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.


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  2. what is the effect of molasses to the taste?

    • Molasses is essential for the traditional gingerbread flavor. I imagine you could use honey in place of the molasses, but the flavor would be much more mild.

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  4. Hi Glory. The cookies look delicious. Can I cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch? Thanks.

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  6. I made a mistake and I put three 1/3 cups of molasses instead of 3/4 cups of molasses .  What can I do to make the recipe right? Thank you very much I hope to hear from you soon so I will not of wasted all the ingredients in this recipe.

    • Hi Kathy,
      I think it’s likely you could add a bit more flour to the mixture and it will be fine. In fact, the extra 1/4 cup of molasses will just make the dough a bit sticky, so you might still be able to work with it if you are rolling it out between parchment paper. Best of luck!

  7. Was wondering when you changed the recipe and what made you change it ?  Was going to print it for a friend and it is completely changed~~Thanks,Karen

    • Hi Karen,
      So sorry for any confusion! I’m sorry to say I truly don’t remember when I’ve made any updates to the recipe, as it must have been over a year ago. I don’t recall making any big changes, but I do remember working on the recipe a bit to make sure they are nice and soft and chewy after being baked. Again, I don’t recall making any big changes (other than reducing the flour by just a bit and adjusting the spices by small amounts). I generally make notes for my readers if I’ve made any big changes to a recipe, so either I simply failed to do this, or if I remember correctly the changes were quite minor.

  8. Can margarine be substituted for butter?

  9. I made these following the recipe to a ‘T’ and the came out way more spicey/molasses-y tastey than true gingerbread. I couldn’t find the delicious recipe I used last year so I tried this and I was disappointed with the flavor except Ithey did come out nice and soft/great texture. I used 5 cups flour. Maybe id use a little less of the cloves/nutmeg and molasses and in the dried ginger by a couple pinches?

  10. I used crude molasses for this recipe and it turned out soo strong and nothing like a gingerbread cookies taste. 🙁 I tried adding more spices but the molasses is tough to beat. 

    • Hi Gizem, I have never heard of crude molasses… so I’m guessing that may be the issue? Are you in the U.S.? You might want to try another brand of more mild molasses. As an alternative, you can substitute a portion of the molasses with honey. Happy baking!

    • I think it’s from the U.K as we get lots of British products here in Cyprus. 🙂 Thank you for replying! 
      I might try putting just a Tablespoon of molasses ( as I can’t find any other brands).
      Happy Holidays <3 

  11. How long does the dough last for in the refrigerator? Can it be frozen? Thanks! 

    • I chill, roll, cut then freeze my cookies ahead of time. I have had them in the freezer for up to 3 weeks with great results.

  12. I’ve been making your gingerbread cookie recipe with a few tweaks of my own for a few years now and everyone loves them. I however just whipped up a batch of dough and put it in the fridge to chill when I suddenly realized i forgot to put in the vanilla extract! Do you think this will make a huge difference? I don’t want to scrap an entire batch but I also don’t want to waste my time rolling, cutting and baking all those cookies for nothing. Help!

    • Hi Sheena, I’m sure it will be fine! Because these cookies have so many other yummy flavors working together, I don’t think the vanilla will be missed. Happy baking!

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