These Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies are soft with perfectly crisp edges, and are easy to make in one bowl with almond flour, molasses, and a blend of warming spices. The dough comes together in one bowl and rolls out like a dream making them a must-try for the holiday season.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies: A Holiday Delight
The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by baking a batch of delicious holiday cookies? These gluten-free gingerbread cookies are soft, with a perfect crisp and a must-have for the holiday season. The blend of almond flour and warm spices creates a delightful treat that everyone can enjoy.
Whether you’re new to gluten-free baking or a seasoned pro, these cookies will add a touch of magic to your festive celebrations and are sure to become a holiday favorite.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
The success of any recipe hinges on the quality and combination of ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at the components that make our gluten-free gingerbread cookies a delightful treat:
- Superfine Blanched Almond Flour: Almond flour is the star of this recipe, providing a delicate, nutty flavor and a lovely, tender texture. It’s the perfect gluten-free substitute for traditional wheat flour. If you need a nut-free alternative, gluten-free fine oat flour or cassava flour work too.
- Maple Syrup: For a touch of sweetness, we use Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup, which is keto-friendly. However, you can opt for pure maple syrup if you’re following a paleo diet. The syrup not only sweetens but also imparts a subtle, earthy flavor.
- Molasses: Molasses is essential for that quintessential gingerbread flavor. We recommend using organic blackstrap molasses, but you can use fancy molasses if you prefer a milder taste.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: A teaspoon of pure vanilla extract adds depth and warmth to the cookie dough, making it even more inviting.
- Ground Spices: The combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice creates the classic gingerbread spice blend that’s perfect for the holidays.
- Fine Sea Salt (Optional): A pinch of fine sea salt enhances the flavors and balances out the sweetness in the cookies.
How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies from Scratch
- Make the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sweetener, vanilla, molasses, gingerbread spices and salt. Mix until a dough starts to form. Knead dough with your hands and form into a large ball.
- Chill: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes. Chilling the dough is essential since freshly made cookie dough is too warm to work with and will cause your cookies to spread.
- Prep the Baking Sheet: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper,
- Roll Out Dough: Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1/4″ thickness in between two large pieces of parchment paper.
- Cut into Shapes: Use cookie cutters to cut out into shapes – carefully lift and place cookies onto lined baking sheet. Use a silicone spatula as needed. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
- Bake: Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway though, until cookies are just slightly golden on the bottom. If you like crispy vegan gingerbread cookies, bake for slightly longer, checking often so they don’t burn.
- Cool: Allow to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Decorate: Decorate with frosting, powdered sugar of your choice, sprinkles or enjoy as is.
Tips for Success
Chill the Dough: After mixing the ingredients into a dough, it’s crucial to wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for 15 minutes. This step is essential as freshly made cookie dough can be too warm, causing the cookies to spread too much during baking.
- Measure the Flour Correctly: We like to use the spoon and level method otherwise you will be using too much flour and that will affect the texture.
Use Parchment Paper: When rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes, work between two large pieces of parchment paper. This prevents sticking and ensures easy handling of the delicate gluten-free dough.
They’re perfect for sharing with family and friends during festive gatherings, as gifts, or for leaving out for Santa!
Variations and Substitutions
Feel free to get creative with this recipe!
- Chocolate Lover’s Delight: Stir in dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks to the dough for a delightful chocolatey surprise in every bite. You can also drizzle melted vegan chocolate on top for an extra indulgent touch.
- Citrus Zest: Add a burst of citrusy flavor by mixing in some orange or lemon zest. The bright, fresh notes will complement the spiciness of the ginger.
- Nutty Goodness: Enhance the texture and flavor with chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts. They’ll add a satisfying crunch to your cookies.
- Dried Fruit Medley: Combine dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, or chopped dried apricots into the dough for a sweet and chewy twist.
- Spiced Icing: Elevate your gingerbread cookies with spiced icing. Mix powdered sugar with a pinch of ground ginger, cinnamon, and a drop of almond extract for a delectable icing.
- Caramel Drizzle: Create a vegan caramel drizzle by mixing coconut milk and coconut sugar. Drizzle it over your cookies for a sweet and gooey finish.
- Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies: Make gingerbread sandwich cookies by spreading vegan cream cheese, dairy-free frosting, or your favorite nut butter between two gingerbread cookies.
- Sprinkle Magic: Decorate your cookies with colorful vegan sprinkles or edible glitter for a festive and eye-catching appearance.
- Glazed Gingerbread: Give your cookies a glossy finish by brushing them with a simple vegan glaze made from powdered sugar and a touch of almond or vanilla extract.
- Fruit-Filled Center: Create thumbprint cookies by pressing your thumb into the center of each cookie before baking and filling the indentation with fruit preserves or vegan jam.
- Holiday Shapes: Experiment with different cookie cutter shapes, like snowflakes, reindeer, or festive holiday symbols to match the season.
- Maple Glazed Pecans: Top each cookie with a maple-glazed pecan for a decorative and flavorful touch.
What’s the best way to decorate these gingerbread cookies?
You can enjoy your cookies as they are or decorate your cookies with powdered sugar, sprinkles or try out our piping skills with our favorite frosting:
Vegan royal icing:
- Almond milk OR dairy-free milk
- Powdered monk fruit sweetener OR powdered coconut sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Organic refined coconut oil OR vegan butter
- Powdered monk fruit sweetener OR powdered coconut sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Coconut cream OR dairy-free milk
Store your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
How to freeze:
If you want to keep them fresh longer, you can freeze the unbaked cookie dough in an air-tight storage container or large resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months in the freezer. Separate the layers with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
Baked gingerbread cookies also freeze perfectly. Simply place the gingerbread cookies on large baking sheets and freeze for 20 minutes, or until hard. Transfer the frozen cookies to an resealable containers or large ziptop bags for up to 3 months.
To thaw: Remove frozen baked cookies from the freezer and allow to that at room temperature. Once thawed, you can roll the balls in more powdered sugar, if desired before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We’ve put together a list of common questions and answers to help you get the most out of your gluten-free gingerbread cookie baking experience. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
1. Can I use regular all-purpose flour instead of almond flour?
Unfortunately, almond flour is a unique ingredient in this recipe, providing both the gluten-free aspect and a delightful nutty flavor. Using all-purpose flour would not yield the same results.
2. Can I substitute the maple syrup with honey?
While it’s not a direct 1:1 substitution, you can use vegan honey instead of maple syrup. Just be aware that it may alter the flavor slightly. Vegan honey tends to be sweeter than maple syrup, so adjust the amount accordingly to your taste.
3. Can I make these cookies vegan?
Absolutely! You can replace the regular molasses with a plant-based alternative and use vegan frosting or decorations. Vegan butter can also be used to prevent sticking when rolling out the dough.
4. Can I make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for later use?
Yes, you can prepare the dough in advance and refrigerate it. Just make sure it’s tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. When you’re ready to bake, let it come to room temperature for easier rolling.
5. Can I use different cookie cutters for various shapes?
Absolutely! Different cookie cutters will give your gingerbread cookies unique and festive shapes. This adds an extra touch of holiday charm.
6. Can I make smaller or larger cookies, and how will it affect the baking time?
You can certainly adjust the size of the cookies. Smaller cookies may require less baking time, while larger ones may need a bit more. Keep an eye on them and aim for a slightly golden bottom for perfect results.
More gluten-free Christmas cookies you will love:
These Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies are soft, chewy and so easy to make in just one bowl. The paleo cookie dough is perfectly spiced and rolls out like a dream! Includes step-by-step photos and paleo and low carb sweetener options.
- 2 cups superfine blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup OR pure maple syrup for paleo
- 2 tablespoons molasses , we use organic blackstrap but you can sub with fancy molasses if you prefer
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt – optional but if you add just a tiny pinch it helps to enhance the flavor and balance out the sweetness
MAKE THE DOUGH: In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sweetener, molasses, vanilla, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt. Mix until a dough starts to form. Knead dough with your hands and form into a large ball.
CHILL: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes. Chilling the dough is essential since freshly made cookie dough is too warm to work with and will cause your cookies to spread.
PREP THE BAKING SHEET: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper,
ROLL OUT DOUGH: Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1/4″ thickness in between two large pieces of parchment paper.
CUT INTO SHAPES: Use cookie cutters to cut out into shapes – carefully lift and place cookies onto lined baking sheet. Use a silicon spatula as needed. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
BAKE: Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway though, until cookies are just slightly golden on the bottom. If you like crispy vegan gingerbread cookies, bake for slightly longer, checking often so they don't burn.
COOL: Allow to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
DECORATE: Decorate with frosting, powdered sugar of your choice, sprinkles or enjoy as is.
How to store:
Refrigeration: These fun and festive vegan gingerbread cookies can be stored in an airtight bag or container at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also store them in the fridge for up to 10 days. The uncooked dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezer: For longer-term storage, consider freezing the dough or baked cookies. Place them in an airtight bag, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge before eating. You can also freeze the uncooked vegan gingerbread cookie dough for up to 3 months.