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Gingerbread Men Cookies

gingerbread men cookies

The other day we had friends over and made tons of gluten free gingerbread men cookies. So many little hands rolling and cutting out dough. We decorated our gingerbread men with dried fruit and nuts. The kids even cut loose and made free form cookie shapes as well.

Gingerbread Men Cookies


  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, cinnamon, ginger powder, cloves, salt and baking soda
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix together grapeseed oil, agave, vanilla, yacon, eggs and lemon zest
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Chill dough in freezer for 1-2 hours
  5. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to ½ inch thick
  6. To make dough even easier to handle sprinkle with almond flour
  7. Remove top sheet of parchment paper, cut out cookies using a medium gingerbread man cookie cutter
  8. Decorate with nuts and dried fruit –we used pieces of lemon rind for the mouth
  9. Transfer with a spatula to a parchment lined baking sheet
  10. Cook at 350° for 12-15 minutes
  11. Cool and serve

Makes 36 gingerbread cookies
Note: this recipe will not come close to working properly without the recommended brands of almond flour

I have been working on this gluten free, dairy free gingerbread recipe for years. At last, I find myself sufficiently satisfied with the recipe and offer it to you for some Christmas cookie baking fun.

posted on December 23, 2007, 37 comments

  1. Susan Cody

    I am looking for good gluten free recipes and came upon your web site. Everything looks and sounds great. Unfortunately, my adult son who has just been diagnosed as gluten intolerant, is also allergic to tree nuts and soy. This limits his use of flours. Is there a flour we can use to replace the almond flour in your recipes? Almond flour sounds delicious but…
    I’m looking forward to your advice. I also run an extended day program in a Waldorf School and would love to use some of these recipes for our snacks, but we are committed to being a nut free kitchen, too. Thanks, Susan

  2. Hi Susan-

    You could try my coconut flour recipes. Just enter “coconut flour” into the search bar on the upper right side of my site. The coconut flour recipes will appear and most of those are nut free.

    Alternatively, you could experiment with the recipes in terms of replacements. Since I specialize in almond flour, my experimentation is in creating and perfecting recipes with that ingredient. I stay away from rice flour and most of the other gluten-free flours as they are super high glycemic.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Christianne

    HI Elana,

    Great that you have this recipe online! But what is yacon powder exactly? I did a search online and it is only (and very limitly) available as syrup in Europe (and hot even in Holland…) I will try to substitute with a little more agave, but if you have any advice here, that’d be very welcome!
    Thanks so much and enjoy a relaxed sunday!
    xox Christianne

  4. Hi Christianne-

    I haven’t ever used yacon powder –I use and link to yacon syrup. I generally link my unusual ingredients to sites that describe and sell them.

    The yacon in this recipe gives the dough a darker color and rich flavor (sort of like the molasses in a standard ginger bread recipe).

    I hope this helps and have a great weekend.


  5. Christianne

    HI Elana,
    Yes, I meant syrup, sorry for the mix-up! The website you link to doesn’t sell outside the US so I searched for it here. Thanks for the advice, I will start experimenting here (I have an adorable gingerbreadman cookie cutter that is just dying to be of use) and will let you know how it worked out, maybe that’ll be helpful to European readers…
    Thanks again and have a great day in the peachpit! (WOW, quel chance!)

  6. Hi Christianne,

    If you find the yacon syrup sold outside the US let me know, and then I will share it in the faq section with my International readers.

    Have fun with the adorable gingerbread man cookie cutter.

    xo Elana

  7. christin

    I was just wondering if I could try my black-strap molasses in this recipe that I have in the fridge. Or do you have something against it? I have heard it’s gluten free and has some minerals in it. Thanks, Christin..I LOVE this site!!

  8. christin,

    You can try and experiment with any ingredient that you desire for this recipe and others, though I don’t know what the results will be. I haven’t cooked with molasses in a decade, though don’t have anything against it.


  9. Betsy

    Hey Elana
    Do you know if yacon syrup is an acceptable sweetener for people with yeast issues and why would you use it over other sweeteners in a recipe (besides offering a dark, molassey flavor)?


  10. Betsy,

    When I had yeast issues I did not use any sweeteners other than stevia, I even avoided fresh raw fruit.

    Yes, I do use yacon syrup for it’s dark molasses flavor, for further info on this sweetener please see my faq.


