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Gluten Free Gingerbread Bars

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These gluten free gingerbread bars are easy to make, and perfectly flavored with ginger, cinnamon, and molasses. Perfect for a chilly wintertime snack! 

gluten free gingerbread bars

My kids love these bars topped with whipped cream, as you can see in the photos. We also love them dusted iwth powdered sugar, or frosted with cream cheese frosting

When I was a kid, whenever we make gingerbread – be it cookies, or cake, bread, or bars – we used sorghum molasses, because we grew it as a cash crop, so it’s what we had.

And I never understood why my gingerbread was disappointingly light in color, when pictures showed a nice, rich, dark gingerbread.

Turns out the rest of the world was using blackstrap molasses.

I know that now, and it’s kind of funny to think about.

I definitely do prefer sorghum for shoofly pie, but for other recipes, I stick to blackstrap now.

But that said, sorghum totally works. It just looks different, and tastes a little lighter.

As a gluten-free recipe, this recipe is slightly different than traditional gingerbread. But honestly not that different. Just a few ingredient adjustments, and of course, gluten free flour instead of all purpose, made with wheat.

gluten free gingerbread on a plate

What kind of flour to use for gluten-free gingerbread Bars

If you’ve been making my recipes for a while, you probably know how much I love to mix my own flours. You can make your own inexpensive gluten free flour mix with this recipe.

But two of my favorites are quinoa flour, and ivory teff flour from Judee’s Ingredients. Other great flours to mix in are super fine brown rice flour and sweet white sorghum flour.

For starches, I tend to prefer cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

Mixing my own gluten-free flour blend, I like to use 2/3 flour, and 1/3 starch.

So for instance, 1/3 cup super fine rice flour, 1/3 cup quinoa flour, and 1/3 cup arrowroot starch.

If you want to make it easy with a premade flour mix, I recommend king Arthur gluten-free baking mix. I’ve also made it with Pillsbury’s gluten-free flour, and Great value, which is a good budget-friendly option.

Other ingredients for gluten free gingerbread Bars

This list is going to look long, but don’t let that intimidate you! You probably have the ingredients in your pantry. And most of them are spices. 😉

ingredients for gluten free gingerbread cake bars

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Milk

I also add whipped cream for topping, and if it’s Christmas time, some sprinkles.

Swaps and Substitutions

While the ingredients for this gluten free gingerbread cake are common, and you probably have them, the reality is, you run out of things some times. That’s okay!

There is some risk in changing a baking recipe, but I can give you a few helpful tips for making a swap or substitute a success.

  • Swap Sugars. You can use all white, or all brown if necessary. It will change the flavor slightly, but not a big deal.
  • Use pumpkin pie spice. Add up the amount of spices in this recipe, and use the equivalent quantity of pumpkin pie spice instead.
  • Use a butter substitute, or coconut oil in place of butter if needed.
  • Chopped nuts. You can add 1/2-3/4 cup of chopped nuts to the batter if desired, as well as on top of the whipped cream (if you use it).
  • As mentioned above, you can also use a different type of molasses if desired.

How to make these gingerbread bars dairy-free

Since this recipe uses both butter and milk, it’s not well-suited for those with dairy allergies.

As mentioned above, you can use a butter substitute such as I can’t Believe it’s Not butter, Smart Balance, or Country Crock.

For the milk, Cashew milk works really well, or you can use almond milk.

For whipped topping, you can pick up a non-dairy version (think Cool Whip) at your local grocery store.

How to make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bars

To make these, all you need is a small mixing bowl, a large mixing bowl, an stand mixer or electric mixer, and a 9×9 inch baking pan.

First, mix your dry ingredients together in a small bowl, and set aside.

gluten free flour with ginger and cinnamon mixed in

Then, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg and molasses next

wet ingredients for gluten free gingerbread bars

Then add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix in well

Beat in half the milk

Then another third of the flour

adding flour to gluten free gingerbread batter

The remaining milk

Then the remaining flour

And finally, spread it all into a greased or parchment paper lined baking pan

gingerbread batter in a baking pan

Bake in your oven at 350º for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan fro 10 minutes, then loosen the cake from the sides with a butter knife or icing spatula, and remove to cool on a wire rack.

gluten free gingerbread cake

Top with whipped cream or sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, and serve.

a serving platter with gluten free gingerbread bars topped with whipped cream

How to store gluten-free gingerbread bars

It’s best not to top your gingerbread bars with whipped cream until you’re ready to serve them since the bars are best kept at room temperature, and whipped cream needs to be refrigerated.

So, for storing, cover with plastic wrap, or place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for 1-2 days.

If you need to store them for longer, you can refrigerate them, but that can make them a little more dense and gummy, so I don’t recommend it.

Other recipes to try:

Print

Gluten Free gingerbread

Soft gluten free gingerbread bars topped with whipped cream.

  • Author: Elise New

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and great, or line with parchment, a 9×9 inch baking pan
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together in a small bowl, and set aside
  3. In a larger mixing bowl, beat softened butter and sugars together until light and fluffy
  4. Add egg, vanilla, and molasses, and beat until well combined
  5. Add 1/3 of flour blend to batter, and stir until just combined
  6. Add 1/2 of milk, blending again, then repeat until flour and milk is all mixed in 
  7. Pour into prepared baking pan, and bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
  9. Use a butterknife to loosen the sides of the gingerbread from the pan, and turn out onto a wire wrack to finish cooling
  10. Top with whipped cream if desired and serve
  11. Enjoy!

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