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Decorated gingerbread men cookies on white background

Naturally Sweetened Gingerbread Cookies

Naturally-sweetened gingerbread cookies are the perfect way to get a taste of the holidays with a little less sugar! A fun afternoon task for toddlers and bigger kids that involves decorating their own Christmas cookies.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Diet Low Lactose
Fridge Life? Store at room temp in airtight container for 2 weeks
Freezable? Yes, up to 6 months
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 95kcal
Author Dora


  • Mixer


Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups wholegrain flour
  • ½ cup birch sugar (xylitol)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ginger powdered
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powdered
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp anise dried
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cilantro (coriander) dried

Wet Ingredients

Royal Icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • few drops lemon juice


The Dough

  • Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and either mix with your hands or use the dough hook of your mixer until it sticks to the hook.
  • Refrigerate the dough for an hour to firm up.

The Cookies

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Lightly flour your surface and roll out the dough. To avoid adding extra flour to the dough you can also simply roll it between to sheets of parchment paper. Roll until about ¼ inch / ½ cm thick before cutting out your cookie shapes.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the cookies to the baking try leaving about 1 cm / ½ inch space between them.
  • Put in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Once you see that they're starting to brown around the edges, remove them from the oven and let them cool.

The Icing

  • Wisk the egg white for a couple minutes before adding a few drops of lemon juice. Then add (sifted) icing sugar bit by bit while continuing to mix until you have a completely smooth consistency.

Decorate Your Cookies

  • Divide the icing into separate bowls and add a little food coloring if desired. Then use a decorating bag to decorate the cookies, or draw the icing on with a chopstick.
  • Add mini marshmallows, edible eyes, chocolate chips or whatever else you enjoy!


Top Tips

To prevent the dough from sticking to the kitchen counter, don't forget to lightly (lightly!) flour the surface before you roll out the dough. Alternatively, you can also roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
Don't overbake your cookies! Remove them from the oven when they start browning at the edges – they might seem a little too soft still but don't be tempted to throw them back in. They will firm up as they cool down!
Make your own icing sugar by simply blending table sugar into a fine powder. Just make sure to use a bone-dry blender. You can also blend the birch sugar and use that instead.


Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg