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Gluten Free Gingersnaps

September 18, 2020
At a Glance

Summary

These gluten free gingersnaps, with just the right warm spices and a little cracked black pepper, are baked low and slow for the perfect, ultra-crispy texture.

Categories

Prep / Cook Time

10 minutes / 20 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (22 votes)
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Gluten Free Gingersnaps

Gluten free gingersnaps are the ultimate crispy, spiced cookie. They make that snapping sound when you break them in half!

As soon as the weather starts to cool, I no longer have to hide my obsession with making cookies of all sorts. I love baking anything and everything, but nothing beats cookies. They’re portable, nearly always freeze beautifully, and make everyone happy.

These gluten free gingersnaps are so-named because they’re super crisp and crunchy. So they make that “snap” when you break them.

Instead of using a spice blend like apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice, I really prefer a custom-made blend of plenty of ground cinnamon, a bit less ground ginger, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. The cookies taste warm and comforting, with a little kick.

If you prefer more of a kick, you can add more black pepper. Up to double the amount of pepper would be great if you know your eaters would enjoy that.

Gingersnaps in a large glass jar with a silver colored lid

How to make crispy cookies

There are plenty of ways to make cookies that are crispy—and maintain their crispness for days after baking. We’ll go over all of them, but of course it all begins with the right recipe (scroll all the way down if you want skip to that!).

Use the right ingredients

If you want your crispy cookies to have that snappy texture, you also need to use the ingredients called for in that recipe. The “ingredients and substitutions section” that I have above the recipe card in every post is a guide if you must.

Remember that each swap you make changes the recipe. The more ingredients you swap out, the further you get from the recipe as written. I provide the alternatives as a courtesy since it’s better to bake differently than not bake at all. But, differences make a difference.

Oh, and please measure by weight, not volume. Volume is entirely unreliable, for all of us. It’s not a matter of skill; it’s a matter of being human and prone to error. ✋?

Gingersnaps cookie dough in a bowl with a black mixing spoon

Bake your cookies at the right temperature

It’s very common to have an oven that runs hot. Mine does, and yours probably does. When you’re seeking to create a specific texture like we are in this recipe, you need a simple oven thermometer more than ever (they’re super cheap, and I ignore my oven’s dial in favor of checking the thermometer—and replace them regularly).

These cookies are baked in a very low oven (300°F/150°C) for quite a while (about 20 minutes) for such small pieces of cookie dough. There are a lot of different sorts of sugars in these cookies (brown and granulated sugars, molasses, honey), and sugar does have a tendency to burn in baking.

We are baking them very, very slowly so that we can bake them all the way through to being solid and rather dry inside (in a good way!)—without burning them. If your oven is running hot, you will burn the outside of your cookies long before the inside is baked properly.

For the absolute crispiest, snappiest cookies, after you’ve baked them for 20 minutes at 300°F, lower the oven temperature to 250°F. Continue to bake for another 7 to 8 minutes but not longer so they don’t burn.

Raw balls of gingersnap dough on white paper on a tray

How to keep crisp cookies crispy

Once you’ve gone through all that trouble to make your gluten free gingersnaps, well, snappy, you want to keep them that way. If they absorb moisture from the air in their environment or from their container after they cool, they will lose their snap.

Homemade crispy cookies don’t have the preservatives of store-bought cookies. The best way to help them maintain their texture is to store them in a sealed glass container, at room temperature.

I have a penchant for mason jars, so I have many of them in my kitchen. They are perfect for cookie storage.

A plastic container like a Tupperware or a plastic bag (even a reusable one) will make your cookies chewy faster than you think. I do wonder if a classic ceramic cookie jar would keep them crispy, but I can’t spare the counter space to test the theory.

If you love gingerbread cookies but you’re interested in perfectly chewy ones, try our recipe for chewy gluten free gingerbread men. All the right spices, but with a soft and chewy bite.

Gingersnaps baked on white paper on tray

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

In place of the butter in this recipe, I recommend trying vegan butter. My favorite brands are Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen.

