The Real Food Guide

Easy paleo vegan gingerbread man cookies recipe


easy paleo vegan gingerbread man cookies recipeIf you’ve got food allergies or intolerances, the holidays can be really hard. Surrounded by all of these delicious baked goods and treats, but unable to partake in any of them. Or if you do, you’re faced with any number of food allergy or intolerance symptoms that can make the indulgence not worth it. These grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan and gluten-free gingerbread men are perfect if you or your guests have multiple food allergies. They are even autoimmune-paleo compliant, since the spices used (ginger, cinnamon and cloves) are on the ‘safe’ list of the AIP protocol.

A caveat though: in all honesty, baking without eggs and regular flour is challenging, so if you’re used to conventional baking, this dough is not as easy to handle as a regular wheat dough. This dough was easiest to handle when still warm. As it cooled, it became grainier and stickier. In one test run, I made a triple-batch of this dough, which I don’t actually recommend because a large amount of this dough is hard to handle quickly. It can get a little finicky by either being too moist and sticky (in which case, letting it sit in the fridge for half an hour or more should help), or it can dry out too much (in which case, I suggest adding small amounts of water, i.e. no more than 1/8 cup at a time until the dough is wet enough). If you need to make a lot of cookies, I suggest making small batches of dough at a time. The dough also doesn’t have the same texture as an all-purpose flour and egg cookie. If you roll these out rather thin, they can be crispy, but I made most of mine to be about 1/4″ thick, and they were deliciously chewy.

If you’re after crispy gingerbread men (more like a gingersnap) I highly recommend letting them cool thoroughly for several hours and not stick them in a sealed container. If you like your gingerbread chewy, then they’ll certainly stay that way by cooling, and then storing them in an air-tight container.

I decorated these cookies with a simple frosting made with coconut oil, honey and a bit of vanilla. If you need to make a vegan frosting, simply substitute the honey for maple syrup. One thing I wish I’d done is made little sandwich cookies, with a layer of frosting between two gingerbread. YUM!

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Best allergy-friendly gingerbread cookie recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: About 20-24 cookes (3.5" tall gingerbread men)

Best allergy-friendly gingerbread cookie recipe



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. If you don't have already mashed cooked sweet potato, take one medium sweet potato and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave on high for seven minutes, covered with a moistened paper towel or damp cloth. Scrape the sweet potato away from the skin and mash with a fork, and set aside 1/3 cup of mashed sweet potato.
  3. In a small saucepan on low heat, add the water, molasses, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract together until the coconut oil is melted. Add the mashed sweet potato, and blend everything together with an immersion blender.
  4. In a mixing bowl, blend together the tapioca and coconut flours, and the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  5. Slowly add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture until a dough forms.
  6. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. For chewier cookies, roll the dough to about 1/4" thick, for crisper cookies roll the dough thinner. Cut with cookie cutters.
  7. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Optional: allow cookies to cool thoroughly and decorate with frosting.
  9. Frosting:
  10. Beat together softened coconut oil with maple syrup or honey and vanilla until fluffy.
  11. Put in a small piping bag, or alternatively in a small sandwich bag, and cut a tiny hole to squeeze frosting out onto gingerbread men.


This post is linked to Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable on Phoenix Helix

Vivian is the founder of the Real Food Guide and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) who believes that each individual needs to go on their own Real Food Journey to find what works. While she herself eats a diet of real food (aka a paleo diet), some people may find that they can flourish on a vegetarian diet instead. However, universal to optimal health and well-being is good quality, nutrient-dense, Real Food.

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December 11 |

21 thoughts on “Easy paleo vegan gingerbread man cookies recipe

  1. Christina says:

    These look great! I wonder if you could sub pumpkin for the sweet potato?

  2. Natalie says:

    Hi Vivian, I see the molasses in the ingredient list but not in the instructions. I assume it goes in the pot with the other liquid ingredients? Looks delicious, by the way, and I am eager to try these out.

  3. This recipe looks delicious AND it fits the paleo autoimmune protocol. So, thank you! I recently started a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable through my blog, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m trying to expand resources for the AIP community. Here’s the link:

    • Thanks Eileen! I’m always on the lookout for AIP recipes for myself – treats seem to be the harder to come by, especially now around the holidays. I’ll add my cookie posts to your link up.

  4. Lulu says:

    Hi Vivian,
    Another great recipe! Made these tonight with the kiddos. They are zingy and chewy. Yum! Thanks!

  5. KEB says:

    I made these tonight and used pumpkin instead of sweet potato. They came out more moist and I needed to add more flour. I added a 1/4 cup of each, but they still seemed to be too delicate. Maybe chilling the dough before rolling/cutting them out would help…?

    • Since I’ve not tried pumpkin first-hand, I’m not sure what the moisture difference would be. I do mention that the dough is a bit finicky, and when it got too moist, I had to chill it in the fridge for a while first to dry it out. Sometimes it got too dry, and in that case, I added back some water a tablespoon at a time (no more than 2 tbsp at a time) to get it back to something workable.

  6. Dharma says:

    Will l definitely give it a try

  7. Vivian, this recipe was a reader favorite at the AIP Recipe Rountable, and I’ve featured it this week!

  8. Erin says:

    This looks fantastic! My daughter will be so happy to put our cookie cutters to use again. Ha!

  9. Melissa says:

    Thank you, this recipe looks awesome.

    Do you have the nutritional information please?

  10. Candace says:

    Hi. I made these tonight and followed the directions but they were very hard when we took them out of the oven. I’m wondering what I may have done wrong or if anyone else has experienced this? Thanks, Candace

    • There could be any number of variables: how thick did you roll the dough out, how hot your oven actually is vs. what the temperature setting is. I can’t be sure what happened. I know that when I made them, they came out of the oven fairly firm, yet flexible, and didn’t harden up unless they were left to dry out a bit.

  11. Genna says:

    Can I use this recipe on my blog if I put the link to your blog?

    – Genna

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