Craving gluten free Gingersnaps? Here you go.

Healthy yet tasty gingersnaps are a deliciously addictive traditional holiday cookie. My gluten free, grain free version contain a good dose of anti-inflammatory ginger. I’m passionate about creating desserts that please the palate and contain super foods as well –a win-win situation for myself, my family and my readers.

These cookies are one of those rare vegan, yet primal friendly treats. These nutritious cookies are the perfect primal friendly treat. I won’t call them Paleo as I believe many peeps will take the opportunity to point out that this is not a perfectly Paleo cookie recipe –pretty close though.

My children and I have been baking quite a lot of gluten free, grain free cookies lately. I find this ginger cookie recipe especially easy to make and so do the boys. That’s why I will be preparing these cookies live on Colorado’s “Everyday” Show. The program will broadcast on our local FOX affiliate KDVR, tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 10:45am (MST).

Print Recipe
  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine shortening, honey and vanilla
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough, and roll into a ball
  5. Briefly dip ball into a small bowl of water
  6. Roll wet ball in coconut sugar to coat
  7. Place ball on parchment paper lined baking sheet
  8. Flatten ball with palm of your hand
  9. Bake at 350° for 7-8 minutes
  10. Cool and serve

I went on Twitter last night asking folks a few questions about the holidays. You see, I’m Jewish and was having trouble deciding which cookies are appropriate for Christmas. The verdict was that my Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies are indeed a Christmas treat. I want to thank everyone who responded to my religious-culinary inquiry.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll be tweeting a lot about what I’m making for the holidays this year –feel free to join the conversation.

Update: here’s the video for aforementioned above!


  1. Dawn says

    These cookies have a great “snap” I am going to make some more, I have substituted butter, and Swerve for the honey, and added 1/4 t. nutmeg, just dab cookies with water while patting down if necessary, these taste awesome! Thanks Elana for another great grain free recipe.

  2. finntonia says

    I made these yesterday substituting 3 TBSP butter for the palm shortening. Otherwise exactly as written. Delicious! Fantastic! Helped me resist making that (NYT) stout gingercake recipe that has tons of sugar and flour…Thanks very much!

    • Vanessa says

      Thank you! I scrolled down to see what I could replace the shortening with and didn’t have to look very long! Butter sounds PERFECT! Will get my son to make some of these tonight.

  3. Deborah Wilson says

    I bake using your wonderful almond flour recipes at least 3X wkly and this is the first recipe I haven’t been happy with. It has way too much vanilla for my liking. No biggie, next time I’ll simply use 1 tsp. as opposed to 1 Tbs. Thanks so much for all your recipe’s, Elana. I’ve been waiting anxiously for your almond flour cookbook to arrive from and I don’t know what’s taking so long as I usually get their orders within 3 days. Can’t wait to see it!!!

  4. Emily says

    The dough tastes great but didn’t come together. It was quite crumbly. I added 2 eggs to the mixture & it held together but was then too wet. I tried baking the cookies anyway, but didn’t have success. I’m bummed – almond flour is so expensive!

  5. bigmama says

    I don’t get it. these measurements were all wrong. why hasn’t anyone else said this? it was way too dry. I had to add 3T butter and 2 eggs and it was still too dry. a whole T of extract? too much. is it different in the video? help?

    • bigmama says

      oh, I just read the last few and others had the same problem. oops. I think it needs a stick of butter or shortening and molasses.

  6. Shai says

    These cookies look great – haven’t tried them yet. I have a family member who is gluten free, another who is dairy free, and the gluten free one doesn’t like sugar, but loves biscotti type things. I am about to try this recipe because I can omit the dipping in sugar at the end. Every other recipe I’ve come across uses sugar or other sweetener creamed with shortening or butter as the base, and if not, the baked concoctions I try just don’t hold together and have a weird consistency. Has anyone come across a “savory” cookie, or one where the sweetener isn’t essential?
    Thanks, and Happy Holidays.

  7. deby says

    I had the same issue with the dough being so dry that it would not hold together to form a ball. I added another 1T melted shortening and about 1T melted pastured butter. They are in the oven now. They smell divine, just hope they bake ok with the added fats.

  8. Amanda says

    Carole, I also have that problem. I added a little extra shortening to help it out. I don’t thinked it work though. I’d love to hear Elana’s input.

  9. carole says

    when i make these, as well as the triple-chocolate-chip chocolate cookies, the dough is VERY dry. i have to “knead” it to get any stickiness whatsoever. does anyone else have this problem? i’d love to hear your solutions.

  10. Laura says

    I loved this recipe!! The only thing problem is that all my cookies stuck to the parchment paper terribly. They tasted great but weren’t really cookies, mostly crumbles :(
    Any suggestions to avoid that next time?

