How to make gingerbread?

Here is my favorite gingerbread cookies recipe and one of the most popular Christmas cookie recipes on this website. Soft in the centers, crisp on the edges, perfectly spiced, molasses and brown sugar-sweetened holiday goodness.

Whenever I think of Christmas cookies, gingerbread cookies come to mind first. Well, after Christmas sugar cookies of course! Their spice, their molasses flavor, their SMILES, and their charm are obviously irresistible. Gingerbread cookies, you have my heart.

Gingerbread Cookies Video Tutorial

I’ve never shared a gingerbread cookie recipe on my blog before. The truth is, I haven’t been able to find “the one” I’m proud of to post on my blog. I’ve tried them for the past few years and, while each batch is certainly tasty, I’m always left disappointed in the flavor and texture department. So, I made it a point to really work on a perfect gingerbread men cookie recipe. Or at least one that is perfect in my eyes and on my tastebuds! You’ll love these too.

Ingredients in Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookie recipes all start the same and mine comes from my mom. To her recipe, I add a little more molasses and increase the amount of spice favors (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice). I like a gingerbread cookies with A LOT of flavor and I know you will too. Because of the added sticky sweetener (molasses), I add a little more flour to help soak it all up.

  1. Flour so the cookies can keep their shape.
  2. Molasses + spices for flavor
  3. Egg so the gingerbread cookies have structure and richness
  4. Brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar. I always use brown sugar when its flavor is appropriate!

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Let’s walk through the gingerbread cookie recipe so you feel confident when you begin baking.

Chill the dough: The dough is sticky once it’s all beaten together in your mixing bowl and therefore, it absolutely MUST be chilled for at least 3 hours. Give yourself enough time in the kitchen or make the cookie dough and chill it overnight. You want your cookie dough firm so the cookies hold their shape and you want your cookie dough manageable so you can work with it. You won’t have either unless you have chilled cookie dough!

Wrap up the dough: It’s easiest to wrap the dough in plastic wrap before chilling. Scoop out 1/2 of the prepared cookie dough, plop it onto a long sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and flatten it out into a disc. Repeat with the other 1/2 of dough. Then chill. See that photo above? That’s what you’re doing, but you’ll have 2 discs. Why are you doing this? It’s easier to roll out the chilled cookie dough when it is in a disc shape. Also, the cookie dough chills faster when there is less volume. And it’s just easier to work with smaller portions when rolling/shaping!

Roll it out: After chilling, roll out the chilled cookie dough discs until about 1/4-inch thick. Don’t be afraid to flour your hands, rolling pin, work surface, and everything in the world. By that, I mean: the cookie dough can become sticky as you work. So, don’t be scared to add more flour to the work surface. The flour spots on top of your shaped cookie dough will bake off.

Place the cut-out cookies onto a lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. The cookies won’t really spread, but you want to make sure they have enough room to breathe. They are gingerbread people, after all!!

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

After they’ve baked and cooled, it’s time to decorate the cookies. We’re talking smiles, eyes, bow-ties, buttons, squiggles, whatever your gingerbread men cookie loving heart desires. This is when it’s really fun to have a friend or little baker in the kitchen with you. You can use the easy glaze icing recipe I posted with my Christmas sugar cookies or my traditional royal icing recipe, whichever you prefer.

Tint the icing with a couple drops of food coloring to spice things up, too!

It’s difficult not to love this recipe which is why they’re my favorite gingerbread cookies!

  • The dough comes together easily
  • The flavor is spot on- lots of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice, and cloves
  • The edges are slightly crisp
  • The centers are soft and chewy
  • They’re so easy to decorate.

Don’t forget the other Christmas classic: Peanut Butter Blossoms

Description

This is my favorite gingerbread cookies recipe and it’s also loved by millions. Soft in the centers, crisp on the edges, and perfectly spiced. I played around with the spices a lot and really loved the flavor of these cookies when using a full Tablespoon each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon. Make sure you chill the cookie dough discs for a minimum of 3 hours.

