Gingerbread Cookies

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

Gingerbread Cookies

‘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

 

Cut Out Gingerbread Cookie Dough

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 Man

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.

Gingerbread Cookie Christmas Tree

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.)

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

More Favorite Cookie Recipes:

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

Print
Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 45 cookies 1x

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

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
  • 23 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

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.


Notes

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

This post contains affiliate links.

 

Classic Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

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156 comments on “Gingerbread Cookies”

  1. Wow!!! Great Recepie!! NI even change the flour for gluten free and oatmeal flour without changing anything else in the recepie and the cookies are sooo good!!!!

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  4. So I accidentally used unsulfered blackstrap molasses. I know nothing about this stuff but I did read (too late) how intense it is. Luckily I only added about 1/4 cup or a little more and I’m trying to add some honey to sweeten.. is there anything else I can put in here to take away the strongness of it?

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  6. 5 stars
    These cookies are so soft and chewy!! It’s the middle of March but my daughter loves the gingerbread man story so we made these with her on afternoon. We will definitely be making these again at Christmas time. If the dough feels too sticky then just cool it for a few more minutes

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  8. I would like to put these on a stick. Are they firm enough to stand on a stick, or do you think they are too soft?

    Thanks,
    Elle

    • I think it depends on how much you cook them. For a nice and soft cookie go for 6-8 minutes but for a crispy one go for 11-14 minutes.

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  10. 5 stars
    Super tasty recipe. I tripled all the spices because I love a spicy cookie.

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  12. 5 stars
    Very easy recipe / substituted Agave for Molasses but worked fine. Christmas in June. Great family activity. Kids loved baking & they were off their electronics for hours. Thanks !

  13. 5 stars
    I’m making this recipe for my grandchildren. I don’t have my (marked up/add on) cookbooks here so I looked for one that was closest to mine, the addition of vanilla, caught my eye, and the red hots sold it. Thank You so much!
    ~Julie

  14. Hi! I`m writing from Brazil…I love all your recipes!!! they make lots of success over here! I`would like to know if I can use this gingerman recipe to make the house of gingerman!!! you think it will hold if I make it thicker?! tnks a lot!

  15. 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

  16. I can bake & I make alot of different cookies for Christmas- but gingerbread cookies were the one thing I could not do no matter how many times I tried. This year I figured let me try one more time and make a batch prior to my cookie baking season. I LOVED THIS RECIPE AND I LOVED THIS COOKIE. The directions were very clear & step by step. My niece who has autism helped me and was so very proud of her cookies. This cookie will now be an awesome addition to my Christmas cookie repertoire!

  17. So I made these last year for my best friend’s little sister to decorate. I refrigerated the dough overnight, then rolled it out and cut the cookies, putting them in the oven to bake. The problem that arose is that within the time it took to roll out the dough and cut out all of the cookies, the temperature of the dough had risen significantly. This resulted in cookies that were VERY spread out and morphed.
    I advise you to cut out the cookies, refrigerate them again while they’re on the cookie sheet, and THEN bake them.
    Other than that, phenomenal recipe with amazing flavor.

  18. Turned out perfectly

  19. Awesome

  20. Wow! Where to even begin, hands down the absolute best gingerbread cookies ever. I didn’t change a single ingredient or measurement to the recipe and it all came out perfect, soft inside with a slight crisp on the edge. I let my dough sit overnight in the fridge and thaw for about an hour before working it. I rolled my dough on lightly floured parchment paper and sprinkled a little flour on top of the dough and dusted my rolling pin with flour as well to eliminate sticking. The dough was very easy to work with. I rolled about 1/4″ or little more in thickness(for a softer chewy cookie) and baked for 9minutes. Great recipe!

    • Did you use unsulphered Molasses? I see someone else commented here and said they made the mistake of using this…but pretty sure the recipe calls for that :-)

  21. Heyy I’m planning to make these for Christmas bake sales soon. How long can this be kept in the freezer or fridge after baking?

  22. Great recipe!

  23. Perfection! Loved it. Thank you for sharing! : )

  24. Should you use dark or light brown sugar? Thanks!

  25. Are you saying to use unsulphered Mollasses or not? Sorry…I cant tell based on your recipe :-)

  26. These did not work. The dough was to dry and crumbly and would not roll out. I followed the recipe exactly. Such a shame.

  27. Can I freeze the dough for a week before using?

  28. I need about 50 just gingerbread men for Kindergarten classes I know recipe says 45 cookie yield, But what size cookie cutter is being used/ Thanks,

  29. This is the absolute best gingerbread cookie recipe EVER!!! Perfect texture and the addition of orange peel is amazing! I have never been a huge gingerbread cookie fan but I am now. I’ll definitely be making these every year.

  30. I love this recipe! I have been looking for a good one for. 4 years, using the same one. I almost gave up making gingerbread, but thanks to you I can !!!