The smell of gingerbread cookies in the air is a welcoming one for any home at Christmas time. If you’re looking forward to the holidays or simply want to bring that scent and taste of Christmas to your home at any time, gather around for a Kulick family tradition of making this gingerbread cookie recipe.
Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
All those warm spices and a soft, delightful texture will make you fall in love with the best gingerbread cookies all over again. We love cutting them out with our favorite cookie cutters and getting together to decorate them. And of course, the best part is eating them!
Ingredients in Gingerbread Cookies
- All-purpose flour – It all starts with this.
- Vegetable shortening – You’ll need about 16 ounces.
- Molasses – Delightfully sticky and perfect for bringing out those spices.
- Brown sugar – Make sure it’s packed.
- Baking soda – This will help give your gingerbread cookies a soft texture.
- Cold water – Helps tenderize and stabilize the other ingredients.
- Egg – Choose one large one.
- Baking powder – Another way to help soften these up.
- Spices – You’ll need ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves, along with a little salt to balance them out. The ground ginger and spices is what makes this ginger cookie recipe have that delicious holiday soul warming taste.
- Icing – Make it yourself with powdered sugar, water, corn syrup, and egg whites.
Easy Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
When you make homemade gingerbread yourself, it tastes rock n’ roll hall of fame better than anything you buy at the store. These easy gingerbread cookies come out soft and delicious, and they take less than 40 minutes to make.
How do you Make Gingerbread Cookies from Scratch
To make this soft gingerbread cookies recipe, start with a saucepan over medium heat with the molasses, brown sugar, and shortening. Stir this until it’s melted and smooth, then take away from heat. Add the baking soda and cold water and let come to room temperature. Then put it in a large mixing bowl and add the egg, baking powder, salt, and spices, mixing well. Add the flour and mix some more, and add a little more if the dough feels sticky. Shape the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 to 4 hours. After that, preheat the oven to 350F and prep your baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into your favorite shapes. Bake until they rise, about 10 minutes. Let them cool, then decorate with the icing, which you’ll make by beating the ingredients together until smooth and glossy.
How Long to Bake Gingerbread Cookies?
At 350F, gingerbread cookies should bake for about 10 minutes, or until you see them rise.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfectly Soft Gingerbread Cookies Every Time
- Let the dough chill. When making a ginger cookies recipe you’ll notice they become much easier to work with when your gingerbread cookie mix has spent time in the fridge and will roll out better.
- Use both molasses and brown sugar. This combination gives them a crisp outside yet a soft interior. Brown sugar and molasses are a perfect balance when making any recipe for gingerbread cookies.
- Space your cutouts well. If you put them too close together on your baking sheet, they will all morph together as they bake.
- Let them cool completely. Carefully move your soft gingerbread cookies to a wire rack to let them cool before you decorated or else the frosting will melt and make a mess.
Holiday tip: If you love gingerbread cookies, then you’ll love this Christmas cookie recipe. Its fun for the whole family!
What are gingerbread cookies made of?
Gingerbread cookies are made with vegetable shortening, molasses, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cold water, egg, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, all purpose flour, and salt.
Are gingerbread cookies a Christmas thing?
They certainly have been since the 17th century, and while they are commonly associated with Christmas, you can bake gingerbread cookies any time the mood strikes.
What is the difference between ginger cookies and gingerbread cookies?
Ginger cookies, or gingersnaps, bake for longer and are crispier. Gingerbread cookies should be chewier and are often cut into shapes with cookie cutters for the holidays.
Are gingerbread cookies and molasses cookies the same?
They are very similar though the molasses cookie has a softer and chewier texture while gingerbread leans more on the spices.
Should gingerbread cookies be hard or soft?
They should be soft with a little give as you bite into them. They shouldn’t be crunchy.
How do you keep gingerbread cookies from getting hard?
By using brown sugar and molasses when making the dough, you can keep your gingerbread cookies from becoming too hard. Additionally, don’t overbake them.
Why are my gingerbread cookies hard?
If they’ve become hard after decorating, perhaps you haven’t kept the air away from them. They will retain a softness if you keep them in an airtight container.
How do you keep gingerbread cookies soft?
By using this recipe with molasses and brown sugar, plus storing them correctly after baking, you can keep your gingerbread cookies soft.
Why are my gingerbread cookies so dry?
You may have gotten the measurements off with the flour. Too much flour will cause them to be too dry.
How to Store Gingerbread Cookies?
You will want to keep these on your countertops, stored in a proper airtight container. It helps to put parchment paper between layers so you can stack them.
How Long Do Gingerbread Cookies Last?
These will be good for about 5 days when packed this way, so if you want them to last longer, look to your freezer.
Can You Freeze Gingerbread Cookies?
Yes, you can freeze gingerbread cookies. They keep this way for about 3 months. So if you make these holiday cookies ahead of time, this is the way to go!
How to Thaw Gingerbread Cookies?
Let them come to room temperature on the counter. They will be ready to enjoy in about an hour.
Watch How To Make Gingerbread Cookies (Video)
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (or about 16 oz)
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground ginger (heaping)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, molasses, and shortening. Stir until the mixture has melted and is smooth, then remove from heat. Add in the baking soda and 1/4 cup cold water then allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once the mixture has reached room temperature, place into a large mixing bowl. Add in the egg, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, mix well. Add the flour and continue to mix. Add in more flour if the dough seems sticky. Shape the dough into a large bowl, cover in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours.
- Once the dough has been refrigerated, preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness, the dough will rise in the oven and this will ensure the cookies will maintain their shape. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake cookies until risen, about 10 minutes. Once cooled, decorate with royal icing.
- Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth and glossy.
- Make sure the icing passes the “figure 8” test—you should be able to draw a figure 8 on the surface and see it for about 2-3 seconds before it sinks back into the bowl.