Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies: dress them lightly

The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without cookie decorating. In my house, we turn on music and make cocoa and popcorn (an often failed attempt to deter my kids from digging into all the sugar) to enjoy while we work.

And the kids work hard at their frosting-to-cookie ratio, giving new meaning to the phrase “flood the cookie.” They layer the icing on like masons with mortar and stone and then, like starving Hansel and Gretel, gnaw through the inches of sugar. The cookie’s gotta be in there somewhere??? Seriously, you could burn your tongue on all the red hots if you aren’t careful. I mean, how many buttons does a gingerbread person need? These cookies could potentially kill Santa, if not at least be responsible for his late-night sugar crash!

But cookie decorating isn’t just for kids, and I know a few colleagues who would agree with me. The art is an expression fit for all ages.

We need a gluten-free cookie to provide a canvas for our artwork! I find gingerbread cookies a challenge. It’s rare to find the right flavor profile working cooperatively with the ideal texture. I prefer my gingerbread person not to snap when I bite into it, so I wanted something strong enough to hold the sugary accessorizing doom of my children that would still remain slightly bendy.

Join me now to make gluten-free gingerbread cookies. Shhhh, we’ll hide some from the children to ensure they still taste like gingerbread even after they’re decorated! IMG_8893 Combine the following ingredients in a bowl and set them aside:

IMG_8897 Beat 6 tablespoons softened butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium speed. IMG_8902 Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. IMG_8908 Add 1 large egg, 1/2 cup molasses and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and beat briefly on medium-low speed. You don’t want to stir too much air into the cookies or they’ll become puffy and lose their shape in the oven. IMG_8910 Your goal is for everything to be well blended. IMG_8914 Add the dry ingredients all at once, and stir until just combined. IMG_8924 The dough will be quite soft at this point, but will firm up nicely once it’s chilled. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and wrap them separately in plastic, then flatten each package into a disk for easier rolling. Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results. IMG_8701 When you’re ready to roll and cut the dough, remove it from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350°F. Depending on how long the dough has chilled, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before working with it. IMG_8708 Roll the dough about 1/4″ thick and use the cutters of your choice to make your shapes. IMG_8704 Make your cuts as close together as possible to use the dough efficiently and avoid excess re-rolling. IMG_8706 Place your cutouts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill them for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. They’ll firm up on the edges, but should still be soft in the middle and remain partially so after cooling. Cool completely before decorating.GF-Gingerbread-Cookie_01 These sweet little treats, simply dressed, will be a delight to Santa and your GF friends! Make them a part of your gift-giving basket this season, but don’t forget to keep some all to yourself.

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies.

Print just the recipe.

Amy Trage

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...


  1. Meredith

    I have loved all the gluten free recipes I have tried on this site thus far. Would like to make this one, but wondered if I can use the brown rice flour mix instead of the KA all-purpose flour. Thanks!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The GF Gingerbread recipe is written to use the GF Multipurpose Flour, not the GF Baking Mix! Happy GF Baking! Irene@KAF

  2. Ali

    Do you think baking these slightly longer will reduce the chewiness? I’d like to use this recipe to make a house for my daughter to decorate

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Possibly, Ali. However, I am not sure if they will hold up to construction. Please let us know how it turns out. Jon@KAF

  3. Kirsten

    I want to try to make these, however my daughter is allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts. Do you have another suggestion to the almond flour? Would any g.f. combo work? Maybe coconut flour?
    Thanks for any help.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Unfortunately we do not have a gluten free cookie recipe that is suitable for rolling out that does not contain almond flour, Kirsten. Sounds like something we need to develop! I don’t think coconut flour would work as a substitute for almond flour in this recipe, as almond flour has a lot more fat and will contribute to the tenderness and moistness of the cookie in a way that coconut flour will not. Also, the two flours absorb liquid differently. I would recommend checking for other gluten free gingerbread cookies online. Or perhaps our baking community has some suggestions? Barb@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Unfortunately we do not seem to have a gluten free cookie recipe suitable for rolling out that does not contain almond flour, Kirsten. Sounds like something we need to work on! I don’t think coconut flour would work well as a substitute for the almond flour. The almond flour has a much higher fat content and will contribute to the moistness and tenderness of the cookie in a different way than coconut flour will. For best results I would look for a nut free gluten free gingerbread cookie recipe online. Or perhaps our baking community has some suggestions? Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We have not tried this recipe with anything but the almond flour. However, if your family member can have other nuts, I would suggest to use a nut flour that they can have. Jon@KAF

    2. Abby Maples

      To avoid an almond allergy, try using a hazelnut flour. It has a very similar consistency and absorption ratio. Use it 1:1 to replace other nut flours. You can also replace the brown sugar (we have a sugar allergy in our house, in addition to Celiac). Replace the brown sugar with 1/4 cup coconut palm nectar (it’s sold as granules) and 1/4 cup powdered Stevia or dextrose.

  4. Eileen

    I’ve been thinking of making some of these, and here you are with a recipe- thanks! I’d really love a GF gingerbread construction project, too. 🙂

  5. Bill_Lundy

    These look interesting; however, the “grams” version of the GF flour needs to be corrected to read 350 g rather than 50 g (based on converting the number of ounces of GF flour to grams).


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