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!

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are 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 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 gingerbread 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 soft 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 Santa’s request list!

Why these healthy holiday cookies are awesome.

You mean, besides the fact that these Soft Carrot Gingerbread Cookies 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 melt 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.

The batter for soft gingerbread cookies in a bowl after being mixed.

Suggested Adaptations

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.

A soft carrot gingerbread cookie on a plate with a bite taken out of it. A hand is taking the cookie and there are other cookies on a cooling rack next to it and on the table.

Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!

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.

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Other holiday recipes you will adore…

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Soft carrot gingerbread cookies on a cooling rack. They are drizzled with maple icing.
5 from 4 votes

Soft Carrot Gingerbread Cookies

Yield: 14 cookies
These soft Gingerbread Cookies are going to become a new holiday season baking staple. Perfectly spices, just the right amount of molasses, and the addition of carrots makes enjoying these holiday cookies a little sweeter!

Ingredients
 

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

Equipment

  • grater

Instructions
 

  • 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.

For Icing

  • 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.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 101mg, Potassium: 150mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 807IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg