Save Recipe

Sign in and save recipe to your profile.

Sign In
Get free recipes sent straight into your inbox!

Classic old-fashioned gingerbread cookies. Bust out your cookie cutter and make this classic Christmas treat! You can cut them into gingerbread men or use any other fun shape.

Decorated Gingerbread Cookies on a white countertop.

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man! Children love making gingerbread men at Christmas time. They are cute, tasty, and fun to decorate. It’s a craft and a dessert all mixed in one! It makes for a fun afternoon activity for the kids. These cookies are soft and flavorful, but still hold their shape enough to be perfect for decorating.

Why do I need to chill my dough?

Chilling your dough will re-solidify the fat in the recipe and make your dough much easier to work with. Chilling the dough is an important step to take so that it can be easily rolled out and cut into shapes.

What kind of icing should I use for decorating?

You can use store bought decorators icing for decorating gingerbread cookies which is sold in tubes or pouches. Another option is to make your own homemade royal icing and dye it the colors you’d like. You want to make sure that you are using an icing, not a frosting as they are two different things. Detailed decorating is best done with icing. Be careful when working with icing as it does dry fairly quickly.

Molasses Substitute

Molasses, also known as dark treacle, is a dark, syrup-like liquid that is a byproduct of refining sugar cane. Don’t have molasses? A molasses substitute can be made using 1 to 1 ratio of honey and brown sugar, or a 1 to 1 ratio of dark corn syrup and maple syrup. This recipe calls for 1/3 cup molasses. For a molasses substitute you could use 5 tablespoons honey + 5 tablespoons brown sugar, or you could use 5 tablespoons dark corn syrup + 5 tablespoons maple syrup.

Gingerbread Men Cookie standing up.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious Christmas recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Decorated Gingerbread Cookies on a white countertop.
Classic old-fashioned gingerbread cookies. Bust out your cookie cutter and make this classic Christmas treat! You can cut them into gingerbread men or use any other fun shape. 
Prep Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 47 minutes
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar tightly packed
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in molasses, egg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, baking soda, and salt until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. Add in the flour until well incorporated.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter (or other shapes) to cut out cookies. Lay cut cookies on the prepared baking sheet, 1 to 2 inches apart. Re-roll the dough as necessary to cut out cookies until dough is gone.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  • Let cool on pan for 2 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Cool completely (about 30 minutes) before decorating.
You will also need:
  • 1 gingerbread man cookie cutter (or other shape)
  • royal icing, for decorating


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 167mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German American
Keyword: Gingerbread Cookies
Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
December 16, 2020 9:04 am

5 stars
These are much softer than my usual recipe. I like them so much better. I have a pop-up from you every morning, I start my morning with you. You have such a cheerful, sincere manner. You make me smile while I enjoy my coffee.

Robbi Luttinger
December 28, 2020 4:01 pm

The cookies were yummy and I recommend this recipe, but refrigerating the dough as in your instructions is not long enough.,The recipe says to Refrigerate the dough for one hour before rolling out. The dough was too sticky and the cookies were breaking apart when removing from cookie cutters onto the cookie sheets did not so easy to work with . I read several another Gingerbread recipes and they all said to refrigerate dough minimum of 3-4 hours or overnight. Also your video says to make dough into a ball, where as the other recipes say a disk, this helps… Read more »

liza h
June 13, 2020 1:29 am

5 stars
Thank you for giving me your recipe! i have made it and my whole family loves it! even my 5 years old keep having some more! lovely! inwould recommend it to people!

shantrell royster
November 30, 2018 10:22 pm

Where would I buy Royal icing packs or do I make royal icing myself

Blanche Phifer
November 2, 2018 4:03 pm

My great grand nephew asked me to make these for him today. This will be my first attempt. May I use regular butter? Plugra is no where to be found unless I go beyond 50 miles. Thank you for your great recipe.

Blanche Phifer
November 3, 2018 5:32 pm

Today I found a Land O’ Lakes European version 82% butterfat. Problem solved. Now need to learn how to make royal icing and decorate. Thanks for your help.

November 27, 2016 2:14 am

Looks delicious. Is there any substitute for the butter? My son is allergic to cow dairy. Would Goat butter work? Or coconut butter or oil?

December 9, 2015 7:13 pm

This video was the best!! Making this recipe tonight.

Become a Member

Sign up to save recipes in you recipe book, write reviews and more!

Sign up with

By signing up you agree to's terms of use and privacy policy.