Christmas is a time for family, friends, and of course, homemade gingerbread cookies! The tradition of baking cookies dates back centuries, and there are many different recipes to choose from. We just love making cookies from scratch.
Whether you like your cookies soft and chewy or crisp and crunchy, there’s a perfect gingerbread recipe out there for you. And what could be more festive than decorating your own homemade gingerbread cookies?
Whether you go for traditional icing and sprinkles or try our dipped chocolate version, decorating gingerbread cookies is a fun activity for kids and adults alike. So if you’re looking for a festive activity to do with your family this Christmas, why not try your hand at making some homemade gingerbread cookies?
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Classic gingerbread cookies are a holiday favorite, and their popularity can be traced back to the 16th century. Early gingerbread was made with spices like ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, and it was often used as a medicinal remedy.
However, over time, the recipe was adapted for use as a dessert, and it eventually became a Christmas tradition. Today, there are countless variations of gingerbread cookies, but the homemade variety will always be cherished as a part of Christmas tradition.
Ingredients for classic gingerbread cookies
See the printable gingerbread cookie recipe card below for exact quantities.
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar and brown sugar
- softened butter
- baking soda and salt
- ginger, cinnamon and cloves
- if decorating, white chocolate chips and red/green sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and molasses.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together.
Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in batches. Mix until well-combined.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll each in a small bowl of extra sugar.
Place dough balls on a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they start cracking across the top.
Remove from cookie sheets onto cooling racks. These are the best gingerbread cookies!
Decorating Cookies for Christmas
These traditional gingerbread cookies are absolutely delicious all on their own. But you can also decorate them to make them even more festive for Christmas.
Melt white chocolate and dip each cookie in halfway. Lay onto parchment paper, add some sprinkles or colored sugar, and let set before packaging or serving. If you prefer, drizzle the melted chocolate over the tops instead.
How to store gingerbread cookies
In theory, these cookies can last quite a while. In our house, though? They get eaten too quickly!
Place cookies in an airtight food container or storage bag, and keep in a cool, dry place. They should last 3-4 weeks, and they do not need to be refrigerated.
Baked cookies can also be frozen and stored for up to 3 months. If you plan to freeze them, do not decorate first. You’ll want to defrost the cookies and let them get to room temperature before icing or adding decorations.
More holiday cookie recipes
Looking for more holiday treats to take to a cookie exchange or enjoy with the family? Try our big list of 3-Ingredient Holiday Cookies or my kids’ favorites, Rolo Pretzel Candy Bites. They also make a great gift.
When I was growing up, our family tradition was to make gingerbread men from my Mom’s favorite gingerbread cookies recipe. Then we’d decorate them to give to our teachers!
Another Christmas classic is fruitcake, but it’s much nicer in this simple Fruitcake Cookies recipe.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup softened butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 teaspoons ginger
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- extra sugar (for rolling)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips, optional
- red and green sprinkles, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, mix softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and molasses until well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt until well-combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each in extra sugar.
- Place dough balls on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 min. Cookies are done once they start to crack across the top.
- If desired, decorate fully-cooled cookies. Melt 1 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave.
- Dip half of each cookie in white chocolate and place on parchment paper.
- Sprinkle with red and green sprinkles before the chocolate cools.
If you prefer, drizzle the white chocolate over the tops of the cookies instead of dipping each one.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g