I don’t recommend using all Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of butter, as Earth Balance has a lot of moisture and will cause the cookies to spread too much during baking. You could try using half (56 grams) Earth Balance buttery sticks and half (56 g) Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, since the shortening doesn’t have any moisture.

Egg

There is only one egg in this recipe. You should be able to replace it with one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

Cornstarch

If you can’t have corn, try replacing the cornstarch with arrowroot. If you’re using a higher starch all purpose gluten free flour blend, like Cup4Cup (or my mock Cup4Cup blend), instead of 1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch, use an equal amount of your higher starch gluten free flour blend.

 

Gingersnaps poured out of glass jar onto white table

Gingersnaps in a jar and in a jumble on a white table

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 36 cookies

Ingredients

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

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

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, pepper, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and mix to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the molasses, honey, vanilla, butter, and egg, and mix until fully combined. The cookie dough will be smooth and soft, and not too sticky.

  • Scoop the cookie dough into teaspoon-sized portions and place about 1 1/2-inches apart on the  prepared baking sheets. Roll each gently into a ball between clean palms, and replace on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until fully set and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. For the crispiest, snappiest cookies, lower the temperature to about 250°F and bake for another 7 to 8 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheets. They will crisp as they cool. Once the cookies are completely cool, store them in a sealed glass container at room temperature to maintain crispness. If you leave them out, uncovered, for a long time, they’ll soften.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Ava Rae
    December 23, 2020 at 8:29 PM

    These are fantastic!

  • Danielle Hawley
    December 23, 2020 at 1:33 PM

    These are simply the best. A friend makes these for me (a double batch) for Christmas every year. I put them in the freezer and take our as a special treat. I actually love the black pepper in the recipe and I have asked her to increase the amount. The cookies are awesome with a cup of ginger tea. So many gluten free cookies are too sweet for me and these are perfect.

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 23, 2020 at 2:54 PM

      So glad you enjoy them, Danielle!

  • Kathrine
    December 17, 2020 at 1:08 PM

    Can these be rolled out to use with cookie cutters? Or would the dough need to be chilled for a bit? Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 17, 2020 at 1:22 PM

      No, Katherine, this is a recipe for drop cookies, not cutouts. Please plug “crispy gingerbread men cookies” into the search function. That’s what you’re looking for!

  • Cindy
    December 14, 2020 at 7:18 PM

    Will the ginger snaps stay crisp if I freeze them till Christmas?

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 15, 2020 at 9:17 AM

      Crisp cookies generally stay that way when stored at room temperature in a sealed glass jar, Cindy. Freezing isn’t recommended.

  • Kelly
    November 18, 2020 at 7:59 PM

    This is my first time baking GF, I bought Trader Joe’s GF flour to make gingersnap cookies to turn into crust for pie. What does the cornstarch do in this recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 19, 2020 at 11:11 AM

      You cannot use Trader Joe’s gluten free flour blend successfully in my recipes, Kelly. Please click the link in the recipe for the “all purpose gluten free flour” for more information.

  • lizzie
    November 15, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Yum! I made these the other night— they’re delish and the texture/snap is spot on. I swapped out the pepper for a little bit of nutmeg and they taste exactly how I remember ginger snaps tasting when I was a kid! Rolled mine in sugar before the oven because it’s not a ginger snap if it doesn’t hurt your tongue, right? Thanks for the recipe! Will definitely be making these again (because we are the first batch while the second was baking).

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 15, 2020 at 11:31 AM

      Haha Lizzie sounds like you had the whole nostalgic experience. That’s the best!

  • Zoe
    November 13, 2020 at 1:15 PM

    Hi Nicole, I don’t normally have molasses or honey. Can I still bake these cookies and get decent results? Molasses is hard to come by where I live (outside of the states). What would you recommend?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 13, 2020 at 1:49 PM

      I’m afraid you can’t make them and have them taste at all like they are meant to without either molasses or honey, no. Maybe you’d prefer another crisp cookie with a different flavor profile, like these gluten free vanilla wafers?

  • Erica
    November 6, 2020 at 11:26 PM

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Im also on the hunt for a gf recipe for gingerbread houses and I know it will be tough to get the same hardness with bigger cookie “walls”. Do you have any recommendations or possibly tips for altering this recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 7, 2020 at 8:53 AM

      Please use the search function, Erica. I have a complete recipe, along with a pattern, for a gingerbread house. No alterations needed!

