16 Incredibly Delicious Ways to Enjoy Gingerbread This Holiday Season

Gingerbread Snacking Cake

If you love gingerbread cookies and gingerbread houses as much as we do, you'll want to try these other sweet and spicy treats, including cheesecake, layer cake, trifle, waffles, pancakes, and more.

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chocolate gingerbread cookies
Joseph De Leo

The unmistakable taste (and smell!) of gingerbread is a hallmark of the holiday season, but if you've been limiting your intake to gingerbread cookies and houses, allow us to open the door to a world of possibilities. There are so many ways to enjoy gingerbread this time of year, and we've pulled together 16 of our favorites for you to try right here.

Of course, no gingerbread gallery would be complete without basic cookies you can cut into all manner of shapes—from boys and girls to mittens and snowflakes—but that's just the beginning. Consider gingerbread trees, which are simply triangles drizzled with lemony icing and sprinkled with sanding sugar, or gingerbread cookies laced with espresso powder and rolled in two kinds of sugar (granulated and confectioners) to give them a crinkly effect. Another delightful option? The Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies that are pictured here—we might go so far as to say that they're our favorite gingerbread cookie recipe (they've long been a holiday cookie box go-to for our food editors!).

Aside from cookies, you can also enjoy gingerbread in the form of cakes: We have recipes for a cheesecake topped with cookies made from the same molasses-gingerbread dough you use for the crust; a layer cake decked with a creamy mascarpone frosting; and a hybrid chocolate-gingerbread one that's wonderful served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. There's even a totally breakfast-appropriate gingerbread snacking cake. If you want to make an official gingerbread breakfast item, however, we've got you covered there, too: You'll find recipes for gingerbread-flavored pancakes and waffles in the slides ahead.

As if that weren't enough, we show you how to turn gingerbread cookies into ice cream sandwiches (they match surprisingly well with pumpkin ice cream) and make a festive trifle out of layers of Cognac custard and warm pears interspersed with slices of gingerbread.

The takeaway? Gingerbread cookies are absolutely delicious, but they're certainly not the only way to enjoy this beloved winter flavor.

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Basic Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread cookies
Alpha Smoot

This is a reliable gingerbread recipe that turns out beautiful and delicious cutout cookies in various shapes. Our favorites are gingerbread boys and girls in different sizes, decorated with white royal icing and currant "buttons."

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Gingerbread Waffles


Why not start a holiday morning off with these gingerbread waffles? They're an easy indulgence and best served with tangy sour cream and tart lingonberry preserves (or any type of berry jam).

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Gingerbread Layer Cake with Creamy Mascarpone Frosting


If you're looking for a gorgeous cake for a special occasion, this fits the bill nicely. Mascarpone offers a lovely counterpoint to the spicy ginger cake, and you can decorate the top of the cake as simply or elaborately as you'd like.

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Gingerbread-Espresso Crinkle Cookies

chocolate gingerbread cookies
Joseph De Leo

The trick to giving these espresso-spiked spice cookies a very crinkly look? Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar, and then heavily coat them with confectioners' sugar.

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Gingerbread Trifle with Cognac Custard and Pears


This festive trifle includes layers of Cognac custard and warm pears interspersed with slices of gingerbread.

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Gingerbread-Cookie Letters to Santa

envelope cookies
Louise Hagger

Here's one holiday cookie shape you don't see often: an envelope. And it's not just any envelope, of course! This one is meant just for Santa.

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White Chocolate-Gingerbread Blondies

White Chocolate-Gingerbread Blondies
Victor Schraeger

If you like blondies, you'll love this holiday version, which incorporates the warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

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Easy Pumpkin-Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

David Malosh

These ice cream sandwiches are so simple to make. You can use store-bought ginger cookies or make your own. Either way, the combination of ginger and pumpkin ice cream is fantastic.

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Gingerbread Pancakes

Aaron Dyer

These lovely pancakes are sweetened with molasses and flavored with warming gingerbread spices. Buttermilk keeps them nice and fluffy.

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Gingerbread Cheesecake

Sang An

This thrifty recipe has you top the cake with cookies made from the same molasses-gingerbread dough you use for the crust.

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Gingerbread Trees with Lemon Icing


Drizzles of lemony icing and sprinklings of sanding sugar give these simple gingerbread triangle-shaped cookies an evergreen tree-like appearance and holiday flair.

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Gingerbread Cabin

gingerbread house with trees
Pernille Loof

Take your gingerbread house to the next level with this quaint A-frame cabin made of gingerbread. The rustic-chic exterior is made with a faux-bois roof and pretzel-log walls, while the cozy interior boasts a fireplace with candy-cane logs.

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Chocolate-Swirl Gingerbread

Chocolate-Swirl Gingerbread

Serve this moist, molasses-rich gingerbread cake with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an uncomplicated, plain old delicious dessert.

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Stenciled Gingerbread Cookies


Stenciling is one of the prettiest (and easiest!) ways to decorate. Just punch your desired shape out of stiff paper, hold the stencil over a cookie, and brush a thin layer of icing over the exposed surface. Then, sift confectioners' sugar over the cookie, and admire your handiwork.

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Gingerbread Snacking Cake

Gingerbread Snacking Cake

Here's a delightful holiday treat that's appropriate for dessert, afternoon tea or even breakfast.

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