Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free)

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I think it’s about time that I throw a party for the gingerbread cookie here at Free Eats.  No more second-class citizen for this crisp, spicy, little number.  Nope, I’m going all the way and giving these gingerbread cookies the treatment they deserve.  Frosting, sugar crystals, and darling shapes aplenty.

Perhaps I’m overcompensating, but I carry around some serious guilt about how many half-eaten gingerbread cookies I’ve tossed in the trash over the years.  I just didn’t get them.  When I was younger I found the excitement of decorating gingerbread men or darling gingerbread houses irresistible, but when it came to the eating, I was not impressed.

So when I recently stepped into my kitchen to create this recipe I knew that I wanted a cookie that tasted great.  Having the right balance of spices, deep molasses flavor and just a bit of crispness was essential.  I wanted a cookie that I could decorate with my kids that they would actually want to eat when they were done.

These cookies definitely fit the bill. In fact, I can barely stop my kids from sneaking them off the cooling rack.  Plus, I’m relieved that I no longer have to think about those sad, little gingerbread people being tossed in the trash or getting pecked to death by our fat chickens when they end up in their scrap bowl.

Notes: If you’ve ever had trouble transferring cut-out cookies onto a sheet pan without them breaking into a million little pieces, you aren’t alone!  I had you in mind when I made the photo tutorial below.  Although this gingerbread dough was easy to work with, I still like to use this technique.  I’ve dealt with my share of delicate, frustrating doughs and this method is foolproof.  If things get really sticky at any point in the process, you can always slide the plastic wrap onto a sheet pan and chill for 5-10 minutes. Then you’re good to go!

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Place a portion of chilled dough on plastic wrap that has a light sprinkling of granulated sugar.

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Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and roll dough out to 1/8″ thickness.

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The rolled out dough.

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Cut your desired shapes.

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Remove excess dough. I sometimes need a toothpick to lift out dough between closely cut shapes.

cookie process

Lift the edge of plastic wrap.

cookie process 2

Turn cookie face down onto the palm of your hand.

cookie process 3

Now you’re ready to turn that cookie onto your prepared cookie sheet.


Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free)


  • • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (for best results, click here to see the mix I use)
  • • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (I use a corn-free variety from Authentic Foods)
  • • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or you can use non-hydrogenated shortening, Earth Balance, or butter if you aren’t vegan/dairy free)*
  • • 2-4 tablespoons milk substitute ( or milk if you aren’t vegan/dairy-free)
  • Icing for Gingerbread
  • • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar (I use a corn-free version)
  • • 2-3 tablespoons milk substitute (or milk if you aren’t vegan/dairy-free)
  • • Squeeze of lemon


  • *This recipe works best with an oil/fat that is solid at cool room temperature. That way the dough will firm up when you chill it, making it easier to work with. Cookies made with the non-hydrogenated shortening will be quite crunchy, while the coconut oil and margarine yield a slightly crunchy cookie. Increasing or decreasing baking time will also allow you to create your ideal level of crunch.
  • 1. Place the first eight dry ingredients (flour through brown sugar) in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse briefly to combine.
  • 2. Add the molasses and oil and mix on medium-low until you have a damp, sandy mixture. This may take about 60 seconds.
  • 3. Starting with 2 tablespoons, add the milk substitute and mix on low speed until a dough forms. If the dough doesn't come together use the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk.
  • 4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and press into a disk shape. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
  • 5. Working with small portions (keep the unused dough wrapped and chilled), roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/8" thickness.
  • 6. Cut out desired shapes and carefully transfer by using a very thin spatula dipped in a bit of gluten-free flour or using the technique that I show in the photo tutorial above.
  • 7. Place cookies on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet and bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.
  • 8. Cool on sheet pan for about five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
  • 9. Frost (see icing instructions below) and serve. (These cookies store very well if tightly wrapped and placed in the freezer before frosting. Remove as needed, thaw and frost for last minute guests!)
  • Icing Instructions
  • 1. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Adjust to your desired consistency by adding additional milk or a bit more powdered sugar.


