Marbled Royal Icing Gingerbread Cookies - gluten free gingerbread cookies dipped in multi-colored royal icing and swirled around to make a pretty marbled pattern. They're perfect for the holidays!
I love these cookies because they're simple to put together and the marbled pattern makes them extra special. They're also gluten free and you don't even need a cookie cutter. You simply roll the cookie dough into balls (with your hands) and place on the cookie sheet to bake. After they're cooled, you can start the fun part. It's like an art project. Let your creative juices flow.
Pro Tips for Working with Royal Icing
Frosting consistency is the key to the success of the marbled icing design on these cookies.
You will be working with "flood consistency" royal icing.
After making the royal icing, it will be thick. Add a little bit of water (a teaspoon at a time) and stir. Repeat process until you have the consistency of Elmer's glue.
When creating the marbled effect, start with ½ cup of white icing in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of white icing with ¼ teaspoon green food coloring GEL (not regular food coloring). Stir to combine.
Then drizzle squiggle lines (with a spoon) of green icing over the bowl of white icing. Use a toothpick to swirl it around slightly.
Dip rounded side of cookie into this mixture and twist right and left. Lift out of icing and tap to let extra fall back into bowl.
Place on cooling rack to set. Repeat process. Then do the same with other colors.
CAUTION: Do not leave royal icing uncovered in the bowl or it will dry out. Cover bowl with a damp cloth while you're not using it. Then store extra icing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
How to Pack a Cookie Gift Box
Cookies make a great gift for the holidays! Follow these steps to pack up these adorable cookies for a neighbor, friend or child's teacher.
- Try a cube shaped box for a festive presentation.
- Create "cookie columns" by cutting pieces of cardboard to fit inside the box to form four sections.
- Line the box with strips of parchment paper.
- Fill each section with stacks of cookies. Place the lid on a wrap with holiday paper or tie with pretty ribbon.
- Give the gift within 24 hours so that the cookies will be fresh.
Santa Claus will love these Marbled Royal Icing Gingerbread Cookies. Make sure to leave him a few by the tree on Christmas eve. And don't forget the glass of milk and a few carrots for the reindeer.
The Kids give them a thumbs up!
My son, Luke, loved these cookies. And he normally doesn't like anything that's gluten free. I forgot to mention that to him. Oops! Shhhh... don't tell. He kept coming back for more. I had to hide them so my daughter, Savannah, would be able to have some. She's the one that actually can't have any gluten. She loved them too!
Tools for success
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Marbled Royal Icing Gingerbread Cookies
For the cookies
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour I used King Arthur Measure for Measure
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 large egg room temperature
For the royal icing
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Food coloring gel of your choice
For the cookies
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Whisk thoroughly. Set aside. Place butter, brown sugar and sugar in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add molasses and egg; beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well mixed. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 half sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside. Shape dough into ¾-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto prepared sheets; flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Bake 9-11 minutes or until puffed and centers just begin to set. Cool 1 minute on sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
For the royal icing
- Combine all royal icing ingredients except food coloring in bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed 1-3 minutes or until slightly thickened and glossy (if too thick, add additional tablespoon water or more if needed. I like it to be the consistency of white Elmer's glue.)
- Spoon ½ cup icing into shallow bowl. Then spoon a heaping tablespoon of icing into a small bowl, and add about ¼ teaspoon food coloring gel of choice. (Keep remaining icing covered with damp towel.) Use a spoon to drizzle some squiggle lines of the colored icing into the white icing. Swirl around slightly with a toothpick. Dip cookie and swirl it to make the marbled pattern. Remove cookie, tap off excess icing and place on cooling rack Let stand until cookies are set. Repeat this process with more cookies. Then make more marbled pattern icing with different colors and dip/swirl in additional cookies. You will probably have some leftover icing when you're done which you can store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.
Can these be cut-out like gingerbread men? Or do the spread when baked? Thanks!
Lise Ode says
This is not a cut-out gingerbread recipe.