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Our Favorite Gingerbread Cookies with A Gluten Free Variation


Our Favorite Gingerbread Cookies with A Gluten Free Variation
Kathryn Kleinman Courtesy of Getty Images
This whole foods recipe for our favorite gingerbread cookies –and a gluten free variation (see cook’s notes below)- is based on my mother’s years of Christmas baking. We usually make the gluten free version at our house, and it has a slightly more sticky and delicate quality to it that requires rapid handling. These are great on their own, on a cookie tray with biscotti, or crumbled into a parfait. (They also make fantastic cheesecake crust!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 3 cups unbleached organic pastry flour OR 1 ½ cups organic whole wheat pastry flour plus 1 ½ cups organic pastry flour OR 3 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend* plus extra for rolling the dough
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, turbinado sugar or muscovado sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) organic pasture butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup unsulfured dark molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest (optional)


COOK’S NOTES: the gluten free dough is much more fragile than traditional gingerbread dough and is best rolled out for very simple shapes (round, hearts, gingerbread person) or even shaped by hand. For the latter, roll walnut sized pieces into balls. Dip a flat-bottomed glass in flour and press down gently until the ball flattens slightly.
*If using gluten free flour without guar or xanthan gum in it, add ½ teaspoon.
**I had leftover pie spice powder and used 2 teaspoons of the mix as a substitute for the cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
Sift together the dry ingredients: the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, ginger, spices, sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
Blend the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy. Add the molasses, mix well, and then beat in the egg and zest.
Stir in the dry mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of plastic, spread into a 12” disc, and cover with another layer of plastic. Roll the dough into a smooth, uniform layer and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350’F.
Line baking trays with parchment paper.
Roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Dip your cookie cutter in flour between each cut to prevent sticking, and cut cookies as close together as possible. Gently transfer the cookies to the parchment-lined trays, placing them at least an inch apart from one another. Roll the scraps into a disc, chill for five to ten minutes and repeat rolling and cutting until all dough is used.
Bake the cookies until the edges are starting to crisp, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes before removing to cookie racks to cool completely. The cookies can be stored for up to a week in airtight containers.
Makes about 3 dozen 3-inch cookies.
Copyright 2012 by Jen Hoy

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