Mini coconut oil gingerbread folk

Coconut oil gingerbread folk

I should preface this by saying I don’t usually take reader requests. I mean, I love your suggestions and delicious ideas for potential posts but, chances are, if you write me asking to veganize your granny’s puff pastry recipe (happened) or make a gluten free version of every recipe on this site (yep, that happened, too).. I’m probably not going to do it. Partly because I don’t want to devote the time to that sort of thing, but mostly because it’s not fair to pick certain recipes over others.

However, when more than a few of you email me over the course of a week, asking for a coconut oil version of an existing OLC recipe (that’s laden with vegan butter), I couldn’t resist saying yes. Especially considering it’s been my main objective to remake all my favorites using coconut oil (sugar cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, (black raspberry) frosting, coming soon: COOKIE CRUST AND CREAMY PIE FILLING). Despite the fact that I already had plans for a recipe this week, I figured my suggestions should probably be tested instead of blindly recommended. So I told everyone to hang tight and check back during the week of 14 December because there would be a recipe for coconut oil gingerbread folk, no matter what.

If you’ve read here for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed I post a lot (ahem, too many) photos with each recipe. And you’ll probably notice (when you scroll past the text) that there aren’t nearly as many photos accompanying this post, as posts prior. So let’s talk about the day I was shooting these cookies. And how I started getting so hangry that I forced a mandatory break upon myself despite the fact that I don’t ever take breaks in the middle of shoots. I sat down with a pathetic excuse for lunch (white rigatoni drizzled with a crapload of good olive oil and sprinkled with flaky salt, cracked pepper, and dried thyme) (in case you were wondering) and, after filling my stomach with a bunch of empty calories, I figured I’d have a mug of coffee. My third of the day. So I made my coffee, sat down at the table (again), and pulled the plate of gingerbread folk within arm’s reach.

Before I knew it, I’d eaten the entire plate (and then some) and didn’t realize over half the batch was gone until I cleaned up my mess from lunch and went back into the dining room to find that all that was left was a handful of gingerbread folk and a hidden pile of casualties I tried covering in icing (iced gingerbread cookies are no longer welcome in this house) (the icing makes it difficult to drown them in coffee and be able to actually drink the coffee, afterward). I let out an audible YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME because I didn’t have four hours to let another batch of dough chill. Followed by an OH FUCK because I told a handful of people the recipe would grace this space – no matter what – come mid-December. And just when I started feeling embarrassed/horrified and totally ashamed (mindless eating, yo!), I realized devouring most of my subject wasn’t nearly as bad as that one time I tore through the house looking for chocolate and, when I came up empty handed, ripped open a package (that was intended for a friend) and ate the chocolate that was inside. It was not my proudest moment. But this thing with the gingerbread folk was not my proudest moment, either. And I’m going to stop talking before I tell you the other embarrassing, food-related story that has absoltuely nothing to do with me eating Park Burger French fries out of the garbage.


PS – This is happening on Monday. And I’m kid-on-XMAS-morning excited about it.

Coconut oil gingerbread folkCoconut oil gingerbread folkCoconut oil gingerbread folkCoconut oil gingerbread folkCoconut oil gingerbread folk

Notes: The longer you chill the dough, the richer in color it will be. If you’re crunched for time, four hours will suffice but overnight (8+ hours) is best, as the extra chill time really helps to develop the flavors. If you’re making 3-4″ gingerbread folk, you should probably double the recipe, as this one will only make about a dozen. If you’re down with vegan butter, you can use the original recipe (but I promise this one’s better).

For a lower sugar option – Reduce the powdered sugar to 1/2 cup (58g)
To use cane sugar – Replace the powdered sugar with 6 tablespoons (76g) of cane sugar and 1 tablespoon (10g) of potato starch
To use coconut sugar, maple sugar, or sucanat – Replace the powdered sugar with 1/2 cup (104g) of any of the three varieties (or a combination of each)
To use white spelt flour – Replace the unbleached flour with 1 3/4 cups (210g) white spelt flour
To use gluten free flour – Replace the unbleached flour with 1 1/3 cups (195g) gluten free flour blend


3/4 cup (88g) powdered cane sugar
1/4 cup (44g) refined coconut oil

1/4 cup (88g) unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons (24g) unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon (4g) pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (191g) all-purpose unbleached flour, divided

Add the powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, molasses, almond milk, and vanilla extract; heat mixture just until warm and lightly simmering. Off heat and then pour about a quarter of the coconut oil mixture into the powdered sugar and whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and no clumps remain. Whisk in remaining liquid and stir until smooth. Using a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon, stir the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, sea salt, and 1 1/4 cups of the flour into the wet mixture. Once all of the flour has been incorporated, stir in the remaining two tablespoons as needed (I used one additional tablespoon, totaling 183g of flour). Pat the dough into a ball then tightly wrap it with plastic, flatten it, and refrigerate for at least four hours (though 8+ is preferred). Once the dough has chilled for at least four hours, remove it from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with cacao powder (flour may leave white streaks on the cookies) (you can also use powdered sugar). Roll out the dough into a large slab that’s 1/8-1/4″ thick and cut with mini cutters. Transfer dough pieces to the prepared baking sheet and continue rolling out dough until your sheet is filled with gingerbread folk. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 20-30 minutes then bake at 325˚F for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an air tight container for up to three days.