16 thoughts on “Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free)

  1. Pingback: 30 Gluten-Free Cookies Recipes That You'll Want to Make Right Away! | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time

  2. Pingback: 120 Gluten-Free Gingerbread and Ginger Desserts Recipes | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time

  3. We made these for Tony as Christmas presents. The kids decorated the shapes with vegan chocolate spread and dried fruits (Tony’s pick), then proceeded to put some fresh berries too! The consistency of the dough was just amazing, so easy to handle. No broken cookies here! And when baked, they taste so good too! I cut down on sugar and increased spices (always have to for Tony) but even the kids liked them, I think we ate more than half the cookies in one evening! Thank you for another great recipe!! Now if only you could teach me how to decorate snowflakes like you do…. :-)

  4. Made them yesterday – made the ones I normally make (with wheat flour and egg) and then I made these for my son who is allergic to wheat and eggs. I have to say, especially one day later (after the cookies softened and are chewier), these taste better!! Really amazed – delicious!!

  5. What the heck? I just made these according to directions (using butter at room temp) and the dough would not hold together at all. Was very granular…ended up adding an egg in the end and it worked fine, but my son who is egg free cannot have. I went over and over what I could have done wrong, but can’t see anything…could it be my flour? Used a pkg blend of all purpose GF. Was so excited as they looked so good in the picture! First tray came out of the oven and they are OK…but not gingery/spicy enough for my taste.

    • Hi Tracy, I’m sorry you didn’t have success with the cookie recipe. When trouble shooting recipe failures I always look at the flour blend that was used. GF flour mixes vary widely in their composition of protein and starch. Each individual gf grain that’s in the mix will absorb water or liquids differently. So, I’m not sure which brand you used, but I do know that for people who use Bob’s red mill’s mix instead of the one I suggest, they will need to add up to a 1/4 cup more liquid then the recipe calls for. I just can’t guarantee that a recipe will work well if the mix that I tested the recipe with isn’t used. One other thought is that if the recipe calls for a liquid fat, such as melted coconut oil, I would melt the butter to make sure that it moistened the ingredients in the same way. Lastly, if the dough seemed crumbly, it may have needed additional mixing with the paddle attachment so that it was kneaded together more. It will go through a brief stage where it looks a bit damp and sandy, almost like a pie crust before it has been pressed together. Once you add the milk (or milk sub) and mix for about a minute, it should form a cohesive ball of dough. If it didn’t, you could always add a bit of additional milk until it did. I have never had to add an egg to achieve that, particularly since I wanted to keep it egg free. Regarding the spice mixture, that’s a personal preference that can be easily adjusted by each baker. I think that my family prefers a milder gingerbread cookie. I’m hoping this helps. Thanks for stopping by. Best, Terris

      • Thanks Terri your comments helped. I had used Namtaste blend cup for cup, and melted butter….maybe that’s why? Since then I have purchased the flours to make all of your flour blends! Your recipes are great and I want to be sure they will always turn out! I made your pierogi recipe and they were fantastic!! Hubby wants me to spend a whole day making nothing but them so he can pull out of freezer when I’m away. He and my youngest daughter hadn’t had them in years since diagnosed with celiac, so thank you very much! Will be making the tapioca wraps today…hope they are as good as they look!

  6. My wonderful friend, Allie, made these for me in the shape of my favourite things – goats and motorcycles! They were fantastic. :-)

  7. These cookies were perfect! We had a guest coming to our annual holiday cookie decorating party who had multiple food allergies, and these cookies were super easy and fit the bill. They turned out wonderfully. Thank you for this! Will be making them again for sure.

  8. Attempting to make cookies for my gf corn free son and his dairy free gf coconut free (+ more) cousin. Can I sub water for the milk/milk substitute? We haven’t been able to find one that both can have.

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