Soft Gingerbread Cookies

These gingerbread cookies are the perfect holiday treat. With tons of spices every bite of these lovely soft cookies will make a perfect compliment to coffee, for a perfect after dinner treat. 

These are one of my favorite cookies for the holidays. I mean I do make them other times of year but there is something special once the holidays roll around. These are the perfect to make with the entire family and can be decorated all kinds of ways. These are the best cookies to eat while wrapping gifts, decorating the house, or just chilling and listening to your favorite holiday music. I promise you they will disappear quickly from kitchen. 

In this recipe

Like my spiced molasses cookies there a little bit of pepper in these and a whole lotta ginger. Both of these are essential to this cookie recipe. 

Black pepper: With all of the rest of the warming spices the pepper adds additional depth to dish and a little extra kick.

Ginger: There is a whole tablespoon of ginger in here. Yes I know that it sounds like a lot however this will give these cookies their wonderful ginger flavor. 

Molasses: For this recipe you want to use an unsulphured molasses. Also you don’t want to use blackstrap as it will be too bitter and will ruin the cookies. 

Ingredients for gingerbread cookies on a wooden cutting board
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Making the batter

One of the most important things for this recipe is to make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. This takes care of several things at once. The first is to make sure that everything mixes well and evenly. You want to have a well mixed and even batter, this will keep the cookies uniform. Secondly it will keep the batter from breaking before adding the dry ingredients. Breaking is when the mixture looks curdled and this will happen when the butter and other ingredients aren’t at the same temperature causing the warmer butter to seize. 

A bowl of dry ingredients before mixing
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Cookie batter in a stand mixer
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gingerbread cookie dough in a stand mixer
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A ball of cookie dough in cling film
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Unbaked gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet
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Baked gingerbread cookies on a sheet pan
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Keep it cool

Once you roll the dough into a ball you will want to cool it down. This helps the gluten relax so that it isn’t too tough and you get a nice soft cookie. The longer that the dough can sit in the refrigerator the more intense the flavors will be. The resting time allows the flavors to develop more intensely. If you want to kick up the flavors even more then toast the spices before you add them to the flour and allow the dough to rest overnight. Cold dough is also easier to cut than warm dough. 

A pile of gingerbread cookies
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Baking the gingerbread cookies

Baking soda is added to these cookies. It will do a couple of things. The first one is that it will make the cookies spread a little and the second is that it helps keep them soft. With that in mind you will want to make sure you allow a little space between the cookies and not pack the baking sheet. Also you want to make sure you take them out before the the edges start to darken more then the rest of the cookie. That keeps the entire cookie soft and prevents the cookies from getting bitter. 

Close up of iced gingerbread cookies
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Looking for other ginger recipes?

Close up of iced gingerbread cookies
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Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies topped with royal icing.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 138 kcal


  • Stand Mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
  • Cooke cutter or stencil of choice
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cling film
  • 2 Sheet pan
  • Silicon mats or parchment paper


Gingerbread cookie dough

  • cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • ¾ cups butter unsalted, softened
  • cup dark brown sugar packed
  • cup molasses unsulphured and not blackstrap
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper finely ground
  • 1 egg room temperature

Royal icing

  • cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 egg white 1 tablespoon egg white powder and 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice


Gingerbread cookies

  • In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and baking soda and whisk until completely combined. Set aside.
  • In an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Next add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Then add the egg and beat until evenly incorporated scraping down the bowl frequently. Add the molasses and mix until completely combined. The batter should be smooth.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the flour. Mix until all of the flour has been just incorporated and then stop. Do not overmix.
  • Place the gingerbread dough on cling film shape into a ball and wrap. Flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for at least an hour but can be refrigerated over night.
  • Allow the dough to sit out at room temperature for at least 5 minutes so the dough can roll a bit easier. Lightly flour the counter, or parchment paper and roll out the dough to the desired thickness, about 1/8 inch.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes, or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes. If the dough is too warm pop it back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, 177°C or gas mark 4.
  • Transfer 9 cookies onto a parchment or silicon lined sheet pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven before the edges start to darken.
  • Allow to cool at least 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough.

Royal Icing

  • If using egg whites then in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and lemon juice together adding the sifted powder sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. If using powdered egg whites in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the powder, water, and lemon juice. Then add the powdered sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency and if it is too stiff add an additional teaspoon of water until the desired consistency is reached. Place the icing in a piping bag to help prevent it from hardening.
  • Decorate the cooled cookies as desired. Depending on the texture and amount of the icing used it may take several hours for it to completely harden.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 50mgPotassium: 118mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 126IUVitamin C: 0.05mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Cookie, Gingerbread, Molasses
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gingerbread cookies pinterest pin
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12 thoughts on “Soft Gingerbread Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    These were so fun to make and turned out perfect. These little Gingerbread cookies are a great addition to our holiday celebrations.

  2. 5 stars
    SO many gingerbread cookies are crisp and crumbly. I love that these are soft and chewy. Your directions are clear and easy to follow!

  3. 5 stars
    I love soft gingerbread cookies. These are so festive and perfect for the holidays. My grandkids are going to love them.

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