gluten-free gingerbread cookies

the other day we had our third annual halloween gingerbread cookie baking bonanza at home! only this year, our cookies are gluten-free (GF). (i discovered my own, and possibly N’s, gluten intolerance this summer.) they turned out quite festive and yummy!

each year when we’ve made these, N has had the best time. witness our halloween baking (with gluten flour) in 2008:

and in 2009 (yup, still ignorant about the effects of gluten here, and eating it):

so this year, i searched the internet for GF gingerbread recipes, and there are tons out there. true to GF form, each one requires 700 different types of flours, but we settled on one that seemed most simple and healthy from, and what’s cool about them is that they’re vegan, so if your child has dairy or gluten allergies, these are a-okay! (i’ve posted the recipe at the bottom of this blog for your convenience.)

luckily, i had prepped the dough the night before and put it in the fridge. usually i make dough with N, but these GF cookies require a lot of my concentration to put together all of the random ingredients, so i opted to fly solo in advance on that one. i think my brain was on overload this week, so it was just easier this way.

well, i didn’t fly totally solo. be sure you have a sneaky halloween cat on top of your fridge to supervise.

the following afternoon, N, craig (daddy), and i got to work on our halloween baking! we were witchin’ in the kitchen!

the master decorator got to work with the sprinkles (and some raisins as ghost and jack-o-lantern eyes)


she was a patient, yet watchful, witch.

it only takes 6 minutes in the oven, but it's a long 6 minutes when you're three.

like most GF baked goods, these cookies can be quite crumbly, so pour yourself a tall glass of milk to go with them, or if you’re dairy intolerant along with the pesky gluten intolerance (they seem to go hand in hand) so delicious makes a tasty coconut milk!

here’s whatcha need:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups arrowroot, plus extra for rolling out cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups amaranth flour
  • 2 T. gluten free baking powder
  • 2 t. gluten free baking soda
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups Sucanat (or brown sugar from sugar beets)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup safflower oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 T. vanilla
  • safflower oil, for oiling cookie sheets
  • Decorations: sprinkles, dried currants, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds

and here’s what to do:

In a small bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, arrowroot, amaranth flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover the bowl, place it in the refrigerator, and chill the dough for 1 hour or more. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside. Sprinkle a little arrowroot over a work surface. Divide the chilled dough into quarters, work with only one quarter of the dough at a time, and keep the remaining dough covered and chilled until needed. Working in batches, roll out the quarter of dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Carefully transfer the cut cookies to the prepared cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for 6 minutes (the cookies will feel slightly soft to the touch). Allow them to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the rolling and cutting-out procedure for the remaining cookie dough. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Yield: 3 – 4 Dozen

happy gluten-free halloweeny baking!


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  • Melissa Jordan

    So cute with the witch hats! How did you find out you and your daughter were gluten intolerant?

  • These look delicious! I actually found my 4 year old has sensitivity to sugar so I have been doing lots of research on how to make yummy treats and cookies he an eat. I am going to post a recipe I put together for oatmeal cocoa chip cookies on my blog soon. We used Star Wars cookie cutters and a halloween baking mold sheet. The shapes held but are hard to distinguish between due to the oatmeal. We need to try this recipe since it is mostly sugar free I can just substitute the brown sugar for stevia. I am also trying to figure out what food decoration we can use and other then the sprinkles the other ingredients you used sound great.

  • Thank you for the recipe. Yes, two of my kids are GFCF. These look so yummy! I especially loved the witch hat, however. I will let you know how ours turn out!

  • jen

    melissa – i found out that i’m gluten-intolerant by reading the book at this link: because i’ve had hypothyroidism for years, my labs are normal, but i’ve still felt AWFUL with daily headaches and knee inflammatory arthritis (and other auto-immune symptoms.) reading the book taught me that 90-something% of people with hashimoto’s hyopthyroidism are gluten intolerant… my mom and grandmother have hypo-thy, as well, so they’re likely celiac… it’s hereditary, so N has been GF since i’ve been (for the most part) tho we’ve not yet gotten her tested. i hear the tests are inaccurate though. right now our house is GF so i won’t risk contamination, as one molecule of gluten stays in the system (and causes me symptoms) for at least 6 months. okay, was that all TMI? hee hee. back to art! 🙂

  • I love this! I have a friend with a little boy who is gluten intolerant, so I will save this for when he comes over next! =) BTW, did another version of one of your brilliant ideas again.

    Thanks for being so awesome!