Gingerbread men cookies are a fun and festive treat that the entire family will enjoy eating and making this holiday season. Nothing screams Christmas quite like some warm, chewy, gingerbread man cookies. Grab your rolling pins and cookie cutters and get ready to make some delicious memories this December!
Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe
Tasty and Fun – Your Gingerbread men cookies should not only be fun to decorate, but they should taste good too!
Family Activities – Gingerbread cookie decorating is sure to create some of the best memories with your whole family this Christmas.
For the Decorators – If you love a good recipe where you can decorate to the nines, this recipe is for you! Get as crazy as you want with these gingerbread men.
Gingerbread Fans – I know that some gingerbread men cookies are nicer to look at than to eat, but not these! These are so soft, sweet and always leave people wanting more.
Easy to Make – These may look a little intimidating, or hard to bake, but you’d be pleasantly shocked at how simple these are to make!
There’s something extra special about your Christmas cookies smiling back at you! You’ll take one bite of these classic gingerbread man cookies, and they will quickly become a staple recipe in all your holiday baking.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Let’s discuss how to make this recipe, as well as the ingredients that are needed. Please take note that below you will find discussion, expert tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about this recipe to help you recreate it in your kitchen. If you *just* want the recipe itself, scroll down. The full printable recipe itself, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of this page.
- Flour – Make sure to set some additional flour aside for coating your surface, and rolling pin.
- Ground Ginger – Ground ginger powder works best for this recipe.
- Unsalted Butter – The cookies will come out the best if the butter is softened.
- Dark Brown Sugar – Using dark brown sugar helps give these cookie a wonderful chewy texture.
- Molasses – While they are called gingerbread cookies, molasses helps provide the classic gingerbread taste.
- Powdered Sugar – As long as your powdered sugar isn’t lumpy, there really is no need to sift it.
- Milk – Since you’ll only need a little bit to break down the powdered sugar, you can use any kind of milk. Dairy free options work as well.
- Corn Syrup – This gives the icing a great flavor and gives it a consistency that’s great for decorating.
- Frosting Extract – In the frosting you can add whatever flavor extract you desire. Lemon or almond extract are really great options, but vanilla, or even peppermint would work. You can also omit this ingredient completely.
How To Make Gingerbread Man Cookies
- Begin by whisking together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Make sure it’s well combined and set it to the side.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, and eggs using an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Once combined, add molasses and vanilla and mix well until fully combined.
- Once combined, begin gradually adding in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined but do your best to not overwork the dough.
- Once your dough is combined, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and let it sit in the fridge for anywhere from 2-24 hours.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pull your dough out of the fridge and let it sit for 5-15 minutes or just however long it will take before you can divide the dough in half
- Lightly flour a flat surface, and a rolling pin and place a portion of your cookie dough on the floured surface. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over top of the dough before rolling it out gently to approximately ¼-⅓ or an inch thick. Keep in mind the thicker the dough, the softer the cookie. If the dough keeps sticking to the rolling pin, keep flouring the rolling pin.
- Once the cookies are rolled out, grab your cookie cutter and cut out as many shapes as you can with this first batch. Transfer the cut out cookies to the baking tray and pick up whatever scraps of cookie dough you have left over. The scraps can be rolled back out to cut out more cookies
- Make sure the cookies are 1 ½ inches apart on the tray and bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes or until the edges and top begin to firm up. Take the baking tray out of the oven, and allow the cookies to cool on the tray for about 10 minutes. After that, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While they’re cooling begin on the icing. To a medium size bowl, add your powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, and extract and combine. Once your cookies have cooled completely, put your icing into a piping bag and decorate!
Recipe Tips and Advice
- Storage – Once the icing is dry you can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3-4 days. You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months, just let it thaw out in the fridge a day or two before you’re ready to use it.
- Equipment – For this recipe you’ll need some mixing bowls, a baking tray, a silicone mat or parchment paper, a hand or stand electric mixer, a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Now, I used gingerbread man shaped cookie cutters but really you can cut out and decorate whatever cookie shape you’d prefer.
- Frosting Tips – For the icing, if you want it thicker, add more powdered sugar. If you want it thinner, add more corn syrup, about 1 tsp at a time.
The ginger and cinnamon flavors in these cookies are fairly light. If you like that, then keep the recipe as is. But if you’re a fan of “spicy” cookies, you can double the spices in the recipe and they’ll come out just fine.
These cookies should be fairly soft, especially if the dough you rolled out is on the thicker side. If your cookies came out hard, you may have baked them for too long, or rolled the dough out too thin.
If you don’t chill the gingerbread dough, you’ll have a harder time rolling out the dough to cut the shapes. The shapes are also more likely to spread in the oven if the dough is not chilled ahead of time.
More Gingerbread Recipes to Try
Tis the season to stuff your face with gingerbread everything! If you liked this recipe, try out a few more of these amazing gingerbread recipes.
- Gingerbread Bars
- Gingerbread Cupcakes
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Gingerbread Pancakes
- Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
- Ginger Molasses Cookies
Gingerbread Man Cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- *additional flour for rolling out dough
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp extract of choice – lemon almond or vanilla
- In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon until well blended. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, and eggs on medium speed until well blended.
- Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix until combined, but do not over-mix.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place into an airtight container or freezer style zipper bag, and place in refrigerator for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 deg. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats ore parchment paper.
- Let dough sit at room temperature for 5-15 minutes or however long is needed to make it pliable enough to divide in half. The time it takes will depend on how long it’s been chilling.
- Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle additional flour over dough and gently roll dough out to approximately 1/4 – 1/3″ thick. The thicker the dough the softer the cookie will be. If dough sticks to rolling pin, sprinkle additional flour onto dough.
- Cut out cookies with cookie cutter. Whatever scraps are left over after cutting out cookies can be rolled out and rolled out to cut out more cookies.
- Place cookies on baking sheet approximately 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake each sheet of cookies for 7-10 minutes until tops and edges are starting to firm up.
- Remove baking sheet from oven transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool on baking sheet for ten minutes, then use a spatula to transfer cookies to another wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- If desired, once cookies are completely cooled decorate.
- In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well to combine. For thicker icing, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time. For thinner icing, add more corn syrup, one teaspoon at a time. Place into a piping bag and pipe onto gingerbread cookies as desired.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
I hope you whip up a batch of these delicious gingerbread man cookies this holiday season to share with your family and friends. If you want the delicious ginger cookie flavor without the whole rolling and cutting thing,
I’ve got you covered. My soft gingerbread cookies are one of my all time favorite cookies. If you make them, be ready to share the recipe, they are always a big hit!
And these Frosted Gingerbread Bars are out of this world amazing.
Make sure to check out all of my favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes as well!