Homemade Gingerbread Cookies are full of yummy spices, delicious aroma and are the perfect food to create holiday baking memories with. These gingerbread cookies can be made with whole wheat goodness and coconut oil for a hint of that yummy flavor and a dairy free cookie!
Holidays are all about traditions for me. One thing that brings memories, family togetherness, 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 kids. Gingerbread is not only delicious, but is so fun to make and decorate with your kids!
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies
To make these cookies, first mix your dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and whisk together. I love the stainless mixing bowls that have silicone on the bottom because then your bowl stays in place. When my kids are helping me mix, this is a major plus! These cookies are really soft, but if you use all whole wheat then they will have a lot of substance. If your family isn’t used to eating a lot of whole wheat, they may prefer a ratio of whole wheat to all-purpose flour in these cookies. It may be a good idea to start out 2 cups AP to 1 cup WW.
Mix your coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixture and beat until smooth and creamy. Then add your molasses. After the molasses is combined, then you will mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and roll out your dough. If your dough feels too sticky, use extra flour to roll them out. Then let your kids help you cut out different shapes with cookie cutters.
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!
Decorating Your Gingerbread Cookies
My kids love helping to make the cookies, but their favorite part is decorating them. There are a lot of kids out there that are sensitive to food dyes, and colored frosting and sprinkles can make that difficult. I actually prefer the look of plain white frosting on a gingerbread cookie, but if you like colored frosting then a good option is Maggie’s natural food coloring and sprinkles. They use all natural plant, fruit and vegetable extracts to color their products and so you can feel good knowing there are no artificial colors or food dyes in their products.
I like to use royal icing because it is easy to work with when decorating and it hardens so that your designs will stay. After I make my icing, I put it into a squeeze bottle with a small tip and then it is easier to make designs on your cookies. I think it is easier than working with frosting in a bag with a tip, especially for kids.
These are fun to make and also fun to giveaway! My girls loved making and decorating them and then giving them to friends and neighbors.
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