Gingerbread Cookies

Here’s a recipe for wheat-free, sugar-free gingerbread cookies. They’re rich with the spices that smell like the holidays: ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. They’re great plain, spread with cream cheese (pumpkin cream cheese, in particular), or dipped in coffee.

(I tried shaping them into gingerbread men and Christmas trees with a cookie cutter, but found that the dough wouldn’t hold its shape coming out of the mold. So I settled for simple round shapes. Still tasted great!)







Yields approximately 20 cookies.

2 1/2 cups ground almonds
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Sweetener equivalent to 1 cup sugar (or sweeten to taste)
1 large egg
3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, melted
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine almonds, coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder, and sweetener in large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Stir in egg, coconut oil or butter, cream cheese, coconut milk, and vanilla and mix together thoroughly. If dough is too stiff, add additional coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is achieved.

With a spoon or by hand, shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Flatten to 3/4-inch thickness. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick withdraws dry.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Linda

    Is there anything to sub for cream cheese as I am dairy free due to allergies. Thanks they sound great.

    • Yvon

      Linda, you could always try it with almond butter. Won’t give the same result as with cream cheese but should still be pretty darn good.

    • DavidS.

      If you have a Trader Joe’s around, I just made a batch with their non-dairy spread called, “This Is Not a Tub of Cream Cheese, This Is a Tub of Non-Dairy Spread”. They came out excellent!

      • I was wondering the very same thing as I am also dairy free and I find a lot of the wheat free recipes include dairy…its always challenging (but fun) to find substitutions! I wish I had found this recipe the other night because my gluten free gingerbread cookies were a disaster! I’ll try this one…:-)

  2. Dr. D, Great minds think alike. I decided to make some gingerbread cookies this morning. My recipe turned out great! Mine is a little bit different than yours. I used 3 cups of flax flour and 1 cup of almond meal. Trader Joes has the most wonderful pumpkin pie spice. I used 2 tbs of it .I then added 2 tbs of baking soda and 2cups of stevia. 1/2cup of coconut milk and 4oz of melted butter ..add 4 eggs and 1tbs of vanilla. Stir until incorporated and drop by the large ball onto parchment paper lined sheet. The recipe makes 18 large cookies. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. I like mine crisp so I left the sheets in the oven with it turned off . Enjoy!

  3. Heather

    Morning, I know this is a bit off topic, but … Do y’all think I can use almond flour to bind meatballs? Thanks so much, heather

  4. JJ

    I made these last night and they were delicious. I would adjust the spices for my preference next time, but that’s no biggie. I also ran out of ginger (gasp!).

    Each year I make my coworkers biscotti as their Christmas gift. This year with the ban on wheat and the fact that I’m at a new workplace, I figured I might just skip it. But I found a great White Chocolate Biscotti (at Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious blog) and then these ginger cookies. Once they were done, I drizzled them with white chocolate (not sugar-free, but hey!) and they were perfect with the white chocolate biscotti in a little cellophane bag with a gold bow. My workmate was so impressed that they had no wheat and no sugar (well, mostly no sugar – just the chocolate chips!)! He is also no wheat as well and waiting for his copy of Wheat Belly. He was so grateful (as am I) to have a delicious treat without wheat or sugar.

    Thanks for posting, Dr. Davis!

    • Excellent, JJ!

      Gotta keep a fresh supply of ginger on hand! One thing I’ve come to accept with this style of cooking is that a bit more spices and herbs are generally required. So I go through this stuff like mad.

  5. Well I thought they were just a bit on the dry side. But then, I made them half size so I wound up with almost 40 cookies. And I was out of coconut milk (gasp!) so had to sub in hwc. Next time I’m going to add another egg and see if that helps. Good flavor though! Even hubby (“I won’t give up my bread!”) liked them.

  6. Margie

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I have a question on the recipe. I have an issue with grinding almonds. I usually turn them into almond butter, instead of ground almonds. Any hints?

  7. Joyce

    I have now died and gone to heaven with this recipe.

    Margie, not Dr. Davis here, but do you have a Trader Joes near you? I get all my almond meal there – for a great price. Too pricy at Whole Foods market or through amazon.

    Also, I have successfully ground my own almonds. Buy a big bag of unsalted almonds from Costco. Put about a cup at a time in your food processor (NOT blender). Use the “pulse” feature so you have more control. Pulse until ground into a nice coarse meal. The secret is not to grind too finely or yes you could end up with almond butter. I hope this helped.

  8. Ann-Marie Grey

    found a “bread” recipie closest thing to something like bread made with wheat that is made in the microwave,
    1/3 cup flaxseed meal
    1/3 cup almond flour
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    pinch of fine sea salt
    1 large egg
    1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 Tbsp heavy cream
    mix together put into microwave safe dish sprayed with nonstick spray, microwave on high for about 1 minute or until no longer tacky in center
    Flatten top as smooth as possible, I used a small square dish that gave me a bread shape, I was able to toast this bread the next day. very nice. makes two slices or three thin slices

  9. Helen

    Anyone who has made them – coconut milk from a can, or coconut milk in the refrigerated dairy section?

    I can’t even wait to have the aroma in my kitchen! : )

  10. Helen

    These are great and even better the 2nd day. The consistency changes to more cake-like. Soooo good!
    Thanks, Dr. Davis!

