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gingerbread cutout cookies
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Gingerbread Man Cookies

 Easy gingerbread man cookie recipe - decorate with royal icing or try a snowflake in the middle for the cutest cookies ever!
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 173kcal


For the cookies

  • 3/4 cup (170 grams, 12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 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 cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cup (420 grams) all purpose flour
  • 36 Snowflake Icing Decoration

For the royal icing

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups (454 grams) powdered (confectioners, icing) sugar
  • 5 tablespoons warm water


  • In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
  • Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
  • Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
  • Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it's cold before continuing.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out several baking sheets; there's no need to grease them, though lining with parchment saves effort on cleanup.
  • Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8" to 1/4" thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.
  • Cut out shapes with a floured gingerbread man cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
  • Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if you've rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Place a snowflake icing decoration in the center and fold the arms over the snowflake.  Bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • For the royal icing: Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). If the mixture is too thick, thin out with a bit of water. Decorate the cookies with royal icing.


  • This dough needs to be chilled before you roll it out. Do yourself a favor, and shape your dough into a rectangle so it's in the correct shape to be rolled out later.
  • 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.


Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 100mg | Sugar: 23g