Hands-on Time
1 Hour
Total Time
3 Hours 50 Mins
Makes 2 dozen (4-inch) cookies

The iconic gingerbread man cookie is a favorite holiday tradition. Plus, gingerbread man cut-outs are a great holiday project to get the kids involved with—especially when it comes time to decorate. Though these gingerbread cookies are a little more involved than easy drop cookies, the nostalgic spiced treats are well worth the effort. To break up the process, the gingerbread cookie dough can be made in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to roll; just be sure that it is tightly covered. For more ginger-spiced dessert inspiration, check out these gingerbread desserts that go beyond cookies.

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until fluffy.

Step 2

Stir together baking soda and 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved; stir in molasses.

Step 3

Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Shape mixture into a ball; cover and chill 1 hour.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a 4-inch gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Step 5

Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Step 6

Spoon Royal Icing into a small zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole; pipe faces on cookies, or spread cookies with Buttermilk Frosting. Decorate cookies as desired with candies and sugar crystals.

Step 7

Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed, cutting dough with a 1- to 2 1/2-inch snowflake-shaped cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 17 minutes. Cool and decorate as directed. Makes: about 9 dozen. Hands-on time: 1 hr.; Total time: 4 hr., 50 min., including icing and frosting.

Ratings & Reviews

enagelbu's Review

December 06, 2014
Easy to make and very tasty. We did add more molasses at the end as the dough had become dry.

dunwoodycooks's Review

December 15, 2011

MarloM's Review

December 23, 2012
Tasted good, but too soft for me. Didn't hold up well to frosting.

Snowberry's Review

February 28, 2013

SandraKo's Review

December 03, 2011
I thought these were delicious. I used the buttermilk frosting and put them on the Chocolate Gingerbread toffee cake. My boyfriend ate the remaining 2-3 dozen within two days.

artsyanne76's Review

December 28, 2014
I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfect. Delicious flavor and they hold up well to icing. I made these for a friend, and they were a big hit! I will definitely be making these again next Christmas.

MGCervantes's Review

December 17, 2012
These cookies were delicious not too sweet and not too spicy. I rolled them out between two sheets of parchment paper and had no problem with stickiness. I decorated them using only the Royal Icing and they looked good enough to gift, even sell. This one is a keeper.

practicingchef's Review

December 19, 2012

What a mess

December 21, 2015
Wow, what a terrible mess. Literally. I looked at several different recipes before picking this one, and thought it was odd that you mix the molasses in with the water and baking soda as I did not find this step in any other recipes. It was like a high school chemistry experiment. The mixture grew and grew and grew. Huge mess! I carried on to finish the recipe and was disappointed with the results. Brick hard cookies--even when lowering baking time-- and just a "meh" flavor. I was making these as Xmas gifts but abandoned it before I finished baking all the dough and went for another recipe instead.