Grandma’s Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Recipes, Snacks and TreatsComments: 26

gingerbread cookies

My paternal Grandmother wasn’t much of a cook but, boy oh boy, could she ever bake!

I was fortunate growing up that Grandma and Grandpa lived about a half mile down the road from my parent’s home.  Grandma would start her Christmas baking right after Thanksgiving each year, churning out batch after batch of all sorts of holiday cookies.  My 6 siblings and I couldn’t wait to jump on our bikes and ride over to sample the freshly made goodies after getting home from school each day.

Grandma’s gingerbread cookies were my absolute favorite which she carefully cut out into gingerbread boys, stars, Christmas trees, and Santa shapes for me to decorate with icing and sprinkles at her kitchen table.

I make Grandma’s gingerbread cookies every single Christmas as a tradition for my own children as well, and they love them just as much as I still do!

Surprisingly, my Grandma’s very gingerbread cookie recipe originally called for Crisco and white flour from the store.   Yikes!

Needless to say, I’ve changed up the gingerbread cookies recipe up quite a bit to be healthier and even tastier than the ones I grew up enjoying!

I know Grandma would be proud if she were still here to taste this new and improved version of her gingerbread cookies herself!

Grandma’s Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread cookiesMakes about 3 dozen cookies


4 1/2 cups sprouted flour (sources)

1 cup expeller pressed coconut oil (sources)

1 cup sucanat (sources)

1 cup blackstrap molasses (sources)

1 egg

1 tsp baking soda

1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon (sources)

1 tsp ground ginger (sources)

1 tsp cloves (sources)

pinch of sea salt (sources)


Warm coconut oil in a small glass bowl on the stovetop and blend with sugar in a glass mixing bowl. Mix in molasses and beaten egg.

Sift flour with baking soda and spices and blend into wet ingredients one cup at a time until all the flour used.

Roll out dough to any thickness desired and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

Decorate gingerbread cookies with homemade butter frosting if desired.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (26)

  • Sarah

    How sweet are these? Are they crunchy or soft?

    December 16th, 2012 10:44 am Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Soft …. Mmmmmmm :)

    December 16th, 2012 11:20 am Reply
    • bianca

      Sara, how about the original recipe also. Then we could decide which one to make !

      December 17th, 2012 1:05 am Reply
  • Danielle

    Could I make a gingerbread house with this recipe ?

    December 16th, 2012 11:29 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      These cookies are soft .. don’t think a house would hold together too well.

      December 16th, 2012 1:23 pm Reply
  • Carol

    Did you use sprouted whole wheat white flour?

    December 16th, 2012 11:37 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I actually made a batch just last night and used sprouted kamut (I buy the berries sprouted and then grind into sprouted flour fresh when I use it). You can use whatever sprouted flour you like though.

      December 16th, 2012 1:22 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    Wow! These look delicious. Do you think I could do a sourdough version?

    December 16th, 2012 12:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Not sure … that would really affect the flavor I think. Sprouted flour works beautifully.

      December 16th, 2012 1:22 pm Reply
  • D.

    If you changed the recipe from the original, they’re not your gramma’s cookies at all. When something is a tradition, best to keep to the original whether it’s what you think of as healthy or not. I would not use Crisco, but I would use butter, and many recipes substitute butter for margarine and oleo, etc, without it being considered a *real* change. But you’ve changed the entire recipe! I’m sure gramma didn’t have sucanat and coconut oil.

    December 16th, 2012 1:53 pm Reply
  • Holly

    So, if I’m correct, Crisco is just the new substitute for where people USED to use leftover lard from meat preparation?? Do you know anything about traditional baking using lard- gingerbread and pie crusts etc?? I know the older woman in my rural southern community i just moved from have always and often still do use rendered lard for their amazing pie crusts! I’d love to learn more about how and also making sure we don’t impart a strange undesired flavor into the baked goods. For some things their just seems to be no substitute- even using butter in place of other things in my pie crust is often an epic fail! I think I’ve maybe seen a writing about this from some WAP blogger…hmmmm… Now my mind is wandering. Some lard and healthy flower could sure make a nutritious crust for fruity pies and quiches!

    December 16th, 2012 2:04 pm Reply
  • Tavie

    I have a gas stove. How would I use a glass bowl on it? Wouldn’t it break? Any reason I couldn’t use a normal saucepan to heat up coconut oil? Thanks!

    December 16th, 2012 2:05 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Sure, a saucepan is fine. I just like glass as you can more easily judge when it is melted from across the kitchen so you can get it off the heat and it doesn’t get too hot.

      December 16th, 2012 2:52 pm Reply
    • Christine

      Tavie, I just put coconut oil in a glass Pyrex measuring cup and stuck it in the oven while the oven is preheating. Then I just take it out as soon as it’s mostly melted so it doesn’t get too hot.

      December 16th, 2012 4:07 pm Reply
  • alice

    fun idea but, yikes, tooooooo much sugar/sweeteners!
    happy holidays.

    December 16th, 2012 2:41 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Absolutely nothing wrong with homemade cookies made with natural sweeteners once in awhile. We have tastebuds that sense and like sweetness … ever notice how incredibly SWEET mother’s milk is? (yes, I’ve tasted it!)

      December 16th, 2012 2:54 pm Reply
      • Megan

        hahaha yah me too. Just about 1month ago as I’m nursing. Taste real sweet! I tell my baby yum yum that’s good stuff huh!

        December 17th, 2012 9:40 am Reply
  • Shelby

    I’m wondering if you could use almond flour in place of the flour since we are grain free right now. Also, sugar free. Honey or would that completely change the recipe?

    December 16th, 2012 3:02 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    Thank you for sharing a healthy Christmas cookie recipe that is so simple. I will definitely try to make these.

    December 16th, 2012 3:05 pm Reply
  • Fawn

    I’m wondering if you can taste the coconut oil? My husband abhors the taste of coconut, lol, but I sneak it in when I can 😉

    December 16th, 2012 7:42 pm Reply
    • Andresa

      I doubt there would be any noticeable flavor from the coconut oil. Gingerbread gets its strong flavor from the molasses and the spices. Just like you wouldn’t expect to notice the flavor of butter or Crisco if that’s what was used as the fat, you shouldn’t expect to notice the coconut oil.

      December 24th, 2012 11:55 am Reply
  • Megan

    sounds great. Just what I do to alot of cooky recipes. great idea!

    December 17th, 2012 9:34 am Reply
  • Meagan

    I just made these with my child. They turned out so well! They are very tasty, not overly spicy, nor super sweet. Thanks for the recipe!

    December 21st, 2012 4:20 pm Reply
  • Deanna

    If I halve the recipe will it turn out fine? Not an experienced baker here :) Thanks for everything you do!

    December 22nd, 2012 1:11 pm Reply
  • Julio Belizaire

    I am not really a pro at baking but this recipe is really good so I will try it. Your recipe is healthy and the recipe is not complicated at all that’s why I love it even more. Your grandma is truly a good baker.

    December 23rd, 2012 2:45 pm Reply
  • Beth

    I looked at the websites for both sources of sweeteners and neither has molasses as a product for sale. Can you recommend a source for good blackstrap molasses? Thank you!

    January 4th, 2013 9:35 pm Reply

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