Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies

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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!

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!

The Ultimate Gingerbread Cookies

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Okay, okay it isn’t officially Christmas yet…technically it isn’t even December yet, but nothing can lessen my excitement for my favorite holiday of the year. I’ve been counting down the days until Black Friday all month. I know you probably think it is because of the awesome deals but it isn’t. Black Friday is officially the start of Christmas in our house! We wake up in the morning (at a normal time), enjoy some Santa Gingerbread Pancakes (coming soon!) and get ready to go buy our Christmas tree! By early afternoon its been washed and dried and we spend the afternoon decorating the tree, eating these Gingerbread Cookies, listening to Christmas music and making homemade ornaments. Black Friday is almost better than Christmas Day itself to me.

I think it is officially okay to be all about Christmas now right? Once Thanksgiving passes the Christmas floodgates burst open! These gingerbread cookies are based on a recipe given to me by a family friend who has won THREE cookie contests with them! I’ve always loved gingerbread cookies but having never made them for myself I would always buy the gingerbread assortment with chocolate under them. They are the same kind my grandmother used to buy so the memories they would bring back were so special.

Now that I have a family I am so excited about making new traditions that when I find recipes like this one, I make it part of a tradition they can count on each year. Maybe in 30 years or so when they have kids (wow that idea sounds insane) they will ask me for the recipe to make for their own little ones. And because I am a total sucker for my little ones I caved in just a few seconds when my oldest declared they needed gingerbread men sprinkles. I think it adds something, don’t you? Ha.How to make gingerbread cookiesI have just a few suggestions for this recipe so it works out for you. I know sometimes when I make cookies I want them to be done in 20 minutes and having to wait makes me pretty unhappy. So I am warning you ahead of time, 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 🙂

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!

When you form the dough into a ball and roll it into the sugar be sure you press it down a bit. I use a water glass bottom to press it down to about 1/2 the ball’s thickness.

Last and most important, send some to me after you make them. They’re one of my favorite cookies and an anchor recipe of my Christmas Cookie Swap Plate.Easy Gingerbread Cookies Recipe



Best Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

4.93 from 188 votes
  • Yield: 36 Servings
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
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!


  • 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 white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.)
  2. Cream the butter and 1 cup sugar.
  3. Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the orange juice and molasses (I use light molasses) until combined.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients in small batches until just combined.
  6. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, if you can't at least put it in the freezer for a half an hour.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 36 Servings, Amount per serving: 98 calories, Calories: 98g, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 83mg, Potassium: 46mg, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 125g, Vitamin C: 0.2g, Calcium: 8g, Iron: 0.5g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

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!
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!

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  1. I love this recipe and have made them the last couple years. This year I wanted to make them for all my co workers. It’s a large amount of cookies. About 200. I was wondering how I should go about scaling the recipe or if I should just make a lot of batches 🙂 please help!

  2. Hi. I made these this year on a friend’s recommendation. I used the 2 tbsp. measure you recommended and the cookies are huge! I only got half the 36 number your recipe says. I was reluctant to reduce the size because of the bake time but I’ll play around with the portions in the future. Not all complaints, though. The house smells amazing and my tongue is tingling, which is something I want in a gingerbread cookie. Thank you. The taste is amazing and much easier and less time confusing than trying to find Pepperidge Farms’ version. I’ll never buy store bought again.

  3. OUTSTANDING!! My recipe made about two dozen nice-sized cookies. Some had crinkles in them and some did not which didn’t affect the taste, I just like the crinkles.
    Wondering what I did wrong. I refrigerated the dough for about 2 hours, 20 minutes. Definitely a keeper!!

  4. THE BEST HOLIDAY COOKIES EVER! I first tried this recipe about 4 years ago, and I brought them to my boyfriend’s family Christmas party. Everyone loved them, and I have been expected to bring them every year since. They are so simple, fun to make, and absolutely delicious. I make them for every event I go to during the holiday season, and all of my family and friends love them. Thank you so much for this incredible recipe! It has become a wonderful tradition that I will keep going for the rest of my life!

  5. I made these throughout the month of Dec-ginger cookies to me are holiday cookies. :). Everyone I gave them to requested I bake again. I have another batch in the oven today as a friend asked if I would mind making them one more time :). thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. I tried this recipe this Christmas and they were the hit of the season. None of my normal standard holiday recipes could compare. Be sure to leave plenty of room on the cookie sheet so they stay nice and round. My cookies were perfectly done and lasted over a week in a ziploc bag.

