My favorite gingerbread cookie recipe. The cookies are soft and cakey. The orange buttercream icing really ties the flavors together.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
20 mins
40 mins
1 hr 20 mins
2 dozen cookies


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Orange Buttercream Frosting:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine 1 cup butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Mix in molasses and egg until combined.

  • Mix together buttermilk and 2 teaspoons baking soda in a small bowl. Mix vinegar with remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda in another small bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the molasses-egg mixture. Then add vinegar mixture, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and salt; mix until well combined.

  • Gradually stir in 4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.

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

  • Place chilled dough on a floured surface and roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with desired cookie cutters and place on ungreased cookie sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool, 8 to 10 minutes more.

  • While cookies are cooling, place 3 cups powdered sugar, softened butter, orange zest, and 1/3 cup orange juice in a bowl. Discard remaining orange juice, or save for another use. Beat frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until consistency is similar to fondant or modeling dough, adding more powdered sugar, if necessary. Frost cookies.

Cook's Note:

If you don't have buttermilk, you can make sour milk by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Nutrition Facts

353 calories; protein 2.9g; carbohydrates 51.1g; fat 15.9g; cholesterol 47.9mg; sodium 333.9mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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1 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
I love the combination of gingerbread with orange. With that said, these cookies were just ok for me. The cookies themselves are light, fluffy, and cakey; with a mild gingerbread flavor. No issues there. Where I found that it went flat for me, was when I added the frosting. The cookies and frosting, when separate, taste great; however, when combined, the orange completely overtook any gingerbread flavor from the cookies. They're not bad by any means, but they're just mostly orange flavored, with almost no gingerbread coming through. I was really hoping for more complimenting flavors from both. I also did not see what was to be gained by separating the baking soda and mixing it with different components in the cookie recipe--so I skipped that. No sense getting extra dishes dirty. Combine the baking soda with the dry ingredients, and the vinegar with the buttermilk to save hassle. I would also reduce the amount of cloves. They were a bit strong. For the frosting: I recommend creaming the butter until smooth, then mixing in the powdered sugar until smooth, then adding in the orange zest and juice. When made as written, the frosting comes out clumpy--with unmixed chunks of butter in it. Overall, I think this is a decent cookie, that has potential. But when made as written, it was simply 'ok.' Read More