Gingerbread Cookies

These Gingerbread Cookies are soft and filled with warm spices and molasses. The cookies are easy to make and perfect for holiday cookie plates.

small and medium gingerbread cookies

With the holidays approaching, I’m updating my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe with more tips to help you bake the best gingerbread cookies.

I’ve been making these gingerbread cookies for years. Over time, I’ve adapted the recipe to make it healthier, yet every bit as delicious. If you’re looking for the best gingerbread cookie recipe, you are going to love these soft gingerbread cookies!

The Best Gingerbread Cookies

  • These cookies bake up soft and have lots of molasses and gingerbread spice flavor.
  • The dough is easy to make, and you can refrigerate it for just 2 hours or up to 2 days before baking the cookies (great for make ahead holiday baking).
  • Many times you can tell when a dessert recipe has been made healthier. With these cookies, you can’t.
  • The cookies are fun to cut out and decorate with kids.

You can decorate your gingerbread cookies, or enjoy them plain. The gingerbread is so flavorful that the cookies are delicious without any frosting or decorations.

gingerbread man cookies on napkin with cinnamon sticks

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Making the gingerbread cookie dough is quick and easy. First, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. The cookies are spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Once the dry ingredients are combined, mix up the wet ingredients using an electric mixer. Start by mixing together softened butter and brown sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Then add molasses, an egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed.

This dough requires chilling to help it roll out easily. Shape the dough into a round disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Put the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before you roll out the cookies.

Once the dough has chilled, you can roll it out on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Bake as directed in the recipe card below.

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

After baking, you can pipe icing or spread frosting onto these cookies. A simple piping of white icing will give you beautiful cookies.

You can make a simple white icing by combining powdered sugar with a small amount of milk or water. Start with just 1 tablespoon of milk or water per cup of powdered sugar, adding more milk by the teaspoon until you reach your desired consistency.

For a fun touch, you can use small candies, sprinkles or other food-safe cookie decorations to decorate the cookies before the frosting hardens. Another option is to press decorations such as small M and M’s, raisins, etc. onto the cookies before baking. This is how my kids and I usually decorate these cookies.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Tips

  • This recipe calls for 1 cup each of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. You can instead use 2 cups of all-purpose flour or 2 cups of whole wheat flour. I prefer white whole wheat flour over regular whole wheat because it has a milder flavor and texture.
  • Allow your butter to come to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature butter will incorporate into the dough more easily.
  • This recipe calls for one egg yolk. To separate the egg yolk from the egg white, crack the egg in half, keeping it in the shell. Then, over the sink or a bowl, carefully transfer the yolk back and forth between the two egg shell halves, allowing the whites to fall out of the shell, until only the yolk remains.
  • Chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours before rolling it out or it will be too sticky. You can make the cookie dough ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • If you use different cookie cutters to make cookies of different sizes, be sure to bake cookies that are the same size together. Otherwise, smaller cookies may over-bake in the time that it takes larger cookies to bake.
  • Allow gingerbread cookies to cool completely before icing.

For an extra delicious treat, enjoy these soft gingerbread cookies with a mug of gingerbread hot chocolate or gingerbread coffee.

gingerbread cookies with a mug of hot chocolate

More cookies for your holiday baking list:

Gingerbread Cookies

These are the best soft Gingerbread Cookies. They are easy to make and filled with warm spices, molasses and brown sugar. The cookies are fun to decorate, but also delicious enough to serve as is.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gingerbread cookie recipe, gingerbread cookies
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Servings 24 3-inch cookies
Calories 105kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses (not blackstrap molasses)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes at medium speed, until light and creamy. Add the molasses, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the flour mixture.
  • Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
  • When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured work surface to ¼-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut cookies into desired shapes. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps of dough until all dough has been used.
  • Baking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies. Medium gingerbread cookies bake for 9-10 minutes, and mini cookies bake for about 7 minutes. Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • This recipe calls for 1 cup each of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. You can instead use 2 cups of all-purpose flour or 2 cups of whole wheat flour.
  • If you use different cookie cutters to make cookies of different sizes, be sure to bake cookies that are the same size together. Otherwise, smaller cookies may over-bake in the time that it takes larger cookies to bake.
  • Allow gingerbread cookies to cool completely before icing. You can make a simple white icing by combining powdered sugar with a small amount of milk or water. Start with just 1 tablespoon of milk or water per cup of powdered sugar, adding more milk by the teaspoon until you reach your desired consistency.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 138mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen or tag #kristineskitchenblog!
Save Recipe

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!