Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Chocolate Gingerbread Men are a sweet twist on classic Christmas cookies. Sugar and spiced cookie dough with ginger, cocoa powder, molasses, and brown sugar.

Original Gingerbread Cookies get a Chocolate Cookie upgrade and are made into adorable Christmas characters perfect for Santa, his little helpers, or as holiday gifts. Check out more Cookie Recipes perfect for baking on Christmas Eve!

Chocolate Gingerbread Men on serving plate

Making cookies on Christmas Eve is one of those traditions you can find all over the world. Holiday baking with kids gets even more special on the most magical night of the year. Gingerbread Men are one of the iconic Christmas Eve cookies to leave on a cookie platter for St. Nick.

As great as a classic Gingerbread recipe is, it’s time for this kid-friendly upgrade. This is a gingerbread cookie that has something for everyone. Rich dark cocoa powder for the chocolate lovers, warm spices for the gingerbread lovers, and soft, chewy texture for cookie lovers everywhere. It’s also an adorable addition to any holiday cookie tray.

If you’ve never tried chocolate and gingerbread spices together, you are in for a real treat. This Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie tastes like you’ve dipped ginger snaps in hot chocolate. Decorate these sweet and perfectly spiced cookies with Chocolate Royal Icing (below) for even more cocoa goodness!

Chocolate Gingerbread Men collage

Making these adorable little Chocolate Gingerbread Men is a fun family activity during the holidays. Kids will love dressing up their gingerbread cookies with frosting and little candy bits. Have a cookie decorating party and let friends and family customize their own baked cookie cutouts. Use all kinds of cookie cutters, these can be Chocolate Gingerbread stars, circus animals, a candy cane cookie, or whatever your kids like best!

Leave these Chocolate Gingerbread Men out for Santa with some homemade Hot Chocolate topped with Whipped Cream. Of course, your little Christmas helpers are going to have to sample the cocoa and cookies too! Gingerbread Cookies also make great holiday gifts wrapped in tissue paper in a festive box.

Chocolate Gingerbread Men being decorated

How to Make Chocolate Gingerbread Men

  • Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg and set aside.
  • Wet Ingredients: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes. Always use unsalted butter when baking so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Add brown sugar and molasses and mix until combined, then add egg and vanilla and mix until fully combined. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

  • Chill: The dough will be sticky and thick. Give it a few kneads by hand and divide in half. Form discs and wrap up tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).
  • Roll and Cut: On a well-floured surface roll out dough discs into a ¼ inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 4 or 6 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheets with about 1 inch space in between. Dip your cutter into flour before using to keep the cookies from sticking to it.
  • Bake: Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees on cookie sheets with parchment paper. Bake one baking tray of cookies at a time for 8-11 minutes, the cookies should just lose their sheen and edges set slightly. Allow cooling on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate with royal icing or other frosting of your choice.

More Holiday Cookie Classics

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when my Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are done?

 

You don’t want to over bake Gingerbread Men, or they will be extra hard and crunchy. Remove them from the oven when the edges are slightly set and they appear dry. They will set more as they cool.

How do I keep cookies fresh for gifting?

 

When giving cookies as a gift, you want to bake them as fresh as possible before wrapping and gifting (see the tips below on preparing the dough in advance). Make sure they are cooled completely, and package them in tissue paper to keep them from cracking. If your gift box or tin is not air tight, wrap the entire box in a clear plastic bag and tie with a decorative ribbon. Then your gift wrap also serves to help keep the cookies fresh!

How do I make chewy Gingerbread Cookies?

 

For soft, chewy cookies you want to handle the dough as little as possible. Once the flour mixture is incorporated, stop mixing. It’s also helpful to use sharp cookie cutters so that you can move quickly to keep the dough from being handled too much or warming up as you work.

Why did my gingerbread men spread in the oven?

 

This dough needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours, unless you want Gingerbread Men that look like they got steamrolled. Since the butter becomes softened when mixing the dough, you want it to completely chill again so that your cookies will bake without spreading.

