Simple Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

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Cookies are a staple in our house. I love letting my kids help make the dough, and cookies, baking in the oven, is my favorite smell in the world. This simple gingerbread recipe has the absolute best aroma and I make it often around the holidays.

Gingerbread cookies on plate

A warm mix of spices and an easy to work with dough make this one of my favorite cookies to bake. Use cute cookie cutters with your kids and let them get creative with the icing. These cute gingerbread cookies will be a family favorite for years to come.

Ingredients

Gingerbread cookies ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 3¼  cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Tips for Rolling Gingerbread Cookie Dough

Gingerbread cookie dough must be chilled, more on that below, which can make rolling the dough a little tricky. When you first pull it out of the refrigerator, it will be solid and hard to work with. 

To make rolling the dough a little easier, place the dough between two large pieces of parchment paper. I begin by using my hands to flatten the dough and the warmth of my hands helps get things started. Then, swap to a rolling pin and roll from the center outwards, rotating after each roll. The dough will get easier to work with as you roll. 

Instructions

Here are all the steps to making this simple gingerbread recipe.

Step 1 – Whisk the Dry Ingredients

Dry ingredients Gingerbread cookies

In a large bowl, add your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. 

Step 2 – Mix the Wet Ingredients

Wet ingredients Gingerbread cookies

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the softened butter and beat at a high speed for about 1 minute until it’s light and fluffy.

Add the brown sugar and molasses and mix for another 30 seconds until it’s creamy and combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

Next, add the egg and vanilla extract and keep the mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until everything is fully incorporated.

Step 3 – Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

dry and wet ingredients combine for the dough

With the mixer on low, scoop in the flour mixture about ½ cup at a time until it’s all been incorporated. The dough will be pretty sticky, that’s perfect.

Step 4 – Transfer to Plastic Wrap and Chill

gingerbread dough wrap in film

Split the dough into two equal parts and shape them into discs, covering them with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Step 5 – Roll the Chilled Dough

gingerbread cookie dough rolled

Once the dough has chilled, unwrap one disc and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll from the middle to the edges until the dough is about ¼ inch thick. 

While you’re rolling the dough, it’s a great time to preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).

Step 6 – Cut the Cute Gingerbread Cookies

cutting the dough in different shapes

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut gingerbread men or any shapes you choose. Roll any unused dough back to ¼ inch thickness and continue to cut until you have used up all the dough.

Repeat with the second disc of dough while the first batch is baking.

Step 7 – Bake the Gingerbread Men

baking the gingerbread cookies

Place your cut cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 9-10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Larger cookies will need the extra bake time. Just check on them at the 9-minute mark and adjust accordingly.

Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and set them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 8 – Make the Icing

Making the icing for the cookies

While the cookies are cooling, you can make the icing. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, I find that whole milk works best, and stir it to combine. Adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more milk or more sugar as needed.

You will want icing that is fluid enough to decorate with, but stiff enough that it doesn’t run off the side of your cookie.

Step 9 – Pipe Icing Onto Cooled Cookies

gingerbread cookies final presentation

Once the cookies have cooled completely, you can add the icing. I like to give my kids the icing in a bowl with a spoon to decorate their cookies.

I put my icing into a small zip-top bag with a corner cut to create a homemade piping bag. I pipe the icing onto the cookies to decorate them.

Cookware Used

Here are all the kitchen tools I used to make this simple gingerbread recipe. 

Stand Mixer: I find this dough easiest to make in the stand mixer. But if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can absolutely use a handheld mixer and follow the steps exactly.

Parchment Paper: I use parchment paper a lot in this recipe. Both to roll out the dough and for a supremely non-stick baking surface so my cookie shapes stay intact.

Rolling Pin: I recommend that you use an actual rolling pin for this recipe. Flat cookies are easier to cut out and decorate after baking. 

Cookie Cutters: I love using fun holiday cookie cutters or gingerbread men cutters for this recipe. They make such cute gingerbread cookies. But if you don’t have cookie cutters on hand, you can easily use a glass or measuring cup to cut round cookies.

Wire Rack: A wire rack helps these cookies cool completely and more quickly than a solid surface. The quicker they cool, the quicker you can ice them (and eat them!)

Fun Twists on This Simple Gingerbread Recipe

This is a pretty classic recipe for cute gingerbread cookies, but you can make a few adjustments to make them your own.

  • Instead of this simple icing, you could make colorful royal icing using 3 oz. egg whites, 4 cups powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and your favorite food coloring
  • Use sprinkles and hard candies to add pops of color to the gingerbread men after icing
  • Top the cookies with a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of icing
  • Use pretzels for reindeer antlers or edible glitter for snow to really make the cookies stand out

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Showing a gingerbread cookie. holding it with my hand

Hopefully, this simple gingerbread recipe has sparked some baking joy and will get you firing up your oven. 

Be sure to chill your dough and let the cookies cool completely before baking. You’ll end up with a batch of cute gingerbread cookies to share with Santa (or not!)

Print

Simple Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

This fantastic and traditional recipe is great if you want to spend quality time with your loves one. it is a simple gingerbread cookies recipe that you can do at anytime , especially , during cold days to warm you up with a hot chocolate.

  • Author: Beatriz Garcia
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 29 minutes
  • Yield: 2430 cookies 1x
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the Cookies:

  •   cups flour

  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

  • ¾ cup molasses

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 23 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Whisk the Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, add your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

 Mix the Wet Ingredients

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the softened butter and beat at a high speed for about 1 minute until it’s light and fluffy.

Add the brown sugar and molasses and mix for another 30 seconds.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and keep the mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until everything is fully incorporated.

 Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

With the mixer on low, scoop in the flour mixture about ½ cup at a time until it’s all been incorporated. The dough will be pretty sticky, that’s perfect.

Transfer to Plastic Wrap and Chill

Split the dough into two equal parts and shape them into discs, covering them with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Roll the Chilled Dough

 Unwrap one disc and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll from the middle to the edges until the dough is about ¼ inch thick.

 Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).

 Cut the Cute Gingerbread Cookies

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut gingerbread men or any shapes you choose. Roll any unused dough back to ¼ inch thickness and continue to cut until you have used up all the dough.

Repeat with the second disc of dough while the first batch is baking.

 Bake the Gingerbread Men

Place your cut cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 9-10 minutes.

Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and set them on a wire rack to cool completely.

 Make the Icing

Add 2 cups of powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, I find that whole milk works best, and stir it to combine. Adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more milk or more sugar as needed.

Pipe Icing Onto Cooled Cookies

Once the cookies have cooled completely, you can add the icing. I like to give my kids the icing in a bowl with a spoon to decorate their cookies.

 put my icing into a small zip-top bag with a corner cut to create a homemade piping bag. I pipe the icing onto the cookies to decorate them.

Tried this Recipe?

Let me know how you did on Twitter: @clan_kitchen

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