Gingerbread Cookies

Learn how to make the best homemade Gingerbread Cookies with this easy, perfectly spiced recipe! Soft, chewy cookies decorated with a simple icing are fun to make and eat!

Gingerbread cookies are always on our holiday baking list. Always. They are easily one of my favourite cookies and it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without baking up a batch (or 3) of these beauties! The warm spices baked into this sweet treat embodies everything I associate with this season- cozy, homey comfort. Perfection.

We are still weeks away from Christmas but I simply could not resist baking up the first batch of the season! Something about this crazy year had me longing to put up my Christmas tree as soon as November rolled around. I resisted for a couple of weeks but finally caved mid-November. No regrets! I am fully embracing the holiday movies, decor, and, of course, holiday treats! Bring it all on!

Gingerbread cookies are a fun cookie to make with the whole family, Kiddo-approved, these cookies are fun to decorate together…and then promptly gobble them all up!

Tray of Gingerbread Cookies

I like to use a whole range of cookie cutters- I mean who said gingerbread had to be shaped like little men? There are definitely a few of those too, but I have so much fun decorating a whole bunch of designs and playing with my food. Ha! I will never grow up!

Tray of gingerbread cookie cutouts in the shape of stars, snowflakes, trees, men and mittens

I included a recipe for a simple royal icing that I used to decorate my cookies. Feel free to use your own favourite icing recipe but I opted for royal icing cause it dries fully hard and I know it will stay put and not smudge. I like to bake up batches to share with loved ones so this is especially helpful!

Whip up the icing, transfer it into a piping bag or squeeze bottle and have fun decorating! If you are decorating with kiddos, squeeze bottles are definitely more kid-friendly and mess-proof.

Top view of a tray of gingerbread cookies decorated with icing

Ingredients in Gingerbread Cookies

  • Flour– I use all purpose flour for these cookies but you can sub in whole wheat pastry flour too

  • Baking soda– leavening agent

  • Warm spices– cinnamon, ground ginger (of course!), ground cloves, ground all spice (oh, and salt too)

  • Butter– softened

  • Sweeteners– I use equal parts brown sugar and molasses

  • Egg

  • Vanilla extract

I use a royal icing to ice my cookies. You can swap in your own favourite type of icing if you prefer but I personally like the royal icing because it dries hard and makes it easier to stack the cookies afterwards without ruining the pretty designs. For the icing, you will need:

  • Meringue powder

  • Water

  • Powdered sugar
Plate of gingerbread cookies

How to make Gingerbread Cookies

  1. Mix the dry ingredients– In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, ground clove, and salt.

  2. Cream the butter, sugar and molasses together- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on medium speed for 1 minute until creamy. To the bowl, add the brown sugar and molasses and continue to beat on medium until well-combined and creamy.

  3. Add the wet ingredients- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for at least 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to form the dough– With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and separate into 2 balls. The dough will be sticky- that is okay.

  5. Chill the dough– Place each ball onto a piece of plastic food wrap and press down to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk with the food wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

  6. Roll out the dough and cut into shapes-Remove one disk from the fridge and place on a floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the disk out until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. Repeat with the remaining disk. Re-roll the scraps and repeat.

  7. Bake! Bake in the oven for 9-10 minutes for 4 inch cookies. If your cookies are smaller, reduce the time accordingly. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  8. Decorate! Once cooled, decorate using your favourite icing.
Closeup of a gingerbread man on a plate of cookies

I hope you enjoy these perfectly, spiced soft cookies…and have more self-control with them than I do!

Happy Holidays!

-Cathy

You may also like:

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Gingerbread Biscotti
Gingerbread Latte Recipe

If you try and enjoy this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know what you think!

Closeup of a gingerbread cookie cutout in a tree shape

If you try and enjoy this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know what you think!

Tray of Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Herbs and Flour
Learn how to make the best homemade Gingerbread Cookies with this easy, perfectly spiced recipe! Soft, chewy cookies decorated with a simple icing are fun to make and eat!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
Calories 184 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the gingerbread cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the royal icing:

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, ground clove, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on medium speed for 1 minute until creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and continue to beat on medium until well-combined and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for at least 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and separate into 2 balls. The dough will be sticky- that is okay. Place each ball onto a piece of plastic food wrap and press down to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk with the food wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove one disk from the fridge and place on a floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the disk out until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. Repeat with the remaining disk. Re-roll the scraps and repeat.
  • Bake in the oven for 9-10 minutes for 4 inch cookies. If your cookies are smaller, reduce the time accordingly. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, decorate using your favourite icing.

For the icing:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the meringue powder and warm water and whisk by hand to incorporate. Attach the bowl and whisk to the stand mixer and add the icing sugar. Whisk on low speed until the powdered sugar is mixed in and then increase the speed to medium and let it whisk for 7-8 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. (If the icing is too thick or thin, add a little water or icing sugar to adjust to your liking).
  • Transfer to a piping bag or squeeze bottle with a small tip and decorate the cookies! Lay cookies out in a single layer to allow the icing to dry. Once dry, you can stack the cookies and place them in an air-tight container at room temperature for storage.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 112mgPotassium: 169mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword allspice, christmas, christmas cookies, cinnamon, clove, cookies, ginger, molasses
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 Comments

  1. Hi! Your recipe sounds wonderful! Just one question, I have never seen meringue powder. Where do you get this?

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