Gingerbread Cookies {Recipe}


Last week I shared some cute Christmas Tree Cookies I made with gingerbread dough.   Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorites, especially around the Christmas season.  Gingerbread cookies stay fresh for up to two weeks, so they are a great choice for a busy season too!   This dough can be rolled thin to make crisp cookies, or a bit thicker for a soft cookie.

Gingerbread Cookies

5 – 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (slightly less if using freshly grated)

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup butter

3/4 cup molasses

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  In a large bowl, gently stir together flour, baking powder, and all spices. Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of your electric mixer (or other large bowl), beat butter until smooth.  Add brown sugar, molasses, eggs and vanilla.

3.  Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are fully incorporated.

4.  Divide the dough into 3 pieces, and flatten into rounded disk (about 1 1/2 inches thick).  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

5. When dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350*F.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to desired thickness (1/4- 1/2 inch thick).  (The dough can be rolled out and handled just as I described in my post HERE).  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat type liner.  If the dough is too sticky or soft to work with, put it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to firm up.

6.  Bake for 9-12 minutes (depending on the size of cookies).  Cool slightly on cookie sheet, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

7.  Frost with royal icing, if desire.  HERE is the royal icing recipe I use, as well as some decorating tips to get you started.

Recipe Source –  My own slight variation on several widely available recipes.

Note – If making gingerbread houses or very large cookies I would recommend 5 1/2 cups flour, if making smaller cookies that you want to be soft, use 5 cups flour.  Certainly the dough will be softer and more sticky the less flour you use.  Keep the dough chilled, and/or add a bit more flour as needed to work with the dough.


  1. Wow, what beautiful snowflakes! It would seem a bit crazy to make them here in Australia as it is scorching hot at Christmas. I am still trying to find inspiration for some summer Christmas cookies!

  2. I absolutely love your snowflake design. I will definitely draw inspiration from them when I come around to making my own snowflakes (even though as Kat says above me: Christmas snow in Australia just does not exist).

  3. I am your newest follower from Australia and I would love to feature these cookies soon.

  4. I am your newest follower from Australia and I would love to feature these cookies soon.

  5. Thanks for the sweet comments ladies! I guess I'll have to think on some warm weather Christmas ideas!
    Vicki- I'd be happy to have you feature the cookies on your site, as long as you clearly credit and link back to me. Please do not include the recipe on your site. Thanks.

  6. Sooo pretty! These are one of my favorite kind of cookies:)

  7. Im saving this recipe and trying it for xmass 🙂 I will post pics and link to ur blog when i do it 😀

  8. oooohhhhh so pretty!


  9. Very pretty! These will definately be onmy list to make. Thank You!

  10. These look scrumptious…. Thank you for the recipe 🙂

  11. My favorite!!! These are so PRETTY!!!

  12. Those are so pretty! I love how they look so glittery, it's very appealing, and I bet they are super delicious too!

  13. Glory these are just lovely!

    I've been waiting for something to catch my eye this Christmas season and you know, I think I've found it!!

    I can't wait to bake these, thankyou for sharing.


  14. Those are so adorable! What beautiful, festive cookies!

    Great blog (and pictures!) Happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  15. Thank you for the recipe, they look lovely! I love mine a bit softer mmmmm

  16. These gingerbread snowflakes are beautiful. What a great idea. Defintely trying this recipe. Thanks.

  17. I doubt I would ever be able to make such beautiful cookies! I just love your blog, and I believe there will be some great inspiration on here. Pizzazzerie introduced me to your blog. Check out mine, if you like:

  18. Hi,

    I just came across your blog and I can't believe how beautiful your cupcakes and cookies look. I'm a first time baker but this looks too good to pass up. I'm going to try it for Christmas. I was wondering how many servings/cookies does this recipe make? Thanks!

  19. Lisa- This recipe makes a lot of cookies! It will depend on the size of cutter you use, and how thick you roll the dough, but I would estimate about 3 dozen medium sized cookies.

  20. These cookies are beautiful and look delicious! I was just wondering if it matters what type of brown sugar you use – light or dark brown sugar. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes.

  21. thank you so much for the recipe ♥ Can't wait to try!! 🙂

  22. Glory thankyou again, you inspired me to make my own version (we used a different recipe though). I've linked back to you.

    Merry Christmas!


  23. Hi Glory, Found you through Cookie Krazie / Cookies With a Mission. Looking forward to following you! Laura :o)

  24. I was curious would this be a good recipe for a gingerbread house?

  25. I have been baking gingerbread boys for close to 30 years now. I used to have a go-to recipe, but a few years ago it just wasn't working for me anymore. So, the search started for a new recipe… through too thick, too thin, too blah, too spicey, too labor intensive and just not right… until this recipe.

    I used it to make Fall pumpkins and now my annual gingerbread boys. It's perfectly spiced, a beautiful dough to work with and absolutely lovely on the tastebuds! Thanks for sharing.

  26. Yumm… They look beautiful! Can I use honey instead of molasses?
    Keep up the great job, Glory and have a nice day!

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  30. These look yummy and gorgeous! Just wondering what size cutters you used and what the yield was for this recipe? I’d like to make them for my family this Christmas as gifts and want to make sure there are enough to go around.

    • It depends on how thin you roll the dough, but if you make a full batch of dough (using the recipe above), you should be able to get at least 4 dozen medium sized (3.5 inch) cookies.

  31. sim,precisamos de biscoitos de natal verão,aqui no Brasil faz 32 graus.
    seu trabalho é maravilhoso,parabéns,beijos !!!!

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  33. How many thick cookies will this recipe make?

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  36. Hi Glory,

    May I know what can I use to replace ‘red hots’ that were used in decorating gingerbread cookies?

    • Hi Lyn,
      Sure, you can leave out the red hots and just decorate with royal icing, or add an M&M or most any candy after the cookies have baked and cooled (attach with a bit of icing). Happy baking!

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  45. Glory, I just made these cookies, but mine are very light in color, nowhere near the color of yours or what I think of as gingerbread color. The only sub I made was honey instead of molasses…would that make such a big difference in color?

    • Hi Andrea,
      Yes, that would make a world of difference! Molasses is very dark in color and is the ingredient that helps give the distinctive flavor to gingerbread. What you made are called Honey Cookies… still delicious I’m sure, but not gingerbread.

  46. The dough was so dry the flour wasn’t necessary.
    Did I refrigerate it too long? I left it in the fridge overnight…

    • You can leave the dough in the fridge up to several days, but if it’s been in the fridge more than a couple hours you may want to let it warm up just a bit at room temperature to make it easier to handle. Depending on the surface you roll the dough on, and the temperature of your home, you may need more or less flour.

  47. Sorry, I meant the flour used to prevent the dough from sticking to the table top…

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  49. Thank you so much for this recipe and your royal icing recipe! For the past three years I have hosted a gingerbread house decorating party…I bake 20+ houses, plus gingerbread men and snowflakes for decorating, invite way to many friends over (usually 30-40) and have a night full of fun! Everyone is always amazed when they taste your gingerbread…they are surprised that it is so good! I appreciate the work and talent that goes into sharing your skill on your blog, and am glad that you make my party so successful! Have a wonderful holiday!

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