These soft Gingerbread Cookies are going to become a new holiday season baking staple. Perfectly spiced and the addition of carrots makes enjoying these holiday cookies a little sweeter!Jump to Recipe
Soft gingerbread cookies
Gingerbread cookies is a holiday staple but, truthfully TNNers, I have never been a big fan.
Correction. I have never been a big fan of the hard gingerbread men cookies decorated with hard, tooth-breaking royal icing.
However, when you TNNer emailed me saying “Hey, Taesha! We NEED some holiday cookie recipes!”, I couldn’t help but feel like I needed to make a gigngerbread cookie of some sort happen.
And, friends, these soft carrot gingerbread cookies have won over my heart and tastebuds.
Not only do they have a much softer texture but still rock of those warm spices that just taste like the holiday season. Plus, they are just so darn festive and EASY!
Made extra special with optional (but totally recommended!) simple maple icing drizzled allllll over them, I think Santa is going to want to see these on his cookie plate this year.
At least, the TNN’s house Santa does!
These awesome sauce cookies were made in collaboration with my veggie-lovin’, queen-of-flavors pal, Heather from Happy Kid’s Kitchen. Her Healthier Monster Cookies might also be on Sant’s request list!
Why these healthy holiday cookies are awesome.
You mean, besides the fact that these soft carrot gingerbread are are insanely delicious?
- They are a flavor bomb! They taste just like gingerbread cake. But in cookie form and with a drizzle of maple icing.
- Soft, perfectly chewy. Just how I like them.
- Made from whole wheat and considerably less sugar than most Christmas cookie recipes.
- The added carrots add moisture and flavor to the cookies but almost melts into the cookie goodness.
I’m pretty obsessed with these gingerbread cookies and think you are going to love them just as much. A little holiday indulgence but with some healthier swaps that doesn’t take away any of the flavor or enjoyment.
Want the cookies to be gluten-free?
Use your favorite gluten-free flour blend and make sure the oats say certified gluten-free on the package.
Can I use regular “old-fashioned” rolled oats instead of “quick oats”?
Yes, but you need to pulse them in a food processor to break them down a little bit first. Use ½ cup rolled oats, process them 5 to 8 times, then measure the 1/3 cup you need for the recipe. You want there to still be some larger pieces of oats and not completely blend them into a flour.
Can I leave out the oats completely?
Yes, the cookies may have a slightly different texture, but you can use ¼ cup additional flour instead of the oats.
Can I make these cookies egg-free?
Yes, I would use a flax “egg” or other egg baking substitute in place of the one egg in the recipe. To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp of water. Set aside to thicken for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
What can I use instead of molasses?
The molasses really gives the cookies that distinct gingerbread taste. However, if you aren’t able to get some, you can use a thick honey instead (this will make the cookies a little more sweet as well).
Can I make these cookies nut-free?
Yes, use sunflower seed butter or your favorite seed butter to make them nut-free.
Just an FYI that when you combine baking soda + sunflower seed butter and bake them together, the end result can turn a bit green. Totally edible and the green tint might be hidden by the deep brown color of the molasses, but just a heads up! Though green is a festive color too…..
Kitchen gear used to make these cookies…
I get asked all the time for kitchen tools that help make adding veggies to meals easy breezy. I used a box grater for this gingerbread cookie recipe.
I HIGHLY suggest adding a box grater to your kitchen. They are cheap, easy to clean and are easy to store. Plus, they let you grate veggies at different sizes for different uses.
I used a fine grate for these cookies so that the carrots almost melted into the cookies. You can use a larger grate if you prefer, but it will likely change the texture of the cookies.
affiliate link below
Other holiday recipes you will adore…
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins
- Gluten Free Gingerbread Pancakes
- Chewy Paleo Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Breakfast Pumpkin Soufflé
Soft Carrot Gingerbread Cookies
Soft Carrot Gingerbread Cookies
- 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
- 1/3 cup natural, unsweetened almond butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 large egg (or egg substitute)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt omit if nut butter is salted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour can sub all-purpose or gluten-free flour blend
- 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats use certified gluten free oats if needed
Maple Icing (optional)
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1-2 teaspoons milk of choice
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly with oil.
- Pat the grated carrot dry in a kitchen towel or with paper towels to remove some of the excess moisture. Add it to a large bowl.
- Add the almond butter, applesauce, molasses, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined. Stir in the spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour and oats then mix, using a spoon or spatula, until just combined.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie onto your prepared pan. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely then drizzle on icing, if using.
- Mix powdered sugar, maple syrup, and 1 tsp of milk together in a small bowl. It will seem very thick at first but keep mixing. If your icing is too thick to drizzle off of a spoon, then add a little more milk and mix again. You don’t want the icing to be too thin or it won’t harden on top of the cookies. If you accidentally add too much milk, add more powdered sugar until you have a thick enough icing. Use right away.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!