Look no further for your go-to gingerbread cookie recipe. This recipe yields thick, chewy, and spicy gingerbread cookies that is perfect for decorating, gifting, and ornament-making!
Gingerbread Cookies
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
Yields about 2 dozen 4.5-inch cookies
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serving Size: 1 4.5-inch cookie without icing
Calories per Serving: 166 kcal
Author: Patty K-P
Gingerbread Cookies
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and slightly softened*
  • 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Royal Icing
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1¾ - 2 ½ tablespoons room temperature water
Gingerbread Cookies
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Mix on low speed until combined.
  2. Stop the mixer and add the butter. Mix on medium-low speed until there is a mixture of pea-sized and cornmeal-sized pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, add together the molasses and milk. Reduce the mixer speed to low and pour in the molasses mixture. Continue to mix until the dough is moistened, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Lay down a large piece of parchment paper. To the center of the paper, scrape out half of the dough from the mixer bowl. Using clean hands, bring any scraps together to form a ball. Top with another piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out until 1/4-inch thick. Set aside and repeat with the remaining half of dough.
  5. Chill the dough, flat, in the freezer for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. When ready to bake, adjust the oven rack to the center position, preheat the oven to 350°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Remove one of the chilled dough sheets and place on the work surface. Gently peel off the top parchment paper and cut out shapes using 4.5-inch cutters. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing 2-inches apart. Bring together any remaining scraps, re-roll, and cut. Repeat with the second sheet of chilled dough.
  8. Bake on the center rack for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The cookies are done when the edges are slightly crisped and the center lightly indents when gently pressed.
  9. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate with icing (recipe follows).
Royal Icing
  1. Whisk together the sugar, vanilla, and corn syrup. Add water a little at a time, stirring in between, until a pipeable consistency is reached.
  2. Add to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip or a squirt bottle to decorate.
Recipe Notes

*This recipe will not work if the butter is too soft. The butter is ready when there is just a bit of resistance when pressing into the butter cubes.