Gingerbread Snowflakes


This recipe for gingerbread snowflakes uses my favorite gingersnap cookie recipe as a starting point to create six-pointed star cookies, which can be decorated with icing to make snowflakes.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
15 mins
Cool Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
30 gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread Snowflakes – No Cutter, No Problem

Making Christmas cookies with my mom and aunts is one of my oldest and fondest memories. Every year around this time, I think back to that floury kitchen table, where the dough was rolled, and punched out with the classic array of holiday cookie cutters. The Santa shape was my favorite, since that one made the biggest cookie, but I also liked the stars. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times; people love pointy food.

So, as I started this production, I couldn't help but wish I'd inherited those old dinged up cutters, since I had nothing with which to make the desired snowflake shape. I know I could've easily ordered one, but thinking of all those other cutter-less kitchens out there, I decided to figure out a way to get the same shape without one, and this is what I came up with.

Positioning the pieces of dough does take a few minutes, but at the end of the day, this method isn't any more time consuming than the classic method. Plus, since every snowflake is supposed to be different, the slight variations it produces really works. By the way, if you're not into the best gingerbread cookie ever, this technique would work with any cookie dough stiff enough to shape. Either way, I hope you give these snowflake cookies a try soon. Enjoy!



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • teaspoon ground black pepper (Optional)

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • cup white sugar

  • ¼ cup molasses

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg


  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 4 teaspoons water, or as needed


  1. Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, cocoa powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, black pepper, and cayenne together in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed.

  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until pale yellow and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses, vanilla, and egg. Whisk mixture until well blended. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir just until the flour disappears. Spread out a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and set dough on top. Wrap dough with plastic wrap while shaping it into a rectangle approximately 1-inch high by 4 to 5 inches wide. Refrigerate until dough is cold and firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat.

  4. After the dough has chilled, slice across the block into 14 or 15 pieces about 3/8 inch thick. Each slice is then cut in half, and each half into 3 strips lengthwise.

  5. Use 3 strips of the dough to form the 6-pointed star as shown and place onto the prepared baking sheet with space in between as they spread out.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes if you like the cookies to be chewy, or 15 minutes for crispy cookies. Remove from the oven and wait for 5 minutes before carefully transferring cookies to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  7. Mix together the powdered sugar and water until a ribbon is formed. Transfer the icing into a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe snowflake designs onto the cooled cookies.

    Gingerbread Snowflakes
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

91 Calories
5g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 30
Calories 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Potassium 76mg 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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