Blog Nutrition Recipes The Best Healthy Christmas Cookies To Try This Festive Season 

The Best Healthy Christmas Cookies To Try This Festive Season 

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s practically impossible not to think about the decadent treats that await us. From classic gingerbreads to puddings and fruit cakes, the season to be jolly may be full of tasty desserts, but for some of us, it comes with the added guilt and fear of overindulgence.

It’s time to find a solution to your woes — healthy Christmas cookies! We’ve done our research and it’s time we gave you the best guide to making them. These aren’t any ordinary, run-of-the-mill cookies, they’re guilt-free recipes that are easy and healthy. These low-calorie Christmas cookies will surely become a permanent feature for every holiday season!

Before we jump into the Christmas cookie recipes, let’s understand what makes them healthy in the first place.

What Is the Healthiest Cookie?

While traditional Christmas cookies may be full of sweet-sugary flavors that fill us with nostalgia, it’s easy to understand that they may not be the best for our bodies, particularly if we overdo it with them.

Why are these conventional recipes not ideal? Most of them contain the following ingredients that may contribute to certain health risks.

  1. Excessive Refined Sugar: This is linked to blood sugar spikes and potential health issues, including insulin resistance and inflammation, when eaten in excess (12).

  2. Refined Flours: These lack the nutritional benefits and fiber of whole grains, which can lead to quicker blood sugar fluctuations (16).

  3. Unhealthy Fats: Classic recipes may contain high levels of unhealthy fats such as butter, which has been linked to cardiovascular health risks when eaten in excess (3).

  4. Artificial Additives: Some cookies include artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives that offer little nutritional value (5).

When it comes to finding easy healthy Christmas cookie recipes, several factors come into play. While moderation remains the key with desserts, certain types of cookies offer a healthier alternative to traditional indulgences.

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These factors include:

1. Opt for Whole-Grain Goodness

Go for cookies that are made with whole-grain flour such as oat flour, whole wheat, or rye flour. This provides added fiber, which helps with digestion and maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Whole grains also offer a treasure trove of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (2).

2. Make Nutrient-Rich Additions

Cookies that are packed with nuts or seeds are not just crunchy – they also contain heart-healthy fats, protein, and additional vitamins and minerals. For example, almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E (1).

3. Cut Down on the Sugar

Experiment with recipes that use less sugar, and/or ones that sweeten with fruits such as ripe bananas.

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When thinking of making healthy cookies, it is important to make informed choices. You can apply these strategies to transform traditional recipes into the healthiest alternatives.

healthy christmas cookies

How Many Calories Are in a Christmas Cookie?

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer to this question. The calorie count of a single Christmas cookie is dependent on the ingredients you use. Let’s take a look at how the calorie profile changes:

  • Flour: Refined flours add carbohydrates and some protein, while whole-grain flours add fiber and additional nutrients.

  • Sugar: This is the main source of calories for a Christmas cookie. While refined sugars bring sweetness to the recipe, they also contribute significantly to the overall calorie count.

  • Fats (Butter, Oils, Nuts): These pack in the flavor and create that velvety texture, but they’re also calorie-dense ingredients. Opting for healthier fats can impact the overall nutritional profile, but not necessarily the calorie count.

  • Eggs: These add protein and fat to cookies, influencing their calorie content.

  • Decorations: Icing, chocolate chips, or other toppings contribute additional sugars and fats, thereby increasing calorie levels.

On average, one homemade Christmas cookie that is made with regular flour, sugars, fats, and eggs will have a calorie count of 50 to 150. This number can be significantly reduced by using healthier ingredients such as whole-grain flour and natural sweeteners.

What Is the Most Unhealthy Cookie?

Identifying the most unhealthy cookie involves considering factors such as high sugar, unhealthy fats, and refined flours, which contribute to an increased calorie count:

  1. Excessive Sugar: Cookies with high levels of added sugars may contribute to various health issues, such as weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases.

