Our best gingerbread cookie recipe! These festive treats are soft and warm with a spiced, rich molasses flavor. Perfect for spreading holiday cheer!
What could be more festive than gingerbread cookies?! With Christmas just a few weeks away, I’m ready to get some holiday cheer around here, and making this gingerbread cookie recipe seemed like a great place to start. For one, it makes the house smell amazing, filling it with the comforting aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. It’s also a lot of fun to make–rolling out the dough, cutting out gingerbread people, baking them, and decorating them when they’re cool.
But more important than all that, these gingerbread cookies are delicious! They are soft, warm spiced, and richly flavored with molasses and brown sugar. To me, they are the perfect holiday treat, especially in a mug of hot chocolate drink. I hope you love them too.
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this gingerbread cookie recipe:
- All-purpose flour – Scoop and level it to avoid over-packing your measuring cup.
- Unsalted butter – Let it come to room temperature before you start baking.
- Brown sugar and molasses – They sweeten the cookies and add a rich molasses flavor. We had success baking these cookies using Wholesome and Brer Rabbit blackstrap molasses.
- An egg yolk – It makes the cookies super soft and chewy.
- Baking soda – It helps cookies increase.
- Ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves – They give gingerbread cookies their signature spice.
- Vanilla extract – For warm depth of flavor.
- Almond milk – For moisture. Any milk, such as cow’s milk or oat milkwill work here too.
- And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies
Once you have your ingredients together (is your butter at room temperature?), this gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make:
First, make the dough. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the honey, egg yolk, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients–the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing after each addition. Finally, stir in the almond milk.
Then, chill the dough. Divide it into two equal disks, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. Chilling the dough allows it to harden, making it easier to roll.
Next, roll out the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out the first disk on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes (I always make gingerbread men and snowflakes!). Roll again and cut scraps of dough if necessary. Repeat with remaining dough disk.
Finally, bake cookies. Arrange the cut-outs on parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake in a 350°F oven until the edges are just set but the centers are still soft. I like to bake one sheet at a time on the center oven rack so the cookies bake evenly. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
Decorate, or have fun as them!
Gingerbread Cookies Recipe Tips
- Don’t skimp on cooling time. I am basically for everyone no chilled cookie dough (you can eat the cookies faster that way!), but in this recipe, it’s 100% necessary. The dough will be soft and sticky when you first mix it. Chilling it for at least 2 hours gives it a chance to harden so you can easily roll it out. Cut-outs also hold their shape better when baked.
- Timing depends on your cookie cutters. Cookies of different sizes and shapes bake at different rates! For the perfect soft texture, I usually bake a 3-inch gingerbread for 8 minutes. If you have smaller cut-outs, you will probably need to bake your cookies less. If you have larger cut-outs, you may need to take a little longer.
- Decorating is half the fun. As delicious as these fluffy gingerbread cookies are, they’re even better (and happier!) with icing on top. For detailed lines and patterns like the ones in these photos, use the royal icing recipe from this post. For a simpler glaze, mix 1 cup with powdered sugar and 2 tbsp almond milk, adding more milk as needed to reach your desired consistency. Sprinkles, gumdrops, and other candies are fun decorations too!
- Try not to eat it all at once. These gingerbread cookies store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, and I really like them on the 2nd or 3rd day! They become softer and chewier, and their spiced flavor deepens. These cookies also freeze well. Stored in a bag or freezer container, they keep for up to 3 months. They are completely soluble at room temperature.
More Favorite Christmas Cookies
If you love these gingerbread cookies, try one of these festive cookie recipes next:
Our best gingerbread cookie recipe! These festive treats are soft, warm spiced, and full of delicious molasses flavor. Decorate with icing (see tips in post above for recipes), or enjoy plain.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses, we like the good brand
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, scooped and flattened
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 spoon almond milk, or any milk
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the molasses, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix again.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition. Mix in almond milk.
Form the dough into a ball, divide the ball in half, and flatten each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes, then transfer the cutouts to the prepared baking sheet, re-rolling the dough scraps as needed.
Bake, one sheet at a time, for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just set but the centers are still soft. The cookies may seem undercooked, but popping them out at this point will ensure they stay soft once they cool. I usually use a 3-inch cookie cutter and bake my cookies for 8 minutes. The exact timing depends on your oven, the size of your cookie cutters, and how soft or crunchy you want your gingerbread cookies to be.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Garnish as desired.