Okay so despite my decoration being surprisingly subpar considering the other website I work with is a baking blog, these are really good! Gluten-free gingerbread was one of the first recipes I ever posted (it doesn’t exist anymore, bad recipe/bad photos!). This one has been a strong favourite so far in my early start to cookie-baking season.
Hazelnut and coconut flour are combined here for a perfect mix of crispy/chewy and a truly excellent flavour. That also means these aren’t only gluten free, they’re also grain free, in addition to being vegan and excellent.
These are a kind of GF version of my vegan sugar cookies, but with added date syrup (or molasses, see below) and different spices for a proper gingerbread. They freeze spectacularly if you want to get your baking done early and pop it in the freezer.
I’ll be sharing several cookie recipes over the next weeks, in addition to keeping up with plenty of mains and savoury dishes. It’s dark and cold and horrible, so we must find joy in small things!
Why You Should Try This Recipe
The perfect allergy-friendly holiday cookie, these are egg- dairy- and gluten-free so they’re perfect for gifting. Of course they’re delicious, too.
- It’s a one-bowl recipe: everything is mixed in the same bowl, so you have less dishes.
- They keep for a long time: like gingerbread or zimtsterne, these are a great make-ahead cookie can can be frozen for months and still taste perfect.
- It’s a perfect kid-friendly activity: all cut-out cookies are great to make with kids, to help with assembly and decorating!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Hazelnut flour: if you can’t get hazelnut flour, almond is a good substitute. For a nut free option, finely ground sunflower seeds can be used.
- Date syrup: use molasses or date syrup interchangeably here. Molasses is terribly difficult to find here, so I’ve gone with date syrup, but molasses will give a more classic gingerbread flavour.
- Coconut oil: it’s likely that vegan or dairy butter can be used in place of coconut oil, but I haven’t tested this. It needs to be an oil that’s solid at room temperature.
- Spices: change up the spices based on your preference, or use 2 teaspoons of a pre-made spice blend (lebkuchen or speculaas spice mixes are excellent here).
Step by Step
1. Blend the coconut sugar and oil until fluffy.
2. Add the date syrup (or molasses) and blend again to combine.
3. Mix in the dry ingredients. The dough will be crumbly.
4. Add milk and stir to form a crumbly dough. It should hold when pressed, like shortbread.
5. Press the dough into a disc and place onto parchment paper.
6. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment.
7. Cut the dough into your desired shapes and place onto a baking sheet.
8. Bake for about ten minutes before cooling fully on a rack.
Make sure to use baking powder, not baking soda (bicarb). Baking soda causes more spread than lift in cookies, and you want these to keep their shape during baking.
Chilling the dough before cutting makes it much easier to work with – it’s almost impossible to cut the shapes if the dough is warm – and this step can’t be skipped.
If you are too impatient to cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters, you can do squares or rectangles (with a knife or pizza cutter) instead. I often do this for the second round after rolling out the scraps from cutting the first into shapes and it is much easier, if rather less pretty.
The cutters used here are 5 cm (2 inches) across – if yours are larger, bake for a minute longer.
The vague healthiness of these cookies is largely destroyed due to the royal icing I used to decorate (left over from making videos). But! You can use coconut butter! That is my go-to icing for cookies, and it works very well without any additions. Alternatively, go for coconut whipped cream or enjoy them plain, or dipped/drizzled in dark chocolate.
To make little ornaments, you can cut small holes in the cookies before baking. If you forget or decide partway through, holes can also be cut when the cookies are fresh from the oven and still warm, but they will be too crisp when cooled.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container in a cool place for up to two weeks. If you feel your house may be too warm, they can be refrigerated.
Freezing: place in an airtight container and freeze for up to six months.
- Don’t make unlisted substitutions: flour is always a big one – there’s no good substitution for coconut flour here. If any subs have been tested and proven to work, they’re in the ingredient substitutions section.
- Chill the dough: be sure to chill the cut out cookies for a few minutes before baking so that they don’t spread. I used to use an unheated hallway but fridge or freezer is good too.
- Don’t worry about over mixing: since it’s a gluten-free recipe, there’s a low risk of over working the dough. No problem if another splash of milk needs to be added, for example.
More Gluten Free Cookies
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Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 60 grams coconut oil, room temperature
- 40 grams coconut sugar
- 40 grams date syrup (or molasses)
- 120 grams hazelnut flour
- 40 grams coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon extract
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Place the coconut oil and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until fluffy and lightened in colour, a couple of minutes. Add the date syrup (or molasses) and beat again to combine.60 grams coconut oil, room temperature, 40 grams coconut sugar, 40 grams date syrup (or molasses)
- Add the hazelnut flour, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vannila powder (or vannila extract), salt, and baking powder. Mix on low speed to combine.120 grams hazelnut flour, 40 grams coconut flour, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- Add a tablespoon of milk and mix with a wooden spoon. The dough should be crumbly but hold its shape when pressed with your hand – think shortbread. Add another tablespoon of milk if needed.1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Use your hands to gather the dough and press it into a disc. Place the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper, top with another sheet, then roll it out to an approximately 20×30 cm (8×12 inch) rectangle.
- Cut the dough into your desired cookie shapes. The cutters used here are 5 cm (2 inches) across – if yours are larger, baking for a minute longer.
- Lift the bottom sheet of parchment paper and place the rolled out dough onto a large baking sheet. Remove the excess dough (set it aside to roll out again). Space the cookies with 2-3 cm (1 inch) between them – they shouldn’t spread.
- Chill for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator or ten minutes in the freezer.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cool fully on a rack. Ice if desired.
- The cookies will keep in an airtight container for about two weeks in a cool place, and freeze well.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
If you’re looking for approachable, seasonal vegetarian recipes, you’re in the right place! Occasionally Eggs is all about healthier plant based recipes that follow the seasons.