  2. Unhealthy Fats: Depending on the recipe, some cookies can be made with high amounts of saturated fat, which is less heart-healthy than unsaturated fats.

  3. Refined Flours: Cookies that are made from refined flours lack the nutritional benefits that whole grains provide.

When looking for low-calorie Christmas cookies, you should opt for recipes that prioritize whole-grain flours, healthier fats, and less sugar.

healthy christmas cookies

The Best Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes

While we’ve discussed vegan holiday cookies and other vegan holiday recipes in a previous article, today we’re looking at the cookie-filled world of healthy Christmas treats.

1. Gingerbread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies (7)

These gingerbread quinoa breakfast cookies are the perfect start to Christmas morning with their nutritious and delicious flavors, combining the goodness of quinoa, oats, and warming spices.


1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried fruits (optional)

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds work well)

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Makes: 18 to 24 medium-sized cookies
Total cooking time: 12-15 minutes


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Mix the wet ingredients (almond butter, molasses, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract) together in a large bowl until well combined.

  3. Add the cooked quinoa, rolled oats, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.

  4. If you want, you can fold in raisins or dried fruits and chopped nuts for an added punch of texture and flavor.

  5. Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet and shape them into cookie rounds.

  6. Bake the mixture in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

  7. Remember to allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 120 kcal

Protein: 3g

Fat: 6g

Carbohydrates: 15g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 6g

Sodium: 45mg

Read more: Healthy Christmas Treats – How to Make Nutritious, Low-Calorie Holiday Goodies

2. Fruitcake Cookies (6)

Devour these renditions of the classic fruit cake but in cookie form!


1/2 pound dried figs

1/4 pound raisins

2 ounces candied cherries, coarsely chopped

2 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 ounces chopped pecans

Kosher salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup superfine sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 extra-large egg

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Makes: 5 dozen small cookies

Total cooking time: 20 minutes


  1. Cut off the hard stems of the figs and coarsely chop them. Combine the figs, raisins, cherries, apricots, honey, sherry, lemon juice, and pecans in a medium bowl with a pinch of salt. Cover and allow the mixture to sit overnight at room temperature.

  2. In an electric mixer, cream butter, ground cloves, superfine sugar, and brown sugar until smooth (approximately 3 minutes). On low speed, add the egg and mix until well integrated.

  3. Slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Be careful not to overmix. Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid that is left in the bowl.

  4. Divide the dough in half and shape each into an 18-inch-long log. Refrigerate until firm.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  6. Cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on ungreased sheet pans.

  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Take them out and allow them to cool before you savor these healthy Christmas cookies!

Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 101 kcal

Total fat: 5g

Saturated fat: 2g

Sodium: 7mg

Carbohydrates: 13g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 1g

healthy christmas cookies

3. Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Snickerdoodles (13)

Crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, stuffed with caramel, and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt —  get ready for the ultimate Christmas cookie recipe that’ll transport you straight to heaven.

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Makes: 18 – 22 cookies

Total cooking time: 10 minutes


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

20 soft caramels, unwrapped

For rolling the cookies:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take approximately 1 minute.

  3. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk; beat until well combined, smooth, and creamy.

  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined and the dough forms. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl and set aside.

  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to grab approximately 2 tablespoons of dough, then flatten it and place a caramel in the middle; roll the dough around the caramel to form a ball.

  7. Roll the dough balls onto the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each ball.

  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges begin to crackle just a bit. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

  9. Optional hack: sprinkle flaked sea salt on each cookie.

Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 210 kcal

Total fat: 10g

Saturated fat: 6g

Sodium: 95 mg

Carbohydrates: 29g

Fiber: 1g

Sugars: 19g

Protein: 2g

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4. Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies (11)

These soft, ultra-gooey Christmas cookies offer the perfect blend of holiday flavors and have the added benefit of being gluten-free and deliciously spiced.


1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Organic sugar for rolling, if desired

Makes: 10 cookies

Total cooking time: 9-14 minutes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Mix together the melted and cooled coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Make sure the coconut oil is cool when you do this.

  3. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix well to combine and form a dough. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes.

  4. Make dough balls with a cookie scoop, then roll them in organic cane sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently flatten each dough ball with your hand or the back of a glass.

  5. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until the edges are golden and crispy.

  6. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 161 kcal

Carbohydrates: 11.8g

Protein: 3.4g

Fat: 12g

Saturated fat: 5.7g

Fiber: 2.2g

Sugar: 7.7g

healthy christmas cookies

5. Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters (4)

This ultra-decadent recipe marries the goodness of cherries with the rich flavors of chocolate and almonds.


1 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Makes: 12 cookies

Total cooking time: 30 minutes


  1. Combine the almonds and cherries in a medium bowl. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

  2. Melt half the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the top pan. Stir frequently. Remove from the heat, add the remaining chocolate, and set aside.

  3. Gently wipe the bottom of the top pan and replace the simmering water with warm tap water, then put the pan of melted chocolate on top to maintain the right temperature.

  4. Stir the fruit-nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon heaped tablespoon-sized clusters onto the baking sheet, spacing them approximately 1 inch apart.

  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the cookies to set. Store and serve at room temperature.

Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 155 kcal

Total fat: 10g

Saturated fat: 3g

Sodium: 5mg

Carbohydrates: 15g

Fiber: 2.5g

Protein: 3.5g

healthy christmas cookies

6. Shortbread Almond Flour Cookies (14)

Save this recipe for your next dinner party. Not only will they get you all the compliments, but they’ll be the best gluten-free, low-calorie Christmas cookies you can add to your personal collection.


2.5 cups almond flour

4 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate layer:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Sprinkles or nuts (optional)

Makes: 10 cookies

Total cooking time: 12 minutes


  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix together. Once combined, use your hands to form the dough into a log approximately 1.5 inches in diameter.

  2. Roll your shortbread log into a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

  3. While your shortbread log is in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a baking sheet with either coconut oil spray or cover it with parchment paper.

  4. Remove the shortbread log from the refrigerator and slice the entire log into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

  5. Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for approximately 12-14 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

  7. Next, place chocolate chips and coconut oil into a small bowl and melt in the microwave or a double boiler.

  8. Dip half of a shortbread cookie into the melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip from the cookie, then sprinkle melted chocolate with sprinkles, nuts, or your preferred topping. Repeat until all the shortbread cookies are coated.

  9. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Serve or store in the freezer.

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Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 162 kcal

Carbohydrates: 14g

Protein: 2g

Fat: 12g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 10g

7. Healthy No-Bake Cookies (8)

These delicious cookies are made with half the amount of sugar that is found in traditional recipes and coconut oil instead of butter. They are dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan holiday cookies that require no baking.


1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter or almond butter

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups instant oats

Makes: 24 cookies

Total cooking time: 15 minutes


  1. Combine melted coconut oil and peanut butter in a medium mixing bowl until they’re well mixed. Add coconut sugar, cocoa powder, almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla.

  2. You can also heat the peanut butter-cocoa mixture on the stovetop over medium-low heat to fully dissolve the coconut sugar for approximately 5-6 minutes. This step is based on your preference and time.

  3. Place the oats in a large mixing bowl and pour the peanut butter-cocoa mixture over them. Stir until well combined.

  4. Using a small/medium cookie scoop, drop portions of the dough onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to press the dough down and shape it into cookies.

  5. Place the baking sheet in the fridge until the cookies are set, then serve.

  6. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Nutritional information (per cookie, approximate):

Calories: 93 kcal

Carbohydrates: 11g

Protein: 3g

Fat: 3g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 5g

Read more: Easy Homemade Recipes for Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

healthy christmas cookies


  • What is a healthy alternative to cookies?

To cut out the calorie count that is associated with cookies, you can opt for a variety of other sweet snacks, such as:

  • Greek yogurt with granola

  • Fruits and fruit bowls

  • Chia pudding

  • Nut butters

  • Banana oatmeal bread

  • Matcha green smoothies

  • Low-sugar popsicles

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a cookie recipe that doesn’t use traditional ingredients and doesn’t require baking, you can consider the quintessential energy bites.

These are often made using nutrient-dense ingredients and offer a satisfying sweet treat without the refined sugars and flours that are found in many cookies.

Here’s a simple recipe for no-bake energy bites (10):


1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup nut butter (e.g., almond butter, peanut butter)

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup

1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt


  1. Combine the oats, nut butter, honey or maple syrup, coconut flakes, ground flaxseed, chocolate chips (if using), vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.

  2. Mix the ingredients until well combined.

  3. Refrigerate the mixture for approximately 30 minutes to make it easier to handle.

  4. After chilling, manually roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.

  5. Place the energy bites on a tray lined with parchment paper.

  6. Refrigerate for an additional 15-20 minutes to firm up and serve.

These energy bites are customizable and you can experiment with different nut butters, add nuts or seeds, or include ingredients such as chia seeds for extra nutritional benefits.

They provide a great balance of healthy fats, fiber, and natural sweetness.

  • What is the most popular Christmas cookie every year?

Different American states and countries around the world associate Christmas with a different type of cookie. However, the most popular choice among them is gingerbread.  The second most searched-for cookies are peanut butter cookies, followed by basic sugar cookies (15)

  • Should I refrigerate my Christmas cookies?

You may need to refrigerate your Christmas cookies, depending on the specific ingredients and recipe you used. Some general guidelines include:

  1. Check your Ingredients: If your Christmas cookies contain perishable ingredients such as cream cheese, custard, or fresh fruit, refrigeration is recommended. Ingredients that spoil easily can lead to food-borne illnesses if they are left at room temperature for an extended period.

  2. For Dairy-Based Fillings or Frostings: Cookies with dairy-based fillings or frostings, particularly those made with cream cheese, should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage. Cookies with creamy or custard-like textures often require refrigeration.

  3. With Fruit Fillings: Cookies with fruit fillings, such as jam or fresh fruit, may require refrigeration to prevent the growth of bacteria.

  4. For No-Bake Cookies: If your Christmas cookies are the no-bake variety, it’s essential to refrigerate them to ensure food safety.

  5. In Case of Long-Term Storage: If you intend to store cookies for an extended period, refrigeration can help maintain their freshness. However, it’s important to be mindful of potential changes in texture.

At the same time, many traditional Christmas cookies with ingredients such as flour, sugar, and butter can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place for several days in an airtight container.

You should always check the specific recommendations of your recipe and consider the ingredients you use to decide if refrigeration is necessary.

The Bottom Line

This Christmas season, you can cut down your calorie intake by indulging in these guilt-free cookie recipes. Just remember to check your ingredients and opt for healthier alternatives such as whole-grain flour, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich additions such as nuts. Making sure you make an informed decision when it comes to festive binging will go a long way in keeping up with your fitness journey.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 8 Health Benefits of Nuts (2023,

  2.  9 Health Benefits of Eating Whole Grains (2023,

  3.  Consuming high amounts of saturated fats linked to increased heart disease risk (2016,

  4. Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters (

  5. Food additives (2023, WHO)

  6. Fruitcake Cookies (

  7. Gingerbread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies (2020,

  8. Healthy No Bake Cookies (2023,

  9. Honey and Diabetes (2018,

  10.  No-Bake Energy Bites  (

  11. Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies (2016,

  12. Refined Sugars (

  13. Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Snickerdoodles (2016,

  14. Shortbread Almond Flour Cookies (2022,

  15. The Most Popular Christmas Cookie in Every State, According to Google (2022,

  16. (2) Why Refined Carbs Are Bad For You (2023,