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.
4.50 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
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

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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62 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kristine – Thanks! It is a tough one. But this one seems to do pretty well. Hope you like them!

    1. Briana Palmer says:

      I am going to try these this year. I don’t have that oil though. Would coconut oil work? I think I will use your glaze that you posted for the pumpkin donuts, and add a little food coloring to it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait! Also, if I added some vanilla extract, how much should I add?

      1. graciouspantry says:

        Yes, you can switch oils. For the vanilla, it depends on how strong you want the flavor. But anywhere from 1/2 to 1 tsp. should do the trick. Enjoy!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Carole – Never!!! I do not own a can of Crisco and I never will!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Xrossx – Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Laurie – Wonderful tip! Thanks!

  5. Not only is the recipe very simple, but it seems not too hard. Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try them.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Sylvia – I hope you enjoy them!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Thank You! Where do you buy the whole wheat pastry flour?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Stephanie – I buy mind in bulk at Whole Foods. However, Bob’s Redmill is the most popular brand. You can check out their web site to see where they sell near you.

  7. Can you make these without the oil or with a substitute for oil? My DH can’t have any fat (for health reasons)

    1. Anonymous says:

      Jen – You could try it with apple sauce, but I have my doubts.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Laurie – Wonderful!!! Yes, you can. Enjoy!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Blakleigh – Fabulous!! I’m so happy you enjoyed them!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jennifer – It actually might if you get the consistency just right with the flour.

  11. I’m making these tomorrow! I know white frosting isn’t “clean” at all but do you think these could be frosted (and decorated by my mini chef)? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Anonymous says:

      Shiva – Certainly!

  12. out of honey! can i substitute agave?

      1. How about maple syrup?

        1. Claudia – You mean in place of the honey? It could work, but the cookies will be less sweet.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sherrette – then something didn’t get measured correctly. The ratios are off. You have too much dry and not enough wet. Did you add extra flour?

  14. Anonymous says:

    EHF – That’s fantastic! And such great decorating ideas!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kaitlin – Hmmmm. Sorry about that! I can’t imagine what might be going on there unless something was mismeasured. I will make them again to see if there is an error with the recipe. But I know some people have made these with success.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Holly – Glad you enjoyed them!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sherrette – Hmmm. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you. Hopefully it will go better next time.

  18. graciouspantry says:

    Sophie – You can try it, but I’m not sure how the texture of the cookie will turn out. WHITE whole wheat flour would be a safer bet here.

  19. graciouspantry says:

    Thanks for the tip!

  20. graciouspantry says:

    That’s one I haven’t tried yet. I imagine you could sub with either xylitol or sucanat (if you blend it fine) and make as usual. But I’m not sure on that one. I’ve never made fondant. I’ll have to try it though!

    1. Ifigeneia Theochari says:

      Thanx a lot.. I will try it very soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. My girls & I love this recipe! We decided to try something new & added two tablespoons of cocoa powder for chocolate cookies! They turned out yummie! Thanks for such a great recipe… I looked everywhere for a clean version of ‘sugar’ cookies & found your website. What a treasure mine! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Thanks so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed them!

  22. Pingback: Clean Eating Recipes | Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Walnut Pumpkin Cookies
  23. graciouspantry says:

    Awww, that’s awesome! I hope she enjoys them!

  24. graciouspantry says:

    Glad you enjoyed them!

  25. We made these this morning and I am in love!!! Thank you so much for your recipe! The girls loved ‘testing’ the dough and it was so easy to make. I used regular white whole wheat flour and didn’t do the egg wash so we could decorate them later. Thank you everyday for your recipes and blog!