Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies

These Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies have pecans, coconut, and chocolate, and these are delicious for a healthier cookie option! 

PIN Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies!

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies finished cookies on plate

We’re heading into the time of year when there are cookies and other sweet treats everywhere you look.  I doubt many people are religiously dieting during December, but even for those of us who are just trying to limit our consumption of holiday sweets, it can be a challenge.For a few years now I’ve been experimenting with recipes for sugar-free or low-sugar cookies for the holidays, and this recipe for Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies from The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook, is one of the most satisfying low sugar cookies I’ve tried.

These cookies are full of flavor from pecans, oatmeal, unsweetened coconut, Lily’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (affiliate link), and whole wheat pastry flour, and I make them with Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link), which is my favorite sweetener for sugar-free or low-sugar cookies. The book claims the cookies are named for forest rangers who like these cookies for their energy-boosting ingredients, and if you’re looking for a barely sweet cookie to get you through December, this might be just the one.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies with Pecans, Coconut, and Chocolate

How to Make Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. Whole wheat pastry flour is a type of whole wheat flour that’s more finely ground than traditional whole wheat flour, and it’s a great ingredient for baking.
  2. Toasting the pecans on a small cookie sheet placed in the oven really brings out their flavor in these cookies.
  3. Then process together the bran cereal, oatmeal, coconut, and chocolate chips until it’s a coarsely ground mixture. (It took a bit longer than I expected to get the chocolate chips ground up.)
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Use a small hand beater to cream together the margarine (or butter), Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or sweetener of your choice, egg, and vanilla.
  6. Then add the flour mixture and beat on low until it’s all combined.
  7. Stir in the oatmeal-pecan mixture and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  8. Use a tablespoon to scoop out heaping balls of dough and arrange 2 inches apart on cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray. (The recipe said 16 cookies, but I only got 12.)
  9. Bake cookies at 375F/190C for 16-20 minutes, or until the bottom is golden and the top of the cookies feels dry.

More Tasty Ideas for Low-Sugar Cookies:

Check out Six Delicious Sugar-Free and Flourless Cookies or Delicious Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) Cookies for more cookies ideas with less sugar.

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies finished cookies on plate

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies

Yield 12 cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

These Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies have pecans, coconut, and sugar-free chocolate chips and they're delicious for a healthier cookie option!


  • 1/4 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 1/4 cup bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup Lily's Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup Golden Monkfruit Sweetener, or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Put pecans on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until they are becoming fragrant and lightly toasted. Let pecans cool for 2-3 minutes.
  3. While pecans are toasting add bran cereal (I used Fiber One, which has no added sugar), rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats), unsweetened coconut, and chocolate chips to food processor.
  4. Add pecans as soon as they are cool, then process until the mixture is coarsely ground.  (It took about a minute for me to get the chocolate chips ground.)
  5. In a small bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In a larger bowl, use a hand beater on high speed to cream together the butter (or margarine), Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link), egg, and vanilla.
  7. Add the flour mixture and use a low speed to mix until all ingredients are combined.
  8. Remove beaters and use a spoon or rubber scraper to mix in the oatmeal-pecan mixture, stirring until it’s well blended into the batter.
  9. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  10. Use a tablespoon to scoop out heaping spoonfuls of batter and place them 2 inches apart. (Original recipe said 16 cookies, but I only got 12.)
  11. Bake cookies 16-20 minutes, or until the bottom is golden and the top of the cookies feel dry.  (Cookies in the photo were baked for 18 minutes.)
  12. Let cool 20-30 minutes.  These cookies freeze well.


I prefer Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) for baking but use any sweetener you like. I'd make these with Lily's Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (affiliate link) but use any chocolate chips that are low in sugar. Since this recipe came from an old South Beach Diet cookbook it recommended making the cookies with margarine. I am not a margarine fan, but you can definitely use it if you prefer!

Recipe adapted slightly from The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies made with an approved sweetener and using margarine would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. Sugar-free chocolate chips would be the best choice for South Beach or low-glycemic diets. These are too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Dessert Recipes for more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.

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    38 Comments on “Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies”

  1. Can you make the batter the night before and bake the following day ?

  2. Thank you for this recipes. I made a few adjustments, based on what I had on hand and my tastes.

    I used walnuts in place of pecans, which worked out really well.

    Left out the coconut (don't care for it), added in a bit of chopped candied ginger, and just a small amount of candied fennel seeds (store this idea from a local cafe).

    They turned out great, and how love the low sweetness level.

    Thanks again.

  3. Sara, here is a post about the reasons Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is different than other whole wheat flours. I'm guessing you could make these cookies with white whole wheat flour, although the results would not be exactly the same.

  4. Hi Kalyn!
    Love your blog! I stock both red wheat and white wheat flour, not the pastry flour. Any reason the pastry flour would be better than white wheat?

  5. Cindy, that's fun to hear how you're adapting it! Glad you're enjoying the blog.

  6. I'm having fun playing around with this recipe. Since I'm following Weight Watchers and not South Beach, I made a batch replacing the margarine with unsweetened applesauce. However, I had to double the flour in order to make the batter stiff enough for the cookies to hold their shape. They came out a bit chewier than the original recipe, but OK. Just for fun, I also added some dried cherries for a little zing of flavor. Even with the extra flour and cherries, the cookies are only 2 points each(as opposed to 4 points with the original recipe. It's not quite right yet, but I'll have fun tweaking it!

    I really do enjoy your blog Kalyn – keep up the great work!

  7. Marsha, thanks for letting me know you liked them. They were a huge hit with my friends, so I was also surprised that someone didn't like them.

  8. Kalyn, I made a double batch using Bran Buds, white whole wheat flour and agave nectar. These cookies are so good! Even folks who normally do not like whole wheat baked goods, kept going back for more. I don't know what happened with lagardner's batch, but my cookies were moist and held together perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Hmm, that's odd because my cookies were not dry and they also didn't fall apart at all. Sorry it didn't work for you.

  10. Sorry, but I didn't like these at all. My husband and I are both bariatric patients so we are used to low-sugar foods. So it wasn't the lack of sweetness but I think the dryness of the cookie. They didn't spread out at all and after cooling, they were falling apart.

  11. I don't honestly know how it will work with those flours; whole wheat pastry flour is more finely ground.

  12. I'm curious, I have both whole wheat flour and white whole wheat, can I just use one of those without making an extra purchase of whole wheat pastry flour? I just can't imagine what else I'd use it for and I hate to buy, use a bit, then let it sit.

  13. Andi, so glad I could help and that you enjoyed the cookies!

  14. I've been looking for this recipe online for a very long time, so thank you for posting it! And as expected, the cookies were delicious 🙂

  15. Low sugar and whole grain allow me to "cheat" on my diet. Thanks for sharing this goodness!

  16. any combination of coconut and chocolate instantly makes my mouth water, great job!

  17. Yum, Can't wait to try these.