Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies are two perfectly spiced, soft gingerbread cookies sandwiched together with a luscious brown sugar frosting. The cake-like cookies are full of warm winter spices with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This fun twist on traditional Whoopie Pies is a delicious addition to any Holiday Cookie tray. The cake-like gingerbread cookies are gluten-free and dairy-free. To keep them completely dairy free I recommend sandwiching them with Marshmallow Fluff! (Or my Marshmallow Cream Filling which can be made dairy free by using all shortening)
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- What is a Whoopie Pie?
- How to make Soft Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
- How to assemble and store Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
- FAQ about Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Molasses: Molasses is a key ingredient in this recipe. It is a thick, dark syrup, high in minerals and lower in sugar than other syrups. This ingredient can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store. I recommend using unsulphured light molasses such as Grandma’s Molasses. Please be aware when using Blackstrap Molasses your cookies will have a slightly bitter flavor.
Oil: I use grapeseed oil in my baking but a neutral oil such as vegetable oil will work just fine. I tested this recipe with butter but the texture of the cake was on the drier side.
Cream Cheese: I have only tested the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting with full-fat cream cheese.
What is a Whoopie Pie?
Whoopie Pies are a classic treat across New England and Pennsylvania (where apparently they also originated). Two soft chocolate cookies filled with vanilla frosting and marshmallow fluff make up for this handheld snack. The original flavor was chocolate but these days many variations can be found including my delicious recipe for Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies.
There are many stories about how a whoopie pie got its name. Pennsylvania claims that whoopie pies go back centuries in their state, originating in Amish kitchens. Amish women would create little pies/cakes for their families, who would find them in their lunch boxes and shout out “Whoopie!”
(I expect for you to shout out "whoopie" when you taste your first homemade Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pie)
How to make Soft Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
The dough for the Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies is very straightforward. It can be made in just one bowl without even using a stand mixer/hand mixer. Chilling is mandatory for this dough. Skipping chilling will result in very thin and spread-out cookies.
Combine Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized mixing bowl sift together gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl mix together warm water and molasses. Whisk in the sugars, vanilla, oil, whole egg, and egg yolk. Make sure this is whisked together well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. You can combine everything with a whisk or a spatula. A flexible spatula works better for this task than a whisk. Make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
The dough will look kinda greasy and almost too thin to scoop. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2hrs (up to 3 days)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper.
With a medium-sized cookie scoop, portion out the cookies (around 1.5 tablespoons). Don't be surprised if the dough looks like "blobs". It does spread when baking but I was able to fit 10 cookies (2x5) on my sheet trays. This recipe should give you 20-22 cookies.
Bake the cookies, one tray at a time, at 350F for 11-12 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are set and the middle still looks a bit underbaked.
Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely. If you want to move them to a cooling rack after 5-10 minutes I recommend using an offset knife or butter knife to remove them from the parchment. The cookies can stick to the parchment.
In the picture below you can see the difference between a "just perfect baked" gluten free whoopie pie (Left) and overbaked whoopie pies (right). While the cookies on the right appear tall and beautiful they are very dry and the outside is overdone.
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
I decided to use a Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting for the filling for my Gingerbread Whoopie Pies. The brown sugar gives them a slight molasses touch and the tanginess of the cream cheese balances out the spices used in the gluten free gingerbread cookies.
Make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature so they can be whipped together easily. No one likes a chunky cream cheese frosting. If your powdered sugar appears to be lumpy, please make sure to sift it.
Since the Gingerbread cookies are already very flavorful, I am only adding a pinch of ground ginger and ground cinnamon to the frosting. Clearly, you can add as much as you would like to add.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine room-temperature cream cheese, unsalted butter, brown sugar, salt, spices and vanilla until smooth and slightly fluffy.
- Turn off the mixer and make sure to scrape down the sides and the paddle.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and until the frosting appears to light and fluffy.
