These truly are the best gingerbread cookies ever! They're made with just a few basic ingredients, are perfectly spiced, and can be cut into any shape you'd like!
Doesn't the smell of baking gingerbread just make everyone feel cozy and warm? I think it's the smell of the holiday.
There are so many gingerbread recipes out there, so what makes this recipe the best ever? Well I like my homemade gingerbread to be slightly soft, but not too cakey!
This simple recipe creates cookies that are soft with just a little crisp edge. If you roll them thicker and under bake just a little, they will be much softer too. It's pretty genius.
Whether you're making gingerbread men, a candy-covered house, or gingerbread house facades, or just delicious cut-outs, this easy gingerbread recipe is sure your new go-to. With just enough spice, rich molasses, and sweetness, it hits all the marks of that nostalgic Christmas cookie!
Ingredients for Classic Gingerbread Cookies
Homemade gingerbread cookie dough is actually very easy to make, and it requires minimal ingredients.
This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, baking soda, unsalted butter, light brown sugar, an egg, and molasses. I recommend using an unsulphered molasses, and never blackstrap molasses.
For the gingerbread spices, I use ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. A pinch of salt rounds everything out.
What's the Best Icing for Gingerbread Men?
These classic gingerbread cookies are delicious on their own. But I have to admit I like mine with a little frosting.
For a more indulgent version, spread the entire cookie with a simple Fluffy Vanilla Frosting!
How to Make Classic Gingerbread Cookies
Here's an overview of how easy it is to make gingerbread cookies from scratch:
- Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and molasses.
- Add flour mixture to the buter mixture and combine.
- Halve the dough and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours.
- Once chilled, roll the dough to ¼-inch thick on a floured surface.
- Cut shapes with cookie cutters and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake until set.
Can the Cookies Be Made in Advance?
Yes! Since this recipe makes soft gingerbread cookies, you can make them 1 to 2 days before you plan on serving them. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature in the meantime.
If you plan on hosting any cookie decorating parties, this is a great recipe to keep on hand since the gingerbread cookies keep so well!
Does the Dough Have to Be Chilled?
Yes, you must chill the cookie dough. If you don't, your gingerbread men will spread in the oven and the cookies will be flat and crispy rather than soft.
Tips for the Best Gingerbread Cookies
- For classic gingerbread man cookies, try my favorite cutters. It's the cutest set of him, her, minis and more. Otherwise you can cut out any shape you want.
- Make sure when you place the cookies on the baking sheets they are similar in size. If you're baking large cookies and mini cookies you want to keep sizes together. If you don't, the little guys will get baked and overdone before the bigger cookies are baked to perfection.
- Do not use blackstrap molasses to make gingerbread cookies from scratch. It's far too bitter!
Cookie Classics To Try:
- Stovetop Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons with Condensed Milk
- Graham Crackers and Frosting
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
The Best Classic Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsulphered molasses
- Whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
- In a mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, 3 min. Beat in egg and molasses. Add flour mixture and combine.
- Halve dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 350ºF.
- Roll dough to ¼-inch thick on a floured surface. Cut shapes with cookie cutters and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake until set, 7 to 9 min. Cool completely.
Find more delicious holiday cookie recipes on my Cookies page.
These Peanut Butter Rudolph cookies are sure to please the little ones and grown-ups alike!