Gluten-free gingerbread cookies are by far my favorite Christmas cookie on our website. This recipe is rich yet delicate. Gingerbread is easy to make and a classic for a reason. The perfect mix of soft gingerbread dough and just the right amount of snap and structure.
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Finding gluten-free holiday cookie recipes that are as good as the original is rare. And now we have two! If you enjoy this gingerbread cookie be sure to check out of gluten-free sugar cookie recipe!
If you enjoyed our gluten-free gingerbread spice cake, then this recipe is for you. But if you need more reasons, here are a few reasons why we love this recipe:
- Rich flavor that can be adjusted to your specific taste
- Dairy-Free option
- Can be used to make gluten-free gingerbread houses or gingerbread men
- Can decorate with royal icing, stamp, or use sanding sugar
🧾Gingerbread Cookie Ingredients
Gingerbread gets its unique flavor not just from ginger but also from cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Molasses and dark brown sugar give this recipe moistness and flavor. Here are all the ingredients you need.
- GF Flour 1:1 Blend- I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 for this recipe but cookies are forgiving and any gluten-free cup for cup flour blend should work fine. If your flour mix does not contain xanthan gum, you will need to add it.
- Blackstrap Molasses- I prefer the richer flavor of blackstrap molasses but you can use regular unsulphured.
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder- Yes we need both.
- Kosher Salt
- Unsalted Butter
- Black Pepper- Black pepper is found in many old fashion gingerbread recipes. I really love it, but you can omit if you find things spicy enough for your liking.
- Vanilla Extract
See the recipe card for quantities.
We are going to do a basic cookie method of dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately mixed, with one exception. When making gingerbread cookies I always put the spices in with the wet ingredients. Because how much flour I use is dependent on the humidity in my kitchen I don't want to skimp on the flavor.
Step 1- Dry Ingredients
Sift together flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside. If you don't have a sifter or fine-mesh sieve be sure to use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup to ensure you don't add too much.
Step 2- Cream Butter and Brown Sugar
Put your softened butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. This typically takes about 3 minutes. When using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.
Step 3- Wet Ingredients
Mix in the salt and spices. Then add the egg, molasses, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix until fully incorporated.
If you live in an extremely dry area you made to need to add an extra egg yolk to the dough. I find this is a trial and error fix for dry dough.
Step 4- Slowly Add Dry Ingredients
Add flour mixture a cup at a time. Mix on low until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
You may use more or less of the flour by a tablespoon or two, depending on the humidity of your environment.
For softer gingerbread cookies, reduce the flour slightly and roll thicker. For gingerbread cookies with more snap, roll thinner and use all the flour.
Step 5- Chill
Scoop out the dough, split between two pieces of plastic wrap. It may be very sticky so it helps to have wet hands.
Press into a ball and flatten into two discs. Wrap tightly and chill for 1 hour. You can also let the dough chill overnight.
Chilling serves two purposes when making gluten-free cookies. First, chilling the dough prevents the cookies from spreading. Second, chilling the dough allows the flours to rehydrate. Rehydrating the dough is a critical step in gluten-free baking.
Step 6- Roll and Bake
Lightly flour your work surface. I find it helps to roll out on a silicone mat or Silpat if the dough is sticky or between two pieces of parchment paper.
Roll the dough a ¼ inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes. Think beyond gingerbread men!
Space your cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake at 350 F degrees for about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on their baking sheets before moving to a wire rack to completely cool.
How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies
Personally, I like to keep it gluten-free and use a basic white royal icing and add a little sanding sugar to mimic snow. But you can get as elaborate and as colorful as you like. Just be sure the cookies are completely cool before icing.
Gingerbread also looks great with a stamped pattern and dusted with sugar.
See below for decorating inspiration!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- It can be hard to tell when gingerbread cookies are done. Place a space piece of dough on each cookie sheet to test. This way you don't ruin your adorable cut outs!
- Always weigh your flour for an exact recipe. If you are unsure go a tad bit lighter than the recipe calls for. You can easily add more flour during rolling.
- Cook the gingerbread in batches. Don't let raw dough sit on a hot cookie sheet, it will melt the butter.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Gingerbread House
You can use the recipe as-is for a gingerbread house. However, I prefer to reduce the baking soda to ¼ teaspoon to reduce puffiness and increase the flour by 1 to 2 tablespoons for a drier, and therefore sturdier dough.
It also helps to overbake by one or two minutes. Smaller houses are more stable. Here is a gingerbread house template that is perfect for home use.
You will need an electric mixer to get the butter and brown sugar properly fluffy.
Here are the items I recommend:
Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature. Unlike most gluten-baked goods I found that these cookies stay soft for over 10 days!
This recipe can also be frozen. Store baked cookies in a plastic bag with the air pushed out. They will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this gluten-free holiday baking recipe. Here are a few more gluten-free (and dairy-free) recipes to try this holiday season!
- Dairy-Free Eggnog
- Sweet Potato Crunch
- Beet Goat Cheese Bites
- Balsamic Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts
- Dark Chocolate Candied Oranges with Sea Salt
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Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 15 ounces gluten free flour about 3 cups
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your flour blend contains
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoons ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper optional
- ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup blackstrap molasses
- Royal Icing
- Sanding sugar for sprinkling if desired
- Sift together flour, xanthan gum baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.15 ounces gluten free flour, ½ teaspoon xanthan gum, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. About 3 minutes. Mix in spices and salt, then add the egg, molasses, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low.½ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoons ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper, 1 large egg, ½ cup blackstrap molasses
- Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. You may use more or less of the flour by a tablespoon or two, depending on the humidity of your environment.
- Divide dough and form into 2 flat discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a ¼-inch thick. If the dough is sticking you can roll out between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 3 to 5 minutes before moving on to wire racks. Wait until fully cooled to decorate.Royal Icing, Sanding sugar for sprinkling
- Blackstrap molasses provides a richer flavor and deeper color. Regular unsulphured molasses can be substituted for a lighter color and flavor.
- Cookies can be made one day and decorated another.
- It is recommended you let the cookie dry overnight when making gingerbread houses.
- Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Check out our Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie Recipe web story!