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Crispy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

Crispy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

Crispy and snappy gluten free gingerbread men cookies, spiced with cinnamon and ginger, and flavored with just a touch of molasses. Make them any shape you like!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men CookiesWhat’s a plate of gluten free Christmas cookies without … gluten free gingerbread men? This time of year, I am bursting at the seams with new gluten free recipes for you—especially gluten free cookies.

I feel like there aren’t even enough baking days before the holidays for me to squeeze in everything I want to tell you and show you. It’s a nice problem to have, all around.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

A couple years ago, I posted a recipe for dairy free vegan gluten free gingerbread men, so if you’re dairy free or vegan, go for those! But I have to say, I prefer these little guys.

They’re snappy without being fragile, and I appreciate that in a man. Even if he is naked, except for those few buttons. They’re lovely with a cup of tea, but I am partial to a nice, hot cup of homemade hot chocolate. Ooooh or egg nog. Oh egg nog is just the living end for me.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

A few cookie recommendations:

1. Roll them thick (about 3/8-inch, as explained in the recipe). They’ll be very stable cookies, and they’ll still bake up snappy.

2. Bake them until they’re dry to the touch, at a relatively low temperature (325°F should do it).

3. Make them wave to each other before you bake them. No one else will know, but it’ll be fun for you. And anyway I’ll know.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

They spread a wee bit during baking, so don’t bake them too, too close to each other. Ice them with a little face, or leave ’em au naturale. Either way, ’tis the season … for cookies!!

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 2 dozen 5-inch tall gingerbread men

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose gluten free flour  (I like Better Batter here)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

4 tablespoons (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (73 g) packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons (63 g) unsulphured molasses

2 tablespoons (42 g) honey

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

Royal icing, for decorating (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and whisk once more to combine, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the molasses, honey, vanilla, butter and egg, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will be thick and smooth, and somewhat sticky to the touch.

  • Transfer the dough to a large sheet of unbleached parchment paper, cover with another sheet of parchment and roll into a rectangle about 3/8-inch thick (more than 1/4-inch, less than 1/2-inch). If you are concerned that the dough will be difficult to handle, place it in the refrigerator or freezer after you roll it out to allow it to firm up. Dip a gingerbread man cutter in all purpose gluten free flour or cornstarch, and use it to cut out shapes from the cookie dough. With each cut, jiggle the cutter back and forth to create a neat shape. Peel back the rest of the dough from around the cut-outs, and carefully peel off the men and place them, about 1 1/2-inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Gather and reroll scraps, and repeat the process until you have used all the dough.

  • Place the cut-outs on the baking sheets in the refrigerator or freezer until firm (about 20 minutes in the refrigerator, or just 5 minutes in the freezer). Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until dry to the touch (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheets. They will crisp as they cool.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. I hope you’re beginning to get the hang of the new gluten free bread. Bakes Bread is my love letter to you!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free Small Bites

100 irresistible one-bite recipes—for everything from parties to portable meals

Learn More

  • Barb

    I have a gingerbread man molded pan. Do you think this would work for that? I bought it ages ago and haven’t used it, and don’t know what to do with it! They’re going to have gingerbread men at my daughter’s school on Friday, so it would be nice if she had one of her own!

    • I responded to your question on Facebook, Barb. It sounds like you’re looking for a cake. I have a recipe for gingerbread cake and one for chocolate gingerbread cake on the blog. Just use the search function.

  • Barb

    I have a gingerbread man molded pan. Do you think this would work for that? I bought it ages ago and haven’t used it, and don’t know what to do with it! They’re going to have gingerbread men at my daughter’s school on Friday, so it would be nice if she had one of her own!

  • Laura

    As I share your recipes on Facebook, my husband feels that I am doing too much teasing and not enough baking. Looks like today is THE day! ;)

    • Sounds good, Laura! Nobody likes a tease. ;)

      • Donia Robinson

        This is definitely going in the books as one of the snappiest blog posts (with comments) ever.

    • Sounds good, Laura! Nobody likes a tease. ;)

      • Donia Robinson

        This is definitely going in the books as one of the snappiest blog posts (with comments) ever.

  • Donia Robinson

    “They’re snappy without being fragile, and I appreciate that in a man. Even if he is naked…”

    It’s *possible* you’re getting a little snappy yourself, eh? ;)

    • Getting snappy?

      • Donia Robinson

        True, already snappy.

