Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (2024)

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by Katrina Bahl

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Looking for the perfect soft gingerbread? Baking expert SweetSugarBelle shares her favorite gingerbread recipe, complete with step-by-step instructions and tips for creating this classic holiday cookie.

Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (1)

This recipe was published in 2012 and updated in 2024.

Why You’ll Love Soft Gingerbread Cookies

  • If you make our No-Spread Best Sugar Cookie Recipe every Christmas, you will want to try our favorite gingerbread recipe for soft gingerbread cookies.
  • These cookies are soft while keeping their shape and have the perfect texture for chewy gingerbread cookies.
  • This gingerbread cookie dough can be made 2-3 days in advance and is very forgiving if you need to add more flour while rolling it out.
  • These cookies are perfectly spiced with the warm flavors of ginger, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and more. What more could you want in classic gingerbread men cookies?
Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (2)

Gingerbread Ingredients and Substitutions

Please see the printable recipe card for a complete list of ingredients with measurements.

Molasses—Unsulfured molasses is made from ripe sugar cane and doesn’t require sulphur dioxide to preserve it. Light, unsulfured molasses is the most commonly sold in the United States. Unsulphured molasses can be light, dark, or blackstrap molasses, as long as they haven’t been treated with sulfur dioxide.

Shortening (Crisco)- This recipe calls for shortening. If you have an aversion to shortening, use all butter. Shortening helps cookies retain their shape, while butter gives cookies a nice flavor.

Sugar– You can swap out granulated sugar for light brown sugar.

Spices– Use fresh ground spices for best results and superior taste. If you can’t remember when you bought the spices in your cabinet, it may be time to replace them.

Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (3)

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

  1. Prepare the gingerbread cookie dough. Cream your butter, shortening, and sugar until smooth and light in appearance and creamy in texture. Next, add molasses, eggs, and vanilla. Eggs work best at room temperature for this recipe. Finally, mix together all of the dry ingredients and slowly add them to the mixing bowl until everything is fully incorporated.
  2. Chill the dough. Separate the gingerbread cookie dough into 2-3 discs and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for three hours or overnight. You can prepare the dough up to three days in advance. Also, at this point, you can freeze the dough for up to one month.
  3. Roll the dough and bake cookies. We like to use an adjustable rolling pin to get consistent cookie thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. Use additional flour to dust your work surface as you go. Some people also like to use powdered sugar instead of flour to dust.
Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (4)

How to Decorate Gingerbread

Use a basic royal icing recipe for simple gingerbread cookie decorations. No need for anything elaborate!

We also have a simple Three Ingredient Chocolate Glaze that hardens and would be a fun twist on classic gingerbread cookies.

Finally, you may want to try our famous Christmas Cookie Frosting. It is a crisping buttercream, which dries firm enough to be stacked lightly but does not entirely harden like royal icing.

Tips and Storage

Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, decorate as desired. Using piping bags, you can spread icing with a knife or dip cookies into a cookie glaze and add sprinkles.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to five days.

To freeze gingerbread cookies, we recommend freezing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet for an hour, then transferring them to an airtight container where you can stack up to 3 months. Let them thaw on the counter for 2 hours before serving.

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If you love Christmas cookies, try our Best Chocolate Cut Out Cookie and our Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER. Let us know what you think!

Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (8)

Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Looking for the perfect soft gingerbread? Baking expert SweetSugarBelle shares her favorite gingerbread recipe, complete with step-by-step instructions and tips for creating this classic holiday cookie.


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Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, 625 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper, optional


  • PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.

  • CREAM together the shortening, butter, and granulated sugar. ADD the molasses and eggs and whip until light and fluffy.

  • SIFT all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then use a measuring cup to add the dry ingredients about 1 cup at a time.

  • SEPARATE the dough into three equal pieces. WRAP it in plastic wrap and chill for three hours.

