These easy vegan paleo gingerbread men are beautifully spiced and not too sweet, free from grains, refined sugar and with dairy free options.
- 210g (1 + 3/4 cup) fine almond flour (or almond meal)
- 81g (3/4 cup) arrowroot flour
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp orange zest- optional
- 60g (1/4 cup) butter OR 55g (1/4 cup) coconut oil
- 75g (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp molasses OR dark, floral honey (I use Jarrah Honey)
- To decorate- paleo/vegan dark chocolate chips (optional)
- I recommend using scales for this recipe to give the best results. If using cups, I have used Australian standard sizes, and follow the spoon and scrape method of measuring.
- Into a large mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients- everything from the flour down to salt, adding in the orange zest if you choose to do so. Mix well until even and uniform.
- Add butter/oil, maple syrup and molasses/honey to a saucepan. Over a gentle heat melt slowly, turning off the heat as soon as everything is liquid. Pour into the dry mixture and combine well. The mixture will be very thick and easily kneeded- if you have any dry spots transfer onto a bench and kneed a few times.
- Place the dough onto a large sheet of cling wrap- you can easily buy home-compostable wrap these days, which I recommend (for the planet, it makes no difference to the recipe!). Flatten dough into a dish shape, and wrap to cover all the dough. Place in the back of the fridge for at least 2 hours, or over night. Note– this dough can stay in the fridge for up to 3-4 days like this, allowing you to make ahead and bake when ready.
- When you’re ready to bake preheat the oven to 180c and line 2 x large baking trays with baking paper.
- Remove dough from fridge and unwrap, leaving it on top of the plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll out, aiming to have the dough around 1-1.5 cm in thickness, ensuring its even all over. Work quickly to avoid the dough heating too much- this will make it easier to transfer your cut out shapes onto the baking trays.
- Use desired cutters to cut shapes, cutting as many as you can from the rolled dough before carefully transferring them to a baking tray. Note– you can also take dough and roll it into balls to make round cookies. You will need to flatten each ball to around 1.5cm in thickness.
- Place 6-8 gingerbread people per tray, leaving ample room between each. The cookies will not expand much, but leaving room around each cookie will help them crisp up while baking.
- Bunch up the remaining dough, roll into a ball and repeat step 6 and 7 as many times as needed to use all the dough. Decorate the cookies with chocolate chips, if desired.
- Note that the baking times I have provided are for gingerbread people 8-10cm in length. If your cookies are smaller or larger, you will need to adjust the baking times. I recommend baking one tray at a time for best results. Place a single tray in the bottom 1/3 of the oven bake for 8-12 minutes for soft, chewy cookies. For crisper cookies bake up to 15 minutes.. I bake mine for 10 minutes, but it is best to set the timer for 8 minutes and check every minute there after. If you bake the cookies in the top part of the oven they WILL bake quicker, and may burn. The cookies will still be completely soft in the oven, but are ready when they have become a light golden brown on top, and you can see the bottom of the cookie beginning to brown.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Your easy, vegan paleo gingerbread men are now ready to eat, however they are truely at their best one cooled completely. I find day 2 and day 3 are the best time to eat them, when their texture has become harder and chewier.
Store your paleo gingerbread men on a plate, covered by a tea towel, in the pantry/on the bench for up to 3 days. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They’re freezer friendly.
These paleo gingerbread men and not designed to be sweet like the original cookies. I do not recommend adding extra maple syrup, however you could add 1/4 cup granulated sugar of choice if you want a sweeter gingerbread man.