These soft and chewy gluten-free gingerbread cookies blend sweet cinnamon and a hint of vanilla with zingy ginger and molasses. Like my paleo sugar cookies, they’re surprisingly simple to make . . . especially if skip the royal icing for decorating.
Instead, I used Rainbow Starfetti natural sprinkles to make eyes, a smile and buttons for my gingerbread men, but they could also be served plain (because they’re DELISH) or topped with naturally colored decorating sugar like this.
Oh, and a glass of almond or whatever milk you prefer. Because YUM.
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Soft, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
These soft and chewy gluten-free gingerbread cookies blend sweet cinnamon and a hint of vanilla with zingy ginger and molasses. They're surprisingly simple to make, fun to decorate, and so delicious! Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Chilling the dough 30 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Author Heather Dessinger
- 1½ cups blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour (or tapioca starch, plus more for rolling the dough)
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves (approximately 1/16 tsp)
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder (here's how to make baking powder substitute if you don't have it on hand)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted – can substitute coconut oil or sustainably harvested palm shortening if dairy-free)
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract (how to make vanilla extract)
- Place the dry ingredients (almond flour, arrowroot/tapioca, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and baking powder) in a food processor and pulse until the spices are evenly distributed. (If you don't have a food processor, you can do this step in a large bowl. The final cookie may have more color variation but it will taste just as delicious.)
- Add the wet ingredients (maple syrup, molasses, butter/coconut oil/palm shortening, and vanilla) then process until the dough is well-combined. (If you don't have a food processor, you can do this step in a large bowl.)
- Use a rubber spatula to scoop the dough onto parchment paper, then wrap the paper around the cookie dough and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has chilled, place the cookie dough on a surface that has been sprinkled with arrowroot powder or tapioca starch. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Dust your rolling pin with tapioca/arrowroot flour, sprinkle the dough, and roll it to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut out shapes using your cookie cutters, then use a spatula to place the cookies on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. If desired, dab a moist cloth on the top of the cookie to remove any excess tapioca/arrowroot flour.
- Optional step: Make eyes, a smile and buttons with pieces of Rainbow Starfetti natural sprinkles.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for five minutes. After five minutes, use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack or plate.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, or in the freezer for up to six months.
Want More Holiday Cookie Ideas?
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Sugar Cookie Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo) – Decorated with naturally colored sprinkles and plant-based, natural food dye, these sugar cookies are super easy to make and fun to decorate!
2. Zimtsterne: Traditional German Almond Spice Cookies – Spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and a hint of nutmeg, this recipe makes perfect cut-out cookies that are sometimes used as holiday ornaments.
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies – Although not technically a holiday/Christmas cookie, this recipe is one of my family’s favorites for any occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use this recipe to make a gingerbread house?
I haven’t tried it but I think these cookies are probably too soft for constructing a gingerbread house. If you really want to make one, I recommend the recipe in Danielle Walker’s new book, Celebrations.
Can I substitute almond flour for coconut or gluten-free flour?
Both coconut flour and gluten-free flour absorb much more liquid than almond flour and therefore cannot be used in this recipe.