Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Gingerbread Kids

gingerbread 011.resizedGingerbread cookies are essential to make during the holidays. They are fragrant, sweet and fun to decorate with your kids. There are so many variations of the basic gingerbread cookie recipe, but most include molasses, ginger, cinnamon and perhaps a touch of cloves as well. Some recipes produce a soft and chewy cookie and others are more crunchy. I like mine somewhere in the middle, and the flavor not too spicy. You can take my basic recipe and add a smidgen more spices to suit your personal taste.

One important trick with gingerbread cookie dough is that it must be chilled thoroughly in order for it to be rolled out properly. Keep a little cup of flour by your work space and be sure to generously flour your board and rolling pin. I also like to dip my cookie cutters in flour before cutting into the dough.

After baking and cooling the cookies, decorate away! Use confectioners’ icing to pipe little eyes and buttons. In fact, I love to bring these cookies to my children’s holiday parties and let them decorate the cookies as an activity. It’s a simple activity that doubles as a treat.

Happy Baking!

gingerbread 008.matthewresized


 Yield: 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine with the brown sugar, molasses, and applesauce. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt with a wire whisk. Add to the margarine mixture, and mix on medium low for about 1 minute. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350ºF, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters dipped in flour, and place shapes on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on baking sheets.

20 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. This came just in time.My daughters preschool is making gingerbread cookies at one of the parents house on Tuesday and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do so that she wouldn’t have to be excluded. She was so upset when she heard she may not be able to participate.

  2. Hi Kelly – I made these this weekend from your cookbook and they are REALLY yummy. I second the reco on needing the flour though – they are really sticky! We’ll be making these again for my son’s holiday party – I’m trying to pass them off as a “healthy snack!”

  3. Pingback: Holiday Recipes: Dairy, Egg and Nut-Free Gingerbread Cookies | Nibblers

  4. You are AMAZING!!! I love to bake with my kids but our recipes were very limited (and had hard to find ingredients) no matter how much I searched. Now we can have the family fun time in the kitchen I remember from my childhood.

  5. Kelly, we love all your recipes and I can’t wait to try these! We just made your red velvet cake this weekend for a party and everyone loved it – couldn’t believe it was made without eggs!

    Quick question for you – is there an easy icing recipe for these cookies? Is it just confectioners sugar and milk with food coloring?

    Thanks so much for sharing all of your recipes, it is so very appreciated!!!! We love your cookbook!!

  6. I just received your book in the mail yesterday. My son is so excited to have more choices for his holiday cookies this year, Thank you for providing one the simpliest joys to my son and many other chidren. I will be making many of your recipes in the coming days. I will think of you and your family with fondness. Merry Christmas.

  7. Thank you SOOOO MUCH everyone for your super sweet and heartfelt comments! I’m super excited for you and your children to make these yummy cookies. They were gone in my house the day they were made. Jana, yes use the easy icing recipe from my sugar cookie recipe…use less soy or rice milk if you want a thicker consistency. Thanks again everyone!!

  8. I am very excited to try this recipe for my 2 boys with food allergies. Thankyou SO much for sharing this!Happy Holidays to you!~

  9. I have recently found your site, and overcome with joy! My 8 year old son has servere food allergies also. Thank you so much for all your recipes. With a foot of snow just outside of Boston, a good day for baking. I’m off to the kitchen to make the gingerbread kid cookies!

  10. This is the best egg-free gingerbread cookie recipe that I have found so far. Most of them cause the cookies to lose their shape when baked. However, this dough is very sticky. I added an extra half-cup of flour and that did the trick. If you like spicy gingerbread like I do, double the spices and add 1/2 tsp. black pepper if you are brave enough! My two boys and my niece and nephew (who has the egg allergy) are really excited to decorate these next week and give them to teachers and other special people.

  11. I made these this week for my son’s pre-school class party (he’s allergic to nuts and eggs). The kids decorated them, and it turned out great! Thanks!

  12. Can you tell me what you use to pipe/apply icing? I have a 2.5 year old who would like to help but I’m not sure what to give him so he can apply the icing. Thought of a pastry brush since he obviously won’t be doing any fine detail work… 🙂 Thanks!

  13. I am having an impossible time finding completely dairy free margarine here. Is it possible to substitute canola oil in the recipes without altering the composition? Can’t wait to try these with the kids!

  14. Esther- Have you tried Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine? That is what we use most of the time at our house. Jewel is the only grocery store that seems to carry it by me.

  15. Fantastic recipe!!! Even our family members without food allergies loved these.

    We substituted Crisco for dairy free margarine. Any stickiness was addressed by flouring during the roll-out process. The dough also rested in the fridge for two days before we had a chance to make the cookies, that may have helped as well. WELL DONE — absolutely delighted my son, who usually has to give up treats like this.