If you are looking for the ultimate classic Christmas cookie recipe then look no further! These Gingerbread Cookies are the perfect treat for Christmas. They are crisp on the edges, soft in the center, perfectly spiced and flavored with molasses and brown sugar.
‘Tis the season for the most fun while baking in the kitchen! Christmas baked goods are always just so delicious, and these are the best gingerbread cookies! If you’ve never decorated a gingerbread man cookie before, you’re missing out! These soft gingerbread cookies will have you baking like a pro in no time.
Those store-bought cookie kits always have the most stale and flavorless cookies — they taste like cardboard. But making your own gingerbead men is actually really simple. Then you can have a cookie decorating party, or contest, with family and friends! Make a whole family of gingerbread people!
And for those that don’t like gingerbread, they can decorate a perfect Christmas sugar cookie. Turn this fun recipe into a family tradition that will last for years to come.
- This chewy gingerbread cookies makes 32 cookies. So no matter what size gathering you are hosting, you are going to have plenty of cookies.
- You can make this cookie dough ahead of time and then roll it out, cut, and bake it later. Great prep for a party!
- Decorating gingerbread is a great family activity, party activity, and even a “just because” activity. You don’t have to have a specific reason to bake these cookies!
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
- Flour – Use all purpose flour as the base for the cookie dough!
- Ground ginger – Ground ginger these cookies the best spice flavor.
- Ground cinnamon – Cinnamon with ginger adds a slightly sweet spice to pair with the ground ginger.
- Molasses – Molasses is a signature ingredient in gingerbread cookies. It helps keep the cookies soft and chewy!
- Vanilla extract – Add a splash of vanilla extract for extra depth of flavor.
- Baking powder – Baking powder acts as a rising agent that will help keep these cookies from becoming dense.
- Baking soda – Using not one, but two, rising agents is key to getting light and chewy cookies that aren’t too dense. It also helps them bake more evenly.
- Butter – Unsalted butter helps create structure in these cookies and helps to combine the dry and wet ingredients together. Butter is key in having chewy cookies!
- Large egg – Allow your egg to come to room temperature before mixing it into the gingerbread cookie dough.
- Brown sugar – Brown sugar is key in making these classic cookies. The rich flavor of brown sugar pairs great with the warm spices.
- White frosting – Just grab a can of your favorite white frosting from the grocery store.
- Mini M&Ms – Mini M&Ms make the cutest decoration on gingerbread man cookies!
- Kosher salt – A little dash of kosher salt will help balance out the sweetness of these cookies.
- Sugar – Use both brown sugar and white sugar to perfectly sweeten each delicious gingerbread cookie.
- Powdered sugar – Add powdered sugar to store-bought white frosting to thicken so that it is easier to decorate with.
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies
In a medium bowl, mix together all purpose flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt with a stand mixer and paddle attachment or a electric mixer. Once combined, set it aside.
Then, in a separate large mixing bowl, cream together butter, light brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, egg, and pure vanilla extract. Once the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add the dry ingredients in.
Mix the dough ingredients together until just combined, it will have a sand-like appearance. Then use your hands to form the dough into one giant ball.
Wrap the gingerbread dough ball in plastic wrap and then store in the fridge for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.
Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Prepare a clean, flat, work surface by dusting it lightly with flour.
Unwrap the chilled dough and divide it in half. Then use a rolling pin to carefully roll it out to a ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface.
Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the cookie shapes. Take the dough scraps leftover from cutting out the cookies, form a ball and repeat the process.
Place on cool baking sheet. Repeat this process until you have used all of your dough.
Bake cookies for 8-11 minutes, until edges are set and have a golden brown hue.
Then remove the gingerbread man cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
While the cookies cool, you can prep the frosting! Mix a tub of white frosting and one cup of powdered sugar together with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Once mixed, scoop into a piping bag and snip the tip off.
Frost fully cooled gingerbread cookies however you’d like, then add some M&M buttons!
Serve and enjoy the holiday season!
How to Store Gingerbread Cookies
Place gingerbread cookies into an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers to keep the decorations from sticking. Store at room temperature for up to a week.
FREEZER: You can freeze these cookies for up to 3 months, when stored in an airtight container. You can also freeze the cookie dough! Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
More Decorations for Gingerbread Man Cookies
We opted for the simple decorations of white icing and mini M&M candies. However, there are so many fun ideas you can use to decorate your cookie. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Here are a few things you can use to decorate these easy gingerbread cookies:
- Colored frosting
- Crushed peppermint
- Red hot candies
- Licorice strings
- Food coloring pen
- Royal Icing
You can totally make your cookies into any shape that you want! To stick with a Christmas theme, you could make ornament cookies, Christmas tree cookies, or a fun snowflake shape. But regular square or circle cookies work great too. Just try to keep the sizes similar so that each cookie is done baking at the same time.
- Don’t overbake your cookies. They may not seem fully done after 8-11 minutes, but they likely are. As long as the edges are set, the rest of the cookie will set as it cools!
- Decorate each cookie a bit differently to have a variety of different colors and designs.
- When you roll out the dough, make sure you are not rolling it too thin. You wouldn’t want to end up with cookie crisps.
These yummy gingerbread men cookies are too cute to pass up when baking Christmas cookies. You’re going to love learning to make this classic recipe and decorating them as a holiday tradition!
More Christmas Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
- Christmas Pinwheel Cookies are a family favorite that we make every single year.
- Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in heaven and these Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Cookies prove that to be true!
- Molasses Cookies are a cozy holiday favorite that you will love!
- These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are super easy to make and look absolutely gorgeous.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- M&M mini’s red and green
- 16 ounces store-bought white frosting (1 tub)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a medium mixing bowl, place 3 cups of flour, 2 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups light brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup of molasses, 1 large egg, and 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the contents of the dry ingredient bowl to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will appear sandy. Use your hands to form a ball. Wrap the dough ball tightly with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
- Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a flat surface with a light dusting of flour.
- Unwrap the dough and divide it in half. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to ¼ inch thick. Use your cookie cutter to make the gingerbread man shapes. Repeat until all of your dough is gone. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place into preheated oven and bake cookies for 8 – 11 minutes or until the edges are set and crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating (about 10 minutes).
- While the cookies are cooling, mix (1) 16-ounce tub of white frosting and 1 cup powdered sugar using a hand or stand mixer.
- Once the cookies have thoroughly cooled, place the white frosting mixture in a piping bag and cut a small hole in the tip. Give your gingerbread man some eyes, a smile, and some buttons. Use your creativity to personalize your cookies!