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The perfect Gingerbread Cookies Recipe 2023

The Best Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
Ingredients For Gingerbread Cookies
Steps for making gingerbread Cookies
Icing for Gingerbread Cookies


Gingerbread Cookies

Here’s my favorite gingerbread cookies recipe, which is also one of the most popular Christmas cookie recipes on this site. Molasses and brown sugar sweeten this festive delicacy that is soft in the center and crunchy on the outside.

Every Christmas, I make gingerbread cookies, so I was astonished to learn that many people dislike them. However, after some investigation and cooking, the most common criticism I heard was that gingerbread cookies were too hard.

So, today I’m resolving the age-old gingerbread conundrum by sharing my absolute favorite recipe for soft gingerbread cookies with you. They’re delightfully chewy and have a great brown sugar gingerbread flavor. Plus, I’m going to show you how to make two different types of icing for decorating your cookies.

Ingredients For Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • tablespoon  baking soda
  • Sugar cookie icing for decorating gingerbread cookies
  • Sprinkles, for decorating gingerbread cookies
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 pieces fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • Zest of 1 orange (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely ground black pepper (optional)
Gingerbread cookies recipe

Instructions For Gingerbread Cookies

Step 1 of making gingerbread Cookies

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and molasses with a hand mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well mixed for making nice gingerbread Cookies.

Step 2 of making gingerbread Cookies

Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly include the dry ingredients, as well as the fresh ginger, orange zest, and black pepper (if using), until the dough comes together. (Be careful not to overmix!)

Step 3 of making gingerbread Cookies

Divide the dough of gingerbread Cookies in half and form two discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. (Alternatively, divide the dough in half and roll each half to 1/4″ thickness between two pieces of parchment paper.) Refrigerate until needed.

Step 4 of making gingerbread cookies

Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one disc of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4 inch thick. (Alternatively, remove both sheets of parchment from the dough and replace one sheet of parchment beneath the dough.) Make gingerbread men with a 3-inch-wide cutter and place them on baking sheets.

Step 4 of making gingerbread cookies

Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one disc of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4 inch thick.

(Alternatively, remove both sheets of parchment from the dough and replace one sheet of parchment beneath the dough.) Make gingerbread men with a 3 “wide cutter and place them on baking sheets

Step 5 for gingerbread cookies

9 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie cutters, bake until slightly puffed and set. Allow cooling for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Gingerbread cookies

Step 6 for gingerbread cookies

Repeat with the remaining disc of dough. Decorate with icing and sprinkles as desired.

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Let’s go over the gingerbread cookies recipe so you’re ready to start making them.

Chill the dough because it is sticky after it has been whisked together in the mixing bowl, it must be chilled for at least 3 hours. Allow ample time in the kitchen, or create the cookie dough ahead of time and chill it overnight.

You want your cookie dough to be firm so that the cookies keep their shape, but also controllable so that you can work with it. Unless you have cold cookie dough, you will not have either!

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap before chilling: It’s easiest to wrap the dough in plastic wrap before chilling. Scoop out half of the prepared cookie dough, place it on a long piece of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and flatten it into a disc.

Repeat with the remaining dough. Then relax. Have you seen the photo above? That is exactly what you are doing, but you will have two CDs. What are you thinking?

When the cooled cookie dough is in a disc shape, it is easier to roll out. Also, since there is less volume in the cookie dough, it chills faster. And it’s simply easier to roll/shape with fewer pieces!

Roll out the cold cookie dough discs till about 1/4-inch thick after chilling. Flour your hands, rolling pin, work surface, and everything else in the universe. That is to say, the cookie dough can grow sticky as you work with it.

So, don’t be afraid to sprinkle more flour on the work surface. The flour spots on top of your shaped cookie dough will disappear when baked.

The type of molasses you use might have a significant impact.

When we ran out of Grandma’s Molasses in our test kitchen and had to substitute Wholesome (a kind bought at Whole Foods), the cookies turned out much darker. They still tasted great and looked adorable, but the change was surprising, especially given how identical they were in the jar.

The number of spices can be adjusted.

Gingerbread cookies, in my opinion, should have a lot of ground ginger, a little cinnamon, and a minor amount of cloves. It’s the ideal Christmas recipe. If you don’t have cloves (or dislike them), simply leave them out. The ginger, on the other hand, is required but negotiable.

Don’t forget to relax.

DO NOT SKIP REFRIGERATION EVEN IF THE DOUGH of Gingerbread cookies SEEMS ROLLABLE AFTER MIXING. The gingerbread people will not hold their shape in the oven if you roll out the dough before it is completely solid. Wait at least three hours.

The dough and Gingerbread cookies can be made ahead of time.

Wrapped in plastic wrap, the dough will keep in the fridge for about 2 days. If the disc is too stiff, place it on your counter for a few minutes until it softens. If you want to save time, you can bake and decorate the cookies ahead of time.

Simply keep them separated by wax paper in an airtight container until ready to serve. Allow the cookies to cool completely before freezing them if you want to bake them ahead of time but leave the decorating to the last minute.

Gingerbread cookies can be stored for up to a week.

They will stay fresh and soft for up to a week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Although, once they’re on a platter, they’re unlikely to last more than 10 minutes.

Gingerbread cookies


Royal icing is typically used to decorate gingerbread cookies. Royal icing is ideal for decorating gingerbread cookies because it adds a beautiful shine and can be used to create intricate designs. You get perfectly glossy tops on your cookies, and it works great for intricate icing.

Traditionally, gingerbread cookies are made with egg whites; however, if you are allergic to raw eggs, you can substitute meringue powder, which can be found at craft stores that sell baking supplies or in a specialty baking store.

However, royal icing is extremely sweet and lacks creaminess. So, I’m also including a recipe for butter-based icing. If you’re all about creaminess and less concerned with perfect cooking and decorating, this is the option for you. Alternatively, if you don’t want to deal with egg whites or meringue powder.

Have nice gingerbread cookies with your family and friends. Enjoy!


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