Gingerbread Man Cookies

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    Soft and chewy gingerbread man cookies full of ginger spice flavor. This classic Christmas treat is the perfect cookie to decorate with your family this season! 

    These gingerbread man cookies are honestly one of my favorite Christmas cookies, right next to my ginger molasses cookies. This recipe is tried and true and one we make every year.

    6 gingerbread man cookies

    Growing up, I honestly didn’t love the flavor of gingerbread cookies…but now they are something I have to make every year. The week of Christmas my kids and I love to have a cookie decorating day, so I will always make a batch of this gingerbread dough and sugar cookie dough.

    I’ve been testing this recipe for awhile and finally have the perfect version to share with you. These really are simply the best gingerbread cookies and so easy to make! My whole family absolutely LOVES them!

    These gingerbread man are super soft (similar to a sugar cookie), chewy and have the perfect amount of ginger spice. A Tablespoon of ground ginger and cinnamon may seem like a lot, but I promise it is the perfect amount!

    how to make gingerbread cookies in mixer

    How to make gingerbread cookies

    Follow the simple steps below to get started.

    Make the dough

    Start by beating the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Next beat in molasses until smooth, then add in egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

    Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a separate bowl. Then add the dry mixture to wet mixture and mix on low just until combined.

    Refrigerate the dough

    Divide the dough in half and cover each half tightly with saran wrap. Press until flat. Then place in fridge for at least one hour or up to 3 days.

    Roll and cut out your cookies

    On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Then place the cut outs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

    Bake cookies in oven

    Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are fluffy and centers are set. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    cutting out gingerbread cookie dough

    Baking tips

    • Use softened butter. When making the dough, make sure to use softened butter and beat until smooth and creamy. This will help the consistency of the dough.
    • Add flour if dough is sticky. If your dough is too sticky, you can add a Tablespoon or two more of flour. You don’t want to add too much, or they will become dry.
    • Wrap and flatten the dough. Before refrigerating, it is important to wrap the dough tightly and press it down until flat. This will help tremendously when you are rolling out the dough.
    • Use parchment. Always use a piece of parchment paper or baking mat with this recipe to prevent the bottoms from getting brown too fast.
    • Keep an eye on your cookies. I like to take my cookies out at around 8 minutes so they are soft and tender. If you prefer your cookies more crispy, bake 9-11 minutes. Just watch them carefully as you don’t want them to taste burnt.

    gingerbread man cookies on a cooling rack

    Gingerbread man decorations

    To decorate, you can use a simple powdered sugar icing or color it with food coloring. Check out my favorite icing recipe below.

    You can also use sprinkles, mini M&M’s, raisins or red hots to add the buttons down the center.

    Icing for gingerbread cookies

    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Instructions: Add ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be thick like toothpaste. For best results, use a #4 round tip to decorate your gingerbread man.


    More Christmas cookies

    gingerbread man cookies

    Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: gingerbread cookie recipe, gingerbread man
    Prep Time: 24 minutes
    Cook Time: 8 minutes
    Chill time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
    Servings: 24
    Calories: 173
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Soft and chewy gingerbread man cookies full of ginger spice flavor. This classic Christmas treat is the perfect cookie to decorate with your family this season! 


    • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks softened)
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup molasses , I prefer Grandma's original
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
    • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


    • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium until smooth and creamy. Then add in the molasses and beat until smooth. Next mix in the egg and vanilla and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Then add to the butter mixture and mix on low just until combined.
    • Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece with plastic wrap. Press until flat. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 3 days.
    • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
    • Roll out the dough 1/4" thick on a floured surface. If it's too hard, you may need to let it soften for a few minutes. If it's too sticky, knead in a little more flour. Cut into shapes. I prefer using 3-4 inch cookie cutters. Then place gingerbread men onto the baking sheets at least 1 inch apart. Repeat with extra dough and roll out as needed.
    • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the centers are set and the cookies are fluffy. Be careful not to let burn. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
    • Enjoy cookies plain or decorate with icing once cookies have cooled.


    Easy cookie icing: 
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons milk 
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
    Whisk ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Add more milk if needed. This icing should be almost like a thick tooth paste. I used a #4 round tip to decorate. 
    Freezing instructions:
    These cookies freeze great. Simply allow to cool and then place in a freezer safe container. You can also freeze the wrapped dough for 2-3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 


    Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

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