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!

Gingerbread men, gingerbread cookie snowflakes on a wood background.

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. We have morphed this recipe into the Gingerbread Mummies.…or a Gingerbread Man…or the Gingerbread Houses. It’s that good.

Gingerbread men cookies on a distressed wood background.

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.

  1. Beat the butter until light and creamy.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Add the sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy.
  4. Slowly mix in the molasses, egg and vinegar.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  6. Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Divide the dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/4 inch thick circle.
  8. Cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.
  9. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment approximately 1″ apart.
  10. Bake in a 400˚F oven for 5-6 minutes.
  11. Cool for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack.
  12. Decorate with icing, if desired.
Gingerbread man being decorated with white icing in a piping bag.

How To Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

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.

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.

  1. Simply fill the pastry bag with frosting.
  2. Snip off the end.
  3. Pipe the icing in a zig zag pattern and glue on the eyes with the frosting.
  4. 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 gingerbread 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.

Gingerbread man cookie holding a small gingerbread cookie.

More Christmas Cookie Ideas

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Gingerbread men cookies on a distressed wood background.

Get the Recipe: The BEST Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

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!
4.84 from 18 votes


  • 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


  • 1 cookie sheet
  • 1 silicone baking mat or parchment paper
  • 1 cooling rack


  • 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.


YouTube video


Gingerbread Cookie Dough can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Gingerbread Cookies will last up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Serving: 0g, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 36mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 85IU, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 0.7mg