Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread is a staple when it comes to holiday treats. The warm spices and sweetness from blackstrap molasses bring a delightful addition to your Christmas cookie collection. My gluten-free gingerbread cookies are perfect to add to your holiday traditions while packing some nutritional punch.
What Is A Gingerbread Cookie?
Gingerbread has been around as far back as 2400 B.C. in Greece. The recipes adapted from country to country, and gingerbread was traditionally decorated with animals or nature.
Queen Elizabeth I is credited with the idea to decorate gingerbread cookies, which is why we see so many gingerbread man cookies these days. It was popular to make gingerbread men and other cookie shapes for fairs or dignitaries visiting the Queen’s court.
When English colonists came to America, they brought their gingerbread recipes with them and typically baked gingerbread as soft loaves. (1)
These gluten-free gingerbread cookies wouldn’t be anything without fresh and ground ginger added to them. Ginger has been used for thousands of years as tonics for ailments and was a priceless commodity in the Roman empire around the time of Christ. It’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and I personally keep ginger essential oil stocked in my cabinet.
Ginger can combat nausea, indigestion and even stroke and heart disease. I’ve included fresh ginger and ginger powder in my gingerbread cookie recipe to really pack in the powerful, healthful punch of ginger. If you have ginger essential oil on hand, this would be a perfect recipe to pour a drop or two in! Traditional gingerbread cookies have lots of flour, but I found a grain and gluten-free alternative to give these cookies a soft, chewy texture: cashew butter.
How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. You’ll need to preheat your oven to 350 F. while preparing your cookies. This gluten-free gingerbread cookies recipe is super easy, because it only requires one bowl to mix it all up.
I used cashew butter as the “flour” for this recipe. Cashews and cashew butter are rich in minerals like magnesium, copper and zinc. Cashews are full of healthy fats, protein and dietary fiber, making it a filling snack. Add cashew butter into a large mixing bowl, along with my favorite natural sweetener maple syrup.
Next, pour in blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is a perfect pairing with ginger, and is a traditional sweetener for gingerbread recipes.
Like other natural sweeteners, blackstrap molasses is loaded with vitamins and minerals not typically found in refined sugar. It is high in iron, which can help relieve PMS symptoms in women, and vitamin B6, which can help reduce stress.
Take a knob of fresh ginger, peel, then grate about one tablespoon into the cashew butter mixture. The more fresh ginger, the spicier your gluten-free gingerbread cookies will be! I added one pastured egg to help bind the dough together.
A teaspoon of vanilla extract rounds out the ginger flavor and adds another nice layer of antioxidant power. Top off the cashew butter mixture with cinnamon, ground ginger and sea salt. Mix all this together until well-combined.
I also added in fiber-rich coconut flour to soak up some of the moisture of the dough, and keep these gingerbread cookies Paleo-friendly.
Take a tablespoon and scoop out each cookie and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. The dough is sticky, so put water on your fingertips to help scoop the cookie dough onto the parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes.
*If you want to make a gingerbread man, roll out some of the dough onto the baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes. Remove from oven, use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the shape, and place back in the oven to bake for a couple more minutes. The dough is soft and easily crumbled, so handle him delicately!
Other healthy, delicious Christmas dessert and snack recipes to make this holiday:
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Gingerbread is a staple when it comes to holiday treats. The warm spices and sweetness from blackstrap molasses bring a delightful addition to your Christmas cookie collection.
- 1 cup cashew butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- arrowroot starch, for dusting (optional)*
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in cashew butter, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, fresh ginger, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger and sea salt.
- Stir until well combined.
- Add in coconut flour and mix well again.
- Use a tablespoon to measure out the dough for each cookie.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and dust cookies with arrowroot starch for added effect, if desired.
If you want to make a gingerbread man, roll out some of the dough onto the baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes. Remove from oven, use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the shape, and place back in the oven to bake for a couple more minutes.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: English
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 103
- Sugar: 6.7g
- Sodium: 114mg
- Fat: 8.2g
- Saturated Fat: 5.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.4g
- Trans Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 7.4g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 0.4g
- Cholesterol: 27mg
Keywords: gluten-free gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cookie recipe
REALLY tasty!! Added double the freshly grated ginger. It was “soupy” like the previous reviewers reported but added an extra 1/3 C of pea protein powder. Yummo!
What is the glycemic index and carbohydrate contenet of this recipe? Do you think it Is ok for diabetics?
These came out tasty, but crumbly and sticky, falling apart. What can n I do to convert the mess into muffins?
I made this recipe as it was written. I would make them again, but bake them at a lower temperature for a few minutes longer since all ovens are not created equal. Overall, the cookies were really good!
1/3 cup flour was soupy. I added I cup of gf flour made with a blend of coconut flour, tapioca flour, and arrowroot starch. I cut the sea salt in half. I used almond butter as I did not have cashew butter on hand. I used 3 tablespoons of ground ginger as I didn’t have any fresh ginger on hand. The flavor, texture, moisture, and level of doneness turned out great (13 minutes). We didn’t make gingerbread men but decorated the tops of the round cookies. My batch made 1-1/2 dozen medium-sized cookies.
What could I replace the cashew butter with? I’m allergic to all tree nuts & peanuts. I have other flours I could try also because I’m also allergic to wheat.
I’m going to try some things with this recipe because I love ginger
Can I substitute almond butter or sugar-free peanut butter for the cashew butter?
I tried this with what I had on hand – cows butter and wheat flour – mainly so I could try out molasses in recipes. I don’t know if this is why it was way too sloppy with just 1/3 Cup of flour. I ended up putting 3 Cups in and it came out great texture wise. Is there a mistake in the recipe? Should it read 3 Cups not 1/3? The good news is the kids love it and my ADHD son is getting molasses with all its goodness.
No mistake, coconut flour is strange…you need very little compared to wheat flour. I bought a huge bag of it thinking I could just use it like regular flour but then found out I couldn’t. Been afraid to use it since lol. May try it in this recipe…just not too sure about the cashew butter.
The properties of cow’s butter vs cashew butter; and wheat flour vs coconut flour will behave completely differently in recipes, so they would be creating a completely different recipe rather than a substitution
…and due to the allergen content of both the proteins in milk and and wheat—-these are the LAST things that anyone with ADHD needs. Both the milk protein, casien, and wheat protein, gluten—turn to opiates in the blood stream. When these food proteins hit the brain, they have a drug like effect, neutralizing any potential benefit of added B6 or iron that may be contributed from molasses.
You’ve gotta get the food toxins out of your pantry if you want your baking to benefit your son’s condition❤️