Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men
Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men- made with wholesome oat flour, these gingerbread men are perfectly soft and chewy. No one will every guess they’re vegan and gluten-free!
Every year my husband insists we make gingerbread men for Christmas. We usually make this vegan spelt flour recipe that I’ve had on the blog for years, but recently I received a reader request for a gluten-free version.
Luckily she reached out months ago which gave me plenty of time to start testing multiple trials so that I could nail the perfect texture. It only took me five times, ha! Let’s just say I literally bit off more gingerbread heads than I could chew. Now that it’s all said and done, I’m happy to be able to present to you the perfect vegan and gluten-free gingerbread men.
Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men Ingredients
- Oat Flour- I decided to go with oat flour for these cookies because it’s the easiest to find and it’s highly nutritious. I recommend buying oat flour for optimum results as homemade oat flour tends to be gritty, unless you sift it.
- Tapioca Starch- Typically I try to avoid starches and gums in my gluten-free recipes but given that these particular cookies need extra binding power so that they can be rolled and cut out without falling apart, I decided to bite the bullet and add tapioca starch. This is a necessary ingredient because it helps bind the cookie dough. It took me five attempts to get them right with tapioca starch so I haven’t tested them with substitutions.
- Baking Soda and Salt- Just a touch of baking soda helps leaven the cookies so that they rise slightly and have a soft center. Salt is used to balance out the sweetness.
- Ground Ginger and Cinnamon- Like any good gingerbread, we’re using ginger and cinnamon for spice. You can also add a pinch of cloves and/or nutmeg if you prefer more spices.
- Coconut Sugar- I always bake with coconut sugar because I love the caramel flavor but you can substitute organic cane sugar or brown sugar if you prefer. Just keep in mind they may be a little sweeter than the coconut sugar option.
- Blackstrap Molasses- Another key component for gingerbread, molasses adds moisture and a hint of spice to the cookies. It’s also packed full of iron and other vital minerals. Don’t skip it!
- Unsweetened Applesauce- Just a few tablespoons of applesauce replaces the need for eggs.
- Unrefined Melted Coconut Oil- I prefer to use unrefined coconut oil as it’s neutral in flavor. It’s solid state when cooled also helps add binding properties. I haven’t tested the cookies with any substitutes but my suspicion is that melted vegan butter would work well in it’s place.
How to Make Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men
Just like any other gingerbread men recipe, these require that the dough be chilled prior to rolling and cutting. Here’s what the steps look like:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Stir the wet ingredients together in a separate large bowl. Pour the dry into the bowl with the wet and stir together until a dough forms.
- Form the dough into a square then wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, roll out the dough, cut into gingerbread men then bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely, pipe with icing and enjoy!
Ladies. these men are downright irresistible and are sure to leave you coming back for more! I find that they’re a little crispy straight out of the oven but they soften over the next day. The edges are chewy and they’re perfectly sweet with a soft center. They’re basically my ideal guy. ;)
Want more holiday cookies?
- Vegan Gluten-free Double Chocolate Cookies
- The Best Vegan and Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Thumbprint Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Dreamy Vegan Snickerdoodles
Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men
For the Cookies
- 1¾ cup oat flour, certified gluten-free for allergies
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil
For the Icing
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and coconut sugar.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (molasses, applesauce, and melted coconut oil) until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and fold together with a spatula until a dough forms. It might look like the dough is dry but don’t worry, just keep stirring. After moist dough has formed, divide it in two separate halves and wrap each one with parchment paper (or plastic wrap). Refrigerate until cold and firm, for at least two hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, take the dough out and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a hard surface with parchment paper, lightly sprinkle it and a rolling pin with oat flour. Gently roll the dough out on the floured surface to roughly 1/4 to 1/2” thick. Go thinner (1/4") for crispier cookies and thicker (1/2") for softer cookies.
- Using a cookie cutter, press shapes into the dough and use your hands to pull away any excess pieces. Form the excess pieces into a large ball and continue to roll out and cut shapes until all of the dough is gone.
- Transfer the cookies to two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool completely before icing.
- Meanwhile, make the icing by combining all of the ingredients (start with 1 tablespoon milk, add a second if needed) in a small bowl and whisking together until smooth. Spoon it into a plastic bag and cut one corner off or use a pastry bag. Slowly pipe the icing on as desired.
- Store cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper for up to one week.