Ingredients

  • 10 Tablespoons (2/3 cup; 145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (200g) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (437g) all-purpose flour, (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger (yes, 1 full Tablespoon!)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • optional: easy cookie icing or royal icing

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium high speed until combined and creamy-looking. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Next, beat in egg and vanilla on high speed for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The butter may separate; that’s ok.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick and slightly sticky. Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap each up tightly and pat down to create a disc shape. Please see photo and description above in my post. Chill discs for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  4. Remove 1 disc of chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Generously flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin. Don’t be afraid to continually flour the work surface as needed- this dough can be sticky. Roll out disc until 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. Repeat with remaining disc of dough.
  5. Bake cookies for about 9-10 minutes. If your cookie cutters are smaller than 4 inches, bake for about 8 minutes. If your cookie cutters are larger than 4 inches, bake for about 11 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time.
  6. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, decorate as desired.
  7. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked and decorated (or not decorated) cookies freeze well – up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough discs (just the dough prepared through step 2) freeze well – up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then continue with step 3.
  2. Gingerbread House: This cookie dough is not sturdy enough for gingerbread houses. Here is my gingerbread house recipe.
  3. Special Tools: Cookie cutters, rolling pin, large baking sheets (these are what I use for baking, baking mats

Keywords: gingerbread cookies, gingerbread men

WHAT HAVE I DONE?

There’s nothing quite as lovely as the smell of gingerbread filling your kitchen. These simple Christmas biscuits don’t only taste amazing, but are also really easy to make, making them a great recipe for the little ones in the family too.

Here’s our foolproof gingerbread recipe ready for the snuggly season ahead!

What you need:

  • 75g butter
  • 3 1/2tbsp golden syrup
  • 60g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp ground ginger

How to make gingerbread biscuits:

  1. Add butter, golden syrup and light brown sugar to a pan. Stir on a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger to a mixing bowl then stir together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the sugar and butter mixture.
  3. Stir together to form a dough (it might be easiest to use your hands).
  4. Wrap in clingfilm and let chill for 30mins to firm up.
  5. Lay the dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Press dough lightly with a rolling pin. Give a quarter turn than repeat.
  6. Give it a final quarter turn, then start to roll backwards and forwards, giving regular quarter turns. Until dough is roughly thickness of a £1 coin.
  7. Using a biscuit cutter cut out the shapes. Bake at 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5 for 10 to 12min, until lightly golden brown.
  8. The biscuits won’t be firm but will harden when left to cool outside the oven.

Gingerbread men

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and vanilla and beat to combine. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined and a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Shape each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with baking paper.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one portion of dough (leave the remaining portion in the fridge) on a lightly floured bench top to 5 mm thick. Use an 10 cm tall gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes and then carefully transfer the shapes to the prepared oven trays using a palette knife, leaving a little room between each for spreading. Re-roll any scraps to make more shapes. Discard any off cuts from the second rolling. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread dough portion.

Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are just starting to colour and are cooked through. Cool on the trays.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually add 30 ml (6 teaspoons) of the boiling water and mix until smooth. The icing should be a coating consistency (see Baker’s tips). If it is too thick stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of boiling water and then test the consistency again. Divide the icing among a number of bowls and tint each with a different food colouring to desired colours.

Dip the hands and/or feet of the gingerbread men into the icing, allow any excess to dip off. Place on a wire rack, top side up, and set aside for 30 minutes or until the icing sets.

Baker’s tips

• To test if the icing is the correct consistency for dipping, drizzle a little on a plate and set aside for a few minutes. If it keeps its shape it is ready to use.
• Store these biscuits in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Anneka’s mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don’t miss what’s coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.

For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: childhood favourites.

Make the Gingerbread Dough

1 Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.

2 Make butter, sugar, egg, molasses mixture: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy and well blended. Beat in the eggs, molasses and water until well combined.

3 Combine wet and dry ingredients, knead the dough: Beat half of the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well blended and smooth. Stir in the remaining flour. Knead (or use your mixer’s dough hook) until well blended. If dough is too soft, add a little more flour.

4 Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight. You can make it up to 3 days ahead of time. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.

Create and Cut Out Pattern Pieces

Create a gingerbread house pattern by cutting out pieces of stiff paper (like that of a manila folder) or cardboard. I like cardboard because it’s almost as thick as the gingerbread house pieces will be, and you can create a house model easily using the pieces.

The following links are to gif images of the pattern that we used to make these houses. They should print out with the correct proportions (1 inch on the pattern = 1 inch in real life), but if not, the dimensions are also given on the pattern so you can use a ruler and create your own.

Roof Pattern

Side and Chimney Pattern

Front and Back Pattern

Make the Gingerbread House Pieces

1 Prepare oven and cookie sheets: Preheat oven to 350°F, with the oven rack in the middle. Have several flat cookie sheets ready, preferably ones that you know will not warp in the oven heat.

