This gluten free and vegan gingerbread is the perfect treat to make around the Holidays. The warm spices and soft texture are wonderful! The gingerbread dough works perfectly for making your own gingerbread house or gingerbread cookies!
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Growing up, we would always make gingerbread houses and it’s one of my fondest Christmas time memories. The idea of getting to stick a bunch of giant cookies together with a whole lot of icing seemed like the best thing ever as a kid (ok, maybe as an adult too!).
To top it off you would add every kind of sweet candy you could think of on top of the mounds of icing. What’s better than that?
The funny thing about it is that we would very rarely eat the gingerbread house. We might go back and pick candy off of it, but I don’t remember ever demolishing the house and eating the cookies.
I think my mom might have secretively thrown them out sometime in January when we weren’t looking. I will have to ask her about that!
Well I knew this was a tradition I wanted to continue to do once I had kids. I felt like this year was the perfect year because my daughter is four and can really start helping and enjoy these kinds of things.
The only problem was that I have a bunch of food allergies and I couldn’t find any gingerbread house kits that were gluten free and dairy free.
I was scrolling through my suggested items on Amazon a while back and came across this cookie cutter kit that has all of the pieces you need to make your own gingerbread house! Amazon knows me so well haha.
I immediately threw all my money (ok, $11.00) at the computer screen and they arrived two days later. I was SO excited to get this in the mail. My husband might say a little too excited. ☺
Here is the kit I got:
They worked perfectly!! The directions on the box say you need 6 of the large rectangles. I still can’t figure out what in the world you would do with all 6.
Here’s what we did:
2 of the front/back wall pieces
2 of the side wall pieces
2 of the roof pieces (not 6)
2 of the chimney pieces
2 window cross pieces
We used some of the other cookie cutters provided to cut out the doors and windows as well. One batch of the dough recipe listed below was perfect for this. If you think of what to do with 6 of the large rectangles, then you would want to use two batches of dough.
Of course I had to now figure out a gingerbread cookie recipe I could use. I started looking at traditional gingerbread recipes and they are pretty simple.
Flour, sugar, spices, butter, eggs, and molasses. I had great substitutes for all of the ingredients I was allergic to so it was fairly simple.
So I had never cooked with molasses before this experience (we always bought the gingerbread house kits from the store growing up). Did you know that Blackstrap molasses is VERY different than regular molasses?
I sure didn’t and the first batch I made was very bitter. DON’T bake with Blackstrap molasses unless the recipe specifically says to!
I was so sad because it was a HUGE waste of ingredients. The silver lining was that we still got to decorate it and everything else about the recipe was spot on.
The texture was great and they held up perfectly for the gingerbread house. I’m still shocked at how sturdy they were even thought the cookies themselves are a wonderful soft texture.
So I purchased some of the correct molasses and they turned out PERFECT! I was so happy! Even my daughter liked them which isn’t always the case with kids and gingerbread since it’s got a bit of spice to it.
Instead of doing a gingerbread house with this batch, we decided to make a bunch of cute little gingerbread men and decorate those. This recipe worked great for both!
I used coconut sugar to cut back on the refined sugar a bit which is why our gingerbread men have “freckles”.☺ If you want them to be a solid brown color, you can use regular brown sugar instead of coconut sugar.
You need to be careful about what kind of candy you decorate the house with because not all candy is gluten free or dairy free.
We used red and green skittles and some sprinkles to decorate ours as well as some additional frosting (store bought works great!) to pipe onto the gingerbread cookies and gingerbread house.
I was so impressed with my daughters ability to help with the piping and she thought it was so fun that she got to help.
This is going to be something we do every year around Christmas time! What are some of your favorite gingerbread creations to make?
I can’t wait to hear about them and hope you love this gluten free and vegan gingerbread recipe as much as my family does!
Gluten free & dairy free frosting and candy for decorating (optional)
Preheat oven 375°F.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together gluten free flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer*, cream together the butter and sugar until combined.
Add the water, molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest to the stand mixer and mix until combined.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the stand mixer until it is all incorporated and your dough is formed. You should be able to pinch the dough between your fingers and have it stick together, but not stick to your hands. If the dough is too dry, add 1 tsp of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. If the dough is too wet, add more gluten free all-purpose flour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 1/4″- 1/2″ thick. Use cookie cutters to make your desired shapes.
Place the cookies on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating.
You can also use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.
Looking for more Holiday Cookie recipes? Check out some of my favorites listed below.