  • Toni
    November 3, 2020 at 6:51 PM

    there is no egg listed in the ingredients, but the directions say add egg….hmmmm???

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 4, 2020 at 10:03 AM

      The final ingredient is … an egg, Toni!

  • Ilona
    October 25, 2020 at 9:47 PM

    The taste was amazing! I added 1/2 tsp. more of ginger and cinnamon and added 1 1/2 tsp of ground cloves. However, the texture actually fairly dry rather than chewy. Overall I love them and would probably bake a little longer to give it the “snap.”

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 26, 2020 at 9:05 AM

      If they were dry, but not crispy, I would have a look at any substitutions you made, including but not limited to the flour blend, and whether you baked by weight (volume is very unreliable), Ilona.

  • Erin Wingfield
    October 9, 2020 at 11:16 PM

    These are fantastic! What a hit. I am delighted to have a crispy, delicious gingersnap again! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 10, 2020 at 6:35 PM

      So glad you loved them, Erin. Thanks for taking the time to share that.

  • Fleur
    October 6, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Dear Nicole,
    This recipe is excellent! Love the crystal-clear instructions and accompanying videos – I always feel really confident that the end result will turn out well, even if I’m trying one of your recipes for the first time. In fact, I felt so sure of this one that I baked the first batch before my guests arrived (they went down very well!)
    As I’m in Britain and we don’t seem to have Better Batter in this country, I used a popular GF flour called Dove’s Farm (I used the plain / all-purpose blend rather than self-raising) and it worked our really well.
    Because I wasn’t sure if my guests would be keen on cinnamon, I also slightly altered the spice mix by adding a little more ginger and also swapping 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for Schwartz Mixed Spice (keeping half a tsp of cinnamon and a few twirls of Black Pepper).
    The slow bake ensures a true crisp snap to the cookies and I found the remaining Gingersnaps kept well in an airtight tin (don’t have a glass jar – perhaps better invest in one for the next batch!). If they do soften (and I actually found them delicious that way, too!), popping them back in a cool oven on a baking tray for a few minutes soon gets them crisp again (once they’ve cooled down!) – 130 degrees Centigrade fan oven worked well.
    Thank you so much for all you do – keep up the great work!
    Best and warmest wishes,
    Fleur

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 6, 2020 at 10:46 AM

      Hi, Fleur, I’m so glad you had success using Dove’s plain flour in place of Better Batter. I’ve heard nothing but positive reports about Dove’s in my recipes that call for an all purpose gluten free flour, but it’s not available in the U.S. so I’ve never tried it. Thank you for the kind words!

  • Corrin Yep
    October 2, 2020 at 5:45 AM

    Hi! Could avocado or olive oil be used instead of butter/earth balance/shortening? hope so…

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 2, 2020 at 8:16 AM

      No, Corrin, you cannot use a liquid fat in place of a solid-at-room temperature fat. Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section of this post for complete information.

  • Ronel
    September 24, 2020 at 11:08 AM

    Thank you for this recipe. I am going to try it tomorrow and let you know about my result. I am from South Africa, and hope my all purpose gluten free flour will do!

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 24, 2020 at 1:31 PM

      Hi, Ronel, I have recipes for make-your-own all purpose gluten free flour blends that mimic the store-bought blends that we have here in the U.S. I developed them specifically for people like you, and I link to them every time I call for an all purpose gluten free flour blend in a recipe (like this one). I’m afraid I really can’t promise results if you don’t use one of my recommended blends.

  • Jeannette Schieck
    September 20, 2020 at 9:14 PM

    when i made these today, i was happy with the texture but they are more sugar than spice cookies. next time i will add more pepper and try fresh ginger which usually ups the flavour. Thanks for the recipes.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 21, 2020 at 7:11 AM

      For others’ benefit, there is quite a significant amount of spice in them Jeannette. If you prefer more, please feel free to make them your own.

