Gingerbread Cookies – Gluten & Dairy Free

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This is the first year I’ve made gingerbread cookies that are gluten and dairy free.

When I make Christmas cookies, I make two versions: one using regular flour and one using gluten free-flour (and no dairy). I do this because only my kiddo needs gluten and dairy free cookies, and because the ingredients (especially the flour!) costs so much more.

making smaller batches

Because of this, I like to adapt recipes to yield 18-24 cookies. That size recipe uses the least amount of flour, and right-sizes the batch.

It is worth making your own all-purpose gluten free flour mix in order to get the right taste, texture and smell. Some gluten free flours don’t contain binders. If you don’t read about that in the fine print, your baked goods will turn to dust.

My usual gluten-and dairy free go-to recipes include sugar cookie cut outs, peanut butter blossoms (kiss cookies), cucidati (Italian fig cookies), and chocolate chip cookies.

My gingerbread recipe is good, but the original takes SEVEN cups of flour. Yikes! Just too much. Even using regular flour, I cut that recipe in half, which makes about 4 dozen cookies. Because of that, this is the first year I’ve spent the time to adapt the recipe to gluten and dairy free.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies and only uses 1 3/4 cups of gluten free flour (not including surface dusting for rolling out).

Make gingerbread reindeer!

Some people like to use different shaped cookie cutters for gingerbread. I just use one a small 2.5 inch cutter. Here’s a little tip – turn that gingerbread man upside down, and you’ve got a reindeer!

Use the same cookie cutter to make gingerbread men AND reindeer!

Gingerbread Cookies – Gluten and Dairy Free

Gingerbread cookie recipe that is gluten and dairy free
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: Tumble into Love


  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup Shortening I like Spectrum
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp Cold water
  • cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp Ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp Ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground cloves
  • tsp Salt


  • Beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Use parchment paper or grease baking sheet.
  • Lightly flour rolling pin and surface. Roll dough ¼ inch thick. Cut cookies with a cookie cutter (2.5 inch cutter get recipe yield). Place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Immediately remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool completely, about ½ hour.
  • Decorate with frosting or as desired.

We like to use dye-free sprinkles to decorate our cookies. The eyes are made using mini chocolate chips made by Enjoy Life.

After trying these cookies, I could not tell that they were missing dairy and gluten. Best of all, my kiddo tried it, and LOVED it. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Store these in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d love to hear your feedback!

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  1. My mother and I made gingerbread cookies one year. Oh my goodness… that dough was a workout! We were mixing it by hand. No handy-dandy special mixing machine. I appreciate gingerbread cookies so much more since then.😂🎄

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