Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies Recipe

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These whole wheat cut out cookies are easy to make, don’t require any chill time, and turn out just as tasty as those made with white flour.

Cut-out cookies are a staple during the holidays. You can’t walk into a single bakery this time of year without finding a beautiful batch of Christmas cookies staring back at you from the display case. And whether you call these cut out cookies or sugar cookies, they are a quintessential part of our holiday season.

Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies laying on a cutting board. A start cookie at the front.

Many kitchens, especially those with kids running around, generally cannot get through the holiday season without producing at least one batch either. It just can’t be helped. Cookies are an integral part of the holiday season.

I have been trying for at least a year, probably longer, to come up with a clean eating cut-out cookie recipe. I tried many batches and got many different results.

Finally, I found a book called Sweet and Natural by Meredith McCarty. I fell in love with this book. With the exception of maybe one or two recipes, the entire book is filled with clean baking recipes!!

So I gave one of her cookie recipes a try and while I liked the outcome, it wasn’t quite what I was going for. So I tinkered around with the recipe a bit, and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy them as much as Mini Chef and I did!

Can You Make Cookies With Whole Wheat Flour?

You can! And they are actually quite delicious without giving you the same huge spike in blood sugar. Whole grains take longer to digest, so the effect on your insulin levels is a lot gentler.

What Does Whole Wheat Flour Do To Cookies?

In some cases, and depending on the type of whole wheat flour you use, it can make cookies quite dense. So generally speaking, you probably don’t want to use whole wheat flour in a recipe that calls for white flour.

That said, if you really want to do that, use whole wheat pastry flour. It’s the closest you can get to using white flour without actually using it. And in the event you can’t find it at the store, White Whole Wheat Flour is the next best thing. Avoid using regular whole wheat flour. It’s not delicate enough for recipe substitutions. However, there are wonderful recipes that are developed using regular whole wheat flour that are great for the holidays.

How Do I Substitute Whole Wheat Flour For All-Purpose Flour In Cookies?

As mentioned above, the type of flour you use matters. If you use whole wheat pastry flour, you can substitute it in a 1:1 ratio. Though it will tend to soak up just a little extra liquid, so be aware of that. The heavier the whole wheat flour, the more extra liquid it will soak up.

Can I Make These With A Stand Mixer?

You can. Simply mix everything with your electric mixer instead of by hand. But keep the speed low until the dough really starts to combine. Use a dough hook. Once combined, you can move up to a medium speed. Do not mix this at high speed.

A close up of Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies laying on a wooden surface.

What Is The Trick To Cut Out Cookies?

While this recipe doesn’t call for it, you can chill your cookies for at least 2 hours or more. It will help keep the cookies from spreading in the oven.

And if you really have trouble with spread, chill them twice. Once as a whole piece of dough, and once after you’ve cut your cookies on the cookie sheet. But again, it’s not necessary in this recipe. Only do this if your cookies start to spread too much.

Other Flavoring Options

If you want to try these with different flavors, here are some suggestions. Pick one. Don’t combine these.

  • Lemon – Add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract and 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon zest.
  • Spiced – Add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg for more of a spiced cookie flavor.
  • Almond – Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract.
  • Vanilla – Add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract and scrape a vanilla bean into the dough as well.
  • Salt – You can add a small pinch of salt to the dough, if you wish, to help bring out the sweetness.

About The Ingredients

Whole wheat pastry flour –  + extra on reserve

Baking powder – Make sure it’s newer so it works. Do not use baking soda.

Oil – Use any light-flavored oil you prefer.

Honey – Any type works.

Pure vanilla extract – Use the real stuff. Not vanilla flavoring.

Ground cinnamon

Large egg – Room temperature eggs are best.

How To Make Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl except for the egg. 

Crack the egg into a separate bowl and whisk with a fork. Set aside.

If the dough is so wet that it is sticking to your fingers, knead in some extra flour, 1 tbsp. at a time until you have a soft dough that doesn’t stick. (I used an extra 2 tbsp.) If it’s too dry, add a little more oil.

Roll dough with a rolling pin out to ¼ inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.

Transfer cookies to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush cookie tops with egg wash. (you can use a whole egg or just the egg white. I used the whole egg but only used about ¼ of the beaten egg for brushing on the cookies. No egg gets added to the dough. It’s just for brushing on right before baking.)

Bake for approximately 8-12 minutes, or until cookies have a nice, golden glow.

Cool them on a wire rack until fully cooled. Then decorate or enjoy.

How To Store Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Freezing

You can freeze these cookies if you wrap them well for up to 6 months.

