Best Spicy Cut-Out Gingerbread Cookies

The perfect gingerbread cookies have a soft texture, hold shape while baking, and have a delightful ginger flavor. This cookie is perfect, loaded with spicy flavor, and absolutely delicious.

Decorated gingerbread cookies on a slate.

Why You’ll Love These

Gingerbread cookies are a must-make for the Christmas holiday season.

This recipe is easy to make, cuts out, and keeps its shape while baking.

They are the perfect combination of texture and flavor! So easy to make with the kids, they love the gingerbread people!

These cookies turn out perfectly every time. Crispy edges with a perfectly soft, tender center.

The classic flavors of Christmas for gifting during the holidays!

We also love making these eggnog cookies, cut-out sugar cookies, and Italian butterball cookies during the Christmas holidays.

Key Ingredients

  • Cookie Dough – All-purpose flour, baking soda, eggs, and salt.
  • Seasonings -Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, molasses, and dark brown sugar make up the flavor profile of the best gingerbread cookies recipe.
Cookie dough cut into stars, gingerbread man, Christmas tree, and ornament on pastry mat.

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the room-temperature unsalted butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and molasses and beat to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide the dough in half, flatten each into a 1″ disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

Once chilled thoroughly, roll the dough out using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thick.

Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool for 5 minutes on the baking pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

Mix the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, milk, and a pinch of salt. It should be quite thick. Adjust if it’s too thick with 1/2 tablespoon more milk, or too thin with a tablespoon of powdered sugar. This icing sets up like royal icing.

Decorated gingerbread cookies on a slate.

Decorate the ginger molasses cookies and allow the icing to set completely before storing.

My daughter was the artist of these pretty gingerbread cookies. I will admit mine didn’t look as professional as hers.

Gingerbread cookies on black slate.

We use icing bags and squeeze bottles. The bottles seem to work better for us. You can also tint some of the icing whatever colors you like.

Tips and Variations

  • Measure the flour correctly. Aerate, spoon, and swoop level.
  • Use room-temperature eggs and butter for easier blending and a better cookie texture.
  • Be sure to chill the dough (overnight is best); this helps roll them out, and there will be fewer cracks. It also gives the flavors time to come together.
  • If you drizzle a little of the icing with the whisk, a ribbon of icing will hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. That is when you know it’s the right consistency and is ready to use.
  • You can decorate them with the icing as instructed or use gumdrops, mini chocolate chips, red hots, or sprinkles.

FAQ

Can these be made ahead?

Yes, you can make the cookie dough, wrap it tightly, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then roll, cut, and bake as directed.

Storing

These soft gingerbread cookies will keep for up to 1 week and stored in an air-tight container or bag at room temperature.

Freezing

You can freeze the baked but undecorated cookies in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough wrapped tightly, and place it in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

More Gingerbread Recipes

Decorated gingerbread cookies on a slate.

Best Spicy Cut-Out Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

The perfect gingerbread cookie, soft texture, holds shape while baking, and a delightful spicy ginger flavor. A holiday MUST make!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: American, British, English
Keyword: cookies, cut-out, gingerbread
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 45
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

Gingerbread Cookie Dough

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (makes a difference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

Easy Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons milk or water
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
    3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and dark brown sugar together for 2 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • Add the egg and molasses, and beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
    1 large egg, 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them each into a ball. Use your hands to flatten each ball into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Unwrap the dough and place it on a large, lightly-floured hard surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough evenly until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick. Then use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes, re-rolling the dough as needed to cut out more. Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheets.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp around the edges and on top.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Once the cookies are room temperature, decorate them as desired with the icing.
  • Icing:
  • In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, milk and salt until smooth.
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon light corn syrup, 3 tablespoons milk, pinch of salt
  • It should be quite thick. If it is too thick, add 1/2 tablespoon more milk. If it is much too thin, add 1 more tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar. If you drizzle a little of the icing with the whisk, the ribbon of icing will hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. That is when you know it’s the right consistency and is ready to use.

Notes

Make Ahead – You can make the cookie dough, wrap it tightly, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then roll, cut, and bake as directed.
Storing – These soft gingerbread cookies will keep for up to 1 week and stored in an air-tight container or bag at room temperature.
Freezing – You can freeze the baked but undecorated cookies in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough wrapped tightly, and place it in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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