  • Deirdre Henry
    September 20, 2020 at 1:44 PM

    I am looking forward to baking some of your delicious looking Ginger Biscuits. Very clear instructions and thank you for posting this recipie.
    Deirdre

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 21, 2020 at 7:13 AM

      You’re very welcome, Deirdre! I’m very glad the instructions are clear. That’s always my goal.

  • Jeannette
    September 20, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    For Steve n who struggles with ads covering the recipe. You might try looking at the recipe on a different device. On my phone, the video, the icons for other social media and the ads block the recipe so I can’t see the amounts and the directions. (I don’t try to bake from this display.) On my ipad I can easily see the recipe details and can take a photo of the recipe details to use off line when I am baking. My surface/ tablet has another configuration of content and ads. You might see if you have a different computing device which works better for you.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 21, 2020 at 7:11 AM

      He’s not reacting to ads covering the recipe, Jeannette. He’s reacting to ads at all, and having to scroll past them. I have no sympathy, and I offer no refuge from his particular problem.

  • Carol Jackson
    September 20, 2020 at 10:12 AM

    I love your site and your recipies are awesome. I feel like you are a member of my family giving me recipies and instructions that are great. It makes having a gluten allergy easier.??

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 20, 2020 at 12:22 PM

      Well I believe my work here is done, then, Carol. That’s precisely how I aim to help, by making you feel encouraged and like you’re in good company. Thank you so much for sharing that kindness.

  • Lisa Imerman
    September 19, 2020 at 9:08 PM

    Better batter now has an artisan baker blend with no rice and no gums. Have you tried it? Do you have suggestions for making a mock version?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 20, 2020 at 12:16 PM

      Hi, Lisa, I do have the blend, but I haven’t tried using it in my recipes as written, yet. I’m hopeful about using it in some of my bread recipes, but I’m not sure yet how it will work out so I can’t offer any guidance. I’m afraid that I’m not optimistic about my ability to create a mock version, since they use a very specific type of psyllium husk, and I don’t have any info on how to source it (and doubt I even could). I generally can’t stand baking with psyllium, but Naomi apparently has found a way to use less of it by using that particular kind. If I can’t make a mock version, I won’t bother to create recipes specifically for it, since they’d be too limiting for readers. I promise to update readers as my perspective develops!

  • Steven Burton
    September 19, 2020 at 2:14 PM

    Honestly, by the time I find the recipes on this ( and most ) site(s) I am so aggrivated I no longer want to bake.

    I get an ad or two, but honestly please tell me why I am wading through all the nonsense?!

    This is BY FAR the best GF recipe site around. By far. And I can’t use it. Autistic people must throw their tablets just trying!

    This is not your fault it just HAS TO STOP on ALL recipe sites. Add a jump to recipe button at the very least. Please. I am legit begging you.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 19, 2020 at 7:15 PM

      Steven, I’m sorry you are frustrated but although I keep advertisements to a minimum, I absolutely must have them on the site. A jump to recipe button literally destroys all advertising revenue. I’m glad you find my recipes to be superior, but they are not free in the absolute sense. I make no apology for making a living off my hard work. And I don’t think anyone else should either.

  • Rebecca
    September 18, 2020 at 9:42 PM

    Will salted butter work OK?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 19, 2020 at 8:22 AM

      I always recommend baking with unsalted butter except in one particular recipe that calls for very salty butter (sablé cookies), since it allows you to control the amount of sugar in a recipe, Rebecca. If you will only use salted butter, leave out the salt as an ingredient.

  • Genevieve Smith
    September 18, 2020 at 8:34 PM

    Can I substitute the brown sugar with maple syrup or more honey? I would normally just decrease a bit of liquid, but don’t see any in the recipe.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 19, 2020 at 8:21 AM

      I don’t recommend making the recipe with substitutions unless absolutely necessary, Genevieve. You cannot use brown sugar in place of liquid sugars, no.

  • Sheri
    September 18, 2020 at 12:08 PM

    Can you use applesauce instead of butter or oil?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 18, 2020 at 12:36 PM

      I’m afraid not, Sheri. That isn’t generally an appropriate substitute in my recipes, but especially not in this one!

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