  11. Tim

    OT, Dr. Davis, but you might consider adding a +1 button to your blog if you can. Many of us are moving away from the tyrannical practices of facebook and over to Google+. I would love to +1 this, not only because it is a great recipe, but when I do that, it also shows up in my profile.

    Thanks for the listening!


  12. susan

    I noticed someone was concerned about they phytates in nuts, I have heard that soaking removes this and found this article.
    When such a large amount of pancreatic enzymes are needed to digest unsoaked nuts, the enzymes are not available to perform their regular maintenance of the body. A continuous diet of unsoaked nuts is so taxing to the pancreas that it can actually swell with distress. Since a happy pancreas keeps you happy, this is not something your want to have happen. This is why most nutritionists and raw foodists suggest eating only very small amounts of nuts.

    Roasting nuts will destroy the inhibitor, but there are definite disadvantages to roasting nuts. In addition to destroying many of their nutrients, roasting nuts usually involves added oil which is most likely in the form of a seed oil. When heated to a high temperature seed oils produce an abundance of free radicals. Dry roasting nuts is detrimental to their fatty acids and destroys their flavor to such an extent that seasoning or even MSG is often added to make up for the missing taste. Although roasting destroys the inhibitor, it also destroys the enzymes in the nut that the body needs to make it easily digestible. So eating dry roasted nuts also puts a strain on the pancreas.

    Soaking nuts answers the problem of the inhibitor since soaking replicates the conditions nature would provide for removing it prior to germination. Soaking is the process in which all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and enzymes that have been lying dormant in nuts are released. Soaking eliminates toxins in the nuts and solves the problem of the lack of taste in raw nuts, as the flavor of the nut is released along with the nutrients. Soaking foods before eating is not something new. It dates back thousands of years and is still in practice today in non-meat eating cultures where nuts play a central part in the diet.

    This traditional process is also called sprouting, although not every nut that is soaked can be sprouted. The process begins with fresh undried nuts that are soaked in water with the addition of a pinch of sea salt for twelve to twenty-four hours depending on the nut. They should be rinsed and the water changed periodically. Taste them then too to determine what stage of soaked nut you like the best. When the soaking time is up, they are removed from the solution and slowly dried at a very low temperature with low humidity. The drying heat is less than is used in the controversial pasteurizing process, and it is never high enough to destroy any of the nut’s natural enzymes so needed for ease of digestion.

    Soaking and drying nuts is a time consuming process, but one with a big pay off. Soaked nuts are so easily digested that they can be eaten in large amounts. They have greater nutritional value than unsoaked nuts, and are crunchy like roasted nuts. Nuts suitable for soaking can be bought online. The website of Sprout People offers a good selection of organic fresh nuts. The flavor of soaked nuts is superb.

    Learn more:

  13. Courtney Appleton


    I found the ground almonds too expensive so I decided to buy almond flour instead. Do you think that will work? Thanks!

    • Dr. Davis

      Usually it’s the other way around, Courtney, with almond flour about twice as expensive as the ground almonds.

      Both work well, but the flour tends to yield a lighter end-product.

  14. Brianna

    I tried to make these yesterday and they were so awesome :) the aroma was great and I couldnt wait to try them. Mine came out a bit soft, cake like, but i think that was due to too overdoing the moist ingredients. I cant wait to perfect these in time for christmas so I can give them to all my friends.
    Thanks Dr Davis for a wonderful, guilt free recipe. I am typing this at work while having a cookie for breakfast with a glass of almond milk right now! :)

  15. Sandy Payne

    First of all, I love the recipes that you send via email. I made these cookies last week and OMG! So good! Thank you for posting it. I would love it if you included the nutritional value. I have been counting my carbs. Thank you again for the delicious recipe. I had mine cookies with almond milk. YUM!

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Sandy–

      Whether good or bad, I purposely left out the nutritional content to discourage the notion that calories count. They do NOT.

      However, because carbohydrates grams do, indeed, count, the newest recipes in the Wheat Belly Cookbook will include nutritional analyses.

      • Jeannette

        These cookies are amazing! I used two more TBSP of the cocoa and 1 more TBSP of the ground almonds and coconut flour to thicken them a bit. My kids loved them too. As healthy as they are, I didn’t feel too bad eating one with my morning coffee!

        I recommended them to my friend because her husband is newly diabetic and is disappointed about not eating cookies during the holidays. Wondering how many carbs are in each of these cookies. Thanks!


  16. Rebecca

    Just made these cookies, took out cream cheese cause hubby is off dairy, put in less almond 2 1/3 cup found they could be formed well like sugar cookies, think that these could be cut into ginger bread man, more dry I guess with out cream cheese, taste good. My 22 month old daughter tried to get another and another after having one, really cute cause they are super healthy compared to all the other sweets she has tried gf birthday cake, homemade pancakes gf,etc. Anyways super yummy, thanks for the recipe.

  17. Kathy

    Hi Dr. Davis! In response to Denise Waldron’s question, “Should the sweetener be liquid or powder?” you answered, “Either way, Denise. I used a combination of liquid stevia and Truvia and it turned out just fine.” What were your measurements for both the liquid Stevia and the Truvia? Thanks!