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This recipe mixes and matches some of my favorite holiday cookie recipes into one: gingerbread cookies, the classic German Pfeffernusse cookie, and snowball cookies. Made with molasses, almond flour, maple syrup, and a combination of winter spices, these gluten free snowball gingerbread cookies are reminiscent of all the classic holiday cookie flavors, but made with wholesome ingredients.
‘Tis the season to make cookies, fa la la la la la la la la. I’ve got a new holiday staple cookie recipe for you to make: gingerbread, except we’re making them like snowballs and coating them in powdered sugar! These gluten-free gingerbread snowball cookies are so good and really cute! So you’re going to want to add them to your holiday cookie roster ASAP.
There’s still plenty of time to make these cookies for the holidays. The dough is really simple to make and although it does require some time to chill in the fridge, it’s the perfect recipe to make ahead of time, let chill, and bake when you’re ready!
What molasses should I use? And what’s the difference? I had to do some research on this for you guys because I haven't always truly known the answer myself and the internet uses a lot of different terminology for molasses! Here are the types of molasses and how they differ from each other:
- Light molasses: Is the lightest in color and has the highest sugar content. This molasses has only gone through the sugarcane boiling cycle once.
- Dark molasses: Is darker and more viscous and contains less sugar. This molasses has gone through the sugarcane boiling cycle twice.
- Blackstrap molasses: Is the darkest and contains the least amount of sugar. This molasses has gone through the sugarcane boling cycle three times. It contains a good amount of vitamins, however it tends to be very viscous and bitter in flavor.
- Sulphured molasses: This type is not generally sold commercially as sulphured molasses tastes a bit chemically enhanced.
- Unsulphured molasses: This is the most common type and widely available at any grocery store. Light, dark, and blackstrap molasses can all be categorized as unsulphured.
So, which one do you choose for this recipe? For gingerbread recipes, you want the cookies to be darker, so we’re going to use dark molasses here. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid blackstrap molasses. Even though it will offer the darkest color, it’s flavor is very overpowering.
Oh and one more thing! Did I mention this dough recipe is free of refined sugar? We replace granulated and brown sugar with pure maple syrup and coconut sugar for added health benefits. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than granulated cane sugars, which helps reduce the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes. In addition, pure maple syrup is a great replacement for regular sugar as it's full of antioxidants that support the body’s immune system. Coconut sugar and maple syrup are both still sugar, they’re just a slightly healthier option for us to choose when baking! (Note: we do add some powdered sugar as a coating, so the recipe isn’t completely refined sugar free, but you can totally skip the powdered sugar coating and make this 100% refined sugar free if you want!)
Who doesn’t love baking gingerbread? The aromas alone are to die for. These gluten free gingerbread snowball cookies are dipped in powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness… and honestly because it looked cute and reminded me of the classic German Pfeffernusse cookies my grandma used to make. They kind of look like little dirty snowballs, should we call them that?! Anyway, I hope you give this recipe and try to make it for years to come!
Ingredients in these Gluten Free Gingerbread Snowball Cookies
Dry Ingredients: Almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and powdered sugar for coating.
Wet Ingredients: Molasses, coconut sugar, maple syrup, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla.
Kitchen Tools Needed for this Recipe
- Mixing bowls and spoon/spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking tray with parchment paper
How to Make these Gluten Free Gingerbread Snowball Cookies
Step One: Combine your dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk together until fully combined.
Step Two: Combine your wet ingredients (egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until fully combined.
Step Three: Fold in your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients. Don’t dump them all in at once though! Add about ⅓ of your dry mixture to the wet, fold until combined. Repeat until all the dry ingredients are added and fully combined with the wet.
Step Four: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or a maximum of overnight.
Step Five: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls using a tablespoon and your hands. Roll the balls in a bowl of powdered sugar.
Step Six: Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Let cookies rest for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack.