Paleo Ginger Cookies (Gluten Free!)
Paleo Ginger Cookies – These gluten-free, dairy-free ginger cookies are absolute perfection! Lightly crisp edges and tender in the middle (or not! Your choice!).
Originally posted Sept. 2015. Recipe, post, and photos updated Dec. 2017.
I love hearing other people’s favorite holiday foods. Everyone seems to have a few foods woven throughout their holiday traditions, whether that’s fondue on New Year’s Eve, or waffles for Christmas breakfast, or a special cake for Christmas Eve.
One of my favorite, feels-like-the-holidays treats is a really good ginger cookie. I’m looking for something crispy along the edges and soft in the middle with the perfect sugary-crackle on top. These paleo ginger cookies are exactly that. They’re ginger cookie perfection! Now, let me fill you in on all my secrets…
My first trick is a combination of flours. The texture is just right, thanks to a blend of almond flour and arrowroot (or tapioca starch). The starchy arrowroot keeps them light and crisp, while the almond flour helps them turn golden and gives them enough body. I love that they fill my house with notes of molasses and zingy ginger. Plus, they freeze like a dream, so you can always bake them ahead of time and pull them out when needed. (Like, every night after you tuck your kids in bed, for instance).
Second is chilling the dough and using parchment paper. For a long time, I used to think it was one of those superfluous fancy baking things that people like Martha Stewart and Ina Garten used because they could. Sort of like imported Japanese tea, or Swiss chocolate, or vanilla extract made from the tears of virgin milkmaids.
But it’s real life.
I believe in parchment paper. It’s a DREAM for clean-up and prevents burning. I hardly ever bake without it, and these ginger cookies are no exception. Some ginger cookies have a tendency to scorch on the bottom, and I’ve found that a light-colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat) is a fail-proof plan for perfectly baked ginger cookies. (I think even Ina would approve.)
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR PERFECT PALEO GINGER COOKIES:
LET’S TALK ALMOND FLOUR. You really want to use finely ground, blanched almond flour. It’s got the finest grain and makes a BIG difference in how these bake up. I’ve had good luck with Honeyville almond flour, Trader Joe’s blanched almond flour, etc.
Because the density of almond flour varies brand to brand depending on how finely ground it is, you may possibly want to add an extra tablespoon or two of almond flour to your dough if you are using a different brand than the ones I’ve mentioned. If you’re nervous, you can bake a test batch with just 2-3 cookies and see how they spread. If they spread more than you like, add a bit more flour and give that a whirl.
DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!!! The chilling step is pretty critical for preventing too much spread. Parchment or a silicone baking mat will also help, so it’s really worth using one. (Not to mention the easy clean-up!)
A NOTE ON SWEETENERS. I’ve made these with both coconut sugar and maple sugar. They’re delicious either way. If you don’t have either one (or don’t follow a paleo diet), you can substitute half white and half brown sugar.
Second, I know that turbinado sugar is NOT paleo approved. It’s an optional step, and one I’m happy to take during the holidays for a treat. I really love the crispy, sugary crunch it gives to the outside of the cookie (not to mention the sparkle!), but if you’re strictly paleo, you can skip that step.
A NOTE ON SHORTENING. If you’re rolling your eyes at the idea of using shortening, I understand. I use Spectrum or Nutiva brands (non-hydrogenated and more sustainably sourced). If you’re not dairy free, butter would also work, so feel free to substitute it in, if you prefer.
LOVE THESE PALEO GINGER COOKIES? YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE OTHER PALEO TREATS…
- Paleo & Vegan Hot Chocolate
- Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
Paleo Ginger Cookies
- Total Time: About 50 minutes
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
Paleo Ginger Cookies – These grain free, dairy free ginger cookies are absolute perfection! Lightly crisp edges and tender in the middle (or not! Your choice!).
- 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I like Spectrum brand. Butter would also work.)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (about 114g) blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)
- 1 cup (about 128g) arrowroot flour (sometimes called arrowroot starch)
- optional: 1/4-1/3 cup turbinado sugar (sometimes called Sugar in the Raw) for rolling
- In a food processor (or stand mixer, or a bowl with a hand mixer), combine shortening and sugar.
- Add vanilla, molasses, and egg. Pulse (or mix) to combine.
- Add spices, salt, baking soda, almond flour, and arrowroot, and pulse to combine. (Dough will come together in a big ball.)
- Transfer cookie dough to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Pour turbinado sugar into a small dish. Scoop 1″ balls of dough and roll into balls. Dip tops of the balls in sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Bake 8 cookies at a time at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden around the edges but still slightly wet in the centers.
- Let cool 2-3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes to chill
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Cookies, Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Paleo Ginger Cookies, Gluten Free Ginger Cookies, Paleo Gingersnaps, Gluten Free Gingersnaps
Absolutely perfect ginger cookies! I only used 1/2 cup of coconut sugar and used organic cane sugar for rolling. They were exactly what I was wanting. 💕
Oh good! I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you for leaving a review–I appreciate it so much! 🙂
Arrow root and tapioca flour aren’t the same, but tapioca flour worked fine.
These are mighty tasty! Nice texture and balance of molasses and ginger. These are certainly a do again recipe.
You’re totally right–they’re not the same! (I just try to provide substitutes whenever possible). I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies! 🙂
Hey there! I assume the ginger in this recipe is dried, but wanted to check. (I have a ton of fresh ginger so I’ll be making these with fresh, but I have to convert the measurements if you used powdered!)
Brooke – Hi! Yes, this recipe calls for dried ginger not fresh. Best of luck converting it!
Wow! These are delicious! I usually wouldn’t comment if I made changes, but if there are others that are looking in their pantry during the pandemic and don’t have exactly everything or have dietary restrictions I wanted to share my success story with these. I used a mixture of ghee and coconut oil (3:1, had more ghee than coconut oil) and 1/2 cup coconut sugar and they turned out amazing! I also added a little cardamom & cloves, because, yeah, delicious. I would have also added a little cayenne, but didn’t have it. They turned out crispy with a slight chew, a crinkle on the top and didn’t spread out too far. This is a keeper for sure! I made them as a base for bourbon balls, but ended up eating most of them before I could make the balls. The few that got made were delicious as well!
Natalie – Thank you so much for sharing!
I lost an old recipe that I had for my Gran’s ginger biscuits, and this made a great substitution now that I am gluten free. I did use the maple sugar, and it does add a great boost of flavor. Thank you for sharing this! Perfect for the holidays!
Oh, lovely! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review Kirsten!
Would potato flour work for these ginger gluten free cookies?
Sue – I would not recommend that substitution. You must use almond flour where called for in this recipe.