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Plate of three gingerbread cookies on top of a grey napkin

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Leslie Jeon
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 3-inch cookies 1x


These classic cut-out gingerbread cookies are soft, perfectly spiced, and wonderful for the holiday season! Cut them out into any shape you'd like, then bring them to life by decorating them with homemade royal icing.



Gingerbread Cookies: 

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3/4 cup (160g) light brown sugar, packed 
  • 1/2 cup (170g) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg (50g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Royal Icing: 

  • 2 pasteurized egg whites (60g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (340g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Optional: a few drops of food coloring


Gingerbread Cookies:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream together the softened butter and light brown sugar until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well to combine, scraping the bowl well after each addition.
  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, scraping as needed.
  3. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  5. After the dough has chilled, lightly flour your countertop and roll the cookie dough out to about a ¼-inch thickness. Cut out the cookies using your desired cookie cutters, then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, or until they are crisp around the edges. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Make sure the cookies are completely cool before decorating.

Royal Icing: 

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), whisk together the egg whites and vanilla extract until white and foamy, then gradually add in the powdered sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Finally, add in water one teaspoon at a time until you can make a figure eight with the icing that disappears in eight seconds.
  2. If desired, color the royal icing with food coloring, then transfer the icing to a piping bag and decorate the cooled cookies.  
  3. Make sure to let the icing dry completely before serving, then store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  • Yield: The number of cookies that this recipe yields depends on the size of the cookie cutter you use.
  • Make Ahead Instructions: If you'd like to prepare the dough ahead of time, you can refrigerate it for 2-3 days or freeze it for up to 2 months. You can also freeze the baked cookies and let them thaw to room temperature before serving.
  • Storage: Stored in an airtight container, these cookies will usually last for 1 week at room temperature.
  • Inspiration: This recipe is adapted from these delicious Gingerdoodles from Broma Bakery. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chill Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American