Thursday, December 20, 2012

Low-Fructose Molasses Spice Cookies

These cookies are flavored with just a hint of molasses, yet are very low in fructose. They are also gluten-free and wheat-free!

low-fructose molasses spice cookies, gluten-free

Are we done with the holidays yet? I only ask because I'm about to go crazy with all of the obligations. My husband and I have made a concerted effort to simplify our lives as much as possible, but things always seem to get out of hand around the holidays. Just how much shopping, wrapping, making casseroles and baking can one person take? OK, that last one, the baking, is actually a stress reliever for me, but when it's an obligation, it becomes a chore. Sigh....

This cookie recipe I'm going to share with you today is one I did on my own free time and was thus a joy. I have always loved gingerbread cookies. I grew up with a lot of holiday baking traditions in my family, but gingerbread was never really one of them. We always made sugar cookies, spritz, peppernuts and fudge. It was up to me to provide the gingerbread cookies if I wanted them. Well, I did! I just love the old-fashioned taste of molasses and spices. Nothing says Christmas to me more than gingerbread. I'm not about to let fructose malabsorption stand in my way.

To get the flavored I wanted, I had to use molasses. Molasses does have fructose, so I knew the trick would be to use the least amount as possible, while still getting its rich flavor.  These cookies are not entirely fructose-free, but they are lower-fructose. Two tablespoons molasses has 28 grams of sugar (I used Grandma's Molasses). Divided into 14 cookies, this is only 2 grams of sugar per cookie. Molasses is the byproduct of sugar cane processing. From my research, it appears that fructose levels vary, but if we assume 50% glucose and 50% fructose, that means that each cookie has only 1 gram of fructose. Not bad, in my book!

low-fructose molasses spice cookies, gluten-free

Ginger can be a problem with some people with fructose malabsorption. This recipe only calls for 1/2 teaspoon in the whole recipe, which I don't seem to have a problem with. If you aren't sure, then just leave it out.

I wanted to incorporate some almond flour in the mix, since dextrose and white rice flour do awful things to my blood sugar. I did not like these cookies with all almond flour, so I did add a little Sweet Rice Flour Blend to get the texture I wanted. I just rolled these into balls and flattened them into circles before baking, but think the dough could work as cut-out cookies too. Just roll into 1/4-inch thickness and cut with a gingerbread man cookie cutter. I think I came up with a great-tasting cookie, with a good texture and a low amount of fructose. Good enough to leave out for Santa, in any case!

Low-Fructose Molasses Spice Cookies
makes about 14 cookies
low-fructose molasses spice cookies
print recipe

1/2 cup sweet rice flour blend (or other gluten-free all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons powdered dextrose
2 tablespoons molasses

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, spices, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, dextrose and molasses. Blend in the flour mixture until incorporated.
  4. Roll cookie dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand. This dough can also be rolled and cut using cookie cutters.
  5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned around edges. Cool on cookie sheet several minutes before transferring to cooling rack.


  1. Hi Dianne,
    Could I eliminate the almond flour in these and just use more all purpose? I have oat flour at home; I could try that, too.

    1. Hi Kate, almond flour is very unique, but I think it might work to use oat flour or AP flour instead. Almond flour is very moist, so you may not have to use as much of the other flours since they are drier. I guess you just have to give it a try! Let me know it it works!