Can I use this recipe to make a Chocolate Gingerbread House?

 

To make Gingerbread House pieces, leave out the baking powder in this recipe and bake a few minutes longer. Roll the dough into sheets and use a sharp knife or pizza cutter with a ruler to cut out the walls and roof of your house.

Chocolate Gingerbread Men propped up against stack

Key Ingredients in Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Most of the ingredients for these cute cookies are already in your pantry. There are a few things that bring an extra special flavor to this wintery recipe.

  • Spices: Classic mixed spices of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice add a warm and festive flavor to the Chocolate Gingerbread Men. The gingerbread spices meld together as the dough chills. Make sure your spices are fresh for the holiday baking season by replacing anything that is older than six months.
  • Cocoa: Use Dutch process cocoa powder, rather than regular unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa has a darker, rich hue and more smooth, mellow flavor. The gingerbread and chocolate flavor combination works perfectly for these delicious cookies.
  • Molasses: Light molasses is going to be sweeter than dark molasses. You should never use cooking or blackstrap molasses for baking – it’s really bitter!

Can you make Chocolate Gingerbread Men ahead?

Chocolate Gingerbread Men dough can be frozen for about 3 months or kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, form cookie dough into a log shape and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator to roll shapes or just slice straight from frozen dough for round cookies.

Chocolate Gingerbread Men on serving plate

Variations on Chocolate Gingerbread Men

  • Espresso: Sift 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder into your cocoa powder. Not only does espresso add a delicious bitterness, it enhances the richness of the chocolate.
  • Decorations: Take your Chocolate Gingerbread dough scraps and use mini cookie cutters to make gingerbread decorations for cakes and cupcakes. Bake for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how tiny the cookie cutters are.
  • Chocolate: For a simple decoration, drizzle Chocolate Gingerbread Men with melted white chocolate, dark chocolate, or Chocolate Ganache.
  • Frosting: For an easy, spreadable decoration use Sugar Cookie Frosting. This is great for kids since they can press candies into the frosting and they won’t fall off.

Royal Icing for Chocolate Gingerbread Men

  • Ingredients: 1 pound powdered sugar, ⅓ Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 7 tablespoons warm water, 3 tablespoons meringue powder (powdered egg whites).
  • Sift powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and meringue powder together in a bowl.
  • Slowly stir in water until you get the consistency of royal icing used for piping (thick enough to outline but not gloopy).

More Delicious Holiday Cookies

How to Store Chocolate Gingerbread Men

  • Serve: Chocolate Gingerbread Men will stay good at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • Store: Refrigerating Gingerbread will harden your cookies, so leave them on the counter for 30 minutes to soften. Store in an airtight container for about 1 to 1 ½ weeks.
  • Freeze: Freeze undecorated Gingerbread Men cookies for up to 3 months. Cool completely before storing in a freezer bag.

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Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Chocolate Gingerbread Men are a sweet twist on classic Christmas cookies. Sugar and spiced cookie dough with ginger, cocoa powder, molasses, and brown sugar.
Yield 24 Cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • tsp  cinnamon
  • 1/2  tsp  allspice
  • 1/8  tsp  ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup  molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing, Frosting, Decorative Sprinkles, Candies, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper & set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add brown sugar and molasses and mix until combined.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
  • The dough will be sticky and thick. Give it a few kneads by hand and divide in half. Form discs and wrap up tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Chill for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).
  • On a well-floured surface roll out dough discs into a ¼ inch thickness.
  • Cut out cookies with a 4 or 6 inch gingerbread men cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheets with about 1 inch space in between.
  • Bake one baking sheet of cookies at a time for 8-11 minutes, the cookies should just lose their sheen and edges set slightly.
  • Allow cooling on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Decorate with royal icing or other frosting of your choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 169IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Chocolate Gingerbread Men collage

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 upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being 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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Comments

  1. Sabrina, you are a genius! I am saving this recipe for the Holidays. I can’t wait to make them! I know they will be DELICIOUS !!!!