  • ROLL on floured parchment paper to about 1/4 an inch thick and cut into desired shapes. OPTIONAL- Place the cookies into the freezer for ten minutes before baking.

  • BAKE at 375° for 6-8 minutes for small cookies, 8-10 minutes for medium, and 10-15 minutes for large. Let cool, then decorate with vanilla royal icing.


This recipe calls for shortening. If you have an aversion to shortening, use butter or half butter, half shortening.

You may add more flour as you are rolling the cookies out if the dough is too sticky.


Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g

Author: Katrina Bahl

Original recipes and images © In Katrina’s Kitchen

Did you make this recipe?Tag @katrinaskitchen on Instagram with the hashtag #katrinaskitchenrecipes

Guest Post by Callye Alvarado

GUEST POST- My name is Callye Alvarado, better known as SweetSugarBelle.

I bake so many cookies that I’ve become pretty good at resisting the occasional nibble, but that goes away when I break out my soft gingerbread recipe. It’s so good, and I think everyone should try it. Even my husband, who’s not a gingerbread fan, admits it is good.

I hope you try our favorite gingerbread recipe! Thank you for inviting me to attend your annual cookie exchange, Katrina. I always have a blast! Happy holidays!

More Gingerbread Recipes

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Grandma’s Gingerbread Spritz
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posted on December 10, 2012 — updated April 2, 2024 // 17 comments

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    17 Comments on “Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies”

  1. Kenny DombroskyReply

    As an avid baker, I’m so embarrassed! After mixing all of the ingredients (I thought), I portioned it into 3 balls, wrapped them up, put them in fridge and discovered I forgot to add the vanilla. What am I supposed to do? Throw everything out, and start over?Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (12)

  2. MelissaReply

    Loved this recipe! Never made gingerbread cookies before, super tasty! I cut the shortening in half and increased the butter. It was a rainy humid day, so I only need 5 1/4 cup of flour, and I added a dash of all spice. Will make these every year for Christmas!

    You should now go checkout Katrina’s sugar cookies!Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (13)

  3. Vivien CurtisReply

    Love this recipe. Turned out great!Thanks!Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (14)

  4. ShannonReply

    Approximately how many dozen cookies does this recipe make?

  5. SheilaReply

    Best gingerbread cookies EVER!!Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (15)

  6. Tia TerrcotReply

    This is kinda confusing…. the flour first of all. 5-51/2 even sometimes 6? Then the extract. The fact that you said “SUCH AS” is just kinda suspicious. Like, are we supposed to use both? Anyway, for the extract I put a tsp of vanilla and 1/2 a tsp of pure lemon extract. it came out really nicely.

  7. AnnaReply

    how about a frosting recipe

  8. TrishReply

    I’m confused about how much flour to use…5 to 5 1/2 and sometimes 6 cups???

    • Simone

      I do not see where anyone’s questions are answered

    • Katrina Bahl

      This is not my recipe, so I cannot advise. I will be in touch with the author.

    • Colette Franklyn

      The 5-51/2 sometimes 6 cups of flour will come into play depending on how your batter comes in when mixed;Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (16)

  9. PatriciaReply

    Would love to bake the gingerbread biscuits. Can the molasses be substituted with golden syrup?
    Would this receipt be suitable to use for a gingerbread house?

  10. Meg FReply

    About how many dozen cookies will this recipie make?

    • Tia Terrcot

      Thats what i was wondering. With a small sized cookie you can make about 2 dozen. If it is for a big thing than you might want to double it.

  11. linda smartReply

    can u use all butter in this recipe or can we use coconut oil instead of shortening

  12. linda smartReply

    can u use all butter or instead of shortening,,,use coconut oil ?

  13. BrooklynReply

    These are the best tasting gingerbread cookies we have ever made. I don’t have shortening in our house so we always substitute the shortening with butter but it always turns out well. I’ve been asked for the recipe by other people. Thank you for sharing it!

Favorite Gingerbread Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies (2024)
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