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Snowflake shaped gingerbread on a white tray

Best Gingerbread Recipe

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The holidays require the Best Gingerbread Recipe! The aroma of gingerbread baking in the kitchen brings the joy of Christmas into your home.

Making chewy gingersnaps has been a holiday tradition for years at our house, but this Easy Gingerbread Recipe is more versatile as you can cut it into gingerbread men, women, snowflakes, bears, or whatever your heart desires!

3 gingergread snowflakes on a white platter

Easy Gingerbread Cookies

My love of ginger cookies started with my childhood best friend. We’d raid her parents’ upright freezer in the hallway off the kitchen, sneaking a couple of her mom’s chewy gingersnaps. Well, probably more than a couple!

I’ve been making Annette’s ginger cookies for decades and my children love them as much as I do. The husband is a work in progress….a no go on these so far, but that’s just more for the rest of the family. This year I decided to make both Chewy Gingersnaps and Gingerbread Cutout Cookies!

Mini gingerbread men cookies in a small white bowl
Mini Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Man Cookies

I started with a tried and true gingerbread cookies recipe, then tweaked it with my preferred spice mixture, and used my minimal decorating skills to jazz them up a bit.

I love the mini spring-loaded gingerbread men cookie cutters. They provide definition to the cookies, plus a smiley face and a spot to easily add some frosting and colorful sprinkles for buttons. My kind of decorating!

Overhead view of 3 gingerbread snow flakes

How to Make Gingerbread

  1. First, read through the recipe to make sure you have all the ingredients needed.
  2. Get your butter and egg out of the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature.
  3. Make the dough following the recipe instructions.
  4. Chill the dough as directed.
  5. Preheat your oven and prepare your pans.
  6. Using a well floured work surface, roll out your dough, about 1/4-inch thick.
  7. Cut into shapes (sometimes it’s nice to dip your cutters into flour to prevent sticking) and place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake, cool and decorate.
Different sized gingerbread man cookies on a round white plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What Ingredients Do You Need for Gingerbread Cookies?

Along with the typical cookie ingredients of flour, brown sugar, salt, soda, eggs and butter, you will need a few extras. Mild molasses, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves give these cookies their iconic flavor.

Can You Save the Dough for Later?

Yes! This dough can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen. Make sure it’s well wrapped so it doesn’t dry out.

What is Gingerbread?

This dessert dates back to the Middle Ages and was a hard, spiced bread decorated by the fair ladies to give to the knights before battle. Today, the term can mean a dense, ginger cookie with molasses that can be cut into various shapes. It also refers to a molasses cake flavored with ginger and other spices.

How Do You Store Gingerbread Men?

Gingerbread men can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (room temperature is fine) for up to a month. If you’d like to freeze them, I recommend freezing unfrosted cookies in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Defrost, then decorate for the most pristine results.

More Holiday Cookies

Snowflake shaped gingerbread on a white tray

The Recipe: Homemade Gingerbread Cookies

Classic holiday gingerbread cookie recipe that can be cut into gingerbread men and more.

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup mild molasses, I used Brer Rabbit brand
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat again, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat on high for 2 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Slowly add the flour mixture into the molasses mixture, on low speed, until well combined.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flattening into a disk. Chill a few hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Start with half the dough and roll to about 1/4-inch thick on a well-floured surface. If the dough starts to stick, dust with more flour.
  6. Cut into shapes, place on the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the leftover dough, refrigerating if needed, then cut out more cookies.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Dip your cookie cutters into flour if they start sticking to the dough.
  8. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.
  9. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  10. Decorate using a simple vanilla buttercream frosting or royal icing, if desired.

Notes

Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

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