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overhead shot of gingerbread men on white board

Gingerbread Men Cookies

These gingerbread cookies are loaded with fall/winter spices and can be either soft or crispy depending on your preference.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 168kcal
Author Ryan Beck


Gingerbread Cookie

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)

Royal Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon meringue powder
  • 3-4 tablespoon room temperature water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Gingerbread Cookies

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  • In large mixing bowl, with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture 1 cup at a time and mix until just combined.
  • Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or for up to a day.
  • Once dough is ready, preheat oven to 375°F. Pull one disc out and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle flour on dough and surface and roll out to ¼" thick. Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes.
  • Place on baking sheet about 2" apart. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes. The shorter time gives you softer cookies, while the longer time gives you crispy cookies. I bake mine at 8 ½ minutes for the consistency I like.
  • Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating.

Royal Icing

  • In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat all of the icing ingredients together on high speed for 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Always start with 3 tablespoon of water to be safe, but you'll probably need 4 for right consistency. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar and if too thick, add more water.


  • Don't skip placing the dough in the fridge so it firms up and doesn't spread too much when baked.
  • Use parchment paper and add flour to rolling pin when rolling out cookie dough so it doesn't stick.
  • You know cookies are done when edges are firm, but middle is slightly soft.
  • The longer you cook the gingerbread cookies, the crispier they get.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.4mg