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Gingerbread Men Cookies Recipe

Gingerbread Men Cookies Recipe

No holiday cookie platter would be complete without gingerbread men! This is a tried-and-true recipe I'm happy to share with you.—Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling YIELD:26 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Frosting of choice


  • 1. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until easy to handle, about 30 minutes.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  • 3. Bake until edges are firm, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost as desired. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 116 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 136 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.

Reviews for Gingerbread Men Cookies

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Reviewed Mar. 20, 2016

"This is my family's favorite gingerbread cookie recipe. I bring them to work every year and have for the past 3 years or so. They are chewy, and they have the very nice gingerbread taste that all gingerbread cookies should have. Not too spicy. I noticed that they don't go stale quickly either. One suggestion: as others have said, leave out the water, otherwise they're too much of a mess and difficult to work with."

Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"I am brazilian and we don't have gingerbread man cookies as a tradition. We don't have them even to buy in stores and supermarkets. Maybe in special stores, but I, myself, had never tasted them.

It was kind of easy to find the ingredients (allspice and molasses are more difficult, really molasses is impossible, but I replaced it with a syrup made by myself with brown sugar and water).
I LOVED the taste and the smell. My family found the cookies fantastic. We had never ate this kind of cookies, but everyone was amazed. It is very seasoned, but the flavours are well combined and become perfect.
It was difficult to decorate! Everybody wanted to eat before.
The dough was really soft, but freezing worked perfectly to mold it. I used it half without freezing. It was not easy, but worked perfectly.
Loved the recipe!
Thanks for sharing, friend!
I want to give 5 star, but my iPad is not helping me! I am trying. If it gets just 1 star, it is a mistake! It is a 5 star recipe!!!"

Reviewed Dec. 24, 2015 Edited Dec. 26, 2015

"Edit: I realized after the fact what I did wrong. I added a cup of butter instead of half a cup. It took a lot of extra flour and a bit more refrigeration, but I managed to turn it around and make some really great cookies! They were a big hit with the kids.

I see all these great reviews, but I feel like the slow kid in the class because mine did not come out well at all. Followed the recipe to the letter, but my dough was slushy and smooth. It stuck to the counter even after I applied a lot of extra flour. The taste is great, but the dough is goopy. :("

Reviewed Dec. 24, 2015

"Wonderful recipe. Thank you Kap10 for the advice to omit the water. dough was easy to work with."

Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"Grand recipe.......dough was easy to manage...I will add a little extra spice next time and maybe a minute or less baking time.. Overall a great experience, I'd never made Ginger Bread before ...Looking forward to decorating them...I know they will be enjoyed!"

Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"I added about 4 tablespoons of flour on the second batch the dough was a lot less gooey and much easier to roll out. My daughter enjoyed cutting them out. They have a great flavor and were enjoyed greatly by her classmates."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2015

"Okay, so a couple things, if a big goