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.
Soft, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
- 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.