  11. May says

    I just made a batch of these for the first time, adding in a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg for punch, and they turned out great (despite only having Bob’s Red Mill almond flour on hand). They just needed an extra 2 minutes in the oven.

  12. Karen says

    For anyone interested in a molasses ginger cookie – I subbed 2 Tbls molasses for the honey and added 1 Tbls maple syrup. I also used almond meal instead of blanched flour and they turned out wonderfully!

  13. says

    These turned out perfectly!! One of my favorite cookie recipes you’ve posted so far Elana!! You’re on a great recipe streak right now…keep it up! :) I rolled these in cinnamon sugar instead of just sugar (I didn’t have coconut sugar). They were delicious!

  14. Jessica Hoopes says

    I was absolutely ecstatic when I found this recipe! Due to some health issues, I have a lot of restrictions with my diet. The holiday’s can be particularly rough with all the sweets hanging around just taunting you to eat them! I love, love, love, gingersnaps, and was having a difficult time making the traditional cookie recipe for friends and family,( I can’t seem to convert them to a gluten free lifestyle),when I stumbled across this recipe!I finally feel like I can enjoy something alongside friends and family, and not feel completely deprived!

    Thank you again for this wonderful recipe!

    Jessica Hoopes

  15. says

    Elana, these were great. Crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. My daughter and I love them.

    One tip for the readers – when Elana says flatten them – FLATTEN THEM. Put a little oil on the bottom of a cup, and press down to flatten to your preference. These cookies do not spread at all.

  16. Alexis says

    Lovely recipe!
    I tried this out last night, and it was incredibly easy. For the ginger, I used half ground powdered and half fresh ginger that I chopped myself. I also used butter in place of shortening and granulated erythritol (a sugar alcohol) for rolling it in. Everything turned out well!

    The only thing was that I only had enough for 12 20g cookies, about 2 inches in diameter. Other than that, really great!

  17. Syd says

    Hi there! I tried these cookies last week and they were awesome! My question: could I freeze the dough to bake later? I’ve done it with doughs that use flour, but never almond flour. Any difference? Any recommendation is appreciated!

    Syd from Halifax

  18. Daisydoo says

    Just made a double batch of these cookies a few minutes ago and they are WONDERFUL! Made a several changes though. Added 1 tsp each of ground cloves & ground cardamon (for 2 batches). Also reduced the oil by 1 TBS (still for two batches, so I used 5 TBS alltogether), added some lemon extract as well and 4 TBS of coconut flour instead of arrowroot to make it SCD legal.I also increased the honey by 2 TBS (for 2 batches still) and added a tad more almod flour to get the right consistency. Did not roll cookies in date sugar as I didn’t have any and don’t know if that would be SCD legal anyway.
    Then I whipped 2 eggwhites and foulded it into the batter at the end. This made the consistency much better and the cookies felt much less gresy. The whipped eggwhites makes quite a diference and I will add that to any cookie/cracker recipe from now on. This is now one of my favorite cookies and it tastes just like Xmas:-).

  19. angela says

    I made these yesterday, and they are gone today. My whole family loved them–they are the only ginger cookies my husband has ever liked. I used the cheaper Trader Joe’s almond meal because it was what I had on hand, and they came out great! Thank you. :)

  20. says

    Made these today and they are delicious! Used organic butter (ended up melting it all to incorporated the honey/vanilla) and rolled in unrefined sugar. I also added a little bit of allspice to add to the depth. Definately a keeper!

  21. Trish says

    I have a quick question. For the directions you state to pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Should I be melting the vegan shortening before mixing with the vanilla and honey?

  22. Rebekah says

    Just made these cookies this afternnon, and my three kids all loved them! I substituted butter in place of the shortening. They had to bake a couple of minutes longer, but were absolutely delicious! Will be making another batch very soon! Thanks Elana for another great recipe!

  23. says

    I just want to say that I’ve been using and recommending your wonderful blog and recipes for some time now. We have a lot of gluten free patients in our Health Center in Hillsborough and are running workshops for them too. Your recipes inspired us to host the First International Gluten-Free Cookie Exchange which will be on December 19th. Details at

  24. says

    Oh thank you for sharing this one! I have to bring gluten free cookies to a holiday party on Friday and this is what I’m bringing. Can’t wait to ry them.

  25. Vanesa says

    They’re delicious! Absolutely perfect. FYI, I always substitute coconut oil when you say to use the vegan shortening and it always comes out great. This is my 4th recipe doing that in. I know you were starting to use coconut oil more so thought you might appreciate that

  26. Jo says

    Adaptions galore and it worked out great. I ground my own almond flour with skins on. Used ground gluten free oat flour instead of arrowroot. Rolled in sugar cinnamon mix instead of putting it in cookie. Finally used coconut oil instead of vegan shortening. Also cooked for 9 min. So good so simple. Thanks for such simple easy recipes.

