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Gluten Free Gingersnaps are filled with molasses and spice and everything nice, but it’s that crackled sugar topping that makes them extra special. Made the easy way by using a traditional recipe and a 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour, these cookies are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!
Crackle-Top Gluten Free Gingersnaps
My husband loves any kind of spiced cookie. Years back I was paging through an old church cookbook and found a recipe for Crackly Gingersnaps. I made them for Christmas one year, and they became his favorite and part of my annual repertoire.
I loved the crackled sugar topping because they made this classic cookie recipe a little extra special without a lot of fuss. No need to break out piping bags or do chocolate drizzles or even have the mess of cleaning up sprinkles.
But when I had to give up gluten, that, unfortunately, meant that the special people in my life didn’t always get the cookies they have enjoyed for many years.
Part of it was not wanting to inhale all of the flying flour that was an inevitable part of a big cookie-baking session. The other part was just a general frustration that I know many people have when they first go gluten free and can’t enjoy the things they make with the people they love.
And I was honestly intimidated by mixing and matching different kinds of gluten free flours and starches.
What’s the secret to easy gluten free cookies?
Now there are so many 1:1 gluten baking flour blends on the market, and they actually work really well in many cookie recipes. It is such an easy way to enjoy all of your old favorites.
Sure, in the future I will test out the combination of individual flours, but for now, I am making my life and trying to help you make your holiday season simply gluten free!
How to Make Gluten Free Ginger Snaps
By starting with a 1:1 gluten free baking flour blend and grabbing just a handful of other classic ingredients, this gluten free gingersnap recipe comes together in no time! They are just crispy enough to give you that bit of “snap”, but chewy in then middle. And by rolling them in water and sugar before baking, they get a crackly and crunchy sugary top.
1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour – there are many of these types of blends available now. I most often use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Blend, but Pillsbury works well and many people recommend the Cup 4 Cup brand.
Baking soda and spices – baking soda and individual spices like this are typically gluten free. However, I always recommend checking that the brand of spices you use does not process on shared equipment that may be a cross-contamination risk for wheat. Typically your well-known brands (Bob’s Red Mill and Arm & Hammer for the baking soda or McCormick and Badia for the spices) provide gluten free products.
All of the remaining ingredients are naturally gluten free.
What to do
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
First sift your dry ingredients together. Then in a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and brown sugar, and blend in the egg and molasses.
Now gradually add the flour, mixing until it just comes together as a dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
Form the dough into 1-inch balls and dip the tops quickly in cold water and roll in granulated sugar. Place sugar side up on a baking sheet. Tap the balls down slightly just so they don’t roll over.
Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Want to make your gingersnaps more crispy?
Spread them apart a little more and press them dough down a bit so they spread more while baking. Bake closer to 12 minutes.
Prefer chewy gluten free gingersnaps?
Just barely tap down the dough and take them out of the oven while still a bit soft, closer to 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make the dough ahead?
Yes, you can make the cookie dough several hours or even a day in advance. Just cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. You may need to let it warm up slightly to be able to scoop the dough balls.
It can even be frozen for up to two months either before or after you roll the balls. Just thaw in the refrigerator and take out of the fridge shortly before baking.
How do you store gingersnap cookies?
Gluten free gingersnaps can be kept at room temperature for up to a week if sealed well in an airtight container. I recommend placing them in a plastic Ziploc bag and squeezing out all of the air before sealing. Then place the bag inside a cookie tin or plastic container to keep out more air and prevent the cookies from breaking.
I do suggest keeping them separate form your other cookies as the strong ginger aromas can end up imparting the flavor or aromas on the other cookies.
Can they be frozen?
Yes, if well sealed you can freeze them for up to two months.
I like to put them in a plastic freezer storage bag and press out all of the air before sealing. Then place the bag in a cookie tin or plastic storage container. This helps keep them from getting crushed and crumbly while you have them in the freezer.
More favorite holiday flavors
- Peppermint Meringues
- Gluten Free Eggnog Crumb Cake
- Cranberry Bliss White Chocolate Bark
- Chai White Chocolate Muddy Buddies
- Cinnamon Baked Apple Slices from What the Fork
Crackly Gluten Free Gingersnaps
- 2 1/4 cups 1:1 gluten free baking flour (recomended: Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 c dark molasses
- 1 egg
- cold water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (approximately)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium high speed, cream together the shortening and brown sugar.
- Add the molasses and egg, and beat thoroughly.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until a dough forms.
- Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Using about 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into balls. Dip the top of each ball quickly in cold water, then in granulated sugar. Place sugar side up on a cookie sheet and tap slightly so that it doesn’t roll over.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set, then cool on the sheet for a few minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.