Why this recipe works
I absolutely love gingerbread cookies because they have a unique and distinct flavor that no other cookie can replicate. A little sweet, a little spicy, crisp on the edges and so soft and moist in the middle. There’s no cookie like gingerbread cookies! The smell of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven is one of my favorite parts of the holidays.
They’re a Christmas classic for a reason, too! They’re so adorable! I love decorating gingerbread cookies because they don’t need a lot of decorations to be so beautiful. Decorate them minimally with just a little bit of icing, or create more intricate designs with royal icing. No matter what you decide, they’re sure to be delicious.
I went for a classic gingerbread man cookie with cute suspenders and some simple Christmas tree gingerbread cookies. Both are so easy to do! Go with a classic cookie cutter, or use snowflake cookie cutters or reindeer cookie cutters for a twist this holiday season!
You’ll love this recipe because:
Here’s what you’ll need:
Completely Christmas is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour for this recipe. However, I’ve also tested it with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour as well!
- Unsalted butter – This recipe calls for unsalted butter, which is always my preference for baking. You can better control the amount of salt going into the recipe as opposed to salted butter, where the salt content can vary.
- Molasses – Use blackstrap molasses for this recipe to give the gingerbread their classic flavor and deep brown color.
- Brown sugar – You could use granulated sugar if that’s all you have, but I love brown sugar in this recipe to keep the gingerbread cookies super moist.
I personally hate measuring out sticky ingredients, like molasses. Instead, I find it so much easier to weigh it out in grams in the bowl I plan to use. Follow my metric measurements for best results on ingredients like flour and for annoying to measure out ingredients, like molasses!
These classic gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite Christmas cookies to make! You only need a few simple ingredients and the decorations don’t have to be anything elaborate to be adorable.
The steps below with matching photos are meant to help you see the recipe at various stages so that you can make these easy gingerbread cookies perfectly every time.
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
Yes, you can use a gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, like Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. Use the metric measurements, as a cup of gluten-free flour does not weigh the same as all-purpose flour and can change the results of the recipe.
No, I just love to decorate gingerbread cookies with royal icing. Use store-bought cookie icing if you prefer. You can find it in the baking aisle near the boxed cake mixes. They’re already colored and so easy to use!
Storage: Store leftover gingerbread cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.
Freezer Option: You can freeze leftover gingerbread cookies for up to 3 months. I prefer to freeze undecorated cookies, as the frosting can run when defrosting. Place the undecorated cookies on a baking sheet for an hour to flash freeze. Then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for long term storage. Defrost at room temperature for about an hour and then decorate.
- 3 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, see notes (420g)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 5g
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3g
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1g
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1g
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 6g
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 2.5g
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (113g)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, 150g
- 1/2 cup molasses, 170g
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder to a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, add the butter and brown sugar. Cream together for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix for another 2 minutes, until the egg is combined.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing just until no more streaks of flour remain.
- Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pat it into a disk. Wrap the dough up and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Dust your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar or flour. Roll the gingerbread dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Combine leftover dough and roll it out again, cutting with more cookie cutters until all the remaining dough is used up.
- Place the dough shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie.
- Bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are firm and the centers no longer look shiny.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once cooled completely, decorate with royal icing however you’d like. Let the cookie icing harden completely before serving.
- For best results, follow the weight measurements instead of the volume measurements. Scooping the flour with a measuring cup can be very inconsistent and may result in too much flour, making your gingerbread cookies very dense.
- The number of cookies you get will depend on the size of the cookie cutters that you use and the type of shapes. I was able to get 24 cookies.