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Soft Gingerbread Cookies

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Grab your cookie cutters for this perfect cookie recipe. These Soft Gingerbread Cookies taste so light and sweet with the right amount of spice every time. You’ll be surprised how easy this cookie dough is to roll out. It’s soft and flexible– not dry and crumbly like some gluten free dough can be.

A plate full of baked gingerbread cookies and 3 cookies rolled out and ready for the oven.

Honestly it’s a toss up who enjoys baking and decorating these Soft Gingerbread Cookies more– the kids or me. And they love using every cookie cutter we own-– I know you can imagine the cookie chaos with 3 kids cutting out cookies and decorating at the same time. And I love every second of it.

This dough is so perfect, I can’t help but look forward to working with it every Christmas. First, it doesn’t spread out when baking in the oven. The cookies come out of the oven with a nice, crisp look every time. And this cookie dough works well with any size and shape cookie cutter, even those cookie cutters with tiny areas or corners that typically rip with other dough.

Speaking of dough– I prepare the dough and icing the night before and place both in the refrigerator overnight. Then as the cookies are baking in the oven, I accumulate all my sprinkles, icing colors, and other cookie decorations.

A plate full of baked gingerbread cookies and 2 cookies on the kitchen counter with 3 buttons and a face from icing.

soft gingerbread cookie ingredients + recipe notes

  • dairy free butter— I use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
  • brown sugar
  • molasses— not blackstrap
  • apple cider vinegar
  • vanilla extract
  • gluten free flour— commonly used in my kitchen is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Flour. I find purchasing it in bulk off of Amazon saves money.
  • xanthan gum— omit if this is in your gluten free flour blend
  • baking soda— always make sure this is fresh, not expired
  • salt
  • ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg
  • this recipe works best with a stand-up mixer using the paddle attachment. There will be a large amount of dough once everything is mixed together and it can be too much for a hand held mixer.
  • don’t overmix the dough
  • the dough can be chilled 3 hours or overnight; if chilled overnight allow dough to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling
  • always place similar size cookies on the same cookie sheet
  • once cookies have baked allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for another 1-2 minutes, then promptly remove to a cooling rack. Cookies left on the baking sheet will continue to bake and may harden if left too long.
  • once completely cooled use royal icing or this buttercream frosting recipe to decorate your cookies
2 large balls of gingerbread cookie dough next to a gingerbread cookie cutter
Gingerbread cookie dough rolled out  with a cookie cutter having cut out some cookies from the dough.
A plate full of baked gingerbread cookies and 3 cookies rolled out and ready for the oven.

more Christmas recipes you’ll love

  • Buckeye Balls— these are a Christmas must with a peanut butter mixture coated in melted chocolate
  • Christmas Dessert Board— you’ll find a variety of safe Christmas treats to make yourself and purchase for the ultimate dessert board everyone will love
  • Softest Sugar Cookies— these soft and delicious sugar cookies are perfect for any cookie cutter design
  • Rocky Road Clusters— these are the best, last minute Christmastime dessert with melted chocolate, nuts, and mini marshmallows
  • Christmas Tree Brownies— gooey fudgy brownies cut and decorated to look like festive Christmas trees. These are the hit of the party.
  • Chocolate Cream Pie— the rich layers to this decadent pie will leave you wondering how it can possibly be gluten and dairy free
A plate full of baked gingerbread cookies and 2 cookies on the kitchen counter with 3 buttons and a face from icing.

Lastly

These perfectly spiced Soft Gingerbread Cookies will add fun and delight to your Christmastime plans. Not only will the molasses and spices leave a wonderful smell wafting throughout your home, but you’ll also enjoy the true Christmas spirit while decorating these soft, delicious cookies.

After you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments and tag me with @eatingglutenanddairyfree and #eatingglutenanddairyfree so I don’t miss them. I wanna see and comment on all your gingerbread cookie pics.

Wishing you the best of eating gluten and dairy free this Christmastime.

Eat well and feel well,

Jill

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

These Soft Gingerbread Cookies taste so light and sweet with the right amount of spice every time. You'll be surprised how easy the dough is to work with.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Christmas Cookie, Dairy Free, Gingerbread Cookie, Gluten Free, soy free
Servings: 3 dozen cookies
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 c dairy free butter, 2 sticks softened suggestion in post
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c molasses, not blackstrap
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 5 c gluten free flour, plus more for rolling out cookies brand suggestion in post
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum, omit if in your gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer on medium speed cream together the softened butter and sugar.
  • Add in the egg, molasses, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Cream just until combined.
  • In a medium bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and spices.
  • Add dry ingredient mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl as needed for all cookie batter to be mixed well. Be careful not to overmix the batter or cookies will turn out hard.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. If chilling overnight allow dough to stand at room temperature for at least 10-15 minutes before rolling out.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Gather cookie sheets and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Divide dough into 2 large balls. Roll 1 dough ball on a lightly floured surface to ¼ of an inch thickness.
  • Place cookie cutter in flour as needed to cut out cookies and place them on cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Place similar size cookies on the same cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
  • Set a timer for baking times. Large cookies take 8-9 minutes, smaller cookies 5-6. Ovens bake differently so prepare to adjust bake times as needed.
  • Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • Cookies should cool completely before decorating.
  • Store cooled cookies in an airtight container up to a week, frozen up to a month and allow to thaw before decorating. Keep in mind these cookies taste best the first 1-2 days after baking.

Notes

This recipe will yield 2 dozen large cookies, 3 dozen medium size, and 4 dozen small cookie. Cookies can be baked and frozen, then decorated once thawed.

This Soft Gingerbread Cookies recipe was adapted from a traditional recipe found here at Savory Nothings.

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