Gingerbread Cookies

This classic gingerbread cookies recipe is easy to make, totally delicious, and perfect for decorating!

Gingerbread Cookies -- my all-time favorite recipe for these classic Christmas cookies! |

This week I made my annual pilgrimage up to the verrrrrry top shelf in my kitchen to retrieve my big box of cookie cutters…

…because it’s Gingerbread Cookie season!

Yes, probably like many of you, these cute little cookies have been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.  My sister and I always used to love cutting them out and decorating them galore as kids.  And as an adult, I must confess that I love the way they make my home smell amazing almost as much as I love eating them!  They definitely beat out a holiday candle any day.  ;)

So for anyone else looking to bake up a batch, here is my tried-and-true favorite gingerbread cookie recipe.  It’s easy to make, perfectly soft and delicious, and it never fails me.  Let’s make some!

I actually just went in and updated the photos for this recipe, but here’s a shoutout to the original photos I took way back when I first posted in 2009.  I forgot about that scarf — so cute!

Gingerbread Cookies -- my all-time favorite recipe for these classic Christmas cookies! |

To make these, simply mix up the dough.  Then let it chill thoroughly in the fridge (so that your cookies don’t puff up and spread out too much while cooking).  Then roll it out on a floured surface and bring on your favorite cookie cutters!

Gingerbread Cookies -- my all-time favorite recipe for these classic Christmas cookies! |

I kept things traditional this year with some classic holiday shapes, but you can use whatever you’d like!  Or if you don’t have cookie cutters, a biscuit cutter or the top of a (rinsed-out) aluminum can will also work.

Gingerbread Cookies -- my all-time favorite recipe for these classic Christmas cookies! |

Once they’re baked up, let them cool to room temperature…

Gingerbread Cookies -- my all-time favorite recipe for these classic Christmas cookies! |

…and then decorate them with my simple frosting recipe if you’d like.

Happy baking!

Gingerbread Cookies

A delicious recipe for classic gingerbread cookies that never fails me!


Gingerbread Cookies Recipe:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 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:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and molasses, and beat on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, and beat until combined. (You may need to work the dough with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour, since it gets really thick!)

Divide the dough in thirds, form each third into a round ball, and wrap each third in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

When you're ready to bake the cookies, heat oven to 350°F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.  Then place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough evenly until it is 1/8-inch thick.  Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into your desired shapes. (If you're using red hots for "buttons", press the candy pieces in the center of each cookie at this point.)  Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheets.

Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Decorate as desired.

To Make The Simple Icing:

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.

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.

Recipe slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Gingerbread Cookies -- my all-time favorite recipe for these classic Christmas cookies! |

Leave a Comment:


  1. Pauli — July 5, 2012 @ 12:50 am (#)

    Made them today and I must say: I love them!!

  2. Sarah M. — December 4, 2013 @ 11:52 am (#)

    Making these for high school product fair, hope they turn out okay!!

  3. Mandy — December 17, 2013 @ 9:29 pm (#)

    We made these today and they came out great! The cookies held their shape really well during baking and were the perfect texture…plus super yummy! Keeping this recipe for sure!

  4. Julian — November 23, 2015 @ 9:08 am (#)

    Can I substitute the molasses with another ingredient or skip it? or it’s a must ?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 23rd, 2015 @ 9:23 am

      Unfortunately the molasses is definitely what makes these cookies, so there isn’t really a substitute for this recipe – they wouldn’t really be gingerbread cookies without it. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy these if you make them! :)

  5. irene — November 28, 2015 @ 12:34 am (#)

    What if I don’t have the paddle attachment? Can I use the beaters?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 29th, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

      Yes, those will work fine! We hope you enjoy these! :)

  6. Brandy — December 4, 2015 @ 11:22 am (#)

    How long is the dough good for in the fridge

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 8th, 2015 @ 8:36 am

      Hi Brandy, we would say 3-4 days in the fridge, but you can always freeze for a lot longer. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy these!

  7. Dana — December 7, 2015 @ 11:45 am (#)

    Is light brown sugar ok for this recipe?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 7th, 2015 @ 12:05 pm

      It will work fine Dana, but dark brown sugar is preferable, as it lends these cookies that classic dark, molassessy flavor. We hope you enjoy!

  8. Elise Faux — December 11, 2015 @ 11:05 am (#)

    Hi Ali,
    my name is Elise. I love your recipes! So far I have made your carrot cake and pumpkin cupcakes/muffins. My mom is gluten free and I’ve found your recipes work great with the gluten free flour we use called Pamela’s. Now my friend and I are going to bake your ginger bread cookies!
    Bye Ali thank you so much!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 13th, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

      Hi Elise, thanks for your sweet words! We’re happy you and your mom are enjoying the gluten-free recipes, and we hope you and your friends enjoy the gingerbread cookies! :)

  9. Lina — December 13, 2015 @ 8:54 am (#)

    Hi, I like to make gingerbread house. Have you tried to make it with this recipe?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 13th, 2015 @ 12:58 pm

      Hi Lina, we haven’t, but we’re sure these would be great for a gingerbread house! We hope you enjoy! :)

  10. Anna — December 14, 2015 @ 1:26 pm (#)

    Hi! These look awesome and I’d love to make them this year. I’m loving all the spices in the recipe, but I’ve never bought molasses before.  This may be a dumb question but is all molasses unsulfured? Is Grandma’s Original Molasses unsulfured? Thanks! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 14th, 2015 @ 8:05 pm

      Thanks Anna, we hope you like them! And that’s not a dumb question at all! Okay, so not all molasses is unsulphured. Blackstrap is the deepest, most caramelized type of molasses that you can get, but it tends to also be pretty intense, and bitter. It can come in sulphured or unsulphured. Unsulphured molasses is lighter and mild, and usually more common. The original Grandma’s brand is unsulphured, so it’s lighter and milder, though they do make one that is “robust.” We hope this makes sense! :)