Serve as is (we usually prefer ours plain), with a dusting of powdered sugar, or decorate with icing. If you have heart sprinkles, put a heart on the chest of each cookie.

Yield: 80+ mini gingerbread folk

Coconut oil gingerbread folk


  • Reply Supal Desai 17 December 2015 at 6:51 AM

    ah I was looking for a recipe like this that didn’t ask for so much butter. Also thank you for the variations! My dad eats low sugar, so I might make him a half batch :) x

    • Reply Amanda 17 December 2015 at 7:19 AM

      Love your story! I am looking forward to trying the recipe!

  • Reply Katrina 17 December 2015 at 8:43 AM

    These cookies are so freaking fun! And even with fewer photos (I feel you on getting seriously down with baked goods when photographing them) there are plenty to see how awesome these simply must be! I want to dunk these in tea and coffee AND hot chocolate!! Annnnnnd really excited to hear what you’ve got for us Monday. SQUEE!

  • Reply kathryn @ The Scratch Artist 17 December 2015 at 9:06 AM

    Can I just say how utterly charmed I am by the phrase ‘gingerbread folk’ . Your photos look gorgeous and even though there are less nothing is lost…if you know what I mean. Beautiful post and words and everything. xoxo

  • Reply Kayla 17 December 2015 at 10:12 AM

    The photos are great, the cookies look delicious, and please tell the french fry story sometime. ha :)

  • Reply Scully 17 December 2015 at 2:47 PM

    These look scrumptious AND I have all the ingredients at home, so I’ll be making this dough today for a full-on cookie binge tomorrow night!

    I’m new to the vegan world and one thing that I find off-putting is the “vegan butter” that is in so many recipes (truthfully, any sort of fake substitute grates one me: fake butter, fake meat, etc). I find your site to be a treasure since you use coconut oil so often! I’m wondering if substituting coconut oil for vegan butter would always work, or if baking is too finicky to allow such a replacement.

  • Reply Randle 17 December 2015 at 6:07 PM

    Aww I love the gingerbread folk! And I think this is still a great amount of images! Although I have definitely binge-eaten my subject while trying to take photos before…Hello, peanut butter cups.

  • Reply Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table 17 December 2015 at 7:41 PM

    HA! Your story made me laugh so hard. And trust me when I say – it happens to all of us. I have once diligently saved the most beautiful cupcake in a batch of cupcakes, only to then absent-mindedly eat it with my morning coffee…. BEFORE taking the shot. And that’s why I don’t stage photoshoots before breakfast anymore (that’s a lie). Love the gingerbread folk, and love the variations even more!

  • Reply Cindy 18 December 2015 at 1:15 AM

    These little bebe’s are so cute!!

    I definitely stress ate all of the candy in my Christmas stocking in a 15 minute period last year…then I vowed to never host my whole family all at once ever again.

  • Reply Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is 19 December 2015 at 4:45 AM

    […] coconut oil gingerbread men! i kid you not. […]

  • Reply Michelle Lynn 19 December 2015 at 4:50 AM

    We are making these this afternoon! I have a quick question… why “refined” coconut oil. I have Fresh Pressed Vigin Unrefined in the house… will this work also?

    • Reply Ashlae 19 December 2015 at 5:45 AM

      Hi Michelle –

      I use refined coconut oil since the unrefined variety has such a low smoke point.

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens 19 December 2015 at 7:47 AM

    I’ve done that hangry-sit-down-eat-everything-in-sight thing one too many times! Love that called these gingerbread folk and I am so stoked to whip up gingerbread cookies with my sisters when we are all reunited this weekend. YUM. There probably won’t be any left to bake by the time it’s time for the cookies to go in the oven…

  • Reply Chrissy 20 December 2015 at 3:24 PM

    My pictures have also been the casualty of mindless eating. It happens.

  • Reply week fifty – childhood memory à la rahel | famelicose 21 December 2015 at 2:32 AM

    […] taste exactly what gingerbread cookies should taste like (the dough is really, really good, too.). the recipe is by ashlae, one of my all-time favorites. try them, it’s worth it, if only for the gorgeous […]

  • Reply Monday Coffee + Links - The Old Fashioned Girl 21 December 2015 at 3:31 PM

    […] Mini coconut oil gingerbread. These are happening this week. […]

  • Reply Hanna 24 December 2015 at 7:57 PM

    Just made these today with 1/2 c powdered sugar.. Used 1/2 cup ground oats and 3/4 cup (+2 TBS) all purpose flour, they turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Anna 5 January 2016 at 3:15 AM

    It looks so delicious! I want to make these cookies for Christmas :) But it’s so hard to find molasses in Russia. How can I replace it?
    Thank you! :)

    • Reply Ashlae 6 January 2016 at 6:41 AM

      Hi Anna –

      Unfortunately you can’t replace the molasses. Sorry!

  • Reply Kirsten 10 December 2016 at 12:51 AM

    Could I use any type of flour or gluten free flour I wanted?

  • Leave a Reply