These gingerbread cookies are flavored with molasses, vanilla, and a mix of warm spices. They’re perfectly chewy and crisp — a canvas for creative holiday decoration!

Tray with Gingerbread Cookies.

What Are Gingerbread Cookies?

Gingerbread cookies are cookies made with ginger powder and molasses. They are soft and chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Spiced and sweet, these cookies are understandably one of the most popular Christmas treats. Gingerbread cookies are typically cut into shapes, such as gingerbread men or candy canes, and decorated with royal icing.

How To Make Gingerbread Cookies

Whip up these gingerbread cookies with a few simple steps. Make and chill the dough, roll and cut it out, then bake!

  • Mix the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  • Cream together the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients: Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix just until a smooth dough forms — it will be thick and slightly sticky.
  • Roll out the dough: Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap and lightly roll it out to form a small disk.
  • Chill the dough: Cover each disk with the wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Cut out shapes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll each chilled disk out to 1/4 inch thickness on a heavily floured work surface. Stamp out shapes with a 3-4 inch cookie cutter. Transfer the cookies carefully to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them about one inch apart.
  • Bake and cool the cookies: Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to set for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating and enjoying!


Have you ever bitten into a gingerbread cookie that was tough and dry? Let’s take a closer look at the major issues that come up with these cookies to help you avoid the same outcome.

  • Hard: Hard gingerbread cookies are often a result of overbaking or too high of an oven temperature. Keep a close eye on the cookies while they’re baking — all it takes is one minute for them to go from soft and chewy to hard and solid. Also, keep in mind that gingerbread cookies made with molasses may need a day or two to soften up.
  • Dry/Crumbly: A dry cookie texture is usually caused by incorrect ingredient proportions. Take extra care to measure the flour correctly, as too much flour dries out the dough… that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
  • Cracking: It’s always frustrating when your cookies crack, but the solution is quite simple. Cracking typically occurs when the dough is too soft or rolled out too thickly. Chill the dough for at least three hours and roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness for smooth cookies. If the dough still cracks, pinch it back together with your fingers.
  • Spreading: Gingerbread cookies spread because the dough is too warm or contains too much baking powder or soda. Keep your perfect gingerbread shapes by chilling the dough and following the recipe guidelines.
Gingerbread Cookies with sprinkles around.

Tips for Perfect Gingerbread Cookies

After trial and error, we’ve discovered a few game-changing tips for the best gingerbread cookies. Keep reading to learn how to make your cookies turn out perfectly spiced, soft and chewy, and addicting!

  • Measure the flour correctly. To avoid dry and crumbly cookies, scoop the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon, then level it off with the back of a knife. Take care not to pack the flour in, or you’ll have too much flour in your dough.
  • Add spices to taste. Play around with the spice ratios until you find a perfect balance. For example, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of ginger for a stronger kick. Or, substitute the nutmeg for allspice, which has a more delicate, fruity flavor.
  • Avoid overworking the dough. Gingerbread cookie dough is especially susceptible to overworking, which creates a tough cookie. For perfectly soft cookies, mix the dough just until no flour streaks remain.
  • Roll out the cookie dough on plastic wrap. While the dough is still soft and sticky, it’s much easier to roll out into disks — making the rolling process later even quicker and easier. Use plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to your work surface.
  • Chill the dough. This is a crucial step in ensuring the cookies don’t spread too much in the oven. Chilling also gives the cookies a chewier texture and more developed flavor.

Make Ahead

Good news — these gingerbread cookies are a wonderful make-ahead treat. Simply double-wrap the unbaked cookie dough disk and refrigerate it for up to four days, or freeze for up to three months. When you’re craving fresh cookies, thaw the dough in the fridge overnight, then roll it out, shape, and bake!


Are you graced with leftover gingerbread cookies? Take your pick from three different storage options to enjoy your cookies again later.

  • Room temperature: To store for up to five days, place the baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dry place at room temperature.
  • Refrigerator: To store for up to two weeks, transfer the cookies to an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Freezer: To store for up to three months, freeze the leftover baked cookies in a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw the cookies overnight in the fridge before enjoying.

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About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.