        • Jennifer S.

          word.

      • Donia Robinson

        True, already snappy.

  • Emily Howe

    Would this recipe work to make a gingerbread house? Nothing too big or fancy, just a little cottage, maybe with a chimney? If I rolled the dough thicker would it still be as snappy, or do I have to also adjust the cooking time then? Thanks!

    BTW – Thanks for all your extra effort in being available for questions about your new book. I am in awe at your EXTREME patience in answering the same questions over and over and over… :D

    • Hi, Emily! They would totally work to make a house. The cookies are super sturdy. The only thing to keep in mind is that they do spread a bit when they bake, so your sharp edges may round a bit. If you make them into larger squares, just increase the baking time (but NOT the temp) until they are dry to the touch. And bake like-sized pieces together, or you’ll overbake some and underbake others. But the dough is perfect for a house. As long as you don’t plan to live in it.
      And thank you so much for the kind words about my answering new book questions. In the Live Q&As, my rule is to answer the same question fully twice, and then, in the next instance I refer people back to the answers above or the time is up and I haven’t gotten anywhere! Thanks for noticing. :) Truly.

      • Guest

        I’m so glad someone asked this question. I have a 16 y/o autistic daughter who is GF. I make gingerbread houses for the kids every year but she can never eat hers. I’m going to try this recipe this year. Thanks SO much!!

    • Hi, Emily! They would totally work to make a house. The cookies are super sturdy. The only thing to keep in mind is that they do spread a bit when they bake, so your sharp edges may round a bit. If you make them into larger squares, just increase the baking time (but NOT the temp) until they are dry to the touch. And bake like-sized pieces together, or you’ll overbake some and underbake others. But the dough is perfect for a house. As long as you don’t plan to live in it.
      And thank you so much for the kind words about my answering new book questions. In the Live Q&As, my rule is to answer the same question fully twice, and then, in the next instance I refer people back to the answers above or the time is up and I haven’t gotten anywhere! Thanks for noticing. :) Truly.

  • Jennifer S.

    yummy yummer-son. Thanks for another c-cookie recipe to add to my arsenal! Happy holidays!!!!

  • Jennifer S.

    yummy yummer-son. Thanks for another c-cookie recipe to add to my arsenal! Happy holidays!!!!

  • Mare Masterson

    Okay Donia, I almost spit coffee on my monitor after reading your comeback! Still laughing!

    Nicole, YUM! Oh, now I want egg nog! No one in my house likes it but me. Maybe they will like your homemade egg nog though — because they absolutely love anything I have made from your books/recipes so far.

    • I just do not understand these no-egg-nog people, Mare. It just doesn’t add up for me. Egg nog is so heavenly!

      • Donia Robinson

        I’m surprised that you like egg nog, but hate meringue. Egg in any strange textures is yucky! :P

    • I just do not understand these no-egg-nog people, Mare. It just doesn’t add up for me. Egg nog is so heavenly!

      • Donia Robinson

        I’m surprised that you like egg nog, but hate meringue. Egg in any strange textures is yucky! :P

  • Laura Cox

    I just wanted to pipe in to let you know how much I LOVE your new bread book. It was delivered yesterday, and I have been devouring it!!! And thank you, thank you for letting us know how to modify your recipes for dairy-free versions. My poor husband cannot have gluten, dairy, nut, or potato ingredients, so bread items have been limited to rice muffins. Not anymore! Woohoo!!! Tiger Rolls for supper!!! And sourdough bread will be on our Christmas menu. Many, many thanks!

    • Hi, Laura,
      Thank you so much for the kind words about the bread book. It really sounds like you have become quite good at navigating around your husband’s dietary restrictions. He’s one lucky man!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Laura Cox

    I just wanted to pipe in to let you know how much I LOVE your new bread book. It was delivered yesterday, and I have been devouring it!!! And thank you, thank you for letting us know how to modify your recipes for dairy-free versions. My poor husband cannot have gluten, dairy, nut, or potato ingredients, so bread items have been limited to rice muffins. Not anymore! Woohoo!!! (I’ll use cornstarch and sorghum flour for the potato ingredients) Tiger Rolls for supper!!! And sourdough bread will be on our Christmas menu. Many, many thanks!

  • Jennifer

    Sorry to intrude on the cookie post but look what I made! Pita bread from THE bread book as I’ve taken to calling it. :)

    I’d never made gluten-full pita bread so I wasn’t sure what to expect at all but I think it turned out pretty nice for a first try.

