Rating: 4.5 stars
351 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 263
  • 4 star values: 56
  • 3 star values: 16
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 13

These gingerbread men cookies are as cute as can be. If desired, decorate your gingerbread men with raisins, currants, or cinnamon red hot candies for eyes and buttons. Or, pipe untinted or colored icing onto cookies.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
10 mins
additional:
4 hrs
total:
4 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
2 dozen cookies
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No holiday celebration is complete without adorably decorated gingerbread men cookies. These gingerbread cookies scream "Christmastime," from their spiced flavor down to their festive shape. So grab the kids, get the cookie cutters ready, and be prepared to enjoy the best gingerbread men cookies of your life.

Who Invented Gingerbread Men?

Gingerbread men cookies come to us from across the pond where Queen Elizabeth I was the first person to serve them. She presented visiting dignitaries with gingerbread cookies decorated to look just like them.

How to Make Gingerbread Men Cookies

Making gingerbread men from scratch may seem intimidating, but it's actually quite easy. You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's what you can expect from when making these cookies:

Make the Dough

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined.

Cut Out the Cookies

For best results, refrigerate the dough for at least four hours (or overnight is better). This will prevent the dough from sticking to the surface when cutting out the cookies. 

Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes (or whatever cookie cutter shape you're using).

Bake

Bake the gingerbread men cookies until the edges set and the cookies begin to brown. Allow to cool completely and decorate the cookies as desired.

How to Decorate Gingerbread Men Cookies

Let your imagination run wild when decorating these gingerbread men cookies. You can use a simple sugar cookie icing or royal icing to add gingerbread men features. Then top them with candies, nuts, sprinkles or anything else you like to give these cookies some character.

How to Store Gingerbread Men Cookies

Store gingerbread men cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

How to Freeze Gingerbread Men Cookies

Unbaked gingerbread cookie dough will freeze well for up to three months. Wrap the dough ball in a layer of storage wrap then a layer of aluminum foil. When you're ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then cut and bake as directed. 

Baked gingerbread men cookies can be frozen undecorated. Place the completely cooled cookies in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight then decorate as desired.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"These are outstanding. My family does not normally like gingerbread men as much as other flavors, but these got raves. Dough was very easy to work with. Will use again for Valentine's Day instead of the traditional sugar cookie. These are much better," says Caroline O.

"Loved this recipe as is! Flavorful, soft cookies that were perfect for decorating during the holidays. My kids and I both enjoyed making these cookies...and eating them," raves Noel.

"Perfect taste and texture. I love gingerbread cookies, but they are usually too crisp. This recipe yields cookies that are structured and hold their shape (they do not spread), but are soft when you bite into them. I am a terrible baker and this recipe was easy to follow and the dough was relatively easy to roll out," according to cgtt7.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink

Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl.

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  • Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.

  • Press dough into a thick, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with a 5-inch cookie cutter. Place gingerbread men 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

  • Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

Gingerbread Cookie Variations:

White Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies: Follow Steps 1 to 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in white sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until edges of cookies just begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; immediately press a white and milk chocolate swirled kiss-shaped candy into the center of each cookie. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. (Makes 5 dozen.)

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Creme: Follow Steps 1 to 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in white sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until edges of cookies just begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. For the Lemon Creme: mix one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme, 1/4 cup butter (softened), 4 ounces cream cheese (softened), and 1 teaspoon McCormick(R) Pure Lemon Extract in medium bowl until well blended. To assemble whoopie pies, place about 1 tablespoon filling on the flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Roll edge of whoopie pie in 1 cup crushed peppermint candy. Repeat with remaining cookies, filling, and candy. Store whoopie pies between layers of waxed paper in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days. (Makes 2 1/2 dozen.)

Caramel-Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprints: Follow Steps 1 to 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in white sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until edges of cookies just begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; immediately press a pecan half into center of each cookie. Top each with 1/4 teaspoon of caramel topping. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Melt 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate and drizzle over the cooled cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set. (Makes 5 dozen.)

Almond Gingerbread Cookies: Follow Steps 1 to 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in 1 1/3 cups sliced almonds, pressing almonds into dough. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until edges of cookies just begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. (Makes 5 dozen.)

Nutrition Facts

158 calories; protein 2g; carbohydrates 24g; fat 6.1g; cholesterol 23mg; sodium 125.3mg. Full Nutrition
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