These gluten-free gingerbread cookies are dairy-free, too! They're made with gluten-free flour, coconut oil, and lots of ginger and cinnamon spices. These cookies are so easy to make and are perfect for Christmas baking! They're topped with a three-ingredient royal icing that comes together in just 2 minutes.
These are the perfect gingerbread cookies for Christmas and holiday baking. They are so soft, fluffy, and chewy. Nothing beats biting into a delicious Christmas cookie!
The ingredients for these gingerbread cookies are quite simple. If you bake gluten-free and dairy-free often, you probably have most of these ingredients at home already.
- coconut oil - Instead of using butter in the cookies, use coconut oil! It is filled with antioxidants and it's a great dairy-free option in place of butter.
- coconut sugar - This is an unrefined sugar that has a rich, caramely taste. It has more nutritional benefits than cane sugar and granulated sugar and gives such a rich flavor to the gingerbread cookies.
- molasses - Molasses is important in gingerbread cookies because it gives them their classic "gingerread" flavor!
- egg - Egg helps the cookies rise and become super soft and fluffy. It also aids in binding the ingredients together and keeping the cookies from falling apart.
- pure vanilla extract - This adds a rich, well-bodied vanilla flavor to the cookies.
- gluten free 1:1 flour - These are gluten-free gingerbread cookies, after all. Using a gluten free 1:1 flour with xanthum gum makes these cookies safe for those with celiac or a gluten allergy.
- ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves - these cozy spices give the gingerbread cookies such a vibrant, warm flavor for Christmas time!
- salt - Balances the flavors and enhances the sweetness.
- baking soda - Helps the cookies rise and keeps them soft and chewy.
All of these ingredients come together to make delicious gingerbread cookies for the holidays!
These Christmas cookies are easy to make and don't require much equipment. You only need a few items:
- Baking Sheet
- Hand Mixer (or stand mixer)
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters
If you have multiple cookie sheets, baking the cookies will go faster. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to cream the oil and sugar. Either option works really well! You'll need a rolling pin for rolling out the gingerbread cookie dough and your favorite Christmas cookie cutters for punching out your cookie shapes. That's it!
Making The Cookies
Making cutout cookies might be intimidating to new bakers, but they shouldn't be! These cookies are super easy to make and your kids will love helping you in the kitchen around Christmas time.
STEP 1: Cream oil and sugar. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream together the coconut oil and coconut sugar. It may be a dry mixture at first, but it's okay. The goal is to incorporate the coconut oil with the sugar.
STEP 2: Add molasses, egg, and vanilla to the bowl. Mix on medium-high speed until a light and smooth mixture forms. Then set aside.
STEP 3: Whisk dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda until combined.
STEP 4: Add dry ingredients to wet. In small increments, add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Mix on low-medium speed until all of your dry ingredients have been incorporated and a soft, sticky dough forms.
STEP 5: Wrap and chill dough. Use your hands to form the gingerbread cookie dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disc shape. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
TIP: Flattening the dough into a disc before chilling it in the fridge makes it easier to roll out, since it's already in a somewhat flat shape. Why chill the dough? It allows the flour to fully incorporate and makes rolling your cookies much easier.
STEP 7: Preheat oven and prepare baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
STEP 8: Roll dough and cut out cookies. Lightly flour a clean surface with 1-2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out the gingerbread dough until about ¼" thick. Use Christmas cookie cutters to punch out your cookie shapes.
STEP 9: Bake cookies. Gently transfer the cookie cutouts to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies have spread and risen. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack.
TIP: Be sure to let the cookies cool completely before adding the icing, or else it will melt off the cookies.
Frosting The Cookies
You can make a super simple 3-ingredient royal icing for decorating the gingerbread cookies. It only takes two minutes to whip it up. Seriously!
To make the icing, whisk together powdered sugar, egg whites, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Keep whisking until you have a smooth, creamy icing.
If the frosting is too thin for your piping needs, add powdered sugar in small increments until it becomes thick enough for you. If the icing is too thick, add almond milk or water one teaspoon at a time until it has the right consistency.
To frost the cookies, add the icing into a piping bag with a small tip attached. Pipe designs onto the cookies as you desire! It's super fun to add faces and buttons to the gingerbread men cookies and bring them to life.
These gingerbread cookies are gluten-free and dairy-free, but in case you want to substitute any ingredients, I've offered suggestions for you to ensure they turn out just as delicious.
- Flour - To keep the gingerbread cookies gluten-free, use the gluten-free 1:1 flour as directed. Almond flour is not the right texture for these cookies. If you aren't gluten-free, you can use whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour instead.
- Sugar - Instead of coconut sugar, you can use brown sugar, cane sugar, or granulated sugar. They might have different tastes, but they will work!
- Oil - You may use butter or vegan butter instead of coconut oil with good results.
- Egg - I have not tried makingt vegan gingerbread cookies with this recipe, but if you use a flax egg instead of a real egg, please let me know how they turn out so I can offer advice for other readers.
- Molasses - In case you want to make gingerbread cookies with no molasses, you can use maple syrup or honey instead. You may want to add more ginger and cinnamon to ensure the gingerbread flavor stays prominent.
If you make substitutions to the recipe, please don't try to change more than one ingredient at once. I can't ensure the cookies will turn out properly if you stray too far from the original recipe as written.
You can't go wrong with classic cutout gingerbread cookies, but if you want to do something different or add some more fun to the cookies, try these ideas!
- Add Sprinkles - One of the easiest ways to make cookies more vibrant and colorful is to add sprinkles! You can press sprinkles into the cookies before they go in the oven, or add sprinkles right after you pipe icing onto the gingerbread. Red and green are classic colors, but feel free to get creative!
- Colored Icing - Add food coloring or natural colors to your icing if you'd like. You can separate your icing into multiple small bowls and make multiple different colors for the most fun in icing your gingerbread men!
- Flavored Icing - Instead of using vanilla extract, consider using almond extract, orange extract, or mint extract in your icing for a delicious flavor combination with the gingerbread.
- "Drop" Cookies - If you don't want to cut out your gingerbread cookies, you can use a cookie scoop to scoop out your gingerbread cookie dough. Place the cookie dough on the baking sheet 1" apart and gently flatten the dough with your fingers before baking. This eliminates the rolling and cutout steps of the recipe if you want super quick gingerbread cookies!
For a pumpkin version, check out these gluten-free pumpkin cookies!
Storing and Freezing
Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 3-5 days. This prevents the cookies from drying out during the week. If you're stacking the cookies, be sure to place parchment paper in between each layer so they don't stick together.
To freeze the cookies, place them in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer. Store in the freezer for 30-60 days. Be sure to let them thaw on the counter for an hour or two before serving again.
More Gluten-Free Recipes
If you made these gingerbread cookies, I'd love to know how you liked them! Please leave a rating and comment below, or post a photo on Instagram and tag me so I can see! For more gluten-free baking, check out these recipes:
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Baking Sheet
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ½ cups gluten free 1:1 flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger or nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 pasteurized egg white about 3 tablespoon egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
For the Cookies
- In a large bowl, add the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until incorporated. It may seem dry, but that's okay. The purpose is to incorporate the coconut oil into the sugar.¾ cup coconut oil, ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Continue mixing on medium-high speed until you have a smooth mixture.¾ cup molasses, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a separate bowl, combine the gluten free flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.3 ½ cups gluten free 1:1 flour, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda
- In small increments, add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Mix on low speed to combine until all of your dry ingredients have been combined and a soft dough forms.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a large disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. This is important in helping the cookies hold their shape while baking and makes it easier to roll out.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can use non-stick cooking spray instead.
- Lightly sprinkle a clean surface with 1-2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour. Remove the plastic wrap from the chilled dough and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to around ¼" thick.
- Use your favorite Christmas cookie cutters to punch out your shapes in the rolled dough. Try to keep them close together on the dough to minimize the number of times you have to re-roll the dough.
- Transfer your cutouts to the prepared baking sheet about 1" apart. Re-roll the dough as necessary until your baking sheet is full.
- Bake your cookies at 350 degrees for about 9-10 minutes, or until they have spread out and risen.
- Allow the cookies to cool 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet before gently transferring them to a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before icing.
For the Icing
- To make royal icing for the cookies, whisk together powdered sugar, a pasteurized egg white, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until smooth.2 cups powdered sugar, 1 pasteurized egg white, ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- If the frosting is too thick, add almond milk one teaspoon at a time to thin it out. If the icing is too thin, add powdered sugar in small increments until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Transfer the icing to a piping bag with a small tip and decorate the cookies to your preference. Let the icing set up for at least 15 minutes before serving.