This healthy gingerbread cookie recipe incorporates white whole-wheat flour and uses less butter than traditional gingerbread cookies. These thin, sugar-kissed cookies are then drizzled with white and chocolate icing in a crisscross pattern for a beautiful presentation.


Recipe Summary test

3 hrs


Cookie Dough
Chocolate Cookie Icing
White Cookie Icing


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cookies: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg and orange zest in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended.

  • With the mixer on low speed, then medium speed, beat about half the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until incorporated. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated. Let the dough stand for 5 minutes. It should be somewhat firm, but not at all dry. If it seems overly sticky, stir in up to 2 additional tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

  • Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each quarter into a 9-inch-long "log." Divide the log into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until very cold, about 1 hour.

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.

  • Place granulated sugar on a small plate. One at a time, dip the top of each ball of dough into the sugar; place, sugar-side up, about 2 1/2 inches apart on another prepared baking sheet. Coat the bottom of a wide glass with cooking spray, then dip it into the sugar. Flatten the balls with the glass to make cookies about 2 1/4 inches in diameter, dipping the glass into the sugar between cookies and spraying it as needed.

  • Bake the cookies on the center rack, one pan at a time, until just firm to the touch, 8 to 13 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

  • To prepare chocolate icing: Put chocolate in a small, deep heatproof bowl. Set a fine sieve by the bowl. Put milk in a 2-cup microwave-safe glass measuring cup and microwave on High just until it begins to boil and foam up the sides, 40 to 60 seconds. Pour half the hot milk through the sieve onto the chocolate and let stand without stirring for about 2 minutes to soften the chocolate. Stir vigorously until smooth and the chocolate is mostly melted.

  • Pour the remaining milk through the sieve into the bowl. Add vanilla. Stir vigorously until smooth. Sift 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar into the mixture and stir in thoroughly.

  • To prepare white icing: Stir together confectioners' sugar and dried egg whites in a small bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons water, corn syrup and vanilla (or almond) extract until completely smooth. Add a little more water if necessary to achieve a thin consistency for drizzling.

  • To decorate cookies: Spoon the chocolate icing and the white icing into separate small plastic bags with a tiny tip of one corner snipped off. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. Or dip a fork into each icing and quickly wave it over the cookies. Let stand until the icing sets before storing the cookies.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the chocolate filling for up to 1 week. Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for up to 1 day. Store baked cookies airtight in a single layer for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores and online at or Store it in the freezer.

Pasteurized dried egg whites are a wise choice in recipes that call for uncooked egg whites, like icings or meringues. Look for brands like Just Whites in the baking or natural-foods section of most supermarkets. Reconstitute according to package directions or use according to the recipe.

Nutrition Facts

2-inch cookie
105 calories; protein 1.3g; carbohydrates 18.1g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 11.8g; fat 3.3g; saturated fat 1.2g; cholesterol 6.6mg; vitamin a iu 39IU; vitamin c 0.3mg; folate 16.2mcg; calcium 21.2mg; iron 0.9mg; magnesium 12.7mg; potassium 76.8mg; sodium 28.9mg; added sugar 11g.

1/2 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 fat