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Honey-Gingerbread Cookies

These gingerbread cookies include a generous amount of honey, which gives them a pale golden color and a mildly sweet flavor. For the how-to to create different shapes, see Shaped Gingerbread Cookies.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen town houses, 4 dozen deer or trees, or 6 dozen men
Honey-Gingerbread Cookies

Photography: Sang An

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2007


  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • Royal Icing


  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.

  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in honey and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet, and freeze for 15 minutes.

  4. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.

  5. Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

  6. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1). Pipe designs on cookies. Let cookies stand at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Reviews (7)

  • Megan Eileen 23 Dec, 2013

    I made this recipe a couple of times with great results. The cookies could have more spice to them, but I've been making them for other people and like to keep the spice level conservative, so it wasn't a problem. To those having an issue with sticky or wet dough, I'd suggest resisting the temptation to add more flour and instead put the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for more time. The shear amount of honey/molasses would make this dough a nightmare to work with at room temperature.

  • Paige Hyder 9 Nov, 2013

    I just couldn't make this recipe work. I even added an additional 2 cups of flour! I'm not sure what to do, now I have a giant ginger-bread mess.

  • SharynSowell 24 Dec, 2008

    I loved this recipe. Worked perfectly. I think the comments about dough being too soft have more to do with the type of flour giving different results than anything else. It's easy to add a wee bit more flour if you need to. I'll use this recipe all year in place of basic sugar cookie dough which can be boring and tasteless. I used wild organic honey

  • CarmelaRose 23 Dec, 2008

    I'm more chef than baker so help me out please. I only have salted butter. Is that okay? Also, do I measure honey and molasses with dry or liquid measuring cups? I think they're more liquid. Also, what is molasses? It smells terrible!! Thanks for any tips or help. :-)

  • meadow1ark 6 Dec, 2008

    These cookies taste great and theyn n n n n n re not dry or hard. Theyn n n n n n re firm enough to hold and decorate. Try this simple method to work with soft dough: cut a few sheets of parchment paper to fit baking sheets. Roll chilled dough between parchment paper. Cut cookies, remove scraps, be careful not to lift the cookies. Reform scraps, and refrigerate. Lift the parchment paper -- with the cookies on it -- and place it, paper-side-down onto the baking sheet. Repeat until the cookies are cut and baked.

  • marzipanmom 2 Nov, 2008

    The dough for this recipe is way too soft, even after refrigerating overnight. I ended up kneading in about a cup of flour or more to make it workable and fortunately it turned out alright after that. I would use a different recipe next time for this project.

  • misshoney 30 Nov, 2007

    The template is too light to use. The recipe sounds wonderful though.

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