  7. Hi Sabrina, these look amazing and I’m planning on making them for my Dad who loves ginger! I wanted to know, roughly how long would these last in an air tight container at room temp?

  8. I forgot to mention, the middle of the cookie is always mushy/raw, and if i leave it longer to cook, the outside gets too crisoy. Ive tried different temos and oven positions, sifferent baking sheets, different amount if cookies baking at a time etc. Could you possibly.make a video? Im so dedicated to figuring out whats wrong!

  9. I have desperately been trying over the last 2 years to get these cookies to bane consistantly. I absolutely love the taste, but in always disappointed at how they end up baking. Ive tried changing the butter measurements, the sugsr, baking time, position of oven rack, different ovens, measuring the dough at different sizes. I dont know what do, please please help!!

    1. So sorry I’m just now seeing this. It got caught in my spam file. Baking can be tricky and there are quite a few things that can cause issues. Feel free to email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com so we can troubleshoot together.

  10. This recipe looks deeeelish! However I’m currently living in Colombia and am having a difficult time locating molasses. Would you be able to recommend an alternative for me? Thanks so much 🙂

  11. These are Spekulatius cookies! But way better as they’re not as dry and crunchy which I’ve never been a fan of. My whole house was filled with the divine smell of them. I just had them with black tea which was a good combination.
    I had one issue, though. I had them for more than two hours in the fridge (5°C) which was probably not enough for slow me. By the end the butter got warm and sticky. Next time I will put them in the freezer (-19°C) for a while right before I make the cookies. I also read the tip to use a metal bowl that was either chilled with the dough or put in the freezer for some extra time to make the cookies.

  12. Third year making these for Christmas. Super easy and delicious. Right amount of firmness on the outside and softness on the inside-chewy goodness. I use red and green sugar in addition to the white for some subtle Christmas color. Everyone always loves them.

    1. I did put 1/4 c of bread flour. They were great, but next batch I will do the recipe without. Nice crunchy cookie but no chewy in the middle. Can’t wait to make again

  13. Hey- this calls for “white sugar” and “sugar” so I’m slightly confused! When googling, these appear to be the same thing?

  14. This cookie is really very good! I followed instructions and they came out soft on the inside with a slight bite on outside. I used a 2 Tbl cookie scoop. Great flavor and lots of compliments.

  15. I’ve made these before and they’re my FAVORITE cookie recipe. But this time I did everything the same way and they didn’t flatten and get all gooey! They’re puffy and not gooey. I’m so sad. Any ideas what happened? I refrigerated them overnight so I thought they were too cold and that’s why they didnt flatten and get gooey but then I microwaved the last dough batch and they still came out puffy. I replaced molasses with syrup but I did that last year and they still came out fine last year…

    1. Actually I wonder if it’s my flour…. I live overseas right now and bought Japanese flour. Last year I used regular flour but this year I bought flour using google translate so maybe it’s not an all purpose flour

  16. How are you mixing the ingredients? I have a regular handheld mixer? How long do I know to cream the butter and sugar, and how long do I know to combine until it is good enough? I never made homemade cookies only prepackaged ones. Thank you!

  17. I love these cookies! This is the second year I have made them. After two batches today, I wondering if I could make the dough ahead of time and freeze???? Seriously, these are the best cookies. My whole family and everyone at work and all my friends want these cookies. Last year I must have made 10 batches! Thank you for sharing the delicious recipe. It is printed and will stay on my recipe book for life

    1. I’m so glad you love it so much! You can totally freeze the dough ahead of time. I would suggest rolling them into balls and then flash freezing them to put into a freezer-safe storage bag to store to make it easier to pull out and bake. You’ll need to add additional time, maybe 2-3 minutes more, in the oven if you’re baking them straight from the freezer. Hope this helps!

  18. I have made these cookies three years in a row for Christmas, and for cookie exchanges.
    My family just devour them, when I make them.
    I just made another batch today, and am going to dip them in lemon icing.
    Thank you for the recipe,

  19. Found this recipe online when I was looking for a great gingerbread men recipe, and while it didn’t quite match what I was looking for I am definitely glad I decided to try and make it anyway. Wow! What a fabulous find! I had a bunch of teenagers over the evening after I had made the dough so I decided to try it out on them first. When I noticed that they kept returning for more and more, and how they were raving about how good they were I decided to try them on coworkers and family. Consensus among everyone is that they are absolutely one of the best gingerbread cookies out there. I have made 4 batches this holiday season and i’m getting ready to make my 5th since my sister has put in a special request for a new years eve party she will be attending. Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. This recipe was an absolute hit with my family.
    I didn’t have ground ginger, so I ended up using fresh ginger which resulted in delicious, subtly spiced biscuits.
    They’re so easy to make and have a great texture- you know, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
    I decorated them with royal icing instead of white chocolate.

