This soft and delicious gingerbread cookie recipe has just the right amount of spice and is perfect for holiday baking- one of our very favorite family Christmas traditions.
I can’t imagine Christmas without making gingerbread cookies and I wanted to share my recipe with you today. One of my very favorite things to do with my kids during the holidays is baking, and these (and sugar cookies) are our favorite to make. I am very picky about my gingerbread cookies, and this really is the best recipe- soft and perfectly spiced.
We like to load up kraft to-go boxes with our cookies and take them to neighbors and friends. The kids love to run them to the door and say, “Merry Christmas!”
I have very fond memories of growing up baking with my mom and sisters, especially at Christmastime. Gingerbread cookies were always something that we got creative decorating. Sometimes we made them pretty and sometimes… let’s just say there was one year that we broke off the leg of one and them, glued it back on, gave him stitches and- x x -for his eyes. Needless to say, we kept things interesting!
Important Gingerbread Cookie Tips
- Before rolling out the dough, flour your surface and pat both sides of the dough into it. Make sure your surface is still floured before rolling out the dough.
- Make sure you don’t roll them out too thin- I always err on the side of going too thick rather than too thin. I keep mine somewhere in between 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
- Don’t cook them until golden brown. So many recipes say to bake until golden brown, and if you do that, you will have hard cookies. The secret is to only bake them until the tops are dry. If you don’t know what I mean, watch your first batch during the last couple of minutes and you will see.
I should have taken a picture of the inside of one so you can see how soft and delicious these are!
Although the cookies are plenty flavorful on their own, you can also use your favorite icing recipe to decorate your cookies. You can see my favorite one HERE. I usually add a little extra powdered sugar to the icing if I am piping it onto cookies so it sets up easily.
Perfect Soft Gingerbread Cookies
The perfect recipe for soft and delicious gingerbread cookies.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 tblsp. vinegar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for flouring surface)
With a mixer, beat shortening on high speed for 30 seconds or until light and fluffy.
Add sugar, spices, baking powder and baking soda and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mix in egg. Mix in molasses and vinegar, again scraping the bowl until evenly combined.
Add flour until evenly combined.
Wrap dough in parchment and refrigerate for 3 hours. I like to make it more flat and rectangular instead of a round ball. This makes it chill more quickly and evenly.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out dough on floured surface, 1/2 at a time, to be a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into shapes.
Bake for 5-6 minutes or until tops of cookies are barely dry.
Decorate as desired.
Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
Here are 21 more delicious cookies for you to make this Christmas! If this doesn’t make you excited for the season, I don’t know what will.
The Perfect Soft Gingerbread Cookies by Ella Claire | Classic Sugar Cookies by Nina Hendrick Design Co. | Plaid Sugar Cookies by Craftberry Bush | Buttery Shortbread Cookies with Icing Sugar by A Burst of Beautiful | German Chocolate Cake Cookies by City Farmhouse
Cranberry Orange Walnut Tassies by Inspired by Charm | Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies by Julie Blanner | All Natural Orange Almond Cookies by Tidbits | Choco-mallow Peppermint Cookies by Summer Adams Designs | Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies by Love Grows Wild
Paleo Chocolate Cranberry Cookies by Nesting with Grace | Raspberry Gingersnap Sandwiches by anderson + grant | Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cookies by Rooms for Rent | Large Thumbprint Cookies by So Much Better with Age | Rum Balls by Tidy Mom
Countdown to Christmas Cookies by House 214 Design | GF + DF Gingerbread Sugar Cookies by Zevy Joy | Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies by Boxwood Avenue | Double Chocolate Christmas Cookies by Nest of Posies | Almond Sugar Cookies by My Sweet Savannah