2 Roll out dough: Divide the dough in two. Spread parchment paper on a large flat surface for rolling. Dust the paper lightly with flour.

Working with one portion of the dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to an even thickness of 1/4-inch. Add a little flour to the surface of the dough, and check for sticking as you roll it out.

If it sticks to either your rolling pin or the rolling surface, dust with more flour. If the rolled out dough is very soft, you may want to freeze it for an hour before cutting out the patterns.

3 Cut out shapes in dough with pattern pieces: Rub a little flour over the surface of the dough. Place the pattern pieces on the dough, as many pattern pieces as will fit on the dough. Use a small sharp knife to cut out the pattern pieces from the dough, wiping the knife surface clean frequently.

Depending on how soft the dough is, you may need to use scissors to cut the parchment paper. You can cut out the patterns through the dough and parchment paper, placing the dough pieces with the paper directly on the cookie sheets.

If you are not using parchment paper, you may need to use a large metal spatula to transfer the dough pieces to a greased cookie sheet.

Space the pieces on the cookie sheet an inch apart from each other. If dough pieces stretch during the transfer process, push them back into shape.

You can cut out a door and window(s) at this point, or you can wait until after baking, soon after the pieces have come out of the oven while the cookies are still warm.

4 Bake: Bake in a 350°F oven until the edges are just beginning to darken, 11-15 minutes for the large pieces, 6-8 minutes for the small pieces.

Rotate the cookie sheets half way through the baking for more even browning. Remove the sheets to racks to cool, about 15 minutes.

5 Trim pieces while warm: While the pieces are still slightly warm, lay the pattern pieces over them and use a large straight chef’s knife to trim off any parts of the pieces that have through cooking spread beyond the pattern.

Remove pieces to cool directly on racks to cool completely.

Make Royal Icing

Royal icing is not only used for decorating, but it is the mortar that holds the gingerbread pieces together to form the house. The following proportions should make enough icing for both the mortaring step and for decorating for one gingerbread house.

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 2/3 cup powdered sugar, divided

1 Whisk together until smooth the egg whites and 1 1/3 cups of the powdered sugar.

2 Cook mixture if concerned about raw eggs: If you are planning to eat your gingerbread house, and are concerned about the safety of raw eggs, you can cook the egg white powdered sugar mixture in a microwave for several seconds (30-40), or in a double boiler, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees, but not higher than 175°F. You can also use pasteurized dried or liquid egg whites.

3 Add more powdered sugar, beat to stiff peaks: Add the remaining 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar to the sugar egg mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until the icing holds stiff peaks. If it doesn’t form stiff peaks, add more powdered sugar.

4 Place a dampened clean towel over the bowl of royal icing. Keep this towel over the icing to prevent it from drying out while you work with it.

5 Pipe with pastry bag or cut freezer bag: When you are ready to mortar or decorate, fill a pastry bag with the icing. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can make your own with a re-sealable plastic freezer bag, just cut off the tip (a small cut) of one of the corners of the bag. Plastic or metal piping tips are available in supermarkets which you can also use with a freezer bag, for more controlled piping.

Construct the Basic House, Mortaring the Pieces Together with Royal Icing

This is where it really helps to have more than two hands working on a house, and why making a gingerbread house is so much more fun with company than alone. If you are working on this alone, it may help to grab some canned goods from the pantry and use the cans to help prop up the pieces while the icing mortar is drying.

1 Pick and line a base: Pick a solid base for your gingerbread house – either a flat cookie sheet, or a thick, sturdy piece of cardboard. If you want, line the base with aluminum foil or wax paper.

2 Mortar the sides of the house with royal icing: Pipe a thick line of icing along a short end of one of the side pieces. Press the iced side piece against the edge of either the front or back pieces.

Hold in place for a few minutes until the icing is partially set. Repeat with the other side piece. Prop up with cans if necessary.

Repeat with the other short edges of the side pieces and the remaining front/back piece.

Pipe icing along the seams, inside and outside of the house, to fill in any gaps and to add extra stability. Pipe icing along the edges of the house where it meets the base.

Let set for at least an hour before attempting to add the roof pieces.


If any of the gingerbread house pattern pieces breaks, as can happen easily when working with what are essentially cookies, most likely you can repair them.

On my house I forgot to cut out the door and window until the front piece had almost completely cooled. When I went to make the cuts, the piece broke. Fortunately, it was easy to mortar back together with royal icing.