  11. Stephanie

    Thanks for this recipe. We suspect that my 2 year old has celiac and my 4 year old is wheat intolerant. It has been a tough holiday season with all of the cookies and sweets at friend’s houses and school. We didn’t go to any of the parties we were invited to because I don’t know how to handle it yet. They will be thrilled to make these tomorrow morning. I have been skeptical of making everything with rice flour so I am happy to see almond flour in your recipes. Any idea how long it takes for the symptoms to go away after cutting out gluten(and dairy and soy and corn)? Thanks again.

  12. Stephanie,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I think everyone heals differently. It seems like you are dealing with a very challenging situation. When I was faced with this (I was quite ill and my 3 year old was also not doing well). We went on the strictest phase of the SCD and we saw a difference within a couple of months. I am still grain/soy/corn free, which works very well for me, however my son is now able to be on a regular gluten-free diet, can eat some processed foods (all GF) and is in good health.

    I can totally relate about being overwhelmed with social situations. It takes a while to get comfortable to adapting oneself (and family) to a new eating plan, then the next phase is dealing with it in a public/group setting. Once you adjust, it will get easier. Especially if you can bring treats to share (that work for your family) to parties, etc. Breaking “bread” with friends is the best.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.


  13. Kristin

    I have been enjoying many of your recipes the past 6 weeks. Today we tried the gingerbread cookies using Bob’s Red mill flour since we had run out of the other and it was all we could buy in our local store. Just wanted to report that you were right – the batter was too runny and didn’t work. I tried to thicken it with a little garbanzo bean flour, since we had used all the almond meal we had bought, with no luck. We ended up just making round cookies which my girls decorated with seeds, nuts and raisins. They still had a blast and the cookies tasted very good. I am looking forward to trying your recipe again with the proper ingredients!

  14. Kristin,

    Thanks so much for your comment and the report on almond flour. I spoke with one of my favorite almond flour experts the other day, Lucy Rosset and she confirmed my observations on Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, stating that it is a very coarsely ground product that does not work well.

    I’m glad you managed to salvage the dough and that your girls had fun.

    Take Care,

  15. Lou

    Hi Elana

    Thanks for the great recipe. Just wanted to let Christiane and other European readers know that iherb does ship to Europe. I have ordered some yacon syrup from them and it is very cheap (compared to the European stockists).

    I can’t wait to take delivery so that I can make the cookies!!

  16. Christianne

    Hi Lou,

    Thank you so much for your help, it is much appreciated! Since fall is around the corner, it is almost time to take out all pumpkin recipes and make lots of gingerbread men…!
    Have fun with your baking and let us know how quick they were gone :-)

  17. Jenny

    Would I be able to use this recipe to make a gingerbread house?? I just wasn’t sure if the result would be too soft or not.



  18. Marsha

    I made these the other day. I had to add more flour to get a dough like consistency.
    This could be because I used honey in the place of yacon syrup which I could not find at any of the three health food stores in my area. I am wondering if that was the issue. I added enough to make the recipe act like dough. These were yummy and I think more healthy because of using almond flour. I will make these again. If allergic to nuts, you might try millet flour or a combination of millet and brown rice fours.

    • Marsha,

      It could be that the honey you used was more liquidy than yacon. Another possibility would be the type of almond flour that you used. Do you recall the brand?


      • katy

        my two sons have been wanting to make ginger bread men for some time now…but my experimenting never turns out right! I’m excited I just found this recipe! Now I want to make the kids ginger bread men this weekend just for fun! I did check out your FAQ for my question but I couldn’t find it… when you where experimenting did you try substituting molasses for yacon syrup? If so, can I replace the yacon syrup for molasses?

  19. Suzi

    Hi all and Merry Christmas. I had the same issue with the almond meal here (and I think the fact that its hot and muggy doesn’t help) anyway couldn’t get the cookies into any shape, it was too wet, but, added some rice flour to the top and bottom of the dough before I rolled it out and was able to get them into perfect stars..yippee….Thanks Elana

    • Hi Suzi,

      Great job adapting the recipe to work for you, though wondering what brand of almond flour you used for this. Some brands of almond flour are far too wet, and coarse to work in my recipes, so that can make a difference as well :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Lisa@bakedinmaine.com

    We LOVE “gingerbread boys” and have FUN making them!

    It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them…

    I did a healthy whole-grain version on my blog/site this year.

    Happy Holidaze!


  21. nur

    Hi Elana,

    I saw from reading the comments that you too suffered from yeast issues and sweetened with only stevia. I also saw that you did the SCD diet.

