Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

36 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

These Gingerbread Cookies are perfect for getting you in the Holiday spirit. An award-winning recipe with warm spices and molasses!

Merry Christmas!

These Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies will get you feeling festive and make your Christmas Cookie Exchange clamor for the recipe! Shared by a family friend, they have won three cookie competitions!

Making these cookies is a delightful and stress-free experience. Mixing together butter, sugar, and molasses creates a dough that’s both easy to handle and bursting with flavor. Rolling the dough into balls, giving them a sugary coating, and watching them transform into cookies with a delightful crunch on the outside and a soft, tender inside is simply heartwarming. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, these Gingerbread Cookies are a treat that will add a touch of holiday magic to your gatherings. So, let’s whip up some homemade joy and make your holidays even more special!

Other yummy Christmas Recipes like Strawberry Pavlova and Turtle Cheesecake can create quite the buzz too!

Video: How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Best Gingerbread Cookies on serving plate

Sabrina’s Gingerbread Cookie recipe is your ticket to the heartwarming flavors of the holiday season. Imagine a magical mix of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and molasses, all in one cookie. It’s like a cozy holiday hug in dessert form! Sound interesting? Then you’ll love to try our Santa Gingerbread Pancakes.

Gingerbread cookies trace their origins to medieval Europe, with spices like ginger arriving through Crusaders. Initially a luxury, they featured intricate shapes and gold leaf decoration. Over time, gingerbread cookies became a festive treat at European fairs and holidays. European settlers brought gingerbread traditions to North America in the 17th century, leading to the development of the classic gingerbread cookie we enjoy today, especially during Christmas.

Creating these cookies is as easy as a winter breeze. You’ll whip up a batch by creaming butter, sugar, and molasses, adding a splash of orange juice, and blending it all with dry ingredients. Roll the dough in sugar for an extra touch of sweetness, and voilà! You’ve got cookies that are perfect for family gatherings and festive parties.

Can These Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, they can! The dough can be refrigerated for 1-2 days in advance. This makes it a convenient option for those looking to prepare in advance and bake fresh, warm cookies when needed!


  • 2 ¼ cups Flour: The primary dry ingredient, flour serves as the base, providing structure and texture to the cookies. All-purpose flour works best.
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger: Ground ginger adds that delightful, signature spiciness to the cookies, infusing them with warm and zesty flavor. It’s a key player in gingerbread cookies, and there’s no perfect substitute.
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda: Baking soda acts as a leavening agent, making the cookies rise and become light and fluffy.
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon: Cinnamon brings that cozy, aromatic sweetness to the cookies, enhancing their overall warmth. Cinnamon is a gingerbread essential.
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves: Ground cloves provide a unique, earthy depth of flavor, complementing the ginger.
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt: Salt enhances the overall taste by balancing sweetness and intensifying other flavors. Regular table salt or sea salt both work well.
  • ¾ cup Butter, softened: Butter adds richness and moisture to the cookies, making them tender and flavorful. Unsalted butter is preferred, but you can use salted butter and adjust the added salt accordingly.
  • 1 cup Sugar: Sugar sweetens the dough and adds that classic cookie sweetness. You can use white sugar or granulated sugar, or even brown sugar for a slightly stronger molasses flavor.
  • 1 large Egg: The egg binds the ingredients together and adds moisture, resulting in a chewy texture.
  • 1 tablespoon Orange juice: Orange juice provides a subtle citrusy note that balances the spices.
  • ¼ cup Molasses: Molasses is the star of gingerbread cookies, giving them their iconic flavor and color.
  • ¼ cup Sugar (for rolling): This additional sugar is used to coat the dough before baking, creating a sweet and slightly crispy exterior. You can use coarse sugar for extra crunch or regular granulated sugar.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls: Mixing bowls are essential for combining dry and wet ingredients. Choose a set with various sizes to accommodate different stages of the recipe.

  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer: A stand mixer or hand mixer makes creaming butter and sugar a breeze. It ensures a uniform dough consistency. Tip: Start at a low speed to prevent ingredients from flying out of the bowl.

