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Gingerbread men decorated with white royal icing sitting atop red and green sprinkles.
5 from 1 vote

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Soft gingerbread cookies make for a traditional holiday treat. 
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 37 mins
Servings: 36 cookies


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar - packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 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, 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.
  • Pat each half of the dough into a thick disk, about 8 inches in diameter. Sandwich the dough between two sheets of wax paper. Place both dough disks in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours or overnight. If you choose to refrigerate for an extended period of time, you'll want to place the dough in a zip top bag so that it won't dry out. 
  • Remove 1 disk of dough from the freezer 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 wax paper from the dough. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. * Roll the dough out until it's 1/4" inch thick. 
  •  Using 5 inch or 3 inch gingerbread people, 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. 
  • 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 9-12 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.


*This dough is fairly sticky. I had to be fairly generous with my floured counter top ?
**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. 
Recipe inspired by America's Test Kitchen


Calories: 110kcal (6%), Carbohydrates: 17g (6%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 3g (5%), Saturated Fat: 2g (10%), Cholesterol: 10mg (3%), Sodium: 60mg (3%), Potassium: 122mg (3%), Sugar: 9g (10%), Vitamin A: 115IU (2%), Calcium: 24mg (2%), Iron: 0.9mg (5%)