December 14, 2021

by Alyssa

Gluten-Free + Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

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How to make Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies for a healthy spin on a classic holiday treat topped with vegan icing too!

plate of gingerbread cookies with royal icing

Whether you're looking for the perfect edible gift for the holidays or you want something healthier and allergy-friendly to add to your Christmas dessert spread, these gingerbread cookies are all you need.

Though they're dairy-free and gluten-free, these gingerbread men have the same spiced, caramel flavor and snappy texture you expect from classic gingerbread. They make a perfect gift for coworkers, friends, family, and anyone else with taste buds!

unfrosted gingerbread cookies

How to Make Gluten Free Gingerbread

Unlike other cookies where you scoop and drop them onto the baking sheet, with gingerbread you have to be able to roll it out.

To make sure that this dough was easy to roll out (without any gluten or eggs), I had to make a few adjustments to the usual gingerbread cookie recipe.

First, substitute real eggs with flax eggs (which is flaxseed meal and water mixed together).

Second, to replace the gluten in the dry ingredients, you'll make a homemade gluten free flour blend of:

  • Almond flour for richness
  • Quinoa flour for nuttiness
  • Coconut flour to help bind

And finally, tapioca starch. This gluten-free starch helps the dough bind and hold its shape. I haven't tested it without tapioca, but if you don't have that in your pantry, you should be able to use potato starch or arrowroot starch. You won't need any special ingredients like xanthan gum for these cookies.

In fact, these cookies are butter-free!

close up on gingerbread christmas cookie with icing

Vegan Gingerbread Ingredients

In addition to the flours, you'll need the following ingredients to make your vegan gingerbread cookie dough:

  • Warming spices. Use the classic combination of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Baking soda to give a bit of rise to your cookies
  • Flaxseed meal to replace eggs.
  • Maple syrup. You could also use honey if you're not vegan. Coconut sugar will also work.
  • Molasses. This is essential for the gingerbread flavor.
  • Olive oil. Feel free to use another oil, such as coconut oil or avocado if you prefer.
  • Vanilla extract

vegan gingerbread cookies with frosting

Two-Ingredient Vegan Frosting

To decorate your cookies, all you need is powdered sugar and your favorite dairy-free milk.

For decorating purposes, you can go wild! It's really fun to decorate cookies, especially with kids, so let your creativity free! I love making the dough into gluten free gingerbread men and women.

box of gingerbread cookies for gifting

Tips for Making Gluten-Free Cookies

You don't need a stand mixer or an electric mixer to make these cookies. Just a good old-fashioned medium bowl and a whisk should do the trick.

There really aren't many surprises with these vegan gingerbread cookies. However, the dough is a little stickier than traditional gingerbread. When you're rolling it out, definitely use a piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin with gentle pressure. You shouldn't need a second layer of parchment on top if you don't push too hard when you're rolling.

A sticky dough can also make the cutting process a teeny bit challenging. When you're cutting out your gingerbread cookies, you can either lightly grease your cookie cutter, dip it in flour or do what I do and simply use your fingers to push to dough out of the mold.

If you're gentle, the cookies will be no problem at all!

gingerbread cookies on a wire rack

Storage Suggestions

Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to five days at room temperature. For longer storage, keep them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to four months. You can let the cookies come to room temperature on the counter for a few hours before serving.

The dough will also stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months. Defrost it in the fridge overnight, then roll and make your cookies as directed.

Other Healthy Christmas Cookies to try:

If you make these Vegan Gingerbread Cookies, be sure to let me know with a comment below!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

With these gluten-free and vegan gingerbread cookies, we're taking a holiday classic and giving it a healthy spin. Topped with an easy dairy-free icing!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 119kcal
Print Pin
box of gingerbread cookies for gifting
4.25 from 4 votes

Ingredients

for the frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add flax egg, syrup, oil and vanilla to the bowl and mix together until it forms a thick, pliable dough.
    collage of mixing bowl with ingredients for gingerbread men
  • Transfer the dough to a parchment lined surface. Place another sheet of parchment on top and roll the dough until it's about 1/8" thick. Using a gingerbread man cutter, cut out the shapes and place them on the baking sheet. Reroll the dough and continue to cut out your cookies until the dough has been used up.
    cutting gingerbread cookie dough into men and stars
  • Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
    baking sheet of gingerbread cookies before and after cookign
  • For the frosting, whisk together the sugar and milk. Transfer to a piping bag or squeeze bottle.
    mixing frosting for gingerbread decorating
  • Once the cookies are cool, pipe the frosting onto the cookies in whatever design you like. Enjoy!
    vegan gingerbread men with royal icing

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Gluten-Free and Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
vegan gluten-free gingerbread cookies

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!

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  1. Pretty excited to try these this holiday season! None of the “starch” type flours youve mentioned on hand – tons of oat, quinoa, all purpose GF, coconut flour – can I sub any of these? thanks so much

  2. Hey Alyssa, can’t wait to try these! Can I use arrowroot instead of tapioca and is it a 1:1 swap? Also I don’t have quinoa flour but I have almond, coconut and oat flours – any thoughts on how to sub the quino flour? Thnx!

  3. hi! these look yummy. I am supposed to stay away from almonds in large quantities. Any thoughts on how to adjust things using a GF baking flour, like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1? thanks!

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