We even created a “splint” out of cardboard and used royal icing to hold the splint to the piece. Let harden completely before using the piece for the house construction. When it comes time to decorate, you can pipe icing right over the broken seam and no one will be the wiser.

3 Mortar in the roof with royal icing: Once the royal icing has dried enough so that the base structure is solid, you can go to work on the roof. Pipe icing all along the top edges of the structure, front and back and two sides.

The roof pieces are a rectangular shaped. Place the roof pieces so that the long ends of the rectangle are running along the top of the house.

It helps if you have two people working together to place the roof pieces on the house at the same time so that they meet easily at the top center, and extend out a little bit, forming an overhang at each end.

Gently hold the roof pieces in place for a few minutes until they are set enough so they don’t slide off when you remove your hands.

Pipe the top seam of the house with extra icing. Let the house stand for at least an hour, and preferably 8 hours before decorating.

4 Mortar the chimney with royal icing: The dimensions of the chimney can be a bit tricky because of the angle of the roof.

Although you may have cut your chimney out of a pattern, these small pieces likely have spread a bit through cooking, and you may have to use a chef’s knife to cut the pieces and adjust the angles of the pieces so they align better with the roof.

It’s easiest to assemble the chimney first upside down, separate from the house. Pipe the pieces together with royal icing and let set until stable.

Then, turn the chimney right-side-up and attach it to the roof using piped royal icing. You can do this either right after the house has initially set (1 hour after assembly) or later, during the decorating process.

Decorate the Gingerbread House

This step requires a trip to the candy section of your local grocery store. You can decorate your house with whatever types of candy pleases you.

Be careful taking kids along to the store however, as you will invariably buy more candy than you actually need (though they do have the best ideas of what candies would be good for various decorative effects).

Red hots are really practical, as are small gumdrops, and candy canes. Chocolate truffles can be used to create a stone wall around the house, and waffle-patterned cookies can be used for roof tiles.

Pipe royal icing to make decorative designs around the walls of the house and roof. Use royal icing to “glue” pieces of candy to the house.

Learn how to make soft and chewy Spiced Gingerbread Men from scratch. These buttery ginger cookies are so easy to make and decorate – perfect for holiday baking!

Perfect Gingerbread Cookies 🎄

I make these Gingerbread Cookies every year, without fail. Soft and chewy Gingerbread Cookies made completely from scratch. Filled to the brim with holiday spices and decorated with a simple 2-ingredient icing, these cookies are the ultimate holiday treat.

They can be rolled and cut into any shape you like, so it’s a great activity for the kids!

Without a doubt, one of my favourite Christmas treats is gingerbread. I can eat it by the handful. I’ve already shared my favourite Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies with you and my Gingerbread Loaf Cake, but this year, it’s all about classic Gingerbread Men.

You can make these cookies using just a handful of regular ingredients. They get their delicious caramel flavour from butter and brown sugar, and you can use either golden syrup or molasses for their classic gingerbread taste.

Next comes the spices. I like to use a blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It gives the cookies a little bit of a bite and oodles of flavour. If you don’t have nutmeg or cloves on hand, you can stick to just ginger and cinnamon.

If you like quite a kick, pump up the ginger to a full tablespoon. I LOVE them like this but if you are sharing with the kids, take it down to just 2 teaspoons as per the recipe. Each to their own!

Perhaps the best part about these cookies, is that instead of using royal icing, I just a simple 2-ingredient icing. It takes only seconds to make and it firms up just like royal icing. A few red and green M&M’s and you’re done!

MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIES TO TRY:

  • Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
  • Chocolate Molasses Cookies
  • Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
  • White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
  • Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • M&M Christmas Cookies

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Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies made from scratch.

Gingerbread cookies

  • 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 135 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 160 grams (1/2 cup) golden syrup or molasses
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 315 grams (2 and 1/4 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Easy icing

  • 125 grams (1 cup) icing or powdered sugar
  • 1–2 tablespoons warm water
  • Red and green M&M’s
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar using an electric beater until combined. Add molasses and egg yolk. Beat again until a creamy mixture forms.
  2. Sift in flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Beat briefly until a cookie dough starts to form.
  3. Sprinkle your bench with some extra flour and then knead the dough for a minute or two, just until it comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C (360 F). Line two cookie or oven trays with baking paper.
  5. Generously flour your bench and roll out your dough using a rolling pin. Dust your rolling pin with flour as you go to prevent the dough from sticking.
  6. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and gently place the cookies onto the prepared trays. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Once the cookies are completely cool, place the icing sugar in a small bowl and add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and stir until it forms a smooth paste.
  8. Add the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle or use a plastic sandwich bag if you don’t have a piping bag. Decorate your gingerbread men with icing and add a few M&M’s on top. Leave each cookie for about 10 minutes for the icing to set.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 224

Keywords: Gingerbread, Christmas, Cookies, Ginger, M&M’s

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This recipe was first published on Sweetest Menu in December 2015.

