Gingerbread Cookies


Gingerbread cookies are a must for the holidays, and these spiced gingerbread men have a festive taste that doesn't disappoint! Originally titled "Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men," this gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make and fun to decorate with kids. Adjust the spices to your liking, and use any shape cookie cutter for a nice variety of holiday cookies.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
about 2 1/2 dozen

These gingerbread cookies are sweet, spicy, and deliciously festive.

Gingerbread Cookies Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to make this top-rated gingerbread cookie recipe:

· Margarine: This recipe starts with margarine, which usually yields a crispy cookie. You can substitute butter if you like.
· Sugar: White sugar (½ cup, to be exact) adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
· Egg yolk: You'll use just the yolk for these gingerbread cookies, resulting in a rich texture.
· Molasses: Make sure you don't use blackstrap molasses, as it will likely overpower the other ingredients.
· Flour: All-purpose flour adds structure and holds the cookie dough together.
· Salt: Just a pinch of salt enhances the other flavors.
· Leaveners: Baking soda and baking powder act as leaveners, which means they help the cookies rise.
· Spices: This gingerbread cookie recipe is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these spicy gingerbread cookies:

1. Make the dough: Beat the wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Gradually stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
2. Chill the dough: Divide the dough into two discs, cover in storage wrap, and refrigerate for a few hours or up to overnight.
3. Roll the dough: Roll the discs out one at a time. Cut into desired shapes.
4. Bake the cookies: Bake the cookies in a preheated oven until they're firm.

Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Cookies
Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Cookies | Photo by Allrecipes.

How to Store Gingerbread Cookies

Allow the gingerbread cookies to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to five days.

Can You Freeze Gingerbread Cookies?

Yes! There are two ways to freeze gingerbread cookies: baked and unbaked.

To freeze baked cookies, simply place the cooled (and undecorated) cookies in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge and decorate at room temperature.

To freeze cookie dough, wrap the dough ball tightly in storage wrap. Wrap it again in foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Roll out the dough and bake according to the recipe.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Loved these," raves Nicole C. "Wonderful crispness and snap — proved to be very popular and I will now be a regular in my Christmas baking."

"I have used this recipe for several years now," says laceyj1233. "I look forward to the holidays so I can make these. The only thing that I have changed is using butter instead of margarine. Delicious and soft cookies every time."

"The best gingerbread men recipe I've found," according to Michelle Russell.They get better with age so save some for several days to try later with hot coffee or cold milk."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • ½ cup margarine, softened

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • ½ cup molasses (not blackstrap)

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste


  1. Beat margarine and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until mostly incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, another 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk, then molasses.

  2. Whisk sifted flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in a separate bowl until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the molasses mixture, beating until well blended and smooth.

  3. Divide dough in half and form each into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 to 3 hours, or overnight.

  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  5. Working with one disk at a time, and leaving remaining disk in the refrigerator, unwrap chilled dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Working from the center to the edges, roll dough with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

  6. Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters, dipping the cutters into flour as needed so they don't stick to the dough. Fit the cookie cutters as closely together as possible to cut as many cookies as you can. This will minimize the number of times you have to re-roll the dough.

  7. Transfer gingerbread cookies to ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Gather any dough scraps into a ball, flatten, re-wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to use for later batches.

  8. Bake each sheet in the preheated oven until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool while you finish rolling, cutting, and baking the remaining cookies.

  9. Frost or decorate cooled gingerbread cookies as desired.

    close up view of Gingerbread Cookies shaped as gingerbread men garnished with icing

Editor's Note:

The original recipe called for 1 teaspoon ground ginger and 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Based on reviews, we reduced those amounts slightly in the recipe. However, everyone's taste is different, so you may want to increase or decrease the amount of any of the spices in the recipe. Some reviewers have even added allspice and ground black pepper for spicier cookies.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

88 Calories
3g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 30
Calories 88
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 103mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 93mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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