The best classic gingerbread cookies spice up the holiday season to perfection.
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Whether you’re making gingerbread men, a candy-covered house or just delicious cut-outs, this recipe is your new go-to. With just enough spice, rich molasses and sweetness, it hits all the marks of that nostalgic Christmas cookie. I even make super cute, edible place cards for my holiday table!
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, what makes these perfect? Well I like mine 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.
These really are the best classic gingerbread cookies!
For the classic gingerbread man, or lady! shapes, 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.
The best classic gingerbread cookies are delicious on their own. But I have to admit I like mine with a little frosting. For a clean, simple look, pipe designs, faces and buttons on with Royal Icing (my Lemon Royal Icing also goes so well with gingerbread!). For the more indulgent (my favorite) version, spread the entire cookie with a simple Fluffy Vanilla Frosting!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsulfered 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.
For a clean, simple look, pipe designs, faces and buttons on with Royal Icing (my Lemon Royal Icing also goes so well with gingerbread!). For the more indulgent (my favorite) version, spread the entire cookie with a simple Fluffy Vanilla Frosting!
Find more delicious holiday cookie recipes on my Cookies page.
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Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!