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precise measurements are crucial in baking. Use measuring cups and spoons to portion flour, sugar, and other ingredients accurately.

  • Spatula: A spatula helps scrape every bit of dough from the mixing bowl and ensures nothing goes to waste.

  • Baking Sheets: Baking sheets are where your cookies come to life. Use rimmed baking sheets to prevent cookies from spreading too much. Tip: Line the sheets with parchment paper for easy cleanup and to prevent sticking.

How to Make Easy Gingerbread Cookies

Time needed: 3 hours and 15 minutes.

  1. Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients

    In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt. Set this dry flour mixture aside.Sifting flour

  2. Step 2: Cream Butter and Sugar

    In a separate mixing bowl, or your electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and white sugar until the mixture is smooth and well combined.mixing butter and sugar

  3. Step 3: Add Egg and Orange Juice

    Add a large egg to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Then, mix in the tablespoon of orange juice until well combined.adding egg to bowl

  4. Step 4: Incorporate Molasses

    Gradually add the ¼ cup of molasses to the wet mixture and mix until it’s fully integrated.adding molasses to a bowl

  5. Step 5: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

    Incorporate the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients in small batches, mixing until just combined. Avoid overmixing; you want the dough to come together without overworking it.mixing dry and wet ingredients

  6. Step 6: Chill the Dough

    Refrigerate the cookie dough for 2-3 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can place it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm it up.cookie dough ready to be chilled

  7. Step 7: Preheat Oven

    Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

  8. Step 8: Shape and Coat

    Take about 2 tablespoons of dough, roll it into balls, and roll each ball in the ¼ cup of sugar to coat. Place them on a baking sheet, leaving space for spreading.round dough ball dipped into sugar

  9. Step 9: Flatten and Bake

    Flatten each dough ball to the thickness of a double-stuffed Oreo. Bake in the preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Avoid overbaking; you want them slightly soft in the center.cup flattening a round dough ball

  10. Step 10: Cool and Enjoy

    Once done, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. Enjoy your freshly baked Gingerbread Cookies!spatula lifting cookie off of baking sheet

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Best Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 98 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 83mg4%
Potassium 46mg1%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 125IU3%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Store

Store leftover gingerbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, maintaining their texture and flavor.


If cookies become slightly stale, microwave briefly with a damp paper towel for a fresh-baked taste.

Freezing Cookies

Freeze Gingerbread Cookies by first placing them on a baking sheet until solid, then transferring to an airtight container or freezer bag for long-term storage, up to 2-3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to chill Gingerbread Cookie dough?

Chilling gingerbread cookie dough is not strictly required, but it is highly recommended for better results. Chilling the dough allows the flavors to meld and enhances the texture of the cookies. It also makes the dough easier to handle and roll, preventing excessive spreading during baking and resulting in thicker, chewier cookies.

Can I substitute the orange juice in this recipe?

If you don’t have the orange juice feel free to use water. The orange juice really makes the flavor pop. It doesn’t taste like orange, it is similar to when you add coffee to a chocolate cake batter to intensify the chocolate flavor. It is like a secret ingredient that makes the cookie go from good to award-winning!

How do I shape the cookie dough for baking?

When you form the dough into a ball and roll it into the sugar be sure you press it down a bit. Use a water glass bottom to press it down to about ½ the ball’s thickness.

Can these Gingerbread Cookies be mailed?

These cookies will travel well if shipped with 1-2 day shipping. Make sure to package them securely in an airtight and well-cushioned container. They’re also a favorite cookie and an anchor recipe of any Christmas Cookie Swap Plate.

How do I convert cup measurements to grams for ingredients like molasses?

To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card. For example, ¼ cup of molasses is approximately 30 grams.

Can I add chopped crystallized ginger to the recipe?

Yes, adding a tablespoon or two of chopped crystallized ginger bits can be a tasty addition to the recipe.

What icing should I use for these cookies?

You can try our Royal Icing recipe, which pairs well with these cookies. You can find the recipe here: Royal Icing Recipe.

Can I use a cookie cutter for these cookies?

Using a gingerbread man mold can be a fun and creative twist to the recipe. It can result in puffier and more festive-shaped cookies.