  11. Mireille — December 20, 2015 @ 4:34 am (#)

    I have just made them and want to make 2 more batches ASAP! Unfortunately, I ran out of molasses and referred to the comments section to check how substantial it is to use it, if it was only for the colour. It seems I have to wait for tomorrow and get some more. :) Anyway, the cookies are wonderful! Thank you so much for the recipe! Happy holidays!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 20th, 2015 @ 10:35 pm

      Thanks Mireille, we’re so happy to hear you enjoyed these! Happy holidays to you as well! :)

  12. Megan — December 21, 2015 @ 5:31 pm (#)

    This recipe looks (and is sure to smell) delicious! Do you know if the dough freezes well?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 22nd, 2015 @ 7:48 am

      Thanks Megan! And yes, the dough should freeze great. We hope you enjoy these!

  13. Ginger — September 9, 2016 @ 1:07 pm (#)

    In regards to not using molasses, a friend of mine uses either maple syrup or honey when making gingerbread and it tastes more like gingersnaps as opposed to gingerbread. I sometimes use half honey and half molasses.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 9th, 2016 @ 8:47 pm

      We like the idea of using half honey and half molasses, Ginger — we’ll have to try that sometime! :)

  14. Ginger — September 9, 2016 @ 1:09 pm (#)

    I forgot to add that I love the way you decorated the gingerbread. I’ll have to “steal” some of your decorating ideas this year. :)

  15. Eden Passante — October 24, 2016 @ 1:04 pm (#)

    When I think of types of cookies to make, I always forget the typical gingerbread cookie! This post just reminded me of the charming little gingerbread men I could make this holiday season! Thanks for sharing! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 25th, 2016 @ 8:12 pm

      Thanks, Eden — we hope you enjoy these! :)

  16. Gina — November 21, 2016 @ 8:06 am (#)

    Hi thank you for this recipe! We’re excited to try it but we’re wondering if we roll it out a little thinner Or cook them a minute longer would we get more of a crispy cookie? I use a similar recipe but it doesn’t allow for cookie cutters, just a frozen brick to yield small rectangles which were thin and crispy and good but just not fun without the shapes. Thanks in advance!

  17. Kellie Amber — November 30, 2016 @ 3:59 pm (#)

    These are adorable! Something about gingerbread just takes me back to childhood. Can’t wait to make these!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 8th, 2016 @ 9:33 pm

      Thank you, Kellie — we hope you enjoy them! :)

  18. Emily — December 2, 2016 @ 4:21 pm (#)

    What a perfect gingerbread recipe! My kids can’t stop eating them. Saving this one forever. Happy Holidays!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 9th, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

      Thank you, Emily — we’re so glad your kiddos enjoy them! :)

  19. pam — December 18, 2016 @ 3:19 pm (#)

    I selected this recipe for my Sunday afternoon holiday baking after reading everyone’s rave reviews! The dough was very dry & crumbly when rolling out (turned into a chore versus a fun afternoon.) I read and re-read the recipe to see where I might have gone wrong- but I followed the directions to a “T” and yes, I chilled the dough for 2 hours and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rolling out. After baking, the cookies are very dry.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 22nd, 2016 @ 9:37 am

      We’re so sorry these came out dry and crumbly for you, Pam! Unfortunately we’re not sure what could have gone wrong here either. It’s definitely a thick dough, but it shouldn’t be dry or crumbly or give you trouble. :(

  20. Dee — December 19, 2016 @ 7:42 am (#)

    Hi. Just  wanted to let you know that we baked the biscuits yesterday and they were a great win in my house. even my husband joined in the baking and this wouldn’t be normally like him!the biscuits are just delicious, thank you very much for sharing the recipe. When I  get the chance to post on my blog I will definitely  link to your website.
    Happy holidays and thanks again.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 22nd, 2016 @ 9:24 am

      Thanks for sharing with us, Dee — we’re so happy they were a hit! :)

  21. Patty — December 19, 2016 @ 5:03 pm (#)

    Baking these cookies now, and they are delicious! Best gingerbread cookies I ever made.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 19th, 2016 @ 9:06 pm

      Thank you, Patty — we’re so happy to hear that! :)

  22. Bobby — December 19, 2016 @ 8:16 pm (#)

    The flavor of these are quite nice… i also upped the ginger a 1/2 teaspoon and added white pepper. However, I am not sure how anyone could get 45 cookies out of this recipe. My cookie cutters are a bit large, snowflakes 3 1/2″ across, but on the first pass I was able only to cut 16 cookies. On the second roll of the remaining dough, I was able to get 10 more. The rest of the dough pieces i  just laid out and baked for use as crumb in crust, parfaits or yogurt.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 28th, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

      Hi Bobby — we appreciate your feedback and we’re glad you enjoyed them! It does sound like your cookie cutters were larger than ours, so that’s why you didn’t get as many.

  23. Carousel — December 24, 2016 @ 9:09 am (#)

    oOMygosh. Soo good. THis is the best gingerbread cookie recipe I found so far!!! Thanks for sharing them! You made my Christmas!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 27th, 2016 @ 9:47 am

      Thank you, we’re so happy you love them! :)

  24. Sherry — December 28, 2016 @ 5:48 pm (#)

    I made these cookies for a cookie exchange at work. They were delicious!!! I’m at my sister’s house for the holiday and I want to make them for her too, but she only has spread instead of butter. Will this work in the recipe? 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 9th, 2017 @ 8:48 pm

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Sherry! We haven’t tried using anything other than butter in these though, so we can’t say for sure. You’re welcome to give it a try, but we’d strongly recommend using butter if you can.


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