Thankyou for a great recipe.
Hi Megan, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies. Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday! Merry Christmas!
I’m not convinced that just using spelt flour makes a typical cookie recipe (high fat, high saturated fat, high added sugar) worthy of the moniker “healthy”.
While this sounds like a yummy cookie (I will definitely save the recipe to Whisk), I think it tips towards “indulgent” rather than “healthy”.
Thanks for the feedback! I think the term healthy is quite subjective and you’re definitely entitled to that opinion. Nonetheless, I appreciate you saving the recipe!
For gluten free can you sub Casava or almond flour?
Hi Betty, I haven’t tried substituting the flour with a gluten-free option so I cannot guarantee they would turn out with cassava or almond flour. If you do try this, let me know how it turns out and I can update the recipe notes!
Do you ever refrigerate the dough before baking? Any molasses cookie recipe I’ve baked has always needed the dough to chill ahead of time, usually about an hour. Is there a specific reason you skip that step? Also, I haven’t heard of slightly flattening out molasses cookies before they bake. Does the spelt make it necessary for them to be flattened slightly? I tried the recipe but the cookies were super flat and starting to fall apart. I’m thinking chilling and not pressing them down might help. Any thoughts? They were super tasty!
Hi Amy! I have never refrigerated the dough for these cookies. The recipe was adapted from my mom’s ginger molasses cookie recipe and she also never refrigerates the dough prior to baking. The spelt does not require flattening, again this is just something we’ve always done! I will try the recipe again without flattening and with refrigerating and see if it makes a difference! Feel free to let me know if you try that as well. 🙂