classic ginger bread men cookies standing up on a table.
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Gingerbread Cookies

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This gingerbread cookies recipe is one of my favorite cookies to make around the holidays. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the holidays to make these delectable cookies.

They are soft or crunchy depending on how you bake them, they hold up well to all kinds of different shapes. Make a gingerbread house if you want, or the ever so popular gingerbread men. Packed with flavor they are sure to be the highlight treat of the holiday season.

I also love how incredibly easy gingerbread cookies are to make. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Several ingredients in glass bowls on top of a wooden table.

In order to make these Christmastime favorite homemade gingerbread cookies you will need the following ingredients:

  • Flour – Use all-purpose/plain flour.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Ground ginger – You can’t have gingerbread cookies without the ground ginger.
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Butter
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Molasses – Or you can substitute with maple syrup instead.
  • Vanilla extract

How to make gingerbread cookies at home

Large glass bowl filled with gingerbread cookies wet ingredients.

Begin baking taking a large bowl and adding the softened room temp butter and the dark brown sugar to it. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer and mix until well combined. Creaming the butter and the sugar first is very common when making cookies.

Now add in the vanilla extract and egg into the bowl and mix again until well combined.

Finally add in the molasses or maple syrup if you choose to use that instead and mix until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed to make sure everything gets mixed properly.

Step 3: Finishing the cookie dough

Flour being pour into a bowl of gingerbread cookie dough.

In a separate medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. You can also use a sifter too if you want and sift them all together.

Mix in the flour mixture to the main bowl a little at a time. If using a hand mixer, you will need to switch to a wooden spoon or your hands at some point because it will be too thick. Or you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and it should be fine the whole time.

Pour the dough out onto a countertop or table. Knead the dough for a few seconds to make sure everything comes together. Divide the dough into half and then shape it into a fat disc.

Gingerbread cookie dough in a fat disc covered in plastic wrap on a wooden table.

Do the same thing with the other half of dough. The reason why I divide the dough in half is because it makes it easier to roll out later.

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or even over night.

Step 4: How to bake gingerbread cookies

Rolled out gingerbread cookie dough on a table with a gingerbread man cookie cutter

Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. With the rack in the middle position.

Remove the dough from the fridge and then cut each disc in half again, so you will wind up with 4 separate chunks of gingerbread cookie dough. Again, this just makes it easier to roll out.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4th of an inch thick, or a bit thinner if you want. Or you can make them a bit thicker too, especially if you want them to be softer.

Now use your favorite cookie cutters and cut out the gingerbread cookies. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

8 gingerbread men on a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat.

The cookies won’t spread a whole lot if any, but I usually still space them out a little bit. Make sure to ball up the cookie dough scraps and then roll them out again.

Bake the cookies, one rack at a time, for 7 to 10 minutes. Start with 7 minutes and go from there. If you want them crunchy you will wind up baking them a little longer.

It is always a good idea to start with just a few cookies at first so you can get the time down, before baking a ton of cookies.

8 freshly baked homemade gingerbread cookies on a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat.

Once the come out of the oven they won’t be really dark in color just slightly more brown then before they were baked. Allow them to cool for just a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. They will keep cooking on the pan, so remove them sooner if you want the cookies to be softer.

Step 5: How to decorate gingerbread cookies

several decorated gingerbread men cookies on a white cake pedestal.

Time to decorate those awesome gingerbread cookies. There are several ways you can decorate them. And of course you can leave them plain and not decorate them at all.

Take a piping bag and add a round tip to it. Then fill it with white frosting. Pipe on the eyes and mouth and any other designs. Then you can place on red hots, sprinkles, etc.

You can use store-bought or a homemade frosting, it is totally up to you. Typically a nice royal icing is used. But you can use a homemade buttercream frosting as well.

Time to eat them! You can eat them as is, or dip them in some milk or hot chocolate, however you like them. Enjoy!

How long to gingerbread cookies last?

Homemade gingerbread cookies have a fairly long self life at room temperature. If stored in a plastic bag or an airtight container they will last for 2 to 3 weeks. Or if you freeze them they will last up to 6 months.

Gingerbread cookies pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are some other recipes you may like:

Cinnamon Roll Twist Bread

Lemon Butter Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Thin Mint Cookies

Easy Sugar Cookies

Classic Gingerbread Cookies

These classic homemade gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite cookies to make and eat during the holidays, of course, they are yummy year-round. They are incredibly easy to make and you can decorate them however you want. If I can do it, you can do it!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Cookies, Desserts
Cuisine: American, British, English, European
Keyword: Christmas, crunchy, Holidays, soft, sweet
Servings: 50 cookies
Calories: 61kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Sheet pan or cookie sheet
  • parchment paper or silicone baking mat
  • Plastic wrap
  • Spatula
  • rolling pin

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose plain flour (360g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 7g
  • 3/4 tsp. of baking soda 4g
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt 3g
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger 15g
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 10g
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 1g
  • 6 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter 85g
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 150g
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of molasses or substitute with maple syrup (165g)
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract 10ml

Instructions

  • Add the softened butter and dark brown sugar to a large bowl. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer and mix until well combined.
  • Next, add in the vanilla extract and large egg and mix until well combined. Follow that up by mixing in the molasses or maple syrup.
  • In a separate bowl whisk or sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and cloves.
  • Add in the flour mixture a little at a time, if using a hand mixer it will get to thick eventually, you will need to switch to a wooden spoon or use your hands. If using a stand mixer and paddle attachment you should be fine.
  • Now pour the dough onto a table or counter and knead it for just a few seconds so it comes together. Divide it into two parts and then shape each part into a fat disc. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and then chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Once the dough has chilled remove it from the fridge. Unwrap the plastic and divide each on in half again. This makes it easier to roll out. Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out about 1/4th of an inch thick, you can roll it thinner or thicker if you wish.
    Use your favorite cookie cutters and cut out the cookie shapes. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. They can be fairly close together, they won't spread much.
    Ball up the scraps and then roll them out again and repeat.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Place one pan of cookies in the oven, middle rack position, and bake for 7 to 10 minutes. If you want them softer, bake them closer to 7 to 8 minutes. If you want them crunchier bake them for 9 to 10 minutes. Experiment with a pan of only a few cookies to start, to get the time down for your oven.
  • Once the cookies come out of the oven allow them to cool for a minute or two and then remove them and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. If you leave them on the hot cookie sheet too long they will continue baking. For soft cookies remove them right away.
    After they have cooled to room temperature you can decorate them however you want. I like to use frosting and a piping bag, red hots, and sprinkles. Enjoy!

Video

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies | Easy Gingerbread Men Cookie Recipe

Notes

The number of cookies that you can make from this recipe will vary greatly depending on the sizes of the cookie cutters that you use. 
The nutritional facts will also vary depending on what you put on top of each cookie. These facts are based on a total of 50 plain cookies.
Nutritional facts for gingerbread cookies
 

Do you like this recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

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