This is my TRIED-AND-TRUE recipe for gluten-free gingerbread cookies. They are are soft, chewy and full of holiday goodness!

Hooray for cookies that are both soft AND hold their shape. They’re perfect for decorating and will bring a smile to your face.

Be sure to watch the recipe video included in this post for a full tutorial!

gluten free gingerbread cookies on white plate with glass of milk

‘Tis the season!

If you are planning to bake up a batch of gingerbread cookies over this holiday season, I have the perfect recipe for you.

This is my Grandma’s tried-and-true gingerbread recipe – made with a few tweaks to be gluten-free. I hope you love them as much as we do! It’s one of my very favorite Christmas cookie recipes!

VIDEO: Watch how to make them!

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For more gluten-free holiday favorites, try this gluten-free gingerbread cake or these gluten-free molasses cookies or gluten-free ginger snaps. You also might love these classic gluten-free Christmas cookies!

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients for gluten-free gingerbread cookies

Here are a few notes on the key ingredients needed to make these cookies.

  • Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: Also known as gluten-free measure-for-measure flour. I like to use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum. This is my favorite brand
  • Shortening: These cookies are made with shortening instead of butter! It’s one of the tricks to the best soft and chewy consistency. If you like a butter flavor, you can use butter-flavored shortening.
  • Molasses: A classic ingredient that gives gingerbread cookie recipes their characteristic color and flavor.
  • Vinegar: This is my Grandma’s secret ingredient. Vinegar lightens the cookie dough. Don’t worry – you can’t taste it.
  • Ground Ginger: These wouldn’t be gingerbread cookies without ginger. A full tablespoon gives the cookies great flavor.

How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread cookie dry ingredients being whisked in glass bowl
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
shortening and sugar being creamed in stand mixer
  • In the separate bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), add the shortening and sugar. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until thoroughly creamed.
mixing in the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer
  • Add the egg, vinegar and molasses and mix to combine.
slowly adding dry ingredients to the mixer
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl then, with the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until totally combined.
dough being rolled and chilled
  • Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time and a rolling pin, roll or press the dough ¼-inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment paper or plastic wrap, stack the dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (You can also freeze the dough for 15-20 minutes.)

Tip: It’s important to chill the dough for best results so the cookies hold their shape during baking. Chilling the dough also gives the gluten-free flour time to hydrate so the cookies has the best consistency.

gluten free gingerbread cookies cut and placed on baking sheet
  • Once the dough has chilled it’s time to cut and bake the cookies.
  • Remove one dough sheet from the freezer or refrigerator and place on the counter. Working quickly, peel off the top parchment paper then cut into the desired shapes (classic men or Christmas trees are fun!). Use a thin metal spatula to help transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone mat.
  • If the dough begins to stick you can put it back in the freezer for a bit before continuing. Repeat with the remaining dough. The scraps can be rolled out to get as many cookies as you can.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes until set. Let the gluten-free gingerbread men cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Best Icing for Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

These gluten-free gingerbread cookies are perfect for decorating. You can use royal icing, buttercream frosting – or my favorite simple recipe for decorating gingerbread cookies as follows.

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Whisk until smooth. Add more milk (just a few drops at a time) if the frosting is too thick. It should be thick but still able to be spread or piped.

Recipe FAQS

Can I freeze these gluten-free gingerbread cookies?

Yes! These cookies freeze great. To freeze place the cooled cookies in a ziploc bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 month. The cookies can be defrosted at room temperature. I don’t recommend decorating the cookies before freezing them – so plan on doing that after!

Can I make these gluten-free dairy-free gingerbread cookies egg-free?

this recipe uses shortening instead of butter, these cookies are dairy-free. There is only 1 egg in the whole batch so you can also easily use an egg replacer. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer for be results.

Do I have to chill gingerbread cookie dough?

It’s important to chill the dough so the cookies hold their shape during baking. Chilling the dough also gives the gluten-free flour time to hydrate so the cookies has the best consistency.

Can I use almond flour instead of the gluten-free all purpose flour?

Unfortunately almond flour has very different properties that gluten-free all purpose flour and won’t produce the same results in this recipe.

How do you make gluten free cookies stay together?

