Dairy Free Gingerbread Cookies
These festive dairy free gingerbread cookies are a holiday classic! Filled with cozy spices, warm molasses and buttery goodness, they’re soft and chewy in the centers with slightly crisp edges. Finished with the most dreamy spiced buttercream frosting (that’s totally dairy free!), they’re sure to become a Christmastime tradition.
It doesn’t get more Christmas-y than classic gingerbread men cookies.
So today, we talk about this dairy free version that may in fact be BETTER than the original.
Bold statement, I know. But hear me out.
We have soft and chewy centers, slightly crisp edges, cozy warm spices and brown sugar molasses-y goodness.
PLUS the most dreamy, creamy, spiced buttercream frosting that is out of this world good.
It totally takes things over the top and makes these cookies downright impossible to resist.
Tips & Tricks
- First things first. When measuring out your flour, fluff it in the container then scoop into your measuring cup with a spoon and level off. Don’t dunk the cup straight into the bag as you’ll likely use too much.
- You can absolutely adjust the amount of spices in both the cookies and the frosting. I think they are both perfect as written – spicy without being over the top – but feel free to play around to your own taste.
- Along those lines, you can also leave out all the spices in the buttercream for a plain vanilla frosting.
- Please be sure to roll out the dough to the listed ¼ inch thickness. This is what allows the cookies to bake up with perfectly soft centers.
- Now, baking for the listed 8 to 10 minutes results in soft gingerbread cookies with lightly crisp edges. If you are looking for crisp cookies, you can try baking a bit longer. But please keep an eye on them if you go this route!
- And finally, you can use a different dairy free milk in the frosting. I personally like the listed oat milk as it’s a bit thicker and richer than some other options.
How To Store
After frosting, let the cookies sit for about 1 to 2 hours at room temperature. The frosting will “harden” a bit during this time, making them easier to store.
Counter: The cookies will keep for about 2 to 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container layered with parchment paper.
Fridge: You can also store in the fridge for up to one week in an airtight container layered with parchment paper.
Freezer: Unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer safe baggie. Thaw the cookies in the fridge, bring to room temperature, then decorate as desired.
I haven’t tried freezing the cookies once frosted but my guess is that they would do okay. Just be sure to layer with parchment paper if they are decorated and you plan to freeze.
Additional Dairy Free Cookie Recipes:
- Dairy Free Sugar Cookies
- Dairy Free Thumbprint Cookies
- Dairy Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Dairy Free Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Biscotti
- Vegan Snowball Cookies
Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.
For the cookies:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup dairy free butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:*
- 6 tablespoons dairy free butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, plus extra as needed
- 1 tablespoon oat milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch each of ground nutmeg, allspice and cloves
For the cookies:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium / medium high for about 1 to 2 minutes, until nice and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add in the molasses, egg and vanilla extract, then beat again until incorporated (don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled). Add in the flour mixture, then mix on low until well combined - the dough will be soft. Use a spatula if needed to give the dough a final stir by hand to make sure there are no streaks of butter or flour.
- Using a spatula, scrape / dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. With well floured hands, form into a rough ball and then gently press into a disc about 7 inches wide. Wrap tightly, then chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a very well-floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch in thickness (flouring the rolling pin also helps - see notes).** Cut out the dough with cookie cutters and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat with all the dough scraps.
- Bake one tray at a time for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are completely set.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Add the dairy free butter to a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium for about 1 minute, until nice and creamy (it won’t be a lot of butter to beat - just do your best!). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add the 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar and oat milk to the bowl. Beat on low until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and continue to beat for about 1 minute until fully combined and creamy.
- Add in the vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Beat again until everything is well combined. Add additional confectioners’ sugar to thicken the frosting if needed.
- Decorate the cooled cookies as desired.
*The listed frosting is completely optional. Feel free to use your own favorite icing, a simple glaze or something store-bought. I’m just completely partial to the spiced buttercream combined with the gingerbread - such a good pair.
Additionally, the quantity of frosting will give you enough to fully cover about 12 medium sized cookies and then pipe on some decorations on the remaining 8ish cookies (i.e. such as classic gingerbread men outlines).
**Depending on how long you chill the dough (and how cold your fridge is), you may need to leave it out on the counter for a few minutes before rolling if you find it’s too hard. A few tips - the dough may crack a bit as you roll - you can use your fingers to help push / meld the edges back together (or just cut out shapes around the cracks). The first roll is the hardest since the dough is stiff and cold - it will get easier and smoother as you roll out the scraps. Just make sure everything is well floured.
Yield will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.