These Easy Gingerbread Cookies are soft and delicious just like grandma used to make – but without all of the hard work! Just melt and mix and the dough will come together in no time. The perfect Christmas bake for your cookie plate.
These soft Gingerbread Cookies are what’s Christmas to me.
You can go all crazy with your peppermint kisses and chocolate dipped Oreo balls, but a simple gingerbread? I can’t do Christmas without it.
This is the recipe I make multiple times every year. It’s SO easy (just melt and mix!), the kids love helping and they turn out so cute.
They have no eggs in them (unlike traditionally made gingerbread), so they don’t puff up as much during baking – which is just perfect for cut-outs and cookie stamps!
Now I know molasses are not everyone’s favorite thing… But I firmly believe there’s no way to get those gingerbread flavors without them.
And, I mean, for Molasses Cookies, but that’s kind of a given 😉
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies:
Traditionally, you’d make a dough with creaming butter, eggs, sugar etc.
But here, we’re skipping all of that for the sake of our sanity. Just melt and mix the liquid ingredients, stir them into the dry ingredients and chill until firm. So, so much easier!
FYI, this is actually a simplified version of traditional German soft gingerbread, so it’s not totally out there.
Also, you can make these will all kinds of flour: White, whole wheat, rye, a mix…
I know mine look a little grainy in the photos, it’s because I added some whole grain rye flour for a more German flavor! (Yes, German flavor, that’s the technical term indeed.)
Trust me, these are amazing and so easy if you follow some simple tips:
- make sure the liquid ingredients have cooled down for about 5-10 minutes before mixing them into the flour, but don’t let them get any colder than that or it will become sticky and impossible to pour
- don’t worry if your dough seems very wet when you put it into the fridge to chill, the flour will continue absorbing the liquid as it rests and the dough will firm up
- the dough can be quite firm when you remove it from the fridge (that’s all the chilled butter and molasses!), especially if you choose to make it a day ahead and then chill overnight. Just take it out 10-30 minutes before you want to roll it out and bake, it softens up quickly on the counter.
Why do you chill gingerbread dough?
Chilling the dough helps the flour absorb all the liquid, and it solidifies the fat.
This means the cookies are way less likely to spread during baking! Don’t skip it, even if it seems tedious and boring.
Are gingerbread cookies hard or soft?
There are recipes for both!
Personally I prefer them soft, so that’s what this recipe will give you.
To make sure they actually turn out soft:
- don’t add more sugar than the recipe states
- don’t overbake – the cookies will still be very soft as you take them out of the oven!
- keep them in an airtight container once they have cooled, or they will harden over time
How do you store gingerbread cookies?
Gingerbread Cookies will last just fine in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1-2 weeks.
They definitely taste best when fresh, so freeze them if you want to store them for longer.
Can gingerbread cookies be frozen?
Yes, they absolutely can!
I prefer freezing them on a lined baking sheet in a single layer without touching for 1 hour before transferring them to labelled freezer bags. That way they’ll be separate and you can only pull out as many as you want.
Freeze for up to 3 months and defrost on a wire rack so they don’t get soggy.
How long do gingerbread cookies last?
They last for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container on the counter OR for up to 3 months in the freezer.
P.S: Feel free to decorate your cookies with your favorite royal icing – I’m baking with a 2 and a 4 year old and I can only handle either the baking or the decorating part 🤷🏻♀️😂
Get the printable recipe here:
- 1/2 cup runny honey
- 1/4 cup molasses, not blackstrap - they are too bitter!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, OR whole wheat, OR a mix
- 1.5 tablespoons gingerbread spice mix
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Melt wet ingredients: Add honey, molasses, butter and brown sugar to a saucepan and melt over medium heat, until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Mix dough: Add flour, spices and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and stir well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir very well, until a dough forms. Dough will be sticky.
- Chill: Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour in the fridge. You can leave it overnight if need be! Just make sure you remove it from the fridge about 10-15 minutes before you want to roll it out if you leave it for longer than 1 hour.
- Cut out cookies: Preheat your oven to 320°F (160°C). Generously flour a work surface. Roll the dough to 1/3 inch thickness (8mm) (add some extra flour if dough is too sticky). Cut out cookies and place them on a lined baking sheet (I use silpat mats), leaving enough space between them.
- Bake the cookies: Bake for 9-10 minutes or until they're puffed up and starting to brown. They will still be soft, so allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. They keep well in an airtight box for up to 2 weeks.