In making gluten free gingerbread cookies, the trick is to have a very stiff dough and chill the dough to prevent spreading during baking. This dough is high in starch, making a soft (a bit chewy) cookie. If you like them crispy, I suggest using a higher rice flour to starch ratio and skip the baking powder. I chose to make a softer gluten free gingerbread cookie because my survey on Facebook resulted in more soft than crispy votes, and I cannot resist a soft or chewy cookie. I hope you enjoy this gluten free gingerbread cookies recipe. You do not need to be an artist to decorate them. I am certainly not. Yet they taste just as good. They are so fun to make. Have some fun today and get started. My great nieces and nephews loved them!
UPDATE – December 16, 2014: I recently made a gluten free gingerbread house that tasted incredible! You can make soft cookies out of them if you bake them at 350ºF instead of 375ºF. Check out the recipe here.
UPDATE – March 15, 2018: I increased the xanthan gum in this recipe from 1 teaspoon xanthan gum to 1-1/4.
If you like your gluten free gingerbread cookies a bit soft, this is the perfect recipe. It is sturdy enough to hold without breaking, yet soft.
3/4 cup superfine brown rice flour (Superfine rice flour prevents grittiness and usually calls for more liquid.)
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1-1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick unsalted butter), melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour, starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and spices; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, molasses, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until all is blended well.
Shape the dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap; and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. For firmer cookies, bake them at 375ºF.
On a flat surface, preferably a rolling/baking mat, roll the dough out between 1/8 and 1/4" thick. The dough will at least double in thickness once baked.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
Place cookies about 1/2 - 1" apart onto a greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes. Your cookies should be soft to the touch, yet dry on the outside when they are done.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 4-5 minutes. Then move them to a cooling rack.
Once cool, the cookies may be frosted with a white icing of your choice. I used my Fluffy White Frosting Recipe and added additional powdered sugar. However, traditionally people usually use Royal Icing.
I used very little butter, afraid any more would make the spread, but each time I make them I will add an additional tablespoon of butter to make them more chewier. Try just one tablespoon yourself and increase as desired.
If you have left over dough, but it's not enough to make another gingerbread shape, try using a smaller cookie cutter, as seen in the photo above (an ornament).