GFCF Gingerbread


GFCF Gingerbread Recipe

This recipe comes from my dear friend and Nourishing Hope team member, Terri Hirning. She originally created this recipe when her son Matthew was in Kindergarten (he is now a Junior in high school!) 

Like many special needs families, she wanted her son to feel included and a part of the class celebrations. Their class was doing a Gingerbread man hunt so she did what many of my Nourishing Hope moms do, she volunteered to provide all of the gingerbread men for the whole class!

Talk about pressure! She needed them to be just as delicious as a traditional gluten and dairy filled recipe.

The children (and adults) loved them and she has shared this recipe many times over the years with rave reviews.


¾ cup coconut oil
¼ cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
3 cup gluten-free flour mix*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup water
Rice flour for rolling


Cream coconut oil and sugar (I used a food processor). Beat in molasses. Sift dry ingredients into separate bowl. Stir into creamed mixture alternately with water (I did not need all of the water, I just added until the dough started to pull away from the side in one big clump). Mix thoroughly once everything has been added. Dough should be soft and will be sticky.

Refrigerate dough for at least one hour. Using rice flour, roll portions of dough on parchment paper to about ¼ inch thick.

Cut and decorate as desired. Bake in 350F oven for 8-20 minutes depending on size. Cookies should just be getting browned.

Bake longer for crispier cookies. Cool slightly on sheet before removing to rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers. You can also use this dough to make Gingerbread house pieces.

The GFCF mix I used was:
• 6 cups rice flour
• 2 cups potato starch
• 1 cup tapioca starch
• Mix in a large bowl. Store extra.


1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup water or diet-compliant milk

Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Stir in enough water/milk to make a smooth but not too runny consistency. You may need to adjust with some more sugar. Use a piping bag and small round tip (or baggie with corner snipped off) to pipe on the eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, and additional details as desired. You can also use natural food coloring if you want to add color to your icing.

24 servings
50 minutes


Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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