Naturally Sweetened, Whole Wheat, Buttered Sugar Cookies

Posted · 22 Comments

This month at Spain in Iowa, we are celebrating intentionally by slowing down and savoring every bit of Christmas that we can. Some of us are observing advent, making handmade gifts, and, of course, baking sweets and treats made with love.

I can’t imagine a Christmas without polvorones, mantecados, buñuelos de viento, turron, and alfajores.

My heart still melts when I think about the sweet treats my Abuela Isabel would send to my sisters and I from Spain each Christmas.  Growing up without our grandmother was difficult but we rejoiced at the sight of the package we’d receive from her each year.  We’d practically rip it out of the hands of the mailman delivering it.

My mami would carefully open the box only to have my sisters and I dash for the polvorones packed safely inside.  I can still taste from memory the first delicate crumble as I bit into a polvoron cookie that I had waited an entire year for.  As quick as my sisters and I ate the cookies, the memory of its sweet taste and of my Abuela who sent them still lives in my heart.

Cookies in the Christmas season create memories.  That’s why at Spain in Iowa, we’ll continue to celebrate this month intentionally by sharing naturally sweetened, sweets and treats all month long.  Visit this post to learn all about natural sweeteners and how to use them.

Lana and Foy have already shared some great recipes to try out this year.  I’m excited to share with you my families first experience making sugar cookies.

Naturally Sweetened Sugar Cookies


My children have made and decorated sugar cookies at church but this was the first time we’ve made them together.

I’m so glad we did.  They had a blast.

The cookie recipe I used was from Bake at 350.  I changed the ingredients a bit using freshly ground whole wheat flour and raw honey to sweeten.

They turned out wonderful.  Not too sweet, yet, rich and buttery.


To frost them, I made a maple sweetened cream cheese frosting and together we decorated them with coconut flakes, raisins, and demerara sugar.


The kids were even more excited to find my sprinkles in my cake supplies that I had used for a photo styling job.  I couldn’t say no.  The boys used the sprinkles and had so much fun.

Does anyone know if you can buy natural sprinkles without the dyes in them?  Since there’s still a lot of baking to be done, I’d like to get some, especially for the kids.

Naturally Sweetened, Whole Wheat, Sugar Cookies

Naturally Sweetened, Whole Wheat, Sugar Cookies

Naturally sweetened, whole wheat, sugar cookies. Not too sweet, yet, rich and buttery.


  • 3 1/2 cups, freshly milled, whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 sticks (cold) butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
  3. In a mixer, cream the butter and raw honey. Once the mixture has come together, creamed, add the egg and vanilla extract. Once combined, gradually, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined making sure to scrape the bowl. Do not overmix.
  4. The dough will be in masses, make sure to knead it together as you scoop it our of the bowl.
  5. Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes.
  6. Place on parchment lined baking stone or sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Allow to rest for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Once cooled frost and decorate.

Do you have any special memories of Christmas cookies?   I’d love to hear them!

22 Responses to "Naturally Sweetened, Whole Wheat, Buttered Sugar Cookies"
  1. Steph says:

    I was just thinking this morning I wanted to try & make “healthier” sugar cut-outs with the kids this year..will have to give this a try!! And, am I reading right-the butter is to be cold?! I have always used and seen softened butter to cream in recipes, so wanted to double check! Looking forward to trying this soon:)

  2. Diana Bauman says:

    Hi Steph, yes. I thought that odd at first to. The original recipe is from Bake at 350, the cold butter ended up creaming well with the honey 😀

  3. How fun!

    LOVE that smile on your little man’s face. Priceless.


  4. I was thinking of doing this for my post! Looks yummy and I know it tastes yummy :) Now I need to figure out a different cookie recipe to share… sigh… :)

  5. Chris says:

    Diana – you and your kids can make your own sprinkles! I haven’t tried this yet myself, but it looks like it would be a fun experiment.

  6. Merry Christmas Diana!! Looks like you are enjoying your holiday season. I just love all the holiday baking too. Have fun!!


  7. Anna says:

    You can buy natural dyes/sprinkles! I just ordered them for the first time, so we have not hyet tried them out, though I have read great reviews. HyVee on Johnson Avenue in Cedar Rapids carries some of their products, you just have to call and see what they have in stock. I have no idea what they are charging. You can also buy through amazon, as I did. CR store did not have liquids in stock, which is what we needed. Plus it would be a :45 drive for me, so may as well order!

  8. patricia says:

    Thanks for your healthy recipes. I just want to let you know it is a brand call let’s do… that have a product call sprinkelz. They are organic dessert toppings that comes in pink, yellow and white colors.

  9. Fawn says:

    What is the recipe for the frosting/icing? Thanks!

  10. Jenn says:

    Made this recipe today with my girls and they had lots of fun and the cookies turned out great! Thanks for sharing. I would love to know your frosting recipe!

  11. Sarah says:

    I made these today for my daughter’s class for her second birthday. I wanted something fun, but healthy, too. This is a great recipe. It reminds me of shortbread. The dough is easy to work with and the cookies really hold their shape when baked. Thank you

  12. Heather says:

    Can I use a hand mixer?!?!!

  13. Allie says:

    I would like to try to make these today. Can you please tell me if you ground hard or soft white wheat for the recipe? THANK YOU!

  14. pamela says:

    As an inexperienced baker, I have no idea if I should adjust the recipe by using whole wheat flour. Please dont let me waste all that food.

  15. Beth says:

    these cookies are soo dry that they wouldn’t even hold together. Had to add an extra egg and some milk. They taste great though!

  16. Shered says:

    If I used einkorn wheat berries, would I use the same amount or how much would I use?

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