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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.

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.

Storage Instructions:

Store your cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Left much beyond that, and they will stale.

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 YouTubeFacebook 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
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