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Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free)

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.

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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. welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).

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19 Responses:

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said this on
25 Nov 2007 3:52:17 PM PST
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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said this on
06 Dec 2013 9:21:59 AM PST
If you can't use eggs, you might try replacing 1 egg with 2 tablespoons Agar + 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 2 tablespoons water.

Darian Dresser
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said this on
03 Dec 2007 6:47:13 PM PST
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!

Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
14 Jan 2009 5:07:55 AM PST
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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said this on
19 Dec 2011 4:48:12 PM PST
I had no trouble rolling out the dough, and they taste fantastic. We've been munching on them all afternoon and I have the pieces to make a gingerbread house ready to go. Did you use enough xanthan gum or did you use a substitute? When I'm trying to roll out dough I've found that you need all the xanthan gum the recipe calls for, and guar gum does not work. I couldn't tell the difference between these and "regular" cookies.

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said this on
27 Nov 2009 6:11:49 PM PST
Great recipe! Easy and Tasty

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said this on
11 Dec 2009 4:52:16 PM PST
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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said this on
11 Dec 2009 10:30:17 PM PST
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!

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
20 Dec 2009 5:37:30 PM PST
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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said this on
26 Dec 2009 1:24:34 PM PST
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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said this on
30 Dec 2009 11:45:58 AM PST
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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said this on
24 Oct 2010 8:17:25 PM PST
I made this and it ended up being WAY too sticky so to even work with it we had to add a bunch more flour and it ended up once we cooked it tasting very bad.

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said this on
08 Dec 2010 9:17:11 PM PST
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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said this on
15 Dec 2010 9:01:37 PM PST
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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said this on
16 Dec 2010 10:03:19 AM PST
Added extra flour like previous comments said to do. Also to roll out you need a bunch of flour to keep it from sticking. Otherwise they turned out fine. A little too much molasses flavor than I would have liked however. I would cut that down to 1/4 cup.

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said this on
18 Dec 2010 2:26:04 PM PST
I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty these turned out, especially since a lot of people had warned about the stickiness. To combat it, I took the molasses down to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup and then I upped the flour to 2 cups instead of 1 3/4 cup. I also added a little bit of confectioner's sugar (probably less than a tablespoon). After the hour in the fridge, they rolled out fantastically and weren't too sticky at all, but also weren't too dry - just perfect!

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said this on
11 Dec 2011 7:01:39 PM PST
Yes! We agree with less molasses and more flour but the recipe is great for cookies and gingerbread houses. We are so excited to use it more!

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said this on
22 Dec 2011 11:25:57 AM PST
I was cautious after reading all the reviews and was prepared for sticky dough... but not prepared enough! Even after adding an extra half cup flour, and a ton of powdered sugar, I gave up. I was able to roll the dough and cut shapes, but it was if the dough had melted to my rolling surface. There was absolutely no way to transfer it, it was SO STICKY. I ended up just dropping spoons of dough (even this was a trial) and making a drop cookie/ gingersnap. I cooked for 9 minutes/ sheet and they are fine. A little grainy, but a nice flavor and a beautiful color.

I didn't have freezer paper, so I used wax paper and I used Bob's all purpose flour. Those were the only two things that I did differently from the recipe. I'm new to GF cooking, so I don't know if that could have caused all my problems or not?

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said this on
26 Dec 2011 2:57:31 PM PST
This recipe is amazing. They taste exactly like the full gluten counter part. I had to increase the flour mixture amount to three cups.

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