The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies

DIRECTIONS

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
  • In a large bowl (KitchenAid’s great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
  • Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
  • Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 deg. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
  • (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
  • Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
  • Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
  • Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
  • Cut out cookies with desired cutter– the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
  • Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
  • Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies– very good!).
  • Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
  • After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
  • I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.

Gingerbread Cookies are my favorite Christmas treat to decorate with my kids. They are soft and chewy and perfect for preschool or kindergarten Christmas parties. Everyone loves this classic recipe and they taste delicious!

Often times during the Christmas season when I was young we decorated our Christmas tree with gingerbread cookies. We had so much fun making and frosting the cookies into little gingerbread men and I remember that the gingerbread made the house smell amazing all season long. This year I had so much fun decorating these gingerbread cookies with my kids. Each of them got to decorate a gingerbread man with frosting and candy and you can bet they enjoyed eating them afterwards!

What I really love about this specific recipe is how soft and chewy the cookies are. I think gingerbread cookies have a reputation for being hard and crispy, but this recipe is not either of those things!

If you are looking for a preschool of kindergarten activity, decorating Christmas gingerbread man cookies would be a huge hit! You can make the cookies and frosting ahead of time so that the kids can just enjoy decorating.

What ingredients are in gingerbread cookies?

Gingerbread is made with the following simple ingredients: brown sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, butter, milk, and molasses!

How to make Gingerbread cookies:

To make homemade gingerbread, first mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then add the chunks of butter and incorporate them with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the molasses and milk until combined. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, roll our the dough to 1/2 inch thickness, use cookie cutters to cut gingerbread men, and place them on your cookie sheet. Bake them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Gingerbread Man Cookies

Gingerbread Man Cookies are my favorite Christmas treat to decorate with my kids. These soft gingerbread cookies are perfect for preschool or kindergarten Christmas parties, and they taste delicious! 5 from 11 votes Pin Course: Dessert Cuisine: American Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes refrigerate: 2 hours Total Time: 35 minutes Servings: 24 (depending on size of cookie cutter) Calories: 166kcal Author: Lauren Allen

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar , packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons butter , room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
  • 3/4 cup molasses (dark molasses)
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt to a mixing bowl and mix.
  • Add the butter pieces and use a pastry blender to cut the butter in until the mixture resembles fine meal.
  • With a mixer running on low speed gradually add the molasses and milk and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the dough in half, forming each into a ball. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, or place in the freezer for about 20 minutes, until firm, if you’re in a hurry.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove one dough sheet from the fridge/freezer and place on the counter. Roll out the dough (use a little flour on your rolling pin if needed), until it’s about ½ inch thick. Cut gingerbread men and place them on prepared baking sheets.
  • Refrigerate the gingerbread men for 5 minutes (meanwhile you can roll out the other dough ball).
  • Bake the cookies until set in the centers and the dough barely retains and imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes (depending on the size of your cookie cutter). Do not overbake!!
  • Remove the cookies to a wire rack. Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.
  • Store gingerbread cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Adapted from The New Best Recipe Cookbook by ATK Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 186mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.3mg Did you make this recipe?Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram #TastesBetterFromScratch!

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Gingerbread Cookies

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This classic cut-out gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make, perfect for decorating, and always so delicious.

‘Tis the season!

If you are planning to bake up a batch of gingerbread cookies over the holidays, I have the perfect recipe for you.

It’s one that I have used for years and years now, based originally off of a gingerbread recipe from Elise Bauer (whom many of you know and love from SimplyRecipes.com), and it is perfection. You can bake it up to be as soft or as crispy as you’d like. It’s perfect for cutting out all of your favorite gingerbread people. It’s made with the tastiest warming spices, including lots of ginger and cinnamon. And bonus — a batch of gingerbread baking in the oven is guaranteed to make your home smell amazing.

