Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies are such a joy to bake and decorate at the holiday season, not only because they are incredibly delicious and packed with deep spicy flavour but also because when you bake a batch of these Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies your home instantly smells of Christmas and will kickstart that holiday spirit.
Gingerbread cookies are all about finding the perfect balance between sweet, spice and gentle bitterness. I personally tend to be heavy handed when it comes to adding cinnamon and ginger as I like my gingerbread cookies to have a little kick to them. The other thing I highly recommend if you plan to decorate or add icing to these cookies is to use Blackstrap Molasses. This is because blackstrap molasses has a slightly more dark caramelized flavour which gives the cookies a much more intense depth of flavour which helps to balance out the sweetness in icing.
Note: These Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies need to be rolled and cut-out into rounds or pretty holiday shapes. If you prefer your Ginger Cookies to be soft, chewy and more reminiscent of a Snickerdoodle or Chocolate Chip Cookie then check out my Gluten Free Starbucks Copycat Ginger Molasses Cookies.
Why you need this Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie recipe in your life:
- The scent of these cookies alone is reason enough to bake them! Not only are they delicious, but you can use them as decoration around the house or on your Christmas tree. Let’s break that down. Yummy to eat + Beautiful handmade decorations + Warming holiday scent = The Perfect Holiday Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie!
- Because these cookies are packed with bold spices and flavours you can get away with using most gluten-free flour blends without worrying about any underlying flavours that are often associated with gluten-free flour blends. If you want to know more about baking with gluten free flours and how they can effect the overall bake and flavour then check out this article I wrote for Food Bloggers of Canada.
- This Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie dough gets better with age. You can make a double batch and keep it in the fridge/freezer. Perfect for when you want to whip up some holiday cookies in a pinch or just want your house to smell amazing.
list of the ingredients needed to make these Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies:
- Unsalted Butter. The butter needs to be room temperature so you can easily mix in the sugar and create a smooth, creamy texture with very little air.
- Vegetable Shortening. This one sometimes stops people because most are used to seeing butter or oil in my cookie recipes. By switching to vegetable shortening for this recipe, it gives the cookies a slightly more chewy texture, locks in the moisture and helps them stay fresh longer.
- Light Brown Sugar. Light brown sugar has just enough molasses added to it so we get a nice balance of caramelized sweetness.
- Blackstrap Molasses. Oh Molasses. It’s such a beautiful, sticky ingredient that leaves our baked goods full of depth and dark caramelized flavour. For this recipe you can use Blackstrap Molasses which is very dark and leans towards being bitter, or regular Dark Molasses which is most commonly used in Gingerbread Cookies.
- Whole Egg. The whole eggs contribute to the overall structure cookie and gives it a little lift.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend. I used my All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend. The recipe for the blend can be found here. In a pinch I will often use Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend.
- Baking Soda. Using a small amount of Bicarbonate of Soda helps to give the cookies a slightly soft chewy texture without expanding and spreading too much. So we are left with a beautiful shape and perfect texture. Best of both worlds!
- Kosher Salt. If all you have is table salt you will need to use much less as table salt is much stronger than kosher salt due to the different granule size. Only use about ¼ tsp or a pinch of table salt to ½ tsp of kosher salt.
- Spices. I like to keep it simple when it comes to my Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies so I use a mixture of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
How to make these Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies:
In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, spices, and salt. set aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter, vegetable shortening and sugar on low for approx 2 minutes until smooth. Beat in the molasses and egg yolks and mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom on the bowl. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a soft dough forms.
Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out rough to 1/8 inch thickness and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until dough is firm to the touch.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on the prepared baking sheet. Making sure to space them out 2 inches apart. You will likely need to bake these cookies in 2-4 batches.
Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just started to darken. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Pastry Chef Tips and Tricks:
- If you plan to make these cookies and use them as Christmas Tree decorations, I would recommend rolling out the dough to 2mm (just a little thinner than 1/8 inch) and bake them for 10 min. Don’t forget to punch out a small hole so you can add a ribbon or hook later on.
- If your cookie cutters are sticking to the dough, you can spray the cutter lightly with cooking spray.
- Adding lemon juice and zest, or peppermint extract to the sugar icing is a fun way to incorporate another flavour into your gluten free gingerbread cookies.
How to Store Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies:
Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. Refrigerated dough will keep for 2-4 days. Frozen dough will keep for 2 months.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie
- 40 g Unsalted Butter (room temp)
- 60 g Vegetable Shortening
- 100 g Light Brown Sugar
- 80 g Blackstrap Molasses
- 1 Whole Egg (room temp)
- 280 g Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1/4 Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 375g Powdered Sugar
- 85 g Light Corn Syrup
- 60 ml Whole Milk
- 1 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silat.In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, spices, and salt. set aside.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter, vegetable shortening and sugar on low for approx 2 minutes until smooth. Beat in the molasses and egg yolks and mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom on the bowl. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a soft dough forms.
- Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out rough to 1/8 inch thickness and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until dough is firm to the touch.Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on the prepared baking sheet. Making sure to space them out 2 inches apart. You will likely need to bake these cookies in 2-4 batches.
- Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just started to darken. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.If decorating with Vanilla Icing, wait until the cookies are completely cooled.
Vanilla Icing Instructions
- In a medium bowl, sift powdered sugar. Add corn syrup, half of the milk and vanilla. Whisk together and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes to allow the powdered sugar to absorb the liquid. Add the remaining milk and continue mixing until you have a smooth icing. Transfer to a pipping bag and use immediately. Alternatively you can store the vanilla icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 hours or in the refrigerator for 3 days. Allow the Vanilla Icing to come to room temperatures before using.
If you are looking for more Christmas inspired gluten-free recipes to bake up this holiday season make sure to try one of these:
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