12 Favorite Ways to Get Your Holiday Gingerbread Fix

decorated gingerbread men
Photo: Kim

Whether or not you decorate gingerbread cookies in the likeness of your guests, as did Elizabeth I in the 16th century (creepy or cute?), spicy gingerbread is one of the iconic tastes of the holiday season. With its distinctive blending of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice or cloves, gingerbread has an unmistakable warm and spicy flavor that makes the season feel that much cozier. And if you're like many of us, when gingerbread season hits, you just can't get enough. Here are 12 of our favorite holiday gingerbread treats to help you scratch your gingerbread itch — from classic gingerbread cookies to gingerbread cake, gingerbread cheesecake, and a host of other ways to eat gingerbread.

01 of 14

Gingerbread Frosting for Cookies

gingerbread frosting on muffins

A drizzle of this sweet and spicy frosting adds gingerbread flavor to any number of baked treats. "This is a really nice alternative to a typical vanilla glaze." said CC<3's2bake, "I have made this recipe many times as it has so many good uses, and I'm always asked for the recipe. I would recommend at least doubling the recipe as it only makes about ¼ cup."

02 of 14

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

slice of gingerbread cake topped with whipped cream and cinnamon
Rachell Schockey

Looking for a recipe that will fill your home with holiday cheer well before you even take it out of the oven? Look no further. We're not sure if this recipe is as old as the mid-15th-century recipe for "gyngerbrede" discovered in an old English cookbook manuscript — but we know it has many of the classic spices most people love in gingerbread, and that it smells heavenly while baking. Bear in mind that with this, as with all gingerbread recipes, molasses matters. Personal preference varies, but as reviewer dee dee points out, there can be big differences in molasses. Unsulphered molasses is the sweetest, while blackstrap molasses has a stronger, more herbal flavor.

03 of 14

Gingerbread Biscotti

gingerbread biscotti with white glaze
Allrecipes Magazine

A big, hot mug of coffee or tea and few of these gingerbread biscotti will make it easy to ward off riskier holiday indulgences. As they say, "if you can't drink all day, don't start in the morning!" Of course, if you want to up the ante, feel free to decorate with as many chocolate drizzles and sprinkles as you can fit on a slice.

04 of 14

Gingerbread Cheesecake

slice of gingerbread cheesecake topped with whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie

"A cheesecake version of a classic holiday cookie!" says recipe creator Kim. "The cinnamon whipped cream is optional — but it really adds a nice touch!"

05 of 14

Gingerbread Cookies

Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men cookies decorated for Christmas with icing

Gingerbread cookies are what most people think of when they think of gingerbread. (Obviously, gingerbread men don't hold a monopoly on gingerbread shapes — you can bake gingerbread women, children, creatures...there's no limit to the cookie cutter shapes on the market.) Seriously though, this is the only gingerbread cookie recipe you need, as evidenced by over 1,000 glowing reviews.

06 of 14

Gingerbread Latte Syrup

gingerbread latte syrup in a gift jar
france c

Hey coffee drinkers! Want to get all that festive holiday flavor without spending a bundle at that hipster coffee shop? This is the ticket. Allstar France C. gives it five stars: "So easy to make and way more cost-efficient than those pricey coffee house drinks!"

07 of 14

Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle

sideview of Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle in a glass serving bowl
Allrecipes Magazine

Eggnog and gingerbread get layered together for a crowd-pleasing dessert that combines two of the season's favorite flavors. The magic combo certainly worked for home cook ogshortey, who says, "This recipe is excellent! I made this for a holiday potluck and took home Best Dessert prize!"

08 of 14

Grandma's Gingerbread Pancakes

close up of Grandma's Gingerbread Pancakes
Alberta Rose

We LOVE the story behind this highly rated recipe — Iron Chef Grammie to the rescue! "My dear Grammie was making gingerbread one morning and my brother and I arrived, starving! She altered the recipe slightly, put it on the grill and the result is this delicious recipe," writes recipe originator CKINCAID1. "The smell of it cooking always takes me back to that morning — mmmm!"

09 of 14

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Pictured: Gingerbread Whoopie Pies by Allrecipes Magazine.

The desired result with this recipe is something gingerbread-flavored and exponentially better than, but of similar consistency to, a Twinkie. That can be a tall order from the home baker, so take it from Chef John: "It is critical to weigh the flour for this recipe to work as seen in the video. Ten ounces by weight is about 2 cups by volume, but because flour can become quite compressed in the bag or canister, portioning by cup is not very accurate."

10 of 14

Gingerbread Waffles

gingerbread waffles
Con Poulos

Want to spark a meaningful family debate this holiday season? Skip the current events and settle this one: Are these waffles dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert?

11 of 14

Gingerbread French Toast

closeup of two powdered sugar-dusted French toast slices on a white plate garnished with fresh berries
buckwheat queen

Santa just might circle back for breakfast if he finds out these are on the menu. Evan Shaw-Mumford says, "Great recipe! Fun to make, smells and tastes incredible, and my family loved it." How about some maple bacon to go with?

12 of 14

Children's Gingerbread House

Children's Gingerbread House
Photo by momma Beth.

No gingerbread list would be complete without an iconic gingerbread house. It takes a fairly sturdy gingerbread recipe to make the kind of dough that bakes up something you can build with. This recipe comes with a video that shows you how to make the dough, cut it out into building pieces, bake them, and build a house. Give yourself two or three days to bake, build, and decorate the house — you'll need time to let the icing firm up as you build. And yes, the house is completely edible.

13 of 14

Gingerbread Spice Tip

overhead view of gingerbread cookie cutouts decorated with white icing

Cinnamon, clove, and especially nutmeg are at their flavorful best when freshly crushed and ground the day of preparation. Time is a thief when it comes to these spices, and you'll be sure to notice the difference between freshly ground and not. Grating nutmeg is a breeze, but if grating a cinnamon stick or grinding cloves sounds like a bit much, just give your ground spices the sniff test — if you can't smell them, they're too old to give any flavor and you should replace them for a fresher batch.

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love