An easy recipe for gluten free and vegan gingerbread cookies. Using almond flour, no eggs or substitutes and just a little dough chilling time. Perfect for the holiday season, gift giving, cookie exchanges and more.
It’s that time of year where all I can think about is cookies! Cookies for all of the holiday cookie exchanges coming up.
Whether it’s for work, with friends, neighbors or family, you always need a good gingerbread recipe. And this one happens to be made with almond flour making them gluten-free and paleo friendly.
AND no eggs! So this gingerbread recipe is vegan too.
Why You’ll Love These Cookies
- Easy to make and just seven ingredients!
- Uses nutrient dense ingredients like almond flour and less sugar than a traditional gingerbread cookie recipe, but no one will ever know.
- They happen to be made gluten free and vegan friendly so if you’re looking for a holiday cookie to meet dietary needs, this might just be it!
- Delicious decorated with icing or without.
- Super-Fine Almond Flour – This kind of almond flour is made from blanched almonds. It’s the best to use for baking cookies, cakes and breads or muffins. I haven’t tried “almond meal” with this recipe so I don’t recommend using it here.
- Gingerbread spices – ground ginger, cinnamon, all spice and just a pinch of cloves.
- Tapioca flour – Using tapioca flour will help hold the dough together. I haven’t tested this recipe without it but arrowroot or cornstarch can be subbed. Coconut flour may also work, but I haven’t tried it. If using coconut flour, I’d only use 2 tablespoons here.
- Molasses – the key ingredient for gingerbread flavor. Make sure to use black-strap molasses.
- Vegan butter or ghee – This recipe can be made with a vegan friendly butter or ghee for a paleo option.
- Vanilla – helps enhance the flavor in cookies.
- Coconut sugar – Just 1/4 cup used here. You can also use brown sugar if you’d like. I imagine date or maple sugar could work too but I haven’t tried this.
How to Make Vegan Gingerbread
Making these healthy gingerbread cookies couldn’t be easier! Everything can be mixed in one bowl and the dough is easy to work with. You just need to make sure you chill the dough for about 1 hour before rolling out and using your cookie cutters.
Here’s a quick rundown of the process:
Mix the wet ingredients
Mix together the melted butter with molasses, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients
Add in almond flour, tapioca flour and gingerbread spices. Mix until well combined, adding 2-3 TBSP milk at the end. This may take a bit, just be patient and use your hands at the end.
Chill the dough
Once the dough has combined, you’ll want to shape it into a round disc (for rolling out later) and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
Roll out the dough & cut
Now it’s time to roll the dough. Place the dough on an extra long piece of parchment paper, then fold over the excess parchment paper over top of the dough and use the roller on top of the parchment paper. This gingerbread dough is a little sticky so this part is necessary.
Roll the dough out so it’s about 1/4″ thick. Then use the gingerbread men and women (or other shaped cookie cutters) and cut out your gingerbread people.
To remove the dough from the parchment paper, make sure to use a flat edge spatula.
Now all that’s left to do is bake the cookies and repeat the rolling out process and cutting out with the remaining dough.
I got about 14 gingerbread cookies, using various sized cookie cutters. You can also double this recipe for more cookies.
The amount of cookies will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
Decorating the Gingerbread
Use a simple “royal icing” recipe or use a coconut sugar icing if you’re looking for a paleo-friendly option.
To make powdered coconut sugar, simply process about 1 1/2 cups of coconut sugar with 1 tablespoon tapioca flour until super fine. Then mix with milk or water to make the icing as you would with traditional confectioners sugar. I add one teaspoon liquid at a time and mix really well until I’ve reached the desired consistency – not too thin but not too thick.
Note: You won’t get the white contrast of confectioner’s sugar if you opt for coconut sugar. Here I used organic powdered sugar.
- Can I use a different flour like all-purpose or whole grain? With this particular recipe I don’t recommend it. This recipe was developed specifically for almond flour, so please stick with that for best results.
- Can I use coconut oil? Coconut oil holds up differently when baking compared to butter. Even though the dough is chilled prior to baking, I can’t say with 100% confidence using coconut oil here would work the same.
- Do I have to chill the dough? Yes! Chilling the dough will ensure the gingerbread hold their shape. This dough can be chilled up to 2 days in advance, kept in the refrigerator.
Have fun and enjoy these with your loved ones.
Oh, and Santa, of course.
More Holiday Cookie Exchange Recipes
- Eggnog Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Whole Grain Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
- Healthy Vegan Chocolate Turtles
- Healthy Buckeye Balls
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and review on the blog! I love hearing from you, and it helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 4.5 tablespoons vegan butter or ghee, melted
- 2.5 tablespoons molasses
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups super-fine almond flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 2–3 tablespoons milk of choice or water
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, milk or water
- Mix together the melted butter with molasses, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Add in almond flour, tapioca flour and gingerbread spices. As the dough starts to come together, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is soft and moist. This may take a bit, just be patient and use your hands if necessary.
- Once the dough has combined, shape into a round disc (for rolling out later) and place on parchment lined cutting board. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, up to 2 days in the refrigerator, covered.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Now it’s time to roll the dough: place dough in between two pieces of parchment paper. This gingerbread dough is a little sticky so this part is necessary. Use roller or pastry roller to roll the dough to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut out dough using the gingerbread cookie cutters (or other shaped cookie cutters).
- Using flat edge spatula, quickly (but gently) scoop the gingerbread onto the parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 2″ space. Bake for 9-12 minutes. Continue rolling and cutting out dough until all the dough has been used. Cool cookies on baking sheet.
- Mix together powdered sugar with lemon juice (or water or milk) until icing is thick enough (but thin enough) to decorate the gingerbread with lines and dots as desired. Allow icing to completely set (at least 30 minutes) before storing.
If the dough seems dry after you’ve used your hands to combine everything really well, add another 1/2- 1 tablespoon of milk or water.
Adjust baking time for smaller cookies, you may only need about 7 minutes.
Cookies store best flat as to not mess up icing.
paleo friendly icing recipe: to make powdered sugar with coconut sugar, blend about 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar with 1/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot starch until extra fine. Mix as usual with liquid until desired consistency. If you find the icing is too thin, simply add a little more powdered sugar until thick enough to decorate lines.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 114
- Sugar: 12g
- Sodium: 51mg
- Fat: 6g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Cholesterol: 10mg