Full of yummy spices and a delightful aroma, these delicious Soft Gingerbread Cookies are the perfect way to create holiday baking memories. They are super easy to cutout, hold their shape and stay soft for days!
The Perfect Soft Gingerbread Cutout Cookie
Holidays are all about traditions for me. One thing that brings memories, family time, and fun together is food! I think holiday baking with your kids is one of the best ways to create these traditions and memories with your family. Gingerbread is not only delicious, but is so fun to make and decorate with your kids!
This super soft, perfectly spiced gingerbread cookie recipe has made a gingerbread lover out of everyone who has tried them. Not only are they incredibly delicious, but they’re simple to make and the dough is so easy to work with! Plus the fabulous aroma makes the whole house smell like Christmas. They make a beautiful addition to holiday cookie plates, and are perfect for gifting! I’m sharing my tried and true tips that will guarantee you’ll get delicious gingerbread cookies that will stay soft and chewy for days. So break out those cutters and let’s get baking!
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make These Soft Gingerbread Cookies:
- Molasses– I like Grandma’s dark molasses. Do not use blackstrap molasses.
- Brown Sugar– Brown sugar will help keep your gingerbread cookies chewy.
- All-Purpose Flour– I usually use regular flour, but I have made them in the past with whole wheat flour or a combination of both.
- Butter– I like to use salted butter.
- Cinnamon, Ginger & Cloves– This combination makes for a delicious spiced cookie. For a more intense ginger flavor, you can add fresh ginger or minced crystallized ginger as well.
- Baking Soda
- Pure Vanilla Extract
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies:
- Whisk together dry ingredients. To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Beat the wet ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer and the softened butter, brown sugar and egg. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla extract and continue mixing until well combined.
- Combine. Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix on low just until combined. The dough should be thick and a little stick.
- Chill the dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap. Flatten slightly to make a disc. Refrigerate the dough for at least 60 minutes and up to overnight. Chilling the dough is important or your cookies will spread when baking.
- Roll out and cut into shapes. After the dough has chilled, remove from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a bit more flour, and roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lay out your cookies on a parchment line baking sheet. This is my very favorite parchment paper. It is pre-cut to fit baking sheets, helps your cookies bake more evenly, prevents them from sticking, and makes cleaning your pan super quick!
- Bake. Bake your cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or just until set. This is important if you want a soft gingerbread cookie. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Make the icing. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, water, and corn syrup to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat until smooth and creamy. It will be really thick- you can add a teaspoon or so of water to thin it out if necessary. Once you have the right consistency, add to a piping bag.
- Decorate your gingerbread cookies. Pipe the icing onto your cookies however you like! Add sprinkles immediately- the icing will harden as it dries.
- Enjoy! Leftover cookies will stay fresh up to 3 weeks in a sealed container.
Tips & Suggestions
Decorating your gingerbread cookies.
You can use a classic royal icing, but I like to use a simple powdered sugar icing on my gingerbread cookies. It is easy to make, easy to work with when decorating, and it hardens when it dries- which makes these cookies easy to stack and pack. I bought a pack of disposable piping bags which works perfect for detailed decorating. Just snip a small bit off the tip and voila! No piping tips necessary. They’re also easy for little hands to manage. Because this icing hardens fairly quickly, make sure to add your sprinkles soon after decorating.
How do you get soft gingerbread cookies?
There are a few things you need to do to ensure nice, soft gingerbread cookies. Make sure you thoroughly chill your dough before baking. This will help your cookies to hold their shape and avoid spreading. Secondly, avoid adding too much flour. The dough will be sticky, but will be easier to work with after chilling. You also want to make sure that you don’t roll the dough out too thin. Lastly, make sure you don’t over bake! The cookies will look very soft but will continue to set up as they cool. You’ll end up with delicious chewy gingerbread cookies!
How long do gingerbread cookies last?
Leftover gingerbread cookies will stay fresh for 3-4 weeks when stored in an airtight container. If the cookies get hard, you can soften them back up by placing a slice of fresh bread in the container. They’ll soak up the moisture fro the bread and get nice and chewy!
Looking for More Holiday Baking Recipes?
- Mini No-Bake Santa Cheesecakes
- Cranberry Spice Muffins
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Oatmeal Christmas Cookies
Soft Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2/3 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2/3 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap) Grandma's brand is my favorite
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
- In a stand mixer, beat softened butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until almost whipped. Add molasses, and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until smooth. The dough will be thick and a bit sticky – this is how it should be!
- Divide the dough into two even pieces and wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and slightly flatten into a disc shape. Refrigerate for a minimum of 60 minutes and up to overnight. Chilling the dough is important or your cookies will not hold their shape when baking.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- After your dough has chilled, removed the plastic wrap and place one disc of dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. The dough will be stiff, but should soften as you roll it out.
- Roll dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutter and place cookies on baking tray about 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies)
- Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack. Once your cookies are cool, you can decorate!
- Add ingredients to a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer to blend the frosting together. It will be super thick – if its took thick for your hand mixer, use a spoon until it thins out a bit. You can add another teaspoon of water if you need to thin it out. Once the icing is the right consistency, scoop it into a squeeze bottle with a small tip or a piping bag with a small tip.
- You can create designs with lines and dots, or you can also create areas of smooth frosting. To do this, first outline the border, then fill in the middle and let the frosting settle until it has filled in that area. Use a toothpick to fill in any gaps by spreading the icing around, then tap the cookie on the counter a few times to help the icing settle into a smooth, even layer.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie