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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free)

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    1-¾ cups gluten-free flour mix**
    ½ to ¾ teaspoon ginger
    ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ cup butter or margarine (cold)
    1-½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    ½ cup brown sugar
    1/8 teaspoon cloves
    1 egg (cold)
    ¼ to 3/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ cup gluten-free molasses

    Combine the rice flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Mix well. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture is in crumbs the size of peas.

    In a small bowl beat the sugar, egg, and molasses together. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides. Form the dough into a flat ball shape and refrigerate for one hour.

    Dust some freezer paper (not wax paper) with gluten-free flour or confectioners sugar. Put the dough on the freezer paper and sprinkle with flour or confectioners sugar. Roll the dough to ¼ inch thick and cut out shapes as desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 20 cookies.

    ** gluten-free flour mix:
    6 cups white rice flour
    2 cups potato starch (NOT the same as potato flour)
    1 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)

    This recipe comes from Vicki Lyles. She adapted it (in desperation) from the Rolled Sugar Cookies recipe (see below), when she learned that our 5-year-old celiacs kindergarten class was going to be making gingerbread man cookies. The resulting cookies were quite good.

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    This is the first successful gluten-free cookie cutter experience I've had in 4 years, since I and my two children were diagnosed with celiac. I also can't eat eggs so I substituted 1/4 cup water and 2 extra teaspoons of molasses and these cookies are not falling apart like all the other ones I've tried! I am so excited, we're going to make a gingerbread house this year!

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    I really like this site and what you are doing with this, because a little child that I babysit and is close to my family. Well she has the celiac condition. And every time I want to bake cookies with the kids she is left out, and now she won't be. Thank you for posting this recipe!

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    Be warned!


    I have been making Gluten Free/Casein Free cookies for years, and tried this recipe because my daughter's kindergarten class was making gingerbread cookies and I wanted to bring in a Gluten Free version.


    The cut out dough was impossible to work with, sticking to everything. There appears to either not be enough margarine and/or flour. I mashed the dough into semblances of gingerbread men, and it took over an hour. Once cooked, they were hard and smooth on the outside and soft and grainy on the inside, not tasting terrible, but definitely not worth the effort. Very disappointed.


    Also, as an aside, there is no need to get as exact as 3/8 teaspoon. I doubt anyone could taste the difference between 3/8 and 4/8 or 1/2.

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    The dough came out sticky at first, so I added about and extra 1/4 cup of the gluten free flour mix and after it chilled for the hour, it was fine. Using the flour to roll the dough out helps a lot.

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    This works really well. My son doesn't have dairy, egg, or wheat so this worked great. I substituted the egg for a "no egg" egg replacer from the supermarket.


    This is a really easy recipe. As with all gingerbread recipes, the longer it's chilled, the easier it is to work with. Cuts beautifully and tastes great.


    Because my supermarket sells molasses as molasses sugar not as molasses syrup, I needed to add a teaspoon of water to make help the dough bind.


    Really, really like this recipe. It gave me a chance to use my 1/8 tsp. measuring spoon! Awesome!

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    I'm with Barry here - there's an error in proportions here.

    I added at least another half cup of flour plus about 6 TB (one at a time) of powdered sugar till I had a workable consistency to even roll. I use Mama's Gluten-Free Flour Blend and it gives me great results with cookies and cakes because of its fine texture. I'm wondering if the flour makes a difference or if the molasses should actually be a quarter cup, not one half.

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    Wonderful recipe - made it yesterday. Great texture and excellent flavor. I always have issues with refrigerated cookie dough crumbling, so I did not refrigerate the dough. I used plastic wrap stuck on a wet counter top (makes a perfect stick free work surface), sprinkled it with with rice flour, and rolled out the dough. I sprinkled rice flour when it started sticking. This recipe is worth trying again without refrigeration. It made my day.

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    I needed to add more flour to my batch, so I added Pamela's baking mix. I tend to do this when I need to add extra flour to whatever I am baking (especially if cookies are not turning out!). I find the extra ingredients in their mix helps bind the dough. When rolling out, I made sure to flip the dough over so to be sure it was not sticking. I used plenty of flour and they turned out great.

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    Wow- some seriously sticky dough. Added extra 1/4 cup gluten free flour and put it in the freezer to really firm up and chill. Tasty cookie, but a nightmare to work with- and I'm a professional chef!

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    I disagree with tapioca flour being the same as tapioca starch. I use the starch in all my baking. It is flavorless and stuff turns out great. I find that tapioca flour has a very distinctive (disgusting, even) flavor. Not sure if tapioca starch and flour have the same properties, but I wonder if that's why some batches turn out great and other people's batches are too sticky. I'd go with tapioca starch.


    I'll be trying these next week. Can't wait!

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  • About Me

    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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