These gluten-free frosted ginger cookies are soft, chewy, and bursting with flavor thanks to the blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and molasses. The vanilla frosting adds the perfect final touch to these favorite Christmas cookies.
The Perfect Christmas Cookie
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’m the race car driver of frosting cookies, slapping icing on a batch in just a few minutes. Can anyone else relate?)
I always loved the compliments when I served them to family members on the holidays… and I still do to this day!
A Ginger Cookies Recipe History
The original recipe in my mom’s old, well-loved cookbook was not gluten-free. We called these cookies Ginger Creams back then. We still use that name 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. It was important to me to get this favorite molasses cookie recipe just right. After all, what’s the point in making cookies if they taste terrible?
And I think it’s just about perfect now!
Last year, I served these soft ginger cookies to non-gluten-free friends and family, and they had no idea it was gluten-free. Yup, I think I pretty much nailed this one. 🙂
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.
Plus, the frosting is easy to make and really does add that perfect final touch to the recipe.
If you’ve never had ginger cookies, think of gingerbread cookies. They’re pretty similar in their tastes. Personally, though, I think these gluten-free ginger cookies are even better.
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 isn’t, but you can easily substitute ingredients to make it dairy-free (see more below).
Or, if you have a family member with dairy sensitivities, just set aside a few cookies without the frosting. They can enjoy this delicious gluten-free Christmas cookie too! The frosting truly isn’t necessary in order to enjoy these flavor-packed morsels.
The cookies are super easy to make. You only need one bowl, which means easier clean-up too. #win
Gather These Ingredients For Ginger Cookies
- shortening or palm shortening
- Granulated sugar
- Gluten-free flour mix (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 OR King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour)
- Cream of tartar
- Baking soda
- Ground ginger
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cloves
Vanilla Frosting Ingredients Needed
- Salted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
NOTE: You can sub dairy-free butter and dairy-free milk (I use almond milk) for a dairy-free version. Oh, and you may want to add some optional colorful sprinkles because they’re so fun and festive!
How To Make Soft Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies
Even though this ginger cookie recipe is gluten-free, the basic process for making them is the same as it would be for any cookie. Here’s how to make ginger cookies with molasses.
Mix the shortening, sugar, egg, molasses, and water together in a large bowl.
Add the cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, and spices. Mix thoroughly.
Stir in the flour last and mix until combined.
Cover with plastic wrap in such a way that the plastic wrap touches the cookie dough. This will help keep the dough moist. Then, chill for about 1 hour.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
NOTE: If you want to chill a little longer (say 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. Honestly, these soft and chewy ginger cookies with molasses 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 your tray of cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Carefully remove them from the cookie sheets and let them cool completely.
While you’re waiting on your ginger cookies to cool, you can make the frosting.
How To Make Vanilla Frosting For Ginger Cookies
You can skip the frosting step. However, the vanilla frosting really does add the perfect finishing touch and turns these cookies from really good to mouth-wateringly delicious. I highly recommend it. Plus, it’s super easy.
First, mix the softened butter with the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Add more milk just a little bit at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
Frost your gluten-free ginger cookies, then add the sprinkles. Don’t they look festive and delicious?
How To Store Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies
If you don’t manage to eat all of these cookies immediately after they’re ready (trust me, that’ll be hard to do!), here’s how to store them, so they stay fresh.
Cover and keep for up to 5 days. However, these gluten-free frosted ginger cookies will taste best if enjoyed within 3 days.
More Tasty Christmas Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
- Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies With Buttercream Frosting
- Russian Tea Cookies (Snowballs)
- Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
- 7-Layer Magic Cookie Bars
- Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies
Don’t forget to check out more favorite gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes to enjoy!Print
Gluten-Free Frosted Ginger Cookies
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.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 8 min
- Total Time: 23 min
- Yield: 3 dozen 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: bake
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 1/4 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.
To make 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 or cooled completely. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
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
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