Should I use self-rising or all-purpose flour for this recipe?

The recipe calls for plain all-purpose flour. There’s no need to use self-rising or specialty flours.

What size should I make the cookies?

If you prefer smaller cookies, you can adjust the size to 1 tablespoon each. The original recipe suggests using 2 tablespoon-sized balls.

What’s the purpose of orange juice in the recipe?

Orange juice helps balance the flavors of ginger and molasses in the cookies. It doesn’t impart an orange taste but enhances the overall flavor profile

Best Best Gingerbread Cookies on serving plate Cookies 2

Recipe Card

Best Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

These Gingerbread Cookies are perfect for getting you in the Holiday spirit. An award-winning recipe with warm spices and molasses!
Yield 36 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter , softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.)
  • Cream the butter and 1 cup sugar.
  • Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated.
  • Add the orange juice and molasses (I use light molasses) until combined.
  • Add in the dry ingredients in small batches until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, if you can't at least put it in the freezer for a half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In about 2 tablespoon balls, roll into the ¼ cup sugar and flatten so it looks like the thickness of a double stuff Oreo, really thick but clearly flattened.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes.



  1. Click on the “yield” amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!  
  2. To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card.


Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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Photos used in previous versions of this post.

Best Gingerbread Cookies Collage of cookie balls
The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
This Gingerbread Cookie Recipe will get you feeling festive and make your Christmas Cookie Exchange clamor for the recipe! Given to me by a family friend, they have won three cookie competitions in less than 10 years!
Easy Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
Best Gingerbread Cookies Collage
These Gingerbread Cookies will get you feeling festive and make your Christmas Cookie Exchange clamor for the recipe! Given to me by a family friend, they have won three cookie competitions in less than 10 years!
How to make gingerbread cookies
These Gingerbread Cookies will get you feeling festive and make your Christmas Cookie Exchange clamor for the recipe! Given to me by a family friend, they have won three cookie competitions in less than 10 years!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This is the only gingerbread cookie I will make, and I have made it for years. It always gets wonderful reviews from others and I thought it was time to share that with you!

  2. I absolutely loves these cookies and I make them every year. For some reason they always come out differently. Today when I made them, I baked them as the recipe said at 350° for 9-11 minutes and they look doughy.

  3. Just baked a batch and I have no idea what I did wrong . But the dough just spread in the oven and didn’t rise . I started out with 8 individual cookies and needed up with one thin cookie . I bake them almost every year and each year they spread and get super huge but never deflate and flatten. Can you help me out ?

    1. A word of warning, please put this dough in the fridge! 2-3 hours will work magic. If you don’t you will have a hot (literal, haha) mess of sticky dough on your hands. Forming them will be a nightmare and they will get FLAT. Chill the dough and you won’t regret it.

    1. I have used different brands but I guessing the brand I’ve used the most would be Grandma’s Molasses. Let us know which brand you used and how your cookies turned out!

  4. Hello, this recipe sounds so great! But I am having trouble with the cup system, particularly when molasses are concerned, because they’re liquid. Could you please give me the measurement in grams? 1/4 cup molasses means 120 g divided by 4 which means 30 g, which seems very little… Please help!

    1. In the recipe card by the word “ingredients” there is an option to read the recipe in Metric measurements. Simply click on the word “Metric” and the measurements will automatically change. Let us know how your cookies turn out 🙂

  5. Would some chopped soft crystallized ginger find a good place in this recipe?
    I bow to your expertise. Have loved your column for years.

    1. Thanks Linda for your loyalty! Crystallized ginger bits sound yummy. Let us know if you tried them in the recipe!

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
      In about 2 tablespoon balls, roll into the 1/4 cup sugar and flatten so it looks like the thickness of a double stuff Oreo, really thick but clearly flattened.
      Bake for 9-11 minutes.

  6. I make these every year and they are absolutely delicious! They are my family’s favorite Christmas cookie. The only change I make is I like to make them in a cute gingerbread man mold I have, which lets them get puffy and yummy!

