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Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe makes three dozen medium cookies. We used star cookie cutters for the shapes. You can use other shapes; baking times will vary according to cookie size.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 36
Gingerbread Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, December 2004


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Decorating sugar or sprinkles (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth.
    Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients; mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap; pat into an 8-inch square. Wrap well; chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half), place dough on floured parchment or waxed paper; roll out 1/8 inch thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm,
    about 20 minutes.

  3. Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes, and transfer to baking sheets. Decorate with sugar or sprinkles, as desired.

  4. Bake until firm and edges just begin to darken, 10 to 18 minutes, depending on size. Cool completely
    on baking sheets.

Cook's Note

For the neatest edges, dip cutters in flour before cutting out each cookie.

Reviews (18)

  • Ellen2014 23 Nov, 2014

    I have made this recipe twice now and love it. The cookies stay soft for days after baking. I did however add a buttercream frosting on mine! Great Christmas cookie for a change from all the sugar cookies around at Christmas.

  • Kate O Brien 23 Apr, 2014

    The point of a traditional gingerbread recipe is that the actual cookie isn't meant to be especially sweet. That's why it's called gingerbread, not gingercookie. The sweetness of the icing will give you that sugary kick. If you add too much sugar to the gingerbread mixture and then add icing, you're double-handling and they'll be quite sickly.

  • Kurayne 16 Dec, 2013

    I thought that it was easy to make. The dough was the perfect texture, it was easy to roll out and didn't stick to floured parchment paper or a floured rolling pin. The only drawback is the taste. I found that it did indeed need more sugar, and it tastes kind of bitter-ish. Not my favourite recipe on this site.

  • pepperspickled 7 Dec, 2013

    I made this recipe this evening. It isn't bland at all! The dough is really easy to work with on a wax paper and floured surface. The cookies came out perfect! They don't taste like store-bought cookies, but that's the point, they shouldn't taste store-bought. So good!

  • kickboxer 17 Dec, 2012

    I made this dough last week, put it in the freezer and did a test run today. Quite the disaster. Gingerbread can sometimes be a real pain, but this one tops the list. Extremely sticky, no matter how much flour, no matter parchment paper or cold granite surface.

  • lakrueger 21 Dec, 2011

    Was hoping for a good gingerbread cookie recipe - don't think this is it :( My family thought they were very bland. They definately need to be sweeter! Also the dough was extremely sticky.

  • lhiggins88 19 Dec, 2011

    This is a great basic gingerbread cookie recipe. I made them for a cookie swap and was very pleased with the results. I have a tiny freezer, so I chilled the shapes in the fridge for 10-20 minutes before baking, and they kept their form very well, with little spreading. I'll definitely keep this one on hand for the future.

  • MelindaBenevides 26 Nov, 2011

    This recipe turned out extremely well. Everyone was raving about the cookies. I found they had the perfect combination of moistness and crunch to them and the flavour was absolutely perfect. Not too heavy on the sweetness nor on the spice. Can't wait to make more for the holidays!

  • MagdaHC 25 Oct, 2011

    Just wondering, can I keep this recipe in the freezer? and if yes for how long?

  • Jane Bonacci_The Heritage Cook 10 Dec, 2010

    The recipe should read 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter. Make this change and you'll be fine. If the dough is sticking too much, chill it for about 10 minutes to firm up the butter. Brush off excess flour before baking and enjoy!

  • Jane Bonacci_The Heritage Cook 10 Dec, 2010

    The recipe should read 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter. Make this change and you'll be fine. If the dough is sticking too much, chill it for about 10 minutes to firm up the butter. Brush off excess flour before baking and enjoy!

  • ardentlyohio 9 Dec, 2010

    I just made these (with stick of butter, as directed) and they came out beautifully. The dough was super easy to work with and the cookies themselves we delicious. Perfect balance of crunch and softness!

  • Sunrise544 7 Dec, 2010

    THE PROBLEM IS IN THE INGREDIENTS! It says 1/4 cup butter and in parentheses is says "one stick". However, one stick is 8 oz of butter, and 1/4 cup is only 4 oz of butter. If you put in one stick, that would cause a BIG problem!

  • jlb3284 18 Dec, 2009

    this was kind of a disaster, the dough was extremely sticky even after i added a ton of flour, it was really hard to cut shapes out bc everything was so sticky

  • SprocketFox 16 Dec, 2009

    make sure you don't roll these babies too thin, they burn very easily

  • kateriholmes 7 Dec, 2009

    Are they a soft gingerbread cookie or are they hard?

  • Anarie 5 Dec, 2009

    Yes, KimberleyRene is right. It looks like they thought 1/4 lb but typed 1/4 cup. A stick is 1/4 lb or 1/2 c, and that's the usual ratio to 2 cups flour.

  • KimberleyRene 3 Dec, 2009

    I just made this recipe, and i'm pretty sure it should be 1/2 cup of butter, not 1/4 cup. It was really crumbly with only the 1/4 cup, but once I added more it was fine. After all, 1 stick is usually 1/2 cup.

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