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How to Make Gingerbread Cookies From Scratch

Learn how to make gorgeous gingerbread cookies to rule the holiday dessert table.



  • Stand mixer or handheld beater
  • Whisk
  • Rolling pin
  • Plastic wrap
  • Parchment paper
  • Pastry bag for icing
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Cookie cutters
  • Decorative candy and sprinkles



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Store-bought icing


Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

  1. Add 1 stick of room temperature butter and 3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar to a separate mixing bowl. Beat until creamy using a stand mixer or hand beater.
  2. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Crack 1 egg into the butter and sugar mixture, and add 3/4 cup of molasses.
  4. Add all dry ingredients.
  5. Return the bowl to the mixer until a smooth dough forms.
  6. Remove dough and sprinkle all over with flour. Form it into a thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. Firm up dough in the freezer for 1 hour.
  8. Remove the dough from the freezer and preheat oven to 350°F.
  9. Dust a marble board (or a cutting board) with flour.
  10. Place the dough on the board and cut into quarters.
  11. Roll out one quarter at a time to the thickness of a pancake. Add flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  12. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
  13. Lay each cookie on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.
  14. Repeat with the rest of the dough, baking the cookies in batches.
  15. Lay the baked cookies on a rack to cool.


How to Decorate

  1. Add water (a tablespoon at a time) to store-bought icing until it’s the consistency of hot fudge.
  2. Spoon icing into a pastry bag (or use a large, resealable plastic bag with one cut in the corner).
  3. Draw dots, lines, and other designs onto the cookies with the icing.
  4. Add sprinkles and candy for a finishing touch! The icing acts like glue to keep them on the cookie.


Expert Tips

  • Set out butter at room temperature 30 minutes before making the dough.
  • Start in advance. The dough needs to chill for 1 hour before rolling, and the cookies need to cool after baking before you can decorate them.
  • Use a marble board if you have one. It’ll keep dough chilled while you roll it out.
  • Keep plenty of flour on hand for dusting work surfaces so the dough doesn’t stick.
  • Use store-bought royal icing to save time.
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