Gingerbread Cookies

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Classic Gingerbread man cookies that are soft and chewy! These gingerbread cookies are easy to mix up. You don’t need an electric mixer to make the dough and the cookies hold their shape for decorating.

decorated gingerbread man cookie on a baking sheet


 

On every cookie platter, there are just certain cookies to be expected. And gingerbread man cookies I believe are of them. Made with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and molasses swirled in. Except this time, the gingerbread cookie is going to be the star of your cookie platter when you turn them into gingerbread hug cookie.

For these gingerbread cookies, I adapted from this King Arthur Flour’s gingerbread recipe. It’s an easy gingerbread cookie recipe because it uses melted butter. Holidays are stressful enough, right? Let’s skip softening butter and just straight up melt it. Then throw in some brown sugar, molasses, salt and spices and you have a perfect gingerbread cookie recipe.

Why You Will Love These Gingerbread Man Cookies

  • No mixer needed– This gingerbread cookie recipe uses melted butter so you don’t need an electric mixer to make the gingerbread cookie dough.
  • They keep their shape! – These cookies will keep their shape after baking so they are easy to decorate.
  • Can make ahead of time – The dough needs to rest for at least an hour but you can also make the dough and let it rest overnight.
decorated gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet

See Also:

  • These Russian tea cake cookies are an easy Christmas cookie recipe to make! They are made in one bowl, with 6 ingredients, and are ready in 30 minutes or less.
  • These peanut butter cookies get a Hershey’s chocolate kiss pressed into the center after they are baked. These cookies, also known as peanut butter blossoms, are ready in about 30 minutes or less!
  • These easy cream cheese sugar cookies made with cream cheese comes together super fast. Roll in sprinkles for a festive look!
  • Grab a mixing bowl and make these fudgy chocolate crinkle cookies! Made without a mixer they are super easy to make.

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt. But if you’re using salted butter then reduce the salt to a 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Brown Sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar will lend a chewier cookie that is darker in color.
  • Molasses – This is what give the cookies great flavor. You want to use unsulphured molasses. I used Grandma’s molasses.
  • Salt – I prefer sea salt in baking for its taste and fine texture. You can also use table salt or kosher salt.
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Allspice
  • Egg
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Flour
gingerbread cookie ingredients

How To Make Gingerbread Man Cookies

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.

bowl of gingerbread cookie dry ingredients being whisked together

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and ginger.

Once mixed together whisk in the egg.

gingerbread cookie batter in bowl

Then stir the flour ingredients into the molasses mixture. The dough will be very soft and sticky, but it’ll firm up once it’s chilled.

bowl of gingerbread cookie dough

Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or longer (up to overnight).

gingerbread cookie dough wrapped in plastic

Shape and bake the cookies

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper (or you can leave the pans ungreased).

Once the dough has chilled, take one disc of dough out of the refrigerator, and lightly flour your work surface. Roll the to about 1/4″ thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. If the dough starts to stick lightly flour the dough if it starts to stick.

gingerbread cookie dough being rolled out with a rolling pin

Cut out shapes with a lightly floured cookie cutter. You want to cut them as close to one another as possible to get as many cookies as possible out of the first batch. Press scraps together and re-roll the dough (chill the dough if it’s too sticky). Try to handle the dough as little as possible – the more you re-work the dough, the tougher the cookies will be in the end.

gingerbread cookie dough being cut out with cookie cutters

Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the gingerbread cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm.

unbaked gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

undecorated gingerbread cookies

Heather’s Baking Tips

  • Lightly flour your surface before rolling out your dough. I use and totally recommend using a non-stick pastry mat. It makes rolling out these cookies super duper easy. This is one of my must have baking tools.
  • Work with one batch of dough at a time. Keep the second disc in the fridge so as not to warm up.
  • I used these gingerbread cookie cutters to make these cookies. Super comfy grip for all those cookies you’re going to cut out.
  • I added these royal icing snowflakes to turn them into gingerbread hug cookies. They come in a package of 12 – but this batch makes 36 cookies, so you will need 3 boxes of them for this batch of cookies.
  • When you bend the arms to hold the snowflake, the dough might crack a bit but it’s fine. Just keep bending. Just keep bending.
  • If your dough warms up too much, go and chill it again for a few minutes.
  • Reduce your cookie waste, by cutting them out as close as possible with each other. You will have some scraps leftover and can do one re-roll. But it’s best to not to have to keep re-rolling your dough and handling it too much, because this will toughen your cookies in the end.
decorated gingerbread man cookie

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze these gingerbread cookies?

Yes these cookies, decorated or undecorated, freeze well for up to 3 months. You can also freeze unbaked cookies for up to 3 months as well. Then bake frozen, no need to thaw. You will just need to add on a few minutes of baking time.

