This recipe for Easy Gingerbread Cookies is perfect for cookie cutouts and gingerbread houses.
Making gingerbread cookies is a terrific way to enjoy the holiday season, with their fun cookie shapes, spicy dough with a kick, and custom decorations that make each one unique. Plus, dunking your easy gingerbread cookies into a cup of hot chocolate while watching “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” makes a terrific Christmastime tradition.
How to Make Easy Gingerbread Cookies
Start by whisking together all purpose flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl or a stand mixer.
Next, drop in 12 individual tablespoons of softened, but still cool, butter. This dough is easier to work with when it is cool- it will start to stick to your rolling pin if it gets too warm.
Beat the butter chunks into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like wet sand and there are no more chunks of butter.
Next, slowly beat in some molasses and a little milk to form a stiff dough. This dough is edible if you’d like; there’s no raw egg!
Divide the dough into three equal parts, and wrap two of them in plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge to stay cool. Place the remaining dough onto a flat baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
How to use cookie cutters
Press the dough into a disk, then roll it out to about 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thickness. Press your cookie cutters into the dough, and wiggle them around a bit before lifting. Try to leave at least 1/4 inch between cookie shapes.
Next, peel up and remove the excess dough around the cookie cutter shapes, leaving the shaped dough in place. Keep the excess dough so you can make more cookies! Smoosh it together and roll it out again and again until it’s all used up.
If you wish to make some into Christmas tree ornaments, use a straw to cut holes for ribbon or string.
If you work fast enough, the dough should still be cool and you can put it right into the oven to bake. IF the cookie dough has warmed to room temperature, it will spread just a little while baking. If this annoys you, the fix is easy! Place the cookie sheet with the cut out cookie dough on it into the freezer for about 7 minutes. Then put it straight into the oven. This should keep your cookies from spreading.
Continue rolling and cutting another dough ball and place the two batches in the oven at the same time. One on the upper middle rack, and another on the lower middle. Swap shelves half way through and rotate baking sheets from front to back for even baking.
Bake until the cookies have darkened slightly in color and are stiff in the middle when pressed gently with a finger. Slide the parchment paper with the cookies still on top, over to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Then you put your creative hat on and GO TO TOWN decorating these cuties with Special Royal Icing made just for these kinds of cookies. It’s good to use a frosting that dries hard and fast, ensuring your gingerbread houses are tightly glued and your gingerbread men (and women!) don’t lose their buttons.
I made these adorable mini-gingerbread houses with a 3D mini gingerbread house cookie cutter I found at World Market. No World Market locations near you? You can order the cutter online here. They are stinking cute and easy to throw together because they’re teeny-tiny!
I hope you have a marvelous time making these Easy Gingerbread Cookies with your family and friends! Also, please rate and review this recipe to help out future readers :0) Thanks!
Easy Gingerbread Cookies
Yield 36 Cookies
The perfect recipe for cut out gingerbread cookies you plan to decorate or hang on a Christmas Tree, these easy Gingerbread Cookies bake up crisp, sturdy and perfectly formed- no blobby or deformed cut out shapes!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks, softened but still cool
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons milk
- parchment paper
- Heat your oven to 325 degrees F and move two oven racks to the upper and lower middle position.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt. Add butter pieces and mix with a stand mixer or hand held mixer until butter is fully incorporated and mixture looks sandy, about 2 minutes.
- Running the mixer on low, slowly add the molasses and milk. Mix until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides and bottom as necessary.
- Divide the dough into three equal parts and wrap two with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for later. Roll the remaining dough out onto a parchment-paper covered flat baking sheet to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/8 inch. Press cookie cutouts into dough, leaving about 1/4 inch space between each one. Remove the dough from around the cutouts and set aside for later. Repeat the process with a second dough ball from the fridge. Place both sheets of cookies in oven (leaving them on the parchment paper) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm and slightly darkened.
- While the first batches of cookies bake, remove the last dough ball from the fridge. Repeat preparing cookies to bake. When the first batch of cookies is done, pull the parchment paper and cookies off onto cooling racks. Carefully place the next batches of cookies onto the hot cookie sheets and into the oven to bake. When cooled serve plain or decorate with Royal Icing.
Serving Size 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 4.4 g
Cholesterol 18 mg
Sodium 160 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Sugars 14.4 g
Protein 2.1 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.