Soft gingerbread cookies

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These soft gingerbread cookies are the BEST gingerbread cookies! They have crisp edges with soft, chewy centers and are perfectly spiced! Plus, they're super easy to make – no need to roll or cut them to enjoy this rich and nostalgic gingerbread recipe! Roll them in sugar, add a simple gingerbread frosting, or serve plain.

Is it even Christmas if you don't make gingerbread cookies? I would have to say no, because no other cookie in our repertoire (click here to see our favorite cookie recipes) smells and tastes of the holidays as much as these soft gingerbread cookies. Furthermore, they are legitimately best Gingerbread cookies you will eat!

They have crisp edges with soft, chewy centers and are perfectly spiced! They're also incredibly easy to make – no need to roll or cut them to enjoy this rich and nostalgic gingerbread recipe!

I give instructions to make them three ways: 1) plain, 2) rolled in sugar, and 3) with an optional plain gingerbread frosting. They are all equally delicious and festive!

Gingerbread cookies: ingredients

Let's start by discussing the ingredients in this smooth gingerbread cookie recipe. Since we bake cookies (such as these cut sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, peanut butter flowers, etc., etc.) this recipe produces 1 dozen gingerbread cookies. You can double the ingredients to make more!

  • Butter. I use salted butter in this gingerbread cookie recipe. Unsalted butter works well too, you may just need to increase the amount of sea salt.
  • Egg. Try to make sure the egg is at room temperature! I haven't made this recipe with an egg substitute, so if you do, let me know in the comments below!
  • Brown sugar. I recommend light brown sugar for this gingerbread cookie recipe! However, if you like it a little bolder, the molasses flavor can use dark brown sugar.
  • Molasses. I recommend using sulfur-free molasses to make these soft gingerbread cookies.
  • Vanilla extract. Use only pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best flavor!
  • All-purpose flour. I bake with raw and unbleached flour! You can try using an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix so these cookies are gluten-free.
  • Spices (ginger, cinnamon, and cloves). The quality and freshness of the spices you use will be important in the end result of these soft gingerbread cookies. I think I have calculated the perfect ratio of sweet and spicy, but you can adjust them to your liking if necessary.
  • Sea salt. I just bake with pure and fine sea salt. If you are using iodized salt, I recommend cutting the amount of salt in half.

How to make soft gingerbread cookies

I love this gingerbread cookie recipe because it's SO easy to make! It needs to cool, but I love it because I usually make the dough the day before I want to bake the cookies! What on a busy Christmas cookie-making day helps mark one more batch of dough off the list!

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Mix dry ingredients together

Start by mixing the dry ingredients, then set them aside! This ensures that they are evenly distributed throughout the dough!

Butter and sugar cream

Then mix the butter and brown sugar. Make sure the butter is at room temperature so it blends easily!

Add egg, vanilla, and molasses

Add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat until combined and the mixture is homogeneous (uniform).

Add dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients (so it does not splash from the bowl). Then increase the speed to medium until everything combines smoothly.

Cold

Place the gingerbread cookie dough in an airtight container and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight. You can also wrap it in plastic wrap if you're going to chill it longer, to make sure it doesn't dry out.

Ladle

When you're ready to bake the gingerbread cookies, use a cookie spoon and roll each serving into a soft ball. Using a spoon or measuring spoon is important to ensure that the cookies are the same size and bake evenly!

Roll in sugar (optional)

If desired, you can roll each gingerbread cookie into granulated sugar before baking, but this is optional! I like both sugar and sugar-free alike!

Can you freeze the gingerbread cookie dough?

YES! If you want to make the dough for these easy gingerbread cookies and freeze it for baking later, you absolutely can! That is how:

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Roll the gingerbread cookie dough into balls.
  3. Place dumplings on the prepared baking sheet and put it in the freezer.
  4. Once frozen, transfer the gingerbread cookie dumplings to an airtight container (glass Tupperware or ziplock bag) until you are ready to use it.
  5. To bake: Remove the frozen cookie dough balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let defrost at room temperature and bake according to the recipe instructions once the cookie dough balls are no longer frozen.

Bake and cool

Bake in the preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. DO NOT bake too much. Soft gingerbread cookies should puff up and wrap around the edges. Remember that they will continue to cook as they sit on the baking sheet. If you want a thicker cookie, bake for more than 9 minutes, if you like it a little firmer (but still soft) bake for more than 11 minutes.