To ensure your gluten-free cookies stay together, use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. It is best to use a flour that contains xanthan gum which acts as a binder. This is my favorite brand

close up of gluten free gingerbread cookies on white plate with glass of milk

I hope you enjoy this gluten-free recipe as much as we do! If you try it be sure to leave me a comment and star rating below 🙂

More Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

gluten free gingerbread cookies on white plate with glass of milk
5 from 17 votes

Soft, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings 24 cookies
This is my FAVORITE recipe for gluten-free gingerbread cookies. They are are soft, chewy and full of holiday goodness!
Hooray for cookies that are both soft AND hold their shape. They're perfect for decorating and will bring a smile to your face.
Be sure to watch the recipe video included in this post for a full tutorial!

Video

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 530 grams
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Other:

  • 1 cup shortening 190 grams (I use organic palm shortening)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 210 grams
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup molasses 240 ml

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), add the shortening and sugar. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until thoroughly creamed. Add the egg, vinegar and molasses and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then, with the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until totally combined.
  • Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll or press the dough ¼-inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment paper or plastic wrap, stack the dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (You can also freeze the dough for 15-20 minutes.)
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  • Remove one dough sheet from the freezer or refrigerator and place on the counter. Working quickly, peel off the top parchment paper then cut into the desired shapes. Use a thin metal spatula to help transfer the cookies to the baking sheets.
  • If the dough begins to stick you can put it back in the freezer for a bit before continuing. Repeat with the remaining dough. The scraps can be rolled out to get as many cookies as you can.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes until set. Let cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with royal icing or frosting if desired – enjoy!

Notes

Tip: It’s important to chill the dough so the cookies hold their shape during baking. Chilling the dough also gives the gluten-free flour time to hydrate so the cookies has the best consistency.
Ingredient Notes:
  • Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: Also known as gluten-free measure-for-measure flour. I like to use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum. This is my favorite brand
  • Shortening: These cookies are made with shortening instead of butter! It’s one of the tricks to the best soft and chewy consistency. If you like a butter flavor, you can use butter-flavored shortening.
  • Vinegar: This is my Grandma’s secret ingredient. Vinegar lightens the cookie dough. Don’t worry – you can’t taste it.
Gingerbread Cookie Icing Recipe:
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
Whisk until smooth. Add more milk (just a few drops at a time) if the frosting is too thick. It should be thick but still able to be spread or piped.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Can I freeze the cookie dough until I’m ready to bake them or is it better stored in the fridge for a few days?

  2. Hi there – Wondering about the shortening. Is Crisco okay? Have you tried using lard? Also, what is it about the shortening that makes it better than butter. I get what you wrote – that it makes them soft and chewy. Just wondering why that is?

    1. Yes I’ve used crisco with great results! This recipe is based on my Grandma’s that called for shortening. Cookies made with only shortening will result in a cookie that bakes higher and holds its shape better during baking – this is just what you want for gingerbread cookies!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m making cookies for a friend that’s gluten free and I had no idea if I’d be able to find a recipe that was gluten free for gingerbread cookies and I found this one! It’s perfect! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    I have been on the hunt for a good GF gingerbread cookie, and this was the perfect find! My kids didn’t even notice!

  5. 5 stars
    Best Gingerbread cookies ever! I doubled the recipe and made half immediately (December 6th) and the other half a few days ago (after freezing) and they are perfect! They are soft and chewy but strong enough to hold icing and decorations. Love this recipe!

  6. Can I make this dough a head of time and bake later. I like to bake with the granddaughters but not so much the mixing mess.

  7. 5 stars
    I spent a couple days working with these and the molasses cookies you have in the cookie listings. Maybe it is my oven, but they both got too hard the first time, but when I cooked these for only 8 minutes at 350, they turned out the texture I like! Delicious mix of ingredients and definitely on my list of cookies to take with me this Christmas to the family celebration!

  8. Like Rain’s question above, I too would like to know if I can roll these into a ball, roll them in sugar, then flatten the balls with a glass and pop them in the oven.

    1. This is a good question! That should work great! You can cut the chilling time back to 30 minutes if you decided to make them that way 🙂

  9. Would these work rolled into balls and dipped in sugar like a gingersnap? I loathe rolling out dough but my son asked for ginger cookies the other day! I’ve loved every recipe of yours that I’ve tried and have never needed to alter them before!

  10. OMG! I was talking to my neighbor about ginger cookies yesterday and somehow this recipe popped up today. I NEEDED it cause I really can’t get to the nearest bought gluten free cookie often these days. Thanks so much. I may have to make them today. The recipe is printed and on my counter. I’ll let you know how I feel about them as soon as I do! Thank you!

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