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+ servings
overlay of homemade gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread Man 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 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest (optional)

Royal Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp meringue powder
  • 3-4 tbsp room temperature water
  • 1 tsp 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 and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours but no longer than 8 hours.
  • Once dough is ready, preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle flour on dough and surface and roll out to 1/4" 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 1/2 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 tbsp 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.


  • Use baking powder that is less than a year old since it has been opened. If you use older baking powder, it won’t be powerful enough to help leaven the donuts. You can test it by stirring half a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup of hot water. It will immediately start to fizz and release carbon dioxide gas if it’s still fresh enough to use. Baking soda should be less than six months old and you can use the same test.
  • 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