  27. Sarah C. says

    I just made these with my two and a half year old and they are absolutely delicious!! I used 3 tablespoons of Organic salted butter instead of the shortening and they turned out perfectly! Thanks Elana!

  28. says

    Hi Elana,

    I don’t know a lot about gluten free baking, so I was wondering what the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot does for the recipe? I know it’s used as a thickener for sauces, but what does it do here?

  29. MANDA says

    i was stressed today. then i made these cookies. not stressed anymore;) these are delish and perfect for the holidays!! i think i would like to try adding some real ginger to them next time! i like that big spicy flavor it brings. anyone else tried it? if so, how much?

  30. Jill says

    I just happened to read your post 10 minutes ago so I was able to catch you on the show online! How fun! You did a great job :)

  31. says

    I too have Celiac and have struggled with low blood sugar my whole life. I was told by my naturopath almost two years ago that I am allergice to cane and beet sugars, but I confess I haven’t taken it very seriously. SOunds silly doesn’t it. My blood sugar hovers around 45 and tops out after a big meal as high as 60. I never knew there was a connection! I’m going to try these ginger snaps, AND I am going off sugar. Thank you for your diligence, you are such a good example to me. I’m off to clean my kitchen and prepare to be cane and beet sugar free!

  32. says

    Oh I cannot wait to make these! I was just thinking how I can make gingerbread/snaps work for me and this is PERFECT!

    Any cookie is good for Christmas! I think it’s mostly about traditions. Whichever cookie your family loves whether it’s chocolate chip, sugar cookies in various shapes, or gingerbread.

  33. says

    These cookies look really delicious and perfect for the festive season to come. They remind me of an old fashion swedish cookie that was around when I grew up!

    • Daisydoo says

      Emilia- they DO taste like Swedish cookies, don’t they! I added some cloves & cardemon as well and it tastes just like the “Pepparkakor” I grew up with:-).

      • Donna says

        SCORE!!!..I have searched desperately for a Paleo Pepparkakör recipe…and was wondering if these were similar in taste/texture if the cardamom and clove is added?…Do they taste authentic? Can they be rolled out very thin…Is the flavour better when the dough is given 24 hours or so in the fridge??…Thank you for any enlightenment/advice!!

  34. Maud says

    Sounds very tasty! Since I live in Europe, what is vegan shortening? I think I’ve never heard about it. What can I substitute it with (doesn’t need to be vegan)?

  35. Rosie Slosek says

    Just pointing out that this recipe isn’t vegan. It contains honey. Since honey will keep the dough together, subsituting maple syrup etc probably wouldn’t work, but the traditional gingersnap ingredient of golden syrup probably would. It’s made by Tate & Lyle.

    Please ask if you are making this recipe for a vegan. Most won’t eat honey, although a few do.

  36. Karen says

    Any chance of a molassas ginger cookie? Such memories of those. These will do till then. Maybe I’ll try putting some molassas in and reducing the other sweetner….. They look so good!

  37. Carrie says

    I just made these tonight and they are delicious! My husband and two boys loved them. :) Thanks for such a great recipe.

  38. says

    I have kind of strayed away from using specialty flours – mostly because I was scared of them! Well, now I am starting to see some pretty good reasons to get some, especially blanched almond flour. Wow – they look so crispy and delicious. Thanks for reminding me to step out of my comfort zone a little more often ;)


  39. says

    These look delicious. I’m finding that I’m really enjoying the “primal” baking lately. I think the results are generally tastier than the gluten-free grain-based stuff. Now if I could only come up with a vegan grain-free muffin/quick bread recipe that rocked the world. (hint hint)

  40. says

    Okay, better order more almond flour! These look delish. Last day for the Honeyville discount … anyone who wants it, here is the code:


  41. Ellen says

    Lovely! I find Buckwheat honey to have a very molasses-y flavor so I use it in my grain free, sugar free ginger breads. I bet it would be wonderful in these cookies too!

  42. says

    these look lovely, and i have been begging around the blogosphere for an egg-free & grain-free gingersnap recipe. you must have sensed my desperation! do you think i could use coconut oil in place of shortening? the stores ’round these parts don’t carry anything that isn’t country crock, and i have a pantry full of coconut oil!
    thanks a bil!

    • says

      Not Elana, but I would say coconut oil would work, though you might need just a wee bit less, as it’s more dense (less water) than shortening. I’d try 2.5 T coconut oil + 1/2 T. water.

