If there’s one thing that I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that iced cookies are always the most exciting thing on the dessert table. And while they so often just taste sweet to me, my oldest adores eating and making them, so we try make at least one batch during the holidays. With her in mind, and also in an effort to make a treat that my younger toddler can enjoy, I made these Lower Sugar Gingerbread Cookies. They’re just slightly sweet, have a hint of spice perfect for this time of the year, and the simple icing on top gives ample opportunities for the kids to get in on the decorating action.
When thinking about this recipe, I wanted to make it as simple as possible, but also add in that classic gingerbread flavor. I know how much a short ingredient list can matter when baking with kids, so the dough is incredibly simple to mix up. You don't even need a mixer since you can simply use your hands to combine the dough. (My oldest loves to do that step!) These definitely aren’t sugar-cookie-sweet, but they definitely taste like a treat from the hint of maple syrup and molasses. And they have a crisp, buttery texture that is delicious.
For the icing, you can either stir together powdered sugar and milk or use softened cream cheese and honey. Add food coloring (like this natural set from McCormick) and decorations as you and your kids like. We've done raisins for buttons, sliced almonds for mouths, chocolate chips, and sprinkles!
These are egg-free and nut-free, and you can make them gluten-free by using this gluten-free flour from King Arthur and adding 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to the dough. (You can try another gf flour, but this is the one I tested them with so I know it works really well!) Plus each cookie has only about a gram and a half of sugar!
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- sprinkles, raisins, chocolate chips