Gingerbread Cookies are cute and all, but it’s time that they were taken up a notch.
How about gingerbread cookies with under 100 calories each, and packed with 5g of protein each?
These cookies taste just like the real deal, and you’d never know that they were a healthier version!
Make this recipe with your family, don’t mention that they are sneakily healthy, and nobody would ever know the difference.
You can enjoy these protein gingerbread cookies as-is, or you can have some fun by decorating them after baking!
How to make high-protein gingerbread cookies
Once you mix up your protein gingerbread cookie dough, let it chill for one hour in the fridge. While this step can likely be skipped in a pinch, chilling the dough makes it much easier to work with.
Once chilled, roll the gingerbread cookie dough out flat.
To do this, I prefer laying a sheet of parchment over the top of the dough to prevent any sticking.
These gingerbread cookies will puff up once baked, but only slightly (similar to my Protein Oreo Cookies) so you will want to roll the dough out as thin as you’d like your final gingerbread cookies to be.
You definitely do not want the dough to be paper-thin, but keeping it too thick is going to lead to softer cookies. Once you cut your gingerbread cookies, if you find they are too delicate to pick up, you’ve rolled them too thin. All you have to do is re-form the dough, roll it out once more, and make it a little bit thicker!
And while a classic gingerbread man cookie cutter is cute and all, I much prefer creating shapes that are more fun. For my cookies, I cut out a combination of gingerbread people, squirrels, and dogs.
You can’t go wrong with any shapes, but I definitely recommend getting creative with it! Amazon has no shortage of fun cookie cutters, so do some shopping around to find some unique shapes (especially if making these with your kids).
Press the cookie cutter into the dough, giving it a very slight shake side to side to be sure it completely cuts through.
Cut as many cookies as possible with your dough, then peel the excess dough away from the cut cookies.
These cookies are delicate before baking, so it is significantly easier to peel the excess dough away before carefully picking them up.
Form the excess gingerbread cookie dough back into a ball, roll it out, and cut more gingerbread cookies. Repeat until you have used all of your dough.
I was able to cut 12 cookies out of my dough with only a tiny bit of dough left over. Since all cookie cutters are different sizes, you may end up with more or fewer gingerbread cookies.
Bake your protein gingerbread cookies at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes, then place them on a cooling rack to allow the cookies to firm up for one hour.
Your gingerbread cookies will be slightly soft once removed from the oven but will firm up and become crunchy as they cool. I’ve found one hour to be the perfect length of time to allow them to completely cool and crisp up.
If you want to speed the process up, you can toss these in the fridge to help them completely crisp up as well.
Note: If you made your gingerbread cookies thick, they may need an extra minute or two in the oven to get a crunchy cookie.
If you want to decorate these cookies, you can either use store-bought icing or whip up a super simple icing by combining powdered sugar & a little bit of milk.
To decorate some of mine, I used regular cake frosting that I put into a plastic bag to pipe onto the cookies. If you do this, the frosting will be soft, but it firms up as it’s refrigerated.
The best protein powder for protein gingerbread cookies
As with most of my recipes, I used PEScience protein powder in this recipe (you can use my code “matt” to save 10% on any order), which is a combination of whey & casein protein.
If you check out my Ultimate Protein Powder Substitution Guide for Cookies, you’ll see why I love using this type of protein powder.
In most cases, substitutions are tough to make and yield less-than-optimal results. However, since these are thin & crunchy cookies, substituting 100% whey protein should actually work out well for this one. I have not tested this, but it’s a question I often get, and it should work in this case!
I used PEScience Snickerdoodle protein powder, since the flavor complements these cookies perfectly, but you can use regular vanilla for a great result as well.
High-Protein Gingerbread Cookies
Crunchy gingerbread cookies that are lower in calories and higher in protein than your typical cookies, but without sacrificing any of the flavors!
- 45g (1.5 Scoops) Snickerdoodle or Vanilla PEScience Protein Powder (or comparable whey/casein blend protein)
- 100g Oat Flour
- 28g Almond Flour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 30g Granular Sugar Substitute
- 2 Tbsp Molasses (Can be swapped for maple syrup, but molasses give gingerbread their signature flavor)
- 42g Light Butter (I use Country Crock spread)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbsp Milk of Choice
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for your gingerbread cookies and mix it up until combined.
- Add the butter, molasses, vanilla extract, and tablespoon of milk, then mix up until it forms a thick cookie dough. Use your hands to bring everything together if needed.
- Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. This chilling time makes the dough much easier to work with, and it will help ensure the cookies don't become cakey once baked.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add your cookie dough to a flat surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out until flat (gingerbread only rises a very small amount, so roll out the dough as thick as you'd like your cookies). To roll out the dough, I prefer laying a sheet of parchment paper over the top while rolling to prevent sticking.
- Cut out as many gingerbread cookies as you can, peel away the excess dough, and carefully lift the gingerbread cookies onto a baking sheet. If you have a hard time picking them up, that just means you rolled the dough too thin and you'll want to re-form it to roll it out once more.
- Form the scraps back into a dough ball, roll that out, and cut out more cookies. Continue until you have used up all your dough. I was able to cut 12 gingerbread cookies out of my dough, but that may vary depending on the size/shape of your cookies.
- Bake the gingerbread cookies for 12 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on a cooling rack for one hour to completely cool and firm up. These gingerbread cookies will harden the longer they sit, so if you find that one hour was not long enough, you can let them sit overnight or put them in the fridge to speed the process.
- Make a simple icing with powdered sugar & milk to decorate your gingerbread cookies, or use premade frosting in a piping bag.
- The protein powder I use is a mix of whey & casein protein. If you use 100% whey protein, it will likely work for this recipe because it tends to lead to a crunchy result. See my full guide for protein powder substitutions for more. I highly recommend using PEScience if you can, especially the Snickerdoodle flavor for these cookies!
- These gingerbread cookies will stay fresh for up to one week. Note that they will stay crunchy when left out. If they are stored in an airtight container they may soften up due to moisture retention.
- If you find your cookies aren't crunchy enough, it is likely due to your cookies being too thick. In this case, you can bake your cookies for an extra 1-2 minutes to crisp them up and keep them stored in the fridge to fully harden.
- I do not count the sugar substitute in my carb totals because it is 0 calories, but if you are strict about carbs, be sure to include those.
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 85Total Fat 3.5gCarbohydrates 9gProtein 5g