Gingerbread Cookies

These Gingerbread Cookies are a little bit soft and sweet and perfectly spiced. They are a family favorite and the ultimate Christmas treat!

cookies shaped like gingerbread people and decorated

Some of the best holiday cookies are the ones that you can easily make at home. These Gingerbread Cookies are not only fun to make, but they’re super fun to decorate, too!

If you’re ready to get started with your holiday baking, making your very own Gingerbread Cookies from scratch is one holiday tradition that you need to start. 

The secret to making these Gingerbread cookies is the added ingredient of molasses. This is what gives it that dark coloring and the subtle sweetness and flavor of every single bite.

If you’re ready to start baking for the holidays, you really can’t go wrong with this simple cookie recipe. 

Cookies decorated with icing, gum drops

Favorite Gingerbread Cookies

What makes these our favorite gingerbread cookies? We love the fact that they are perfectly soft and chewy. The cookies have just the right amount of spices and that rich molasses flavor that you want from a gingerbread cookie.

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cookies with decorations on a white table cloth

Easy Gingerbread Cookies

You might think that making gingerbread cookies can be hard. I can see why that might be. Rolling the dough and chilling it. Then there is the cookie cutter you will have to use. So it’s not as easy as a drop cookie lets say but it is easy once you get the hang of it.

The hardest part is rolling out the dough and that is really a cinch as you know if you have ever made cut out cookies. These gingerbread cookies are really easy to make and so worth it!

And of course the added bonus if the house smells incredible with these little gingerbread people baking in the oven!

ingrediebts for cookies white napkin with pink, blue

GINGERBREAD COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

( EXACT AMOUNTS AND INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE IN THE RECIPE CARD )

  • unsalted butter, softened
  • granulated sugar
  • molasses
  • water
  • all-purpose flour
  • ground ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  •  baking soda
  • ground allspice
  • salt

Icing Ingredients:

  • powdered sugar, sifted
  • milk
  • clear vanilla extract
  • light corn syrup

How to make Gingerbread Cookies:

Whisk together your dry ingredients.

That includes your granulated sugar, flour, salt, brown sugar and spices.

wet ingredients and dry ingredients in clear bowls

Mix the wet ingredients together.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add molasses and water and beat until well combined.

Combine both wet and dry ingredients together by gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well combined and scraping down the bowl after each addition.

wrapped dough ready to be refrigerated clear bowl and clear cup striped napkin to the right

Chill the dough.

Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator at least 2 hours up to overnight.

This is very important and can not be skipped! We normally chill overnight. It’s easy to mix the cookie dough the day before then make the cookies the next day. It’s just what works for us.

Tips for making Gingerbread Cookies

Adding flour when your rolling out your cookies

Add an ample amount of flour to your surface when your rolling out your cookies. You want enough so that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface your rolling them out on or to the rolling pin. The excess flour will bake off so don’t worry about that.

You don’t want your dough sticking to the counter. There is nothing worse than a perfectly cut out gingerbread cookie that is stuck on your counter!

Cutting your Gingerbread Cookies

Keep your gingerbread cookie cuts as close together as possible. Once you cut them out gather up all the scraps and start all over again and roll out the dough and cut out as many gingerbread cookies as you can.

cutting out cookies rolling pin, flour spoon, cookie cutters

Can you change the amount of spices?

You sure can! We like it with just the right amount of spice but you want the kids to enjoy the gingerbread cookies too. We found this to be just the right amount of spices but feel free to add a few more or take a bit away.

Without a doubt you need the ginger and the cinnamon pair well with the ginger. so we feel we have found the perfect pairing. If you want a bit more spice add a bit of ground clove. about 1/2 teaspoon.

What do you use to decorate gingerbread cookies?

Decorating is literally the best part! (besides eating them of course!) And when it comes to decorating your cookies, you can pretty much choose anything that you want.

Sprinkles are always a good choice but don’t forget to have fun with your decorating, too. We go to our local craft store and pick up some cute edible decor they have and gum drops are always a huge hit!

And if you have kiddos helping you, give them the creative freedom to make these cookies look any way that they want. Because when it comes to creating their very own special gingerbread cookie, there’s really no set directions on how to make it happen.

Gingerbread Cookies being decorated on a white and red check napkin

Fun Toppings for Gingerbread Cookies

As you can see from the recipe below, we like to make our own frosting from scratch. But if you don’t have the time or patience for that, it’s really no big deal either. You can easily buy your own icing and decorate or try another option, too. 

We like to put a whole bunch of decorating items in a bowl and then let everyone dig in the bowls and decorate with whatever they want. It’s always fun to see how different everyone can make their own gingerbread cookie look! 

How long will these cookies stay good for?

If you store them in an air tight container they should stay soft for about a week. But seriously we have never had them last that long. They are the first to go once they are placed on the dessert table!

We always make a double batch and save some for ourselves because well, we love sharing but want some for ourselves too!

Can I Freeze Gingerbread Cookies?

Yes these will freeze well once the icing is fully set. Store in an airtight container in the freezer up to 2 months.

Gingerbread Cookies make a great gift!

These gingerbread cookies make for a great gift. They are so adorable and look great in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon. Or place them on a pretty tray with plastic wrap and a bow.

decorated cookies on a white and red napkin decorations on the left, milk behind cookies

These are literally the best holiday cookies! They look great, taste amazing, and are so fun to make! 

OTHER RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:

Santa Sugar Cookies

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream Cheese Sprinkle Cookies

Homemade Funfetti Cookies

cookies shaped like gingerbread people and decorated

Gingerbread Cookies

These Gingerbread Cookies are a little bit soft and sweet and perfectly spiced. They are a family favorite and the ultimate Christmas treat!
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 36 Cookies
Author: Rob

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Icing:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Decorations – candies, sprinkles, gum drops

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add molasses and water and beat until well combined
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and additional dry ingredients
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well combined and scraping down the bowl after each addition
  • Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic
  • Place in refrigerator at least 2 hours up to overnight
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Remove from refrigerator and let warm up about 10 minutes
  • Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness on a lightly floured surface
  • Cut with cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or until set around the edges
  • Remove and let cool slightly on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool completely

Icing

  • In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, clear vanilla extract (regular is fine, clear makes the icing really white) and 2 tablespoons milk.
  • Whisk together, add more milk a little at a time if needed
  • Fit a decorator icing bag with a small round tip and fill with icing
  • Decorate as desired. Use candies, sprinkles, gum drops ect.

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