You know what I love? I love the incredible capacity children have for sugar. It’s one of the great tragedies of life–once we’re old enough to eat as much candy as we want, we don’t want to eat it anymore. I still love watching kids eat it though!
I created this recipe for Jack’s kindergarten class. His awesome teacher had a great idea for a “P” themed party with plans to decorate “people” cookies. I have another dairy and egg free gingerbread recipe, perfect for making gingerbread houses, but wanted to come up with a thick and soft gingerbread cookie for his class.
At home, I decorated mine in classic fashion. For the school kids, I made vanilla frosting and they decorated with licorice, Skittles, Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and sprinkles until the cookies couldn’t hold any more. We had a few casualties…and took some crime scene photos. Enjoy!
Dairy-Free Gingerbread Men
- Prep Time: 30 minutes (including time to chill & roll the dough)
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 24 cookies (depending on size) 1x
These gingerbread men cookies are dairy-free and egg-free, they are also vegan. They’re perfect for decorating!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup shortening
- ¾ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and spices. Pulse until its mixed well.
- Add the shortening and pulse until it’s incorporated.
- Mix the molasses and dairy-free milk together in a measuring cup with a spout.
- Slowly pour the molasses-milk mixture into the food processor while pulsing to mix.
- Process until the dough comes together in a nice ball.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
- To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap to ¼ inch or so (this way avoids using extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin or counter. Extra flour makes cookies dried out and tough).
- Cut into shapes and cook on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies, smaller gingerbread men will cook faster than my big ones).
- Let cool before decorating, enjoy!
I love making cookie dough in my food processor, it turns out so smooth, like Play-doh. You can make this with a hand mixer and it will turn out just fine!
I used Silk Coconut milk and Spectrum Palm Oil Shortening in this recipe. If you need ideas on products, see my posts on dairy-free milk alternatives and dairy-free butter alternatives.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gingerbread men, dairy free gingerbread cookies, vegan gingerbread cookies
Egg-Free Royal Icing
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
This simple egg-free royal icing is perfect for cookie decorations. It dries hard and is smooth and shiny!
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 2 T. Water
- Mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch together.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time. This is super-thick icing that hardens quickly when piped on, so don’t make it too runny or your decorations will spread into blobs.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Mixed
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: egg-free royal icing, vegan royal icing
I knew you’d have an egg-free royal icing recipe for me. You just saved Christmas! 🙂
Glad to help! If you want a softer, glossy icing, to cover a whole cookie…go for the version in the Camper Cookies: https://speedbumpkitchen.com/camper-cookies/ The version I used here turns crunchy, like candy, and doesn’t bleed at all.
Perfect timing! I was on your website last night looking for a gingerbread cookie recipe.
Can’t wait to try these. I am making your pizzelle recipe for my 1st grader whole class next week for their celebration of Christmas Around the World. Thank You!
Kathryn @ Mamacado says
Thanks for this recipe! We made these for Christmas and my son loved decorating them. Just blogged about it and linked to your recipe! http://www.mamacado.com/2013/12/a-sweet-christmas.html
These look awesome! I like to order a egg free dairy free treats from http://www.eloisespastries.com They ship right to my door.
Just made these for my grandchildren. What a hit! Grandma and grandpa like the taste as well…they taste like the Biscoff cookies you get on the airplane. Yum! I also like the firmer texture of these gingerbread men, they make for better tree ornament cookies. A definite keeper in my “Katie friendly” recipes. Thank you.
We don’t get molasses easily here in India, can I use golden syrup?
Treacle might be better than golden syrup, depending on the taste you are after. I haven’t made these particular cookies, but generally treacle or a mix of treacle & golden syrup is found in Gingerbread recipes. It gives it a deeper flavour. You may need to do a little search on replacing molasses with other liquid sugars to see if there is a difference in the amount you need….
How many cookies does this recipe make?
What can be used instead of shorting? Butter? And how much?
Camille, you can use the same amount of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks. Just make sure it’s room temperature and soft. If I’m in a hurry and my butter is cold, I grate it with a cheese grater onto a big plate. It warms up and softens much quicker that way!
Make sure you chill the dough before rolling out and cutting. I’d also put the cookies sheets with the uncooked cut cookies into the fridge or freezer for a bit before baking as well. Butter in cookie dough melts quickly and the cookies can spread, you’d have some funny looking gingerbread men if you put warm dough directly into the oven!
Can these be done with an all purpose gluten free flour?