Gluten free gingerbread cookies that are also vegan, dairy and allergen friendly may seem like a daunting task but this easy recipe makes them possible. The snappy cookies come out full of taste and ready to make holiday memories with the family.
- Ingredients Needed
- Substitutions in Egg Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Dairy Free Gringerbread Cookie Adaptations
- Directions for Making the Gluten-free Gingerbread Cookies
- Decorating and Icing Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- How to Store Allergen Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Other Ideas for this Allergen Friendly Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- What To Serve With Gingerbread Cookies
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- 📖 Recipe
Gluten free gingerbread cookies are one of our favourite winter cookie treats. We make them every year and these ones are so easy the kids can get in to help make them. Baking them together each year and include them in our Christmas cookie boxes. Our family has always made gingerbread but started making them gluten free before we found out the kids had allergies.
Every year one of the kids would bring gingerbread cookies shaped like martial artists to their Tao instructors. We called them "Ninjabread Men" and they were always a huge hit. One of the instructors had gluten dietary restrictions so our child learned to make them safe for their instructor. We always include a list of ingredients - with pictures of all the brands we use and their ingredients and may contain statements in an electronic message to whomever we gift cookies to. Being aware of allergens and cross contamination all ingredients are freshly opened and used for those batches-- ie: spices. We buy them in small batches for the gifting baked goods and will use them up for other of our own needs the rest of the year, never wasting the food.
Wet Ingredients With Notes For Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Vegan Butter Sticks:
We like the coconut melt version of vegan butter sticks, they don't contain soy as of the time of writing this recipe. The buttery sticks often have a higher fat content and are generally preferred for baking recipes. Most of the vegan margarine options have a high water content that may affect the texture of the gingerbread cookies.
Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer (or ground flax):
Either one works well in this recipe mixed with 1 tablespoon water to form a slurry. The Bob's Red Mill egg replacer is psyllium husk based. Combine the egg replacement with water and allow to sit to thicken for 5 mins.
Canned chickpea water whipped to soft peaks gives the cookies a nice rise and does a fabulous job in replacing egg whites.
The fancy molasses is best used in this recipe. Don't use blackstrap molasses. The latter will be too bitter for the cookies. The molasses for gingerbread cookies is fancy molasses. If sulphites are restricted in your diet do check the molasses carefully as some brands contain them.
Dry Ingredients With Notes To Make Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten free all purpose flour:
We prefer to use a premixed 1-1 flour with xantham gum for our gluten free flour. We find either Bob's Red Mill 1:1 (check the may contain statment as it sometimes lists top 8 allergens) or Robin Hood Gluten Free flours work best in this gingerbread cookie recipe.
Fresh gluten free and allergen safe one will work we have found.
Spices like ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves are all integral parts of this recipe. Fresher spices will give a richer, fuller flavour. Check with the makers of the spices to ensure there isn't a risk of other contaminants from other allergens. For us mustard is one that can show up in the most unexpected packages of dried herbs and spices.
Safe Coloured Sugar:
This kind of coarse sugar or vegan large grain white sugar for decorating is best used for the easiest decorating option. Be aware that some sugars are processed with with bone char and the process is not vegan. Check with the manufacturer as required for some sugars. Dyes are both a big allergen concern for many people and may be tested on animals making them non-vegan. Natural dyes are usually preferred but are more difficult to find.
Substitutions in Egg Free Gingerbread Cookies
If chickpeas and beans are a restricted food for you, you can substitute egg replacer in for the aquafaba, you will need a total of 3 Tbsps of Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer and 3-4 Tbsps water.
Flax can be used for the egg replacer, if ground finely. It may need a ⅓ a teaspoon more water if using aquafaba or 1 tablespoon more water if replacing aquafaba with ground flax to form a flax egg.
Dairy Free Gringerbread Cookie Adaptations
If wanting a spice that is a bit earlier in the autumn, try apple pie or pumpkin pie spice mixes. They can be made from simple pantry spices and bring a milder flavour. Another great adaptation is to replace the spice with a lemon or orange worth of zest and ground cardamom seeds (with husks removed). About 1 tablespoon of ground cardamom is what a recipe the size of this allergen free gingerbread cookie recipe needs.
Directions for Making the Gluten-free Gingerbread Cookies
Either a stand mixer or hand mixer is preferred for this recipe to cream the sugar and vegan buttery sticks using the paddle attachment. Whip the aquafaba should be slightly before adding to make gingerbread cookies. Battery operated milk frothing tools are perfect for the job. Add, then the egg replacer slurry to the mixer. When adding the fancy molasses oil the measuring cup so it won't stick to the scoop and you'll get an accurate amount.
