Best Gingerbread Cookies

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These Gingerbread Cookies are soft, chewy and full of spices and molasses! They are simple to make and perfect for decorating!

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Best Gingerbread Cookies

When it comes to Christmas, Gingerbread Cookies are the best and one of my favorites. Cutout cookies in general are just so perfect for the holidays, whether it be these gingerbread ones or my Cutout Sugar Cookies. They are all perfect for decorating and so festive. Not to mention that the decorating process is so fun with kiddos. It just makes things feel like Christmas.

I’m a little picky though when it comes to the texture of my gingerbread cookies. They MUST be soft and chewy! You don’t want them to spread. And the texture needs to be right. Not to mention, the right amount of molasses and spices for great flavor.

I have to say that these gingerbread cookies turned out perfectly! I’m SO in love with them! A big new favorite recipe and so easy, simple to make and great for decorating.

Gingerbread Cookiescutout gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread Cookie Ingredients

  • Flour – I use all purpose flour in these cookies. I say this all the time and will say it again – the best way to measure this is with a food scale. A HUGE influence on how your cookies turn out is having the right amount of flour. Too much and the cookies will turn out dry. Too little and they’ll spread too much. Even a difference of a couple tablespoons can make a big difference, especially if another ingredient is measured a little inaccurately (like the sugar – which adds more moisture and would make a cookie spread more as well).
  • Baking soda and baking powder – After testing these cookies with just baking soda and just baking powder, I can say that I much preferred the resulting texture of using both. Just baking powder made a cookie that was a little firmer, more cakey and dried out more quickly. Just baking soda made the cookies feel a little flimsy and just not the right texture I wanted. So I used mostly baking soda (which lends a more tender cookie that stays softer for longer), with a little baking powder (to be sure they had the best chewy texture).
  • Spices and Molasses – For all the best flavor!
  • Dark Brown Sugar – For even more flavor!
  • Egg – Adds structure and chewiness to the cookies.
  • Butter – An important base for a cookie that gets creamed together with the brown sugar.
gingerbread cookies

How to make Gingerbread Cookies

When it comes to making gingerbread cookies, it’s actually quite simple:

  • Combine your dry ingredients. Flour, spices and some salt. Whisk ’em all together and set them aside.
  • Mix the rest of the dough. Start by creaming the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla extract. Next up is adding the molasses and combining everything well. Add the dry ingredients and mix everything together just until combined. You don’t want to over mix it.
  • Roll out the cookie dough. Divide the cookie dough into two halves and roll them out to about 1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper (no flour-covered messes! yay!). It can help to mold the cookie dough into a little bit of a thick log before rolling it out so that it covers the parchment paper well. You’ll leave the cookies on the parchment paper to bake.
  • Chill the cookie dough. Once your dough is rolled out, pop it in the freezer for about 7-8 minutes. The amount of time can vary a little based on your freezer’s settings, but you want it to be nice and firm.
  • Cut out your cookies and bake them. With the cookie dough nice and firm, it should be quick to cut out the cookies using your favorite cookie cutters. Move the parchment paper with the cut cookies over to a cookie sheet and bake them.
  • Decorate. Once your cookies are baked and cooling, make the simple icing and decorate your cookies as you like.
gingerbread cookies on plate

How to decorate Gingerbread Cookies

When it comes to decorating gingerbread cookies, there are endless options. I’ve included a simple cookie icing below, but you could also use my royal icing recipe and see my tips for decorating using royal icing.

Beyond the icing, you can use sprinkles, color your icing or use little candies for adding eyes, buttons or other decorations. I used the red, white and green sequins from a pack like this one. You could even just dust them with powdered sugar for something super simple.

How long do gingerbread cookies last?

If the cookies are kept in a well sealed container, they should be good for 5-7 days. If you were to cover them in royal icing, it seals in the moisture and they’d probably be good for a few more days. You could also freeze them for up to 6 months, but it’d probably be best to freeze them in a single layer.

soft and chewy Gingerbread Cookies

More Great Cookie Recipes:

Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Icing
Gingerbread Cheesecake Cookie Cups
Best Cutout Sugar Cookies for Decorating
Candy Cane Cookies
Classic Spritz Cookies
Italian Ricotta Cookies
Classic Chewy Snickerdoodles
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe
Reindeer Cookie Balls
Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
Christmas Tree Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Best Southern Pecan Pralines Recipe
White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
No Bake Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons

Gingerbread Cookies Tutorial Video

Best Gingerbread Cookies

These Gingerbread Cookies are soft, chewy and full of spices and molasses! They are simple to make and perfect for decorating!

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 30-32 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3 3/4 cups (488g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 tbsp (140g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (172g) unsulfured molasses

Easy Cookie Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups (173g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/22 tbsp water or milk
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.
4. Add the egg and vanilla extract mix until well combined.
5. Add the molasses and mix until well combined.
6. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until the dough is well combined. Dough will be thick.
7. Divide the cookie dough into two equal parts, then roll each out to about 1/4 an inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper. It helps to shape the cookie dough into a bit of a log and then roll it out.
8. Transfer the parchment lined cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and into the freezer for about 6-8 minutes.
9. Remove cookie dough from freezer and immediately cut into shapes. You’ll leave the cutouts on the parchment paper to bake them, so try to space them as they should be for baking with about an inch between each cookie.
10. While cookie dough is still cold, transfer the parchment paper/cookies onto a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes.
11. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, or until you can transfer them. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
12. Repeat process with remaining cookie dough.
13. When cookies are baked and you’re ready to decorate them, making the icing. Add the powdered sugar to a small-medium sized bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of water, the corn syrup and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined. It will be thick to start, just keep whisking together. Add additional water as needed, for it to come together. You want to be careful not to thin it out too much. You can always add more liquid, but you can’t remove it once you add it. You want the icing to just be drip-able (and therefore pipeable), but not so thin it won’t stay in place.
14. Add the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip (I used Wilton tip 3) and decorate your cookies. Add sprinkles or other decorations, if you’d like.
15. Allow cookies to dry, then store in an airtight container. If well sealed, cookies should be good for 5-7 days.

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