These crispy vegan gluten-free iced gingerbread cookies are the perfect addition to any festive gathering. A simple, 7-ingredient gingerbread shortbread dough is rolled out, sliced (or punched out with cookie cutters), and baked until crisp. The cookies are then slathered with vegan royal icing.
That top gingerbread man's expression ↑ makes me giggle.
As you can probably tell, I'm not the most experienced cookie decorator. But little blobs of icing? Well, those I can do.
What you see here, in this post, was the finest selection of decorated cookies from a grand total of nearly 25 cookies. What you don't see here are the cookies where eyeballs ran into mouths and attempts to create "hair" turned into what appeared to be "melting" gingerbread faces.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of the cookies I decorated for this post looked downright scary (explains the frightened look on that guy's face ↑). But it was a fun undertaking nonetheless.
These vegan gluten-free iced gingerbread cookies are essentially a molasses-kissed, spiced version of the cookies I shared with you earlier this week.
They offer an addictively crisp *snap* thanks to their shortbread-like dough. They're made with just 7 ingredients (plus sea salt), and no fancy mixer or techniques are required.
To make them, you'll whisk together oat flour, coconut flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, and sea salt. Using both oat flour and coconut flour gives these cookies the proper crispness and bite.
Once the dry mixture is ready, add a bit of melted coconut oil, blackstrap molasses, and pure maple syrup. Give everything a good stir, and then let the dough rest for 5 minutes to thicken. As the dough sits, the coconut flour absorbs more of the liquids, yielding a soft, spongy texture.
Next, form the dough into a log, wrap it, and chill it for 30 minutes.
When it comes to chilling this particular dough, it's important to strive for a happy medium—it should be chilled enough to roll out smoothly (without ripping or tearing) but not so chilled that it's hard or crumbles when you roll it. If you happen to over-chill the dough, simply knead it between your hands for a few minutes to gently warm it to the right texture (should feel similar to chilled play-doh).
Once the dough is properly chilled, you can:
1. Go the traditional gingerbread cookie route. Roll out the dough on a clean, floured work surface and use cookie cutters to punch out cookies. Then, repeat, repeat, repeat. This process takes a bit longer but results in cute, festive cookies.
2. Go the less traditional but speedier route. Simply slice the cookie dough log into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Circles can be decorated to look like ornaments, right?
Either way, transfer the punched out or sliced dough to lined cookie sheets, and bake for just 10 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom with golden edges.
I prefer crisper gingerbread cookies with a nice *snap* to them, so I typically bake these for 12 minutes (and don't mind if their toes get a little extra toasty). Keep in mind that the baking time will vary depending on the thickness (or thinness) of your cookies.
Just be sure to keep all your cookies consistent in terms of thickness to ensure they bake evenly.
While the cookies bake, you'll prepare the vegan royal icing. Since I don't make traditional icings all that often, I left this one up to a vegan baking expert.
I made a half batch of this vegan royal icing recipe (i.e., 3 tablespoons—1.5 ounces—of aquafaba to about 1 ½ to 2 cups confectioners sugar), but you could certainly make a full batch and double the cookie recipe (or refrigerate any leftover icing).
Just be sure to follow the instructions to thin the royal icing so that it can be used to "flood" cookies, otherwise it will be too thick (like frosting) and you won't get that smooth icing finish.
Once the cookies have cooled, ice them as desired.
I made gingerbread men, candy canes, and trees and iced accordingly. BUT if you're an icing lover (my hand is raised), I don't think anyone would complain if your gingerbread men received a full coating of white icing instead of wide eyes and mouths agape.
Had I not been decorating these with a more traditional, photo-worthy look in mind, I'd have slathered the stuff on thick and let it run off the sides.
I hope you enjoy these vegan gluten-free iced gingerbread cookies and that you have a beautiful, peaceful, and joyful holiday season.
Vegan Gluten-Free Iced Gingerbread Cookies
- 2 cups oat flour, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup virgin coconut oil, melted*
- ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Vegan Royal Icing (I make a ½ batch of the recipe)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the coconut oil, molasses, and maple syrup, and stir well to combine. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to thicken, stirring once or twice. You should have a soft, slightly spongy dough.
- Gather the dough and form it into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You want a happy medium here—the dough should be chilled enough to roll out smoothly (instead of ripping/tearing/sticking) but not so chilled that it's hard or crumbles when you roll it out. You want a malleable but cool dough. If you over-chill the dough, simply let it rest at room temperature and/or knead it between your hands for a few minutes to gently warm it.
- About 10 minutes before the dough has finished chilling, preheat the oven to 350F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- For cookie cutter cookies: Unwrap the dough and cut it into two pieces. Knead each piece a bit to warm it to the right texture (should feel like chilled play-doh). Lightly dust a clean workspace with oat flour and use a rolling pin to roll one of the pieces of dough into a ¼-inch-thick oval (it's okay if the ends fray or tear a bit—that's normal for shortbread dough). Use your cookie cutters of choice to punch out pieces of dough, and carefully transfer each to one of the lined cookie sheets. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
- For simple round cookies: Slice the log into ¼-inch-thick circles. Transfer to the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Cool completely on the pans before frosting.
- Meanwhile, prepare the royal icing.
- Once the cookies have cooled, frost them as desired. Allow the icing to dry for 1 hour, or until it's well set.
- Store in an airtight glass container for up to 1 week.