The Best Gingerbread Cookie
Soft, chewy and slightly spiced, this is the BEST Gingerbread Cookie recipe ever. A tried and true favorite for years, this classic gingerbread cookie dough yields the perfect cookie every single time. Totally fool-proof!
Easy Gingerbread Cookies
One of the very first recipes I ever posted on my blog was for these Classic Gingerbread Cookies. Little did I know I’d morph this recipe into a million and one different desserts over the years. It’s positively the BEST Gingerbread Cookie Recipe ever and I will never change it…not for a million years. It’s one of those things that you know to leave it alone. If it’s not broken…don’t fix it. Did your mom ever say that?
Well, this is one of those recipes. And year after year…my little guy asks me over and over again when we will make the Gingerbread Mummies.…or a Gingerbread Man…or the Gingerbread Houses. It’s that good. He count’s the sleeps until it’s time to bust out the mixer and whip up the dough. It’s so easy to make, I really should start making these for every holiday of the year.
Gingersnaps vs. Gingerbread
The main differences between gingerbread and gingersnaps are that ginger snaps bake for a longer period of time to get their crispiness–and gingerbread cookies are a little chewier (and almost always rolled out into different shapes like gingerbread men and other holiday figures).
How To Make Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookie dough is simple to make and best of all you can make it in advance. It freezes beautifully but, also, keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Beat the butter until light and creamy.
Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
Add the sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy.
Slowly mix in the molasses, egg and vinegar.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours or overnight.
Divide the dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/4 inch thick circle.
Cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment approximately 1″ apart.
Bake in a 400˚F oven for 5-6 minutes.
Cool for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack.
Decorate with icing, if desired.
How To Decorate Gingerbread
And now you can decorate them with this Royal Icing that’s equally fabulous and perfect in every way. It’s the sugar cookie frosting that hardens so you can stack your little men or snowflakes without worry that the frosting will smear and smudge, making all your hard work for naught. Y
You know what I’m talking about. That kind of worry that makes you bag the whole giving cookies away idea and just eat them all yourself. So you don’t have to worry about smudgy frosting.
This is the easiest step to decorated your gingerbread men. And it’s so fun, too because you don’t have to make the lines perfect and neat.
Simply fill the pastry bag with frosting.
Snip off the end.
Pipe the icing in a zig zag pattern and glue on the eyes with the frosting.
Allow the icing to harden, approximately 1-3 hours depending on the humidity.
If gingerbread cookies sound too tedious and you’re not really in the mood to cut out all those little men or snowflakes or mittens or stockings, then you should definitely make these little Gingerbread cups….fill them with chocolate ganache and not share those, either. Because you bought everyone on your list gifts anyway so why give away all your hard work.
More Christmas Cookie Ideas
- Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies
- Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
- The Very Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe
- Easy Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies Recipe // Video
Looking For More Classic Holiday Dessert Ideas?
- Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe
- The Very Best Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe
- No Bake Caramel Pear Cheesecake Trifle
- Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting
- The Very Best Sugar Cookies Recipe
For more easy holiday desserts, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
Get the Recipe: The BEST Classic Gingerbread Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Frosting
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and mix in the molasses, egg and balsamic vinegar. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Cover and chill about 2 hours or until the dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Divide the dough in half and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll each half of the dough to 1/4″ thickness adding flour as needed, the dough is very sticky so use flour liberally to prevent your cutouts from sticking to the surface.
- Using cookie cutters, cut dough into shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment approximately 1″ apart.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-6 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for one minute and move to a wire rack.
- To make the frosting: In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Whisk to combine. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag or zip top bag and snip off the tip. Add two small dots of icing where the eyes should be and then press one eye on each dot. Decorate the cookies and allow to dry for 2-4 hours or overnight.
- Store in an airtight container.
38 Comments on “The Best Gingerbread Cookie”
Their shape just makes it easier to bite the head off first! Although I do normally start with the toes instead…
Omg i love gingerbread men. Where did you find the tiny cookie cutter?
I found it online, I believe it’s from Wilton!
Kellie these were so good & just like you said, fool proof. Do have plenty of flour because yes it is a sticky dough. Nice & spicy & stay nice & soft & chewy. Be honest, they are better day 2 ! Couldn’t ask for a nicer recipe. Thanks, but your daily recipes are addictive to my PC recipe file…..can’t wait to try the baked gingerbread oatmeal.
Merry Christmas Kellie & the best in the coming year❗️. ☃️
Thank you so much, Jackie! Happy New Year to you!