    Thank you- I’ll definitly be using this recipe again!

  21. Made this recipe for Christmas. Everyone loved them, including me. This is a wonderful cookie recipe! Guests asked for the recipe themselves. 5 stars, would recommend.

    1. Yay! When they ask for the recipe I take that as a definite win!

      So glad you loved it, thank you for coming back to leave a review! And on Christmas day, I so appreciate it. 🙂

  22. The flavor of these cookies are delicious… but rather flat and I refrigerated dough overnight.
    It didn’t say whether to grease the pan so I did. Is this why they flattened out too much?

    1. My initial thoughts are maybe there wasn’t enough flour or maybe the baking soda is too old. Could either of those things have happened? Also I don’t grease the pan, but I don’t think that was the culprit here probably.

  23. This will probably sound strange but.. could I replace the ginger with something else? I’m considering some spice like mehlep or something..

  24. This is a delicious recipe! We made the cookies smaller than the recommended 2 T ball and had to bake them 15 min in our oven. We sprinkled sugar on the top instead of rolling the dough in sugar bc I am on a diet.

    My neighbor made them and hers turned out great too. So two thumbs up!

  25. I made these cookies and they tasted delicious! However they did not look like the cookies in your photo. Mine were more rounded, darker, and didn’t have the crinkles on top. Any idea why mine were different?

    1. Did you cook them right out of the fridge with super cold dough? If they were super puffy it could be the temperature of the dough, they didn’t get a chance to spread enough. Or it could be (given the darkness and them cooking before spreading) that maybe your oven runs hot. Do you have an in oven thermometer to check your oven temp?

    1. You can either substitute with all spice, if you have it, or make a 50/50 blend of nutmeg and cinnamon to make up for the clove missing (1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon). Enjoy!

    1. I’ve found that they don’t keep their gingerbread men shape very well. I would recommend using another recipes specific for using the cookie cutter.

  26. Hi,

    I couldn’t get 36 cookies out of this recipe by doing 2 T. per cookie. Darn! I’m going to a cookie exchange and needed more cookies…will they get too cooked if they’re thinner?

  27. I absolutely love these cookies, and now that I have a sensitivity to gluten I’ve experimented with gluten free flour blends. I finally found the perfect match! Have the flour called for I use almond and the other half I use rice and of course add xanthium gum. They came out splendid! I once made about 8 dz for a church Christmas party and they were devoured. These are the absolute best cookies! I make them frequently for others and now can make gf ones for myself. Thank you for sharing such good with us!

  28. These cookies were a HUGE hit at my cookie exchange at work. They were gone before everyone else’s cookies and those that missed them were upset because “they heard about them” from others. I did do the white chocolate dip also! The only change I did was I added a little cinnamon to my sugar sprinkle before I backed them. Thanks for a marvelous recipe I will definitely do this one again!

  29. I have to make everything I eat unless it’s labeled organic, due to health problems. I used fresh ground heritage grain (sonora) wheat instead of regular flour. I also substituted unbleached minimally processed sugar (non GMO). Since I did not have OJ, I also substituted some fresh pineapple juice I had made yesterday.

    I know that does not sound like an improvement for those not used to using whole grain, but wow. I had been planning to take some to work, but now there is a 0% chance of sharing. Sorry other people, but these are mine, all mine now (plus a family member or two). Maybe this should come with a warning that you need to make a triple batch if there is any chance of them actually making it to any destination other than my own plate. Sorry, cookies usually do not make me that greedy. With having to cut out all chemicals, it is hard to get the variety of food I used to have. (The strict diet slows down my ALS quite a bit) Thanks for this. It was just what I needed, and I was able to make it safe to eat for those on a very strict no artificial chemical diet.

  30. These cookies were a huge hit!! They were the perfect texture and I used the mild flavor molasses so they weren’t too strong. I took them to a family party and they were gone in minutes. I’m making another batch tonight! (The dough is chilling as we speak)

    This really is the perfect Christmas cookie.

  31. These are the best cookies I have ever made in my entire life. I ate them for snacks, dessert, even breakfast…yes, I ate 2 of these bad boys for breakfast one morning while my kids sat at the table in horror. I made them into little shapes and the dough was a nightmare to work even after chilling wso you MUST be super fast if doing shapes because the dough essentially melts. I cannot reiterate enough how delicious these are.