Combining the dry ingredients in another bowl by sifting them together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer while it is on an extremely low setting. If you are getting a cloud of flour or poofing of dry ingredients everywhere the mixer needs to be on a lower setting. If it is on the lowest setting and still flying all over, add the dry ingredients while the mixer is off a bit at a time, them cover the stand mixer with a clean kitchen towel over the mixer arm and bowl. Stop the mixer every now and then to scrape down the sides until combined well.
Using a 1.5 tbsps cookie scoop to portion out the gluten free gingerbread cookies. Our recipe for gingerbread cookies called for rolling the dough into small balls and then in safe coloured sugar in high sided bowls. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten each ball slightly with your fingers. Bake until done and cool.
Decorating and Icing Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Rolling the dough in coloured sugar that is vegan safe with the dyes and sugar processing is our favourite quick way to make a festive holiday cookie. For icing, a quick water and vegan icing sugar works well for simple decorating. Make the icing as thick as you need it by adding more icing sugar or thinner with more water. Alternatively, a royal icing subbed with aquafaba instead of egg whites for gingerbread house construction cement. Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing.
How to Store Allergen Free Gingerbread Cookies
These are cookies the whole family can have fun with.
On the counter
Store in a sealed container on the counter, un-refridgerated for up to 5 days, if they aren't finished the day of baking . If they get that gingerbread cookie crunch and you want to make them a bit more bite friendly, store them with a moist paper towel in the same container but not touching the cookies. These are a harder more structured snap-able cookie best with a cup of tea or coffee.
Storing Gingerbread cookies in the freezer for up to 2 months in a well sealed freezer container is a great make ahead Christmas cookie trick. Cookies do well when wrapped in plastic wrap in bunches then place in the storage container in the fridge.
Allow to thaw on the counter. Do not refreeze or thaw in the oven or microwave as they will get too dry and crisp.
Other Ideas for this Allergen Friendly Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
This recipe is a sturdy enough one to use as a structural base for gingerbread houses. It will go very hard when stored out of a sealed container with a wet paper towel, so we recommend not eating the gingerbread house if it is on display in the open air. If you are more of a traditionalist this dough does well for rolling, as well. Just chill it for 30 mins before rolling. Roll the gingerbread thinly. Assemble after it is completely cooled overnight.
We find crushed cookies the perfect option when making sweet dessert pie and tart crusts. We have a recipe all about how to make Allergen Friendly Crushed Cookie Pie Crusts. Make them without the sugar coating, especially if you are going to make a batch and use them in a pie crust.
What To Serve With Gingerbread Cookies
These cookies are best to serve with a cup of tea or coffee, as they age they get that gingerbread snap and can be dunked in the hot drinks.
Making the cookies into traditional gingerbread houses is one of the best uses for these cookies. They can be structurally sound enough to hold up to piles of candies and vegan royal icing made with aquafaba.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- 1 c vegan butter sticks
- 1 teaspoon bob’s red mill egg replacer or ground flax mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tbsps Aquafaba whipped to soft peaks
- ½ C fancy molasses
- 3 ¼ C gluten free all purpose flour with xantham gum
- ½ teaspoon safe baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅓ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ C Safe Coloured sugar or vegan large grain white sugar for decorating.
- Preheat oven to bake at 325°F.
- Whip aquafaba with a hand mixer in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Mix egg replacer or flax with water in a separate small bowl with a fork. Set aside.
- Cream vegan butter sticks with brown sugar for 5-7 mins until well mixed in a stand mixer. Scraping down sides of the mixer often. Let mix while combining dry ingredients.
- In a separate large bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together and mix with a fork. Set aside.
- Add whipped aquafaba to creamed sugar and mix
- Add egg replacer/flax mix to the creamed mix. Scrape down sides and mix in the the stand mixer on medium.
- Add dry ingredients and mix on a really low speed until just combined, while scraping down sides.
- When combined, use a small 1.5 tablespoon scoop to scoop out balls of dough. Set aside.
- Pour 2 tbsps of decorating sugar into a small bowl.
- Roll lightly between your hands then put the balls one by one in the decorating sugar bowl and roll the dough ball around by shaking the bowl. Flip the ball halfway through to get both sides. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet at least ½-¾ inches apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with your finger lightly tapping the balls down until ½ inch thick.
- Bake for 12-16 mins. Letting cool on a cooling rack after cooking.
- Continue until all dough is rolled. This makes 4.5 -5 dozen cookies.