  43. Cathy says

    Hi Elana,
    I love your cookie recipes- can’t wait to try both the gingersnaps and the peanut butter and jelly ones! However, we only have coconut oil and butter available at our household, no vegan shortening currently in sight. Any ideas on which might be the better substitute? I don’t want to go to the trouble and waste good ingredients if you have an opinion either way. Thank you!!!! Good luck tomorrow on the show!!!!

  44. says

    I had some gingersnaps that a cousin of mine makes…triple ginger. They had tiny chopped up ginger in them…I Love gingersnaps and can’t wait to try these. I would try to add fresh ginger to them as well.

  45. says

    Ooooooo….I can just see that light, crispy cookie floating my way! Pressed like a fried plantain with crispy indentations along the rim and a delicate, soft center…nothing makes this warm December feel like wintery Christmas quite like a little ginger and a warm kitchen! Nice work!

  46. Stephanie says

    Stacy, I have also heard that palm sugar is a non-renewable food. I’d be interested to learn more what you know about it. I’ve also heard that it is actually sustainable, and that once tapped, palm trees can produce sap for 20 years. You can read about that on this website:

    I’ve started using palm sugar because it is low-glycemic, and actually good for you! I can’t have any sugar products, no matter how unrefined it is. I have a sensitivity to cane sugar. I’ve struggled with low blood sugar for most of my life, and cane sugar is a big culprit. Palm sugar is the first sweetener I’ve found that actually makes a crunchy cookie.

    Elana, thank you for posting this recipe. I looked all over for a sugar free ginger snap when I was pregnant, and never found one. Now I get to enjoy them, without the pregnancy nausea. Maybe my two year old will like them too. :)

    • says

      Stephanie, there’s a link to a tropical traditions page with the details about how coconut sugar kills coconut plants in harvesting on the link in the comment. I’ve spoken with them on the phone and can only trust they know what they’re talking about, but it is interesting that elsewhere information is out there about it being sustainable.

      We all have to do the best we can with what works with our body, it was a sad sad day when we decided to give up coconut sugar because we loved it for all those same reasons.

      • Paula Brown says

        Stacy & Kelly & everyone, I’ve been looking up information on coconut sugar, too, since I read the Tropical Traditions information. I see that my local Natural Grocers is now carrying coconut sugar labelled “sustainable” and they are usually pretty careful about the products they carry. So decided to do some more reading. What I found is that, if done correctly, the coconut flower can produce both coconuts and sap. The spadix apparently has lots of flowerets (thousands) and only 10 to 15 would grow into coconuts. The cut or tap in the spadix to collect sap can be made without affecting coconut production, according to the Phillipine Coconut Authority. Now, how to tell whether the particular products we have available are produced correctly is something I don’t know yet, but apparently it is possible.

        To confuse things further, you can also purchase palm sugar, which may or may not be coconut sugar. It can also be made from other varieties of palms, such as date palms.

        Anyhoo, I’ve decided to use a little coconut sugar once in a while. I’m looking forward to hearing any further information and will share any new info I find.

    • says

      There are a lot of misconceptions going around about coconut palm sugar production. It’s been produced in Thailand as the main source of sugar for ages and coconut palms are not in any danger of disappearing and it does not drive up the prices of other coconut products.

      Most important thing to note about coconut nectar: coconut palms blossom and fruit continuously, so there is plenty of nectar and fruit to go around!

      More info:
      ” Coconut palm sugar is produced from Coco Nucifera, the green coconut tree. Palm trees are believed to be the oldest flowering tree on the planet and have had millions of years to adapt and perfect it’s existence in the place it prefers to live; the tropics. If you’ve ever been to the tropics, you know that coconut trees are extremely prolific and coconuts are always being produced. They live in the rainforest and on sandy beaches of deserted islands; seems they can grow pretty much anywhere. So, here is one key point on the sustainability of the coconut tree – it grows almost anywhere in the tropics and requires very little care, if any.

      Because the coconut palm sugar is produced from the nectar that feeds the coconuts production and if coconuts are always being produced from the tree, this means the nectar is always flowing. It is said that coconut palm sugar is 50% – 75% more productive than cane sugar per hectare because of this. Cane sugar is an annual crop, whereas coconut palm sugar has daily harvesting, every day of the year.

      Some other key sustainability points:
      Coconut trees are soil builders
      Coconut trees help prevent erosion
      Coconut trees can provide multiple items for life; timber for building, the leaves used as roofing, coconuts as food, coconut water as beverage, coconut husk for fuel and coconut nectar as a sugar.”

  47. Michelle says

    Elana, can you describe the difference in taste and texture between these gingersnaps and your previous ginger cookies?

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