Can I make this dough ahead of time?

Yes you can make the dough the day before and refrigerate. When ready to roll out, you may need to let it soften for a few minutes on your countertop.

Why did my cookies spread in the oven?

This probably means your cookie dough was too warm when they went into the oven. You can always try chilling the cut out cookies for 15 minutes before baking to firm up.

Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

When these gingerbread cookies come out of the oven, it’s time to decorate! You know after you let them cool of course. 😉 I love using Wilton’s cookie icing – it makes easy work of what can be a fussy job of making the icing.

You can also make Royal icing, like I did for these Cut-Out Sugar Cookies!

More Recipes To Try

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decorated gingerbread man cookie on a baking sheet

Gingerbread Man Cookies

 Easy gingerbread man cookie recipe – decorate with royal icing or try a snowflake in the middle for the cutest cookies ever!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 173kcal

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3/4 cup (170 grams, 12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter melted, and slightly cooled
  • 3/4 cup (255 grams) molasses I used Grandma’s brand
  • 3/4 cup (160 grams) light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, molasses, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. until evenly combined.
  • Beat in the egg until evenly combined.
  • With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir dry ingredients into the butter-molasses mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the dough in half, and wrap each portion of dough in plastic wrap, flattening into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). You can either leave the baking sheet ungreased, but I prefer to line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or you can use silicone baking mat) for easy clean-up and baking my next batch on.)
  • Working with one disc of dough at a time, remove from the fridge and unwrap. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/4" thick (thinner cookies will be crispier). I like to roll the dough in one direction, then turn the dough so I can make sure it's not sticking to the surface. Continue to lightly dust surface, rolling pin, and dough if it's sticking.
  • Cut out shapes with a floured gingerbread man cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to get as many cookies as possible out of the first batch (the more you have to re-roll the dough will toughen your cookies, and cause the dough to warm up too much causing them too spread).
  • Transfer the cookies to your prepare ungreased cookie sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges 8-12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Notes

  • Storage: Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 
  • Freezing: Yes these cookies, decorated or undecorated, freeze well for up to 3 months. You can also freeze unbaked cookies for up to 3 months as well. Then bake frozen, no need to thaw. You will just need to add on a few minutes of baking time.
  • This dough needs to be chilled before you roll it out. If it’s been chilled overnight, you may need to let the dough soften slightly before 
  • Work with one batch of dough at a time. Keep the second disc in the fridge so as not to warm up.
  • If your dough warms up too much, go and chill it again for 15-30 minutes until it firms back up. 
  • Reduce your cookie waste, by cutting them out as close as possible with each other. You will have some scraps leftover and can do one re-roll. But it’s best to not to have to keep re-rolling your dough and handling it too much, because this will toughen your cookies in the end.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 100mg | Sugar: 23g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @BostonGirlBakes or tag #BostonGirlBakes!


 

17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious! They have just the right amount of gingerbread flavor. The dough is easy to work with as well. Such a fun family project to make and decorate these!

    1. Thank you Adrienne! I’m so glad you loved these and had fun decorating them!

  2. I used this recipe for both a gingerbread display and for gingerbread men, and it worked perfectly for both! I did chill the cutouts prior to baking as well, in order to minimize spread. They tasted great!

    1. oh that’s awesome Joanna! I’m so glad you loved these cookies and they worked for a gingerbread display as well 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I made these for my wife’s book club and all her friends loved them so much that they asked to take some home! Thanks for the best gingerbread cookie recipe I’ve ever made

    1. So glad everyone loved them Dennis!

  4. 5 stars
    I love homemade gingerbread cookies…these look perfect! Cannot wait for all the holiday baking to begin ^_^

  5. 5 stars
    These are my favorite cookies and can eat them all year round 🙂 Love how easy your recipe is to make and they held their shape perfectly. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. 5 stars
    I love gingerbread cookies so much (I’m not sure why I don’t make them all year)! These are fab because they’re chewy — my favorite!

  7. A great and dependable recipe. Plus, I like how simple they are to decorate. Perfect for cookie noobs like me.

  8. 5 stars
    I love baking and this Gingerbread cookie of yours will be our next lineup! Definitely looks so yummy! It’s very timely, as the Halloween festivity is fast approaching! Loved it!

  9. 5 stars
    You cannot go wrong with these gingerbread cutout cookies. Perfect for the holidays to whip up a batch for easy decorating.

  10. 5 stars
    My dad’s favorite cookies were always gingerbread cookies and these were a hit. Of course, the gingerbread man made them a kid’s favorite too. The spices were just right and the cookies did hold their shape well.

    1. So glad to hear Linda 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    Wow! This recipe turned out so delicious. Just baked them this morning and my whole house has a delicious aroma. I ate a few right when they came out of the oven. Super deliciuos.

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