Thank you for sharing your recipe, can you tell me if they can be made few days ahead and put in freezer please thank you from Malta
You can definitely freeze them ahead of time. You can also freeze the dough! So prepping ahead is doable!
Ok, these are the cutest gingerbread cookies! I love the ones, holding the tiny gingerbread! These are always so fun to make each year!
I underbaked mine a little because I like them soft. So yummy! And the gingerbread man holding the gingerbread baby is so dang cute! I’ve gotta get me one of those baby cookie cutters. 🙂
I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing! My kids are enjoying!
Yummiest of gingerbread cookies! I only have one question: what is the purpose of adding the balsamic vinegar?
Hi! The vinegar helps activate the baking powder and keeps them soft. You could use regular vinegar but I like the sweet, syrupy flavor of balsamic the best for this recipe.
Whoa, I wasn’t expecting this! These are lovely. I think that’s the right word. Lightly spiced and the consistency just melted in my mouth.
I can see these appealing especially to those who might say they don’t care for gingerbread. The spice mixture just blends into a soothing feel.
I found the dough very easy to work with. Not too sticky – I’m not sure if that means my flour was measured a little more heavy-handedly, but the resulting cookies are so good, I don’t think it’s an issue at all. It was my first time using a new baking molasses, too.
I was looking for a slightly different recipe and this one fit the bill with the addition of balsamic vinegar. I really love it.
I found that baking my regular sized men required about 7 minutes. The first batch was much too soft to remove from the tray after cooling for 1-2 minutes and baking for 6 minutes. I also did 2 trays of the little guys and I baked them for 4 minutes and let them sit for a few minutes before removing them from the tray.
Now, I’d prefer more of a bite to my gingerbread spice. I’m almost wondering if I should try a different recipe rather than increasing perhaps the ginger and cloves (my first thought). I’m wondering if the vinegar is keeping it “mellow” and I’d mess that up. What do you think? What about adding a bit of a pepper spice?
If you skip the vinegar you will definitely have a crisper cookie….a little pepper will make them with a bit more bite, too. I’m so happy you enjoyed them! And oven temps vary, I just recently installed a new oven and have to bake them for a minute longer than normal.
These cookies are beyond amazing! Huge hit with family and friends!
Thank you! I’m so happy you gave them a try. Happy Holidays!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! This dough is super easy to work with, and I love that the cookie isn’t overly sweet. Perfect, perfect, perfect!
Thank you so much! enjoy!
A lot of people claim they have “the best” recipe when it comes to cookies. Very few have I found to be accurate. This one it is completely accurate though. Easy to mix, easy to roll out. Cookies turned out AMAZING. fluffy yet crisp. These may be the best oven baked cookies I have ever made. (your pizzelle recipe was pretty great too!)
Oh thank you so much! I’m so happy to hear that. I do, personally, think they are the best so it is a big claim but I’m glad you enjoyed them, too!
I made these today and they are the best gingerbread cookies I’ve had. Thank You!
thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed them. Happy Holidays!
Thank you so much! They’re our favorite!
Suggest adding more ginger, the cookies lack taste.
Ok….we haven’t found that but perhaps your ginger was older. Always be sure to check the expiration date and use fresh spices when baking these cookies. Otherwise, add more ginger as you want. Sometimes it helps to taste the dough before baking.
Cookies turned out great! Not too sweet and not too strong of spices like some gingerbread. Very consistent results using the same cooking time. Holds their cut out shape very well. I will use this recipe again! I doubled the recipe which made about 3 dozen small, medium, and large cookies.
Thank you so much for your comment! They’re our favorite!
My 8 year old granddaughter and I just made these! I’ve never made gingerbread cookies before, and they are better than the ones we get at our favorite bakery!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe that we loved making, and for giving me and my granddaughter such a fun baking afternoon! We will start looking at and trying your other recipes as well!!!
I’m so happy you enjoyed them! She may also like to make our candy cane cookies….they’re super fun to make with kids. https://thesuburbansoapbox.com/candy-cane-shortbread-cookies/
I have found the ultimate gingerbread dough here. Will never use another!
Perfection. Thank you!!
Thank you, thank you! So happy you loved it!
Love this recipe! I made these for my cookie decorating party and they turned out perfect— great icing recipe too!! Very beginner friendly.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed them!
Best I’ve ever made. They were perfect and I didn’t adjust anything the recipe called for.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed them. We’ve been making them for longer than I care to share. 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday!
Turned out fantastic!
Great! Thank you so much!