Let the gingerbread cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Optional frosting

If desired, prepare the optional gingerbread cookie frosting and drizzle over the chilled gingerbread cookies. It is very easy to make and tastes great!

You can also dip the soft gingerbread cookies in white chocolate and sprinkle with some festive sprinkles for an extra special touch! Be sure to let the glaze or drizzle harden completely before storing or stacking on a cookie sheet.

Frequently asked questions about gingerbread cookies

Here are some frequently asked questions about these soft gingerbread cookies!

How are gingerbread cookies stored?

Store these gingerbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Can you freeze the baked gingerbread cookies?

Yes! Although I recommend freezing the dough (as explained above) and baking it fresh. You can freeze these soft gingerbread cookies in an airtight container in the freezer!

How long do gingerbread cookies last?

These soft gingerbread cookies last 5 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator, and up to 1 month in the freezer (baked), if stored properly in an airtight container or plastic bag.

How are gingerbread cookies kept fresh?

Storing them in an airtight container is the best way to ensure these soft gingerbread cookies stay fresh!

Soft gingerbread cookies

These soft gingerbread cookies are the BEST gingerbread cookies! They have crisp edges with soft, chewy centers and are perfectly spiced! Plus, they're super easy to make – no need to roll or cut them to enjoy this rich and nostalgic gingerbread recipe! Roll them in sugar, add a simple gingerbread frosting, or serve plain. Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Cooling time 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes Servings: 12 Cookies Calories: 199kcal

Equipment

  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • spatula
  • baking sheet
  • KitchenAid mixer
  • glass dough bowl
  • tablespoon cookies
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of molasses
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Simple gingerbread icing (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 1½ tablespoons of milk

Instructions

Ginger cookies

  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and brown sugar for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.
  • Add molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat for 60-90 seconds or until mixture is smooth.
  • Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Transfer the dough to an airtight container, place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Use a small tablespoon of cookies to measure 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of dough portions and roll them into balls.
  • Place on a prepared baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes in the preheated oven until the tops are well set. (See notes for baking tips)
  • Let the cookie sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
  • Enjoy!

Simple frosting (optional)

  • Whisk the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  • Slowly add more milk if necessary (up to ½ TBS) until a thick but pourable consistency is reached.
  • Sprinkle over cooled cookies. Let harden (either at room temperature or in the refrigerator).

Notes

Cook time note:

DO NOT bake too much. Soft gingerbread cookies should puff up and wrap around the edges. Remember that they will continue to cook as they sit on the baking sheet. If you want a thicker cookie, bake for more than 9 minutes, if you like it a little firmer (but still soft) bake for more than 11 minutes.

Ingredient substitutions

  • Butter. I use salted butter in this gingerbread cookie recipe. Unsalted butter works well too, you may just need to increase the amount of sea salt.
  • Brown sugar. I recommend light brown sugar for this gingerbread cookie recipe! However, if you like it a little bolder, the molasses flavor can use dark brown sugar.
  • All-purpose flour. I bake with raw and unbleached flour! You can try using an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix so these cookies are gluten-free.
  • Sea salt. I just bake with pure and fine sea salt. If you are using iodized salt, I recommend cutting the amount of salt in half.

How to freeze the gingerbread cookie dough?

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Roll the gingerbread cookie dough into balls.
  3. Place dumplings on the prepared baking sheet and put it in the freezer.
  4. Once frozen, transfer the gingerbread cookie dumplings to an airtight container (glass Tupperware or ziplock bag) until you are ready to use it.
  5. To bake: Remove the frozen cookie dough balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let defrost at room temperature and bake according to the recipe instructions once the cookie dough balls are no longer frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie | Calories :: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 29 g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 267 mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 256 IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1 mg

More of our favorite cookie recipes:

If you're looking for the best tried-and-true cookie recipes for baking this holiday season, check out a few of our favorites:

  • We do these molded sugar cookies every year!
  • These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies have different forms of chocolate!
  • Peanut butter flower Cookies are my favorites! If you are gluten free, try these easy Flourless Peanut Butter Flowers.
  • What is Christmas without a batch of grandmothers? Snickerdoodle cookies?
  • These classics Oatmeal Cookies They are the best you will try!
  • What vacation is completed without doing the best chocolate chip cookies?! (Over 600 comments don't lie!)

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Soft gingerbread cookies

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