These gluten-free Frosted Ginger Cookies are soft and chewy and bursting with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and molasses flavor. The vanilla frosting adds the perfect final touch to these favorite Christmas cookies.
I used to bake these soft ginger cookies every Christmas for my family when I was growing up. I have such fond memories of baking them and spending extra time frosting them JUST SO. (Of course, that was back when I had time to aim for perfection; now I frost up a batch in just a few minutes.) I always loved the compliments when I served them to family members..I still do to this day!
The original recipe in my mom’s old, well-loved cookbook was not gluten-free and we called it Ginger Creams back then. We still call it that sometimes but most of the time, we refer to this Christmas cookie recipe as Frosted Ginger Cookies.
I’ve taken my time adapting Ginger Creams to a gluten-free recipe so I could get this favorite molasses cookie recipe just right. And I think it’s just about perfect now.
I served these soft ginger cookies to non-gluten-free friends and family last year and they had no idea it was gluten-free. Yes!
I still make these gluten-free frosted ginger cookies every holiday season. I don’t think a Christmas cookie platter is complete without them! They are just SO soft and chewy and perfectly spiced. And the frosting is easy to make and really does complete the cookies.
If you’ve never had ginger cookies, think of gingerbread cookies. They’re pretty similar in their tastes, though personally I think these gluten-free ginger cookies are even better because they’re a LOT quicker and easier to make than actual gingerbread men.
Gluten-Free Frosted Soft Ginger Cookies
Did I mention these gluten-free ginger cookies are also dairy-free? The frosting is not, but you can substitute easily substitute dairy-free ingredients. See below. Or if you have a dairy-free family member, just set aside a few cookies without the frosting and they can enjoy this delicious gluten-free Christmas cookie too!
The cookies are super easy to make too. You only need one bowl which means easier clean-up too.
Ingredients you’ll need: shortening (or palm shortening), granulated sugar, egg, molasses, water, gluten-free flour mix (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 OR King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour), cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon.
And for the vanilla frosting, you’ll need: salted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. You can sub dairy-free butter and dairy-free milk (I use almond milk) for a dairy-free version. Oh and you may want some optional colorful sprinkles because they’re fun and festive.
Equipment you’ll need or might find helpful:
Mix the shortening, sugar, egg, molasses, and water together in a large bowl.
Add the cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, and spices
Stir in the flour last until combined.
Cover with plastic wrap, with the plastic wrap touching the cookie dough (this helps keep it moist) and chill for about 1 hour.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
If you want to chill a little longer (maybe 1.5-2 hours), you can roll the cookies into small balls. Personally, I’m usually in a hurry and find the drop method works just as well and these soft and chewy ginger cookies taste just as good either way.
Bake for about 8 minutes or until there’s almost no imprint left when you gently touch the top of a cookie.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Gently remove from the cookie sheets and cool completely.
While your ginger cookies are cooling, you can make the frosting.
You can skip the frosting step, but the vanilla frosting really does add the perfect finishing touch and turn these cookies from really good to mouth-wateringly delicious. I highly recommend it. Plus it’s really easy.
To Make the Vanilla Frosting:
Mix the softened butter with the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Add a little more milk gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
Frost your gluten-free ginger cookies, then add the sprinkles.
Store covered for up to 5 days. These gluten-free frosted ginger cookies are best enjoyed within 3 days.
Soft and chewy, deliciously spiced molasses ginger cookies are gluten-free and topped with a mouthwatering vanilla frosting. These cookies are the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie platter.
⅓ cup shortening
½ cup cane sugar
½ cup molasses
½ cup water
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups gluten free flour mix (1 to 1 blend)
Mix the shortening, sugar, egg, molasses, and water until combined. Stir in the cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, and spices until mixed in. Add the flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap touching the dough and chill until firm about 1 hour.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees and grease or add parchment paper to two cookie sheets. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, drop scoops of the cookie dough onto the prepared sheets, about 2″ apart. Bake for 8 minutes or until only a slight indent remains when you gently press the top of a cookie with your finger. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the cookies are baking, you can make the frosting. For the frosting, cream the softened butter, then stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp milk. Add 1/2 Tbsp more of milk until it reaches the desired consistency. If it becomes too thin, add 1/4 cup more of the sugar until it thickens up again.
Frost the cookies when slightly warm. If the cookies are cooled completely, that’s okay too.
Store covered for up to 5 days. Cookies are best eaten within 3 days.
Keywords: gluten-free cookies, vanilla frosting, soft ginger cookies, molasses spice