Over the years, I have tinkered around with various spices and add-ins for the recipe, and lately have been enjoying adding some orange peel to the dough, which plays beautifully with the warming spices. But feel free to play around and spice the dough however you like. And of course, the more frostings and sprinkles that you’d like to add, the merrier!

Let’s make a batch.

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Gingerbread Cookie Ingredients:

To make this gingerbread cookie recipe, you will need:

  • Flour: I traditionally use all-purpose flour for this recipe, but white whole wheat flour will also work.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Baking soda, salt, egg and vanilla extract: Because…cookies.
  • Molasses: I typically just opt for the “original” unsulphured molasses.
  • Brown sugar: For extra molasses-y flavor.
  • Butter: Softened completely to room temperature.
  • (Optional) Orange Zest: The subtle citrus pairs really nicely with the cinnamon.

Plus any kind of icing, powdered sugar, sprinkles or candies (such as red hots) that you would like to add on top of your cookies, either before or after baking. For the batch shown here, I just made a simple icing out of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract.

Gingerbread Cookie Equipment:

You will also need the following equipment to make these gingerbread cookies:

  • Cookie cutters: I’ve used this set of 101 cookie cutters (usually less than $10 on Amazon) for years and always love them!
  • Rolling pin: I love this marble rolling pin, but any type of standard rolling pin will do.
  • Mixer: Either a stand mixer or hand mixer will be great!
  • Pastry bag (optional): If you’d like to get extra detailed with your icing, I would recommend using a pastry bag with tips. But I just used a simple ziplock for mine, and snipped off a tiny corner with some scissors.

How To Make Gingerbread Cookies:

So how do you make gingerbread cookies? It’s simple!

  1. Whisk together your dry ingredients. Flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, salt and nutmeg.
  2. Beat the dough. Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and molasses, and beat on medium speed until combined. Then gradually add in the flour mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until just combined.
  3. Chill the dough. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them each into a ball. Then gently use your hands to flatten each ball into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. The disc shape will make it easier to roll the cookies out later.
  4. Roll and cut the dough. Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, unwrap one of the disc and place is on a lightly-floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough evenly until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick. Then use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes, re-rolling the dough as needed to cut out more. Transfer the dough shapes to to a parchment-covered baking sheet.
  5. Bake. At 350°F for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp around the edges and on top. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Decorate: Once the cookies cool to room temperature, feel free to decorate them as desired with the icing (see below) and serve. Then dive in, or transfer them to a sealed container and store (or freeze) for later.

Possible Variations:

Want to decorate your gingerbread cookies? Feel free to top them with:

  • Icing: As I mentioned above, I typically just use a quick powdered sugar icing. But royal icing, maple icing, or any other kind of frosting you like would work.
  • Powdered sugar: Feel free to dust your cookies lightly with powdered sugar.
  • Red hots: We grew up poking red hots into our gingerbread, which I still find delicious.
  • Sprinkles: There are so many fun sprinkles that you could add to these cookies! Lately I’ve been loving all of the fun sprinkle mixes from Sprinkle Pop. Or if you happen to be looking for some naturally-colored sprinkles, check out the cute sprinkles from Supernatural. (Both are available on Amazon.)

More Favorite Cookie Recipes:

Looking for more cookie baking inspiration? Here are few more of my classic faves:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Brown Sugar Cookies
  • No-Bake Cookies
  • Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

This classic cut-out gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make, perfect for decorating, and always so delicious.

Scale 1x2x3x

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • (optional) zest of one small orange
  • optional toppings: simple icing (see below), red hots, sprinkles, etc.

Simple Icing Recipe:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2–3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Make The Gingerbread Cookies:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or alternately, you can use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl), beat the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, molasses and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them each into a ball. Then gently use your hands to flatten each ball into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Once the dough is thoroughly chilled and you’re ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  5. Unwrap the dough and place it on a large, lightly-floured hard surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough evenly until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick. Then use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes, re-rolling the dough as needed to cut out more. Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp around the edges and on top. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Once the cookies are room temperature, feel free to decorate them as desired with the icing (see below) plus any extra sprinkles or candies. Serve and enjoy immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.

To Make The Simple Icing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. If your icing is too thin, add in a little more powdered sugar. If your icing is too thick, add in a tiny bit of milk.
  2. Use a piping bag, or a ziplock bag (with the corner snipped off), or a plastic squeeze bottle to pipe the icing onto the cookies.

Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Elise Bauer of SimplyRecipes.com.

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posted on November 29, 2018 in Christmas, Cookies, Desserts