    I know that your focus here is on almond flour (and we adore you for testing out all the recipes and helping us avoid kitchen disasters, and satisfy our sweet tooths). I was just wondering if you have any of your old recipes from when you could only use stevia?

    I have candida and a GI disease, so a combo of the candida and SCD diet is what I have been trying to do. I would love some dessert recipes using stevia as the only sweetener…even though I am still afraid of its aftertaste. I have the astraya stevia but to me it tastes like saccharin or some artificial sweetener-but i need to get used to it so i can have some sweetness in my life!

    thank you elana for these wonderful recipes, and for rescuing me from total depression about what i could not eat. your site helps me realize so much that i can eat!

  22. Lori Clancy

    I love your blog & book & am grateful for all your recipes & ideas! What is yacon?

  23. Laura

    This recipe is terrific and so easy to make. I used honey in place of the yacon syrup, because I can’t get it where I live. The recipe turned out just fine.

    I rolled the dough out a little thicker, and the cookies were nice and chewy. I burned the first batch, though, so the second I cooked at 300 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Much better. I’m not sure why the timing was so off — maybe it’s my oven?

    I’m very happy to have a grain-free, low-sugar cookie to use with my women’s and children’s group next week. Thank you!!!!

  24. Laura

    I just want to follow up and say that I used this recipe with my international women’s and children’s group last week, and they loved it! The moms were so happy that the cookies were healthy but warm and flavorful. The kids loved decorating them with currants and raisins. Plus, since there was no flour required in rolling out the dough, it was the fastest clean-up I’ve ever seen after cookie-making. This recipe is the best I’ve found for low-sugar, gluten-free cookies yet.

  25. LA

    I would love to make these using Coconut Oil and Honey / or Agave syrup. I find the dark agave syrup is too strong tasting. Maybe i can try the light agave. Thank you. I’m nut-allergic to, so will use Brown Rice flour etc…

  26. Carroll Gardens

    Hi Elana – Unlike the other comments on here, upon letting my dough freeze, and now that I am rolling it out, the dough is very crumbly and I am having difficulty keeping it together? I’m kind of a baking newbie, so any suggestions to get my dough to the necessary consistency would be greatly appreciated. So looking forward to finally having some gingerbread cookies! It’s been so long!


  27. Sara

    I subbed olive oil for the grapeseed, honey for the agave and 1/2 molasses and 1/2 honey for the yacon, since I live in Morocco and can’t find , grapeseed, agave and yacon here. Anyway, after refrigerating the dough for 2 hrs it was only a little thinker than the batter of a quick bread. So I added 1 Cup more almond flour and it was slightly better. After chilling it again I then pulled the dough out to roll it. Making the gingerbread men was virtually impossible because of the consistency of the dough so I resorted to round discs. They took longer to cook than stated in the recipe, but it was worth it because they were delicious. Flavor wise the only thing I’d prefer different is more ginger, the spices are very subtle. Although the process was trying, I’d still make them again, but with more almond flour, maybe softened butter so that when chilled the dough is firmer, and more ginger. Thanks for posting this recipe, it was a great guide in making almond flour gingerbread cookies!

  28. Linda Reidelbach

    Dear Elana, My nutrition coach led me to your website. Love it! And have directed others there as well. Two of our grandsons have nut allergies. Any suggestions on substitution for almond flour so they can have the Gingerbread Men?
    Thank you.

  29. Jen

    Hi Elana, I want to make this recipe into a large disc to go on top of my GF christmas fruit cake with a decorative iced pattern. My Question is, is this a sturdy biscuit or is it fragile. I also will use brown rice syrup as my sweetener (fructose free) instead of the agave and I do hope I get a similar result(cross fingers). Thank you so much for your wonderful site I have been browsing it for a while after I bought your Almond flour cook book (since gone missing)and I just soooo! love it, along with my new grain free lifestyle.

    Kind regards from Australia!

  30. Peggy

    How did you decorate the gingerbread men with nuts and dried fruit (before you baked them) or did you use some type of frosting to
    have it stick afterwards.

  31. Katie M @ @ibdkatie

    This recipe sounds great; do you have any suggestions for adapting it to just be a gingerbread loaf/cake?

  32. maria

    I have diabetes and celiac. I made your recipe blood sugar friendly by subbing the honey and yacon : instead used 1 1/4cup Swerve and 1/4 cup water for those. Hope that helps someone! (Swerve is just erythritol… easier on the tummy than other sugar alcohols and zero carbs affecting blood sugar!)

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top