Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Smiling gingerbread man with scarf and buttons

Gingerbread cookies are just about always on the Christmas desserts display. Whether you make traditional gingerbread shapes or go with a more general holiday theme of trees, snowmen and angels, you cannot go wrong. Kids and adults alike will eat these up in a heartbeat. The icing can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container with a moist papertowel on top. You can use an icing bag to decorate the cookies.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground all-spice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg

Royal Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dried egg white powder
  • 6 Tbsp water


  1. Place the backing racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, cloves, salt and pepper through a sieve into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until well combined.
  4. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, roughly 2 minutes.
  5. Beat in the molasses and the egg.
  6. Gradually mix in the flour with a wooden spoon, making a stiff dough.
  7. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
  8. Remove one disk of dough and let stand for 10 minutes.
  9. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out until the dough is 1/8 inch thick.
  10. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and place on nonstick baking sheets, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart from each other. (NOTE: The scraps of dough can be kneaded together into a smaller disk and rechilled for more cookies.)
  11. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees, moving the cookies from top to bottom rack and front to back halfway through.
  12. Bake until the edges are set and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  13. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  14. Cool completely before decorating with royal icing.

Royal Icing Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, egg white powder and water with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
  2. Increase the speed to high and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.
  3. Continue to beat until the icing is stiff, shiny and thick, about 3 to 5 minutes.