Perfect Gingerbread Cookies

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Gingerbread Cookies are made with real molasses, real butter and flavored with just the right touch of ginger. They are guaranteed to please any palate, young or old! Keep several batches in the freezer for a last-minute cookie decorating party along with some easy sugar cookies! ‘Tis the season for gingerbread men!

This gingerbread cookie recipe is the best way to spend time baking in the kitchen with family and friends during the holidays. They come out moist and soft (but still sturdy enough to decorate with the kids)!

Gingerbread Cookies on pan

Who doesn’t have fond memories of gathering around the kitchen table with all sorts of colored icings, licorice whips, sprinkles, dragees and whatever else was on hand to build your own gingerbread man cookie?! What better way to keep creating those memories than by baking these wonderful soft gingerbread cookies!

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe is so easy, you’ll think you took shortcuts in the kitchen this holiday season! A really good gingerbread man recipe starts with quality ingredients.

Use real butter and dark molasses for a deep, dark brown colored cookie which will contrast nicely with white decorator icing if you decide to outline the cookies. Properly beating the shortening and butter will ensure a creamy foundation for the rest of the ingredients.

Gingerbread Cookie batter in bowl

Tips for Gingerbread Cookies

  • Half butter and half shortening create a softer, chewier cookie that can still hold up to considerable decorating!
  • Room temperature egg and butter will make it easier to get a fluffy result before the rest of the ingredients are added.
  • Add just enough flour to hold everything together and make the dough pliable.

Chilling the dough is critical for ease of handling during the rolling and cutting process. This also keeps them from spreading too much as they bake in the oven. Roll out to about ¼” thick and be sure to dust your surface with a sprinkle of flour so they don’t stick.

cutout of Gingerbread Cookies

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

Next to the ever-popular sugar cookie, these are the best gingerbread cookies to decorate and it is so fun! There will never be shortage of a variety of different sized gingerbread men cookie cutters.

They can be found in nearly every store! Gingerbread man cookies love to be decorated with both white icing as well as colorful icing and small dragees or sprinkles. So, grab the kids, apron up and get creative!

Why not have a decorate-your-own party and create a gingerbread man or woman in your likeness? Or, your family members or coworkers?

Gingerbread Cookies no toppings

More Easy Cookie Recipes for the Holiday Season

Gingerbread Cookies on pan
5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

Gingerbread Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 17 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Author Holly Nilsson
This gingerbread cookie recipe is made with real molasses, real butter and flavored with just the right touch of ginger is guaranteed to please any palate, young or old! 


  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

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  • Beat butter and shortening until mixed. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, and cinnamon and continue to beat on medium until combined and fluffy. Add molasses, vanilla, egg, and vinegar and beat until well mixed.
  • Add flour a little at a time until combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  • Roll dough to ¼″ thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes.
  • Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. 
  • Allow to cool 2 minutes on the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 82, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 90mg, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.7mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword gingerbread cookies, gingerbread man
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American

More Great Christmas Cookies

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Gingerbread Cookie dough in a bowl and Gingerbread Cookies on a baking sheet
Gingerbread Cookies on parchment paper with writing
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Holly!
    Is this the recipe I would use to make a gingerbread house? If not do you have one?

    Thanks! I love your recipes – and I’m a picky eater!

    1. Hi Brenda, vinegar is often used in baking as it creates a chemical reaction with the baking soda and helps baked goods rise. Regular white vinegar is perfect in this recipe. Enjoy!

  2. Helpful hint. If you place a slightly moistened (barely damp) paper towel on your work surface under the parchment paper before rolling out dough it will keep the paper from sliding around when rolling out the dough. then cut the cookies and peel away the trimmings transfer the entire sheet to cookie sheet to bake. No flouring of work surface and no misshapen or torn cookies from transferring to sheets and less clean up. re roll scraps for more cookies.