    • Jennifer it’s AWESOME! I have so loved hearing and seeing your updates as you make your way through the book. Keep ’em comin’!

  • Leah

    Thank you so much for this I have been looking for gingerbread cookies recipe! Greatly appreciated!

  • karen

    These look so snappy and tasty! Can’t wait to try them out!

  • jody

    Can I use this recipe to make ginger cookies that you roll a ball and bake?
    Jody

    • Stephanie B

      Hey Jody–I actually rolled the last little bit of scraps in to balls– I made the balls dipped the tops in raw sugar and then put them on the pan and squished them flat to just a bit more than a 1/4″ thick. they puffed up and the edges even smoothed out a bit. Thought you’d like to know!

      • Stephanie B

        meant to say, squished flat with the bottom of a drinking glass. :)

    • Definitely, jody!

    • Definitely, jody!

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  • Lisa

    Hi Nicole, my dh made these this afternoon and the cookies lost nearly all of their “manly” shape when baked. They’re super delish, but just don’t look like gingerbread “men”. He melted the butter instead of mixing in room temp butter – could that be the reason? He’s thinking of giving them another try, so we’d like to figure out where things went awry before making another batch. Thanks in advance for your help. If the shapes don’t work out we’ll just make circles or something that doesn’t have as much definition :)

    • Lisa, as you guessed, it was the fact that he used melted butter. Using melted butter instead of room temperature butter will have quite a dramatic impact on the end result. That is why I am so specific at each stage of the recipe about what the temperature of the ingredients, and then the dough, must be.

  • Stephanie B

    These are amazing cookies! I love how puffy they are when baked. I made gingerbread boys and yup I did have them give each other a lovely little wave before going on the pan. I did find that even using the parchment paper doing a light sprinkle of powdered sugar under and on top of the dough made it amazingly easy to move from the parchment (after chilling the dough 15 mins in the freezer). They ARE awesome with a hot milky drink (coffee, tea or cocoa!) Thanks for this lovely gift!

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  • Melody J

    Hi, I just made these cookies and I love the flavor. They did puff up and look more like Michelin men than gingerbread men, but I think longer in the freezer will fix that. Question for other gluten free bakers out there. I find many gluten free cookies too sweet for my taste. Does anyone have a solution for decreasing the amount of sugar without having a negative effect on the texture (ratios to change / just decrease the amounts / other)?

    • Melody, especially with cutout cookies, I’m afraid you can’t just reduce the amount of sugar and get the same results. It’s not just for sweetness – each type of sugar has different chemical properties and affects the chemistry of the dough as it is shaped and bakes. You would have to alter a number of the other ingredients as well.

      • Melody J

        Yes, exactly. I figured someone with more food science experience may have some tips. I guess I’ll just have to try various tweaks of ratios or possibly a less sweet sweetener than sugar! On a quest. Any thoughts people may have would be welcome. Thanks and Merry Christmas All!

    • Melody, especially with cutout cookies, I’m afraid you can’t just reduce the amount of sugar and get the same results. It’s not just for sweetness – each type of sugar has different chemical properties and affects the chemistry of the dough as it is shaped and bakes. You would have to alter a number of the other ingredients as well.

  • Laura B

    I really enjoyed these and my guests ate almost every single one this weekend! I did find they were very sticky when I was cutting them out. I tried your fridge trick but they were still too sticky to retain their cute gingerbread man shape when I transferred them to the baking sheet. I put a little flour under and on top of the dough and then rolled them out. That really helped and it became a fun recipe again. These will definitely be a holiday staple in my house. Thanks so much!!

    • Next time, Laura, try rolling them thicker than you did. My guess is that you tried to roll them thinner than 3/8-inch thick (which, as you can see from the photos, is rather thick). The molasses and honey in these cookies makes them too sticky to roll thin, and also makes the temperature of the dough very important!

  • Linda Hanson Denmark

    My not quite two year old grandson has to be gluten free now too, so what fun we had making gluten free cookies together. When he comes to grandma’s house there’s no danger of gluten lurking anywhere. We used the gingerbread man recipe and made gingerbread dogs. They were perfect and did not last very long. Thanks, Nicole!

  • Susie

    These are amazing! It was soo great to be able to join in the Christmas cookie fun and eat the dough (oops) along with everyone else. Great recipe!!!!

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