- Cream Cheese Frosting can sit at room temperature for up to two hours but if you are making this ahead of time, make sure to refrigerate it until you are ready to fill your whoopie pies.
Store any leftover cream cheese filling in your fridge for up to 7 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow for it to come to room temperature before using (you may need to rewhip it)
How to assemble and store Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
To assemble the Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies, use a medium-sized cookie scoop and place the filling in the middle of one cookie. Top with a second cookie and gently press them together. The filling may squish out on the sides but who said Whoopie pies can't be messy.
Whoopie Pies are the best when eaten fresh. If you would like to make them in advance of time, fill them as directed and place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
To freeze Whoopie pies, freeze them on a sheet tray first and then wrap each individual pie in plastic wrap before transferring them to a ziplock bag or airtight container. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in your refrigerator.
You may also just freeze the unfilled gluten-free gingerbread cookies for up to 3 months and fill them as directed when thawed.
FAQ about Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Can I make this recipe vegan?
While the Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies are dairy-free and gluten free, I have not tried to replace the eggs with an egg substitute. If you do, please share your experience.
What is Molasses and is Molasses Gluten Free?
Molasses is the liquid that is left after white sugar is processed from sugar cane juice. It is a thick, dark syrup, high in minerals and lower in sugar than other syrups. You can find it in the baking aisle of your grocery store. Molasses is naturally gluten free. Always make sure to check the product you use for any notes regarding gluten and processing.
I can’t find Molasses where I live
Molasses can be sometimes difficult to find outside the US. In Austria and Germany we call it “Zuckerruebensyrup” or “Melsasse” and is available in organic food stores (Reformhaus)
I don’t have celiac – can I make this recipe?
Yes! Please use 300 grams of “Regular” All Purpose Flour instead of the gluten free flour.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
For the Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
- 325 grams Gluten Free Multipurose Flour
- 10 grams cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (See Note)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ (3 grams) kosher salt
- 125 grams unsulphured molasses
- 65 grams water, warm
- 90 grams light brown sugar
- 40 grams granulated white sugar
- 110 grams neutral oil, such as grapeseed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- 120 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- 30 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 45 grams light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
- pinch ground cinnamon
- pinch ground ginger
- 100 grams powdered sugar
How to make Soft Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl sift together gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices
- In a separate bowl mix together warm water and molasses. Whisk in the sugars, vanilla, oil, whole egg, and egg yolk. Make sure this is whisked together well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. You can combine everything with a whisk or a spatula. A flexible spatula works better for this task than a whisk. Make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- The dough will look kinda greasy and almost too thin to scoop. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2hrs (up to 3 days)
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper.
- With a medium-sized cookie scoop, portion out the cookies (around 1.5 tablespoons). The dough does spread so make sure to leave some room between the cookies.
- Bake the cookies, one tray at a time, at 350F for 11-12 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are set and the middle still looks a bit underbaked.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
How to make the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mix together room temperature butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and spices until light and fluffy. This should take around 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and add the powdered sugar. Starting at a low speed, mix to combine.
- Store the cream cheese frosting for up to 2hrs at room temperature until you are ready to sandwich your Whoopie Pies.
How to assemble and store Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
To assemble the Gluten Free Gingerbread Whoopie Pies, use a medium-sized cookie scoop and place the filling in the middle of one cookie. Top with a second cookie and gently press them together. The filling may squish out on the sides but who said Whoopie pies can’t be messy.
Store any leftover Whoopie Pies in your fridge for up to 5 days.
Cloves: Ground Cloves are essential for Gingerbread but it can be very powerful. If you aren't a big fan of cloves I recommend using ⅛th of a teaspoon. If you are Team Cloves, feel free to add ¼ teaspoon.
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Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2 pack, 2-Pack, Silver
King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour, Certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Kosher, 3 Pounds, Packaging May Vary
KitchenTour Digital Kitchen Scale - 3000g/0.1g High Accuracy Precision Multifunction Food Meat Scale with Back-Lit LCD Display(Batteries Included)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383