Recipe Supplies

Mixing bowl set sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Rolling pin sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Holiday cookie cutter set sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

More Whole Wheat Cookie Recipes

Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies Recipe Card

Clean Eating Cut Out Cookies Recipe

Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies Recipe

Cutout cookies don’t have to be a totally unhealthy indulgence during the holidays. With this recipe, you can feel a little better about what the kids (and you!) are having for treats.
4.34 from 3 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies, approximately, depending on size of cutouts
Calories: 66kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + extra on reserve
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl except for the egg. 
  • Crack the egg into a separate bowl and whisk with a fork. Set aside.
  • If the dough is so wet that it is sticking to your fingers, knead in some extra flour, 1 tbsp. at a time until you have a soft dough that doesn’t stick. (I used an extra 2 tbsp.) If it’s too dry, add a little more oil.
  • Roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
  • Transfer cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Brush cookie tops with egg wash. (you can use a whole egg or just the egg white. I used the whole egg but only used about ¼ of the beaten egg for brushing on the cookies. No egg gets added to the dough. It's just for brushing on right before baking.)
  • Bake for approximately 8-12 minutes, or until cookies have a nice, golden glow.
  • Cool them on a wire rack until fully cooled. Then decorate or enjoy.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 58mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 12/20/11.

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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62 Comments

  1. Pingback: Clean Eating Recipes | Clean Eating Meringue Cookies
  2. My final batch is in the oven! I was able to make 40- 2″ star cutouts with this recipe. My batch required me to add more flour but I chose to do this as I rolled out the dough each time. I’m not sure how much more I added in the end of it all. I did use vegetable oil instead of safflower just because that is what I had. According to my calculations, each 2″ star cookie is 28 calories. and 1 g of fat. The cookies have a nice sweetness to them and are tasty plain without any frosting. I am tempted to drizzle Nutella onto them though. I think this is a perfect cookie with tea or coffee.

  3. Pingback: Clean Eating Recipes | Clean Eating German Thumbprint Cookies
  4. graciouspantry says:

    Sorry, typo on my part. All fixed now. 🙂

  5. These cookies were very tasty! My little chef and I had a fun making them. He loves helping me in the kitchen. He’s 4.5.

  6. Can I use olive oil in place of safflower oil? I haven’t had an luck finding safflower oil yet.

    1. I wouldn’t go for olive oil on this one. You’ll taste the oil. Use a lighter flavored oil. Almost anything other than olive.

  7. Kari Penner says:

    Just wondering what your clean eating guidelines are…I am skeptical (admittedly) about safflower oil (trans fat) and wheat flour (your body turns it to sugar in 8 seconds when you eat it). I mean no disrespect, but I find a lot of people claiming “clean” but the ingredients are questionable.
    Regards, kari

    1. You can use whatever oil you feel comfortable with. My recipes are very versatile. And I don’t use refined wheat flour, I use only whole grain. If you definition of clean is different than mine, it would not surprise me. Everyone brings their own rules and ideas to the table when eating clean. The important thing is to do what is right for you and your own body.

  8. Debbie cashin says:

    Do you have any suggestions for decorating these cookies?

    1. Debbie – Depends on what you are looking for. If you mean a traditional icing that you can design with and let harden, no. I’m sorry. But if you don’t mind going outside the box a bit, you can top with sucanat, nuts, or even clean frosting.

  9. Angela Bergeron says:

    Could I use butter, coconut oil or grapeseed oil in place of safflower oil. I’m not even sure what that is or where to get it, but I have the other 3 around all the time. Would it change measurements?

    1. Angela – Sure! I think grapeseed would be the best sub here. Butter would be my second choice. Coconut oil is great but it tends to harden too quickly and that makes it hard to properly mix in.

  10. Would you recommend melting the butter or just letting it soften if using butter instead of oil? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Megan – I would just let the butter soften. I don’t think you have to melt it. Let me know how it turns out!

  11. Is whole wheat flour ok, or must i be whole wheat pastry flour?

    1. Amye – you can use regular whole wheat, but the cookies will end up being much more dense and “bready” than if you use the pastry variety. A good middle ground is White Whole Wheat.

  12. Stephanie says:

    Is the cinnamon added for flavor? Can I omit it?

    1. Stephanie – You can omit it, but I recommend adding some other sort of extract or flavoring. These would be a little bland without.

  13. Can you leave out the honey? Would you need to substitute it for something?

    1. Amy – The honey is the sweetener. Without it, you would have something that tastes closer to a biscuit. It also accounts for a certain amount of needed liquid in the recipe. Could you use maple syrup instead? What is it you are trying to avoid?

  14. Can I make these ahead of time and refeigerate them fir a few days ?

  15. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. Wholesome and tasty alternative to the regular rollout cookie. You definitely need to add more flour when rolling out. For anyone without whole grain baking experience – roll out the dough quickly or the dough won’t stay pliable.

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