  7. I’ve made these for the past two years and they’re always a huge hit! The schedule is crazier than normal the year, can the dough be refridgerated for a few days before baking?

    1. Just plain all-purpose flour. If we’re using self-rising or another specialty flour, we’ll note that in the recipe.

  8. 2 tablespoons size cookies is too big. I did 40g cookies and they are still too big. Very good cookies but 1 tablespoon size is plenty.

  9. I have discovered that these cookies are my family fav….I do out a bit of Cinnamon in the sugar that I rolled them in just because we like a little extra cinnamon…

    1. Do you have a recipe for the icing? Do you recommend using salted or unsalted butter? Also, you have both white sugar and sugar listed so I’m a bit confused on the amount? Sorry for the 21 questions lol

  10. I have made so many cookies throughout my life and I must say that this is one of the BEST cookie recipes by far! Did you ever bake a cookie that you couldn’t stop eating? This is THAT cookie. They are beyond delicious!!!

  11. I LOVE this recipe. The taste is so good with not to much sweetness but alot of different flavors. I have substituted the OJ for apple cider in the past when I didn’t have OJ it still tasted great!

  12. Best gingerbread cookies ever ! I roll mine in Demerara sugar before flattering and baking !! It’s our Christmas cookie

  13. Hi Sabrina,
    Looking forward to trying this recipe, and have some questions first:

    • what’s the function of the orange juice?
    • 1/2tsp grnd cloves, imho sounds like a lot, perhaps a bit tongue-numbing?:) I’ll likely cut back the amount, but I am curious if any others found the clove flavor and eugenol anesthetic affects to overpower at all?

    Love your blog; thanks very much great recipes!

    1. Hi Patricia! I promise you won’t hate the cloves in that amount. The orange juice balances the ginger and molasses. You won’t taste orange at all, it’s just a counterbalance to the bitterness.

    2. My best friends and I have a yearly Christmas get together where we bake a whole bunch of cookies. This recipe has been our tried and true every year for over 5 years now. I keep coming back to it and will do so forever. They’re the best ginger molasses cookies out there.

    3. They are fabulous as is. I made them for thanksgiving potlucks and have been requested to send more this time. Use the shorter baking time so they are less crispy.

  14. Sabrina, I now live in a country unfamiliar with Molassas. Any ideas for a substitute?

    Thanks, I would really love to try this recipe. It’s been years since I’ve had good gingerbread (or really any gingerbread).

  15. These are by far the best gingerbread cookies around. I even prefer it to my famous chocolate chip cookies! Can’t go wrong with this recipe!

      1. I made the cookies following the recipe exactly as far as ingredients. They taste great but don’t have the nice “cracked” appearance, they are rather smooth. What do I change to get them to look like yours?

  16. Can this dough be frozen ahead of time before cooking? If so, and I bake them from frozen? I was hoping to prep all my cookies and bake just before I gift them.

    1. Yes, it can be frozen. You can either add a few minutes to the bake time if you want to bake them from frozen or allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking. Enjoy!

  17. Yummy! I’ve wanted to make homemade gingerbread for a while, and this was my trial recipe. I wasn’t sure if my husband, who’s not a huge gingerbread person, would like them, but he did!! My children, of course, devoured them!
    Super easy to mix up with my little kids, and they were easy to roll after chilling. Will definitely make again.
    Thanks for making my first gingerbread attempt a success!

      1. Absolutely love this recipe! I starting making them 5 years ago and they have been a HIT with family and friends! They never last long at gatherings!
        I doubled the batch this year, and wondering how long they stay fresh in an airtight container? And can they be frozen once cooked?

        Thank you for sharing the perfect Christmas gingerbread cookie recipe!


          Serve: Save Gingerbread Cookies in a ziploc bag or other airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

          Store: Keep your cookies in the fridge in an airtight container and they’ll last for up to a week before getting stale. To get your cookies chewy again, microwave for about 15 seconds.

          Freeze: Freeze prepared cookie dough or baked cookies for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Freeze cookie dough on a baking sheet for about an hour before transferring to a freezer bag.

          So glad you enjoy the recipe Lily and Happy Holidays!