Soft Gingerbread Cookies
These Soft Gingerbread Cookies are made with the perfect amounts of cinnamon, ginger and cloves, without eggs, with molasses and result in the most amazingly soft and delicious gingerbread cookies of your life!
I’m all about the gingerbread this time of year! I love the combination of spices. Everything has such a warm and rich flavor to it. For more delicious gingerbread recipes, try my Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies, Soft Gingersnap Cookies, and Gingerbread Bundt Cake!
Why This Recipe Works
- One bowl gingerbread cookie recipe. These easy gingerbread cookies are made in just one bowl!
- Soft gingerbread cookies recipe. I love these gingerbread man cookies because they are soft and chewy gingerbread men!I do not like crunchy cookies! These cookies are perfectly soft in the middle with a slight crunch on the outside — they are gourmet gingerbread cookies made at home!
- Made with warm spices. Too many recipes call for massive amounts of ground ginger — which can ruin a cookie! These soft cookies have the perfect amount of spice.
- Perfect holiday cookie. It’s not Christmas if you don’t make homemade gingerbread cookies! And nothing beats a perfectly soft gingerbread cookie recipe during the holiday season.
- Eggless cookie recipe. That’s right! This is an eggless gingerbread cookies recipe. You can’t tell that there are no eggs though!
- Flour: Due to the molasses, the dough is pretty sticky. Keep to the amount of flour and just be sure to generously flour the countertop as you roll out the dough.
- Brown Sugar: Use light brown sugar. Brown sugar is made with molasses, so it amps up that gingerbread flavor even more.
- Spices: A combination of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves will give us the perfect holiday gingerbread cookie recipe!
- Baking Soda: This will help the dough rise in the oven when baking.
- Unsalted Butter: I use unsalted butter to ensure that I can control the salt level of the cookies. If you are using salted butter, reduce the added salt by 1/4 tsp.
- Molasses: Molasses is the iconic ingredient in any gingerbread cookie recipe! It makes the cookies moist and have that delicious gingerbread flavor.
- Milk: Molasses is sticky! So adding some milk helps make things come together better.
- Combine dry ingredients. Add 3 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1 T ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp baking soda to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until combined.
- Add the butter. Add 12 T softened unsalted butter to the bowl and mix for 1 minute. The mixture will look like wet sand.
- Add milk and molasses. Turn the mixer to low speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup molasses and 2 T milk. Mix for about 15 seconds (until the dough is combined).
- Divide in half. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Roll out the one dough disc at a time. Remove 1 dough disc from the fridge. Using a rolling pin, roll out the gingerbread man dough onto a well flour surface until it is 1/4 inch thick.
- Use cookie cutters. Using holiday cookie cutters or gingerbread man cookie cutters, cut out the dough. Place the cutout cookies carefully on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping 2 inches between them.
- Re-roll and chill. Gather the scraps of dough and roll and cut until the dough has been used up. Once a baking sheet is full, return to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the other dough disc. While the full baking sheet is chilling, take the other disc of gingerbread cookie dough from the fridge and repeat the rolling and cutting process, placing cookie shapes on a separate cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. When another baking sheet is full, return to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes prior to baking.
- Bake. Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 10-13 minutes. The cookies are done with the edges are set and the centers retain a slight imprint when gently touched. Remove and chill on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost! Use whatever icing or frosting you’d like to frost your soft gingerbread man cookies!
If you don’t have a stand mixer, a large bowl and a hand mixer will work just fine.
Use gingerbread man cookie cutters and cut out gingerbread people. Place the cut out gingerbread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Once you’ve filled one baking sheet, place it in the fridge to chill as you’re cutting out and filling the second baking sheet with the second disc of dough.
Don’t overwork the dough. This tip comes in handy when making the gingerbread dough and when rolling it out. Refrain from over mixing the cookie dough.
This dough is fairly sticky. I had to be fairly generous with my floured counter top.
Be careful not to overwork the dough when you’re rolling it out. Baking science coming your way… cookies contain flour and flour contains gluten. Gluten is a protein that gets harder and tougher the more you knead it and work with it. So if you make this gingerbread cookie recipe and you find that your cookies are tough, it could be because you overworked the dough and rolled it out too many times.
My 4 year old boy loves to play with bread dough, cookie dough, and anything food related. So be sure to have your kiddos help you! They can pick out festive sprinkles for decorating these delicious cookies!
These cookies will spread if the dough isn’t kept cold. I will finish filling one baking sheet, place it in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes, while I’m cutting out more gingerbread for the second baking sheet. Once I fill the second baking sheet and all of the dough has been used up, I will then place one baking sheet in the oven.
The key is to keep the dough slightly chilled before placing it in the oven.
Be sure to let the baked cookies cool to room temperature before icing or frosting them.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
To make gingerbread cookie ahead of time, chill the dough in the fridge overnight or up to 2 days.
Enjoy these holiday gingerbread cookies while they’re fresh. Nothing beats a fresh gingerbread cookie! If you don’t eat them right away, you can store these gingerbread cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
You can freeze this cookie dough for later use. Simply wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then place the wrapped dough in a freezer bag. The dough should keep in the freezer for one month. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight.
Yes! In fact, that’s even better! Chilling the dough is really integral in getting the best gingerbread cookies!
You can use regular frosting, royal icing, or your favorite frosting! There isn’t a specific frosting or icing required for these perfect gingerbread cookies. Use what you love and what works for you.
The edges will be set and the centers of the cookies will leave a slight imprint when you gently touch them. Getting the bake just right will make these delicious soft gingerbread cookies.
You most likely didn’t chill the dough long enough! You may also need to add extra flour depending on your altitude. These cookies were made at sea level. If baking at a high altitude, that will require a slight addition of flour.
Yes! This recipe is made with no eggs.
More Gingerbread Recipes
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar - packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, salt, and baking soda. Once combined, add the butter to the bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute or until the mixture resembles sand.
- With mixer speed on low, gradually add the milk and molasses. Mix until the dough is evenly moistened, about 15 seconds.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Wrap each dough disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Remove 1 disk of dough from the fridge at a time.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Gently peel off the plastic wrap from the dough. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. * Roll the dough out until it's 1/4" inch thick.
- Using your desired cookie cutters, cut the cookies from the dough. Carefully transfer the cut shapes to the cookie sheets spacing them 2 inches apart from one another. Gather the scraps, repeat rolling, and cutting until cookie sheets are full and the dough has been used up. The key with this dough is to keep it cold. So you'll want to work fast, or even place the cut out gingerbread men on the baking sheet, and chill for another 15 minutes before baking them.
- Bake the cookies one cookie sheet at a time; bake until set in the centers or when gently touched with your fingertip and it retains a slight imprint; about 10-13 minutes.
- Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Frost with white icing of your choosing. I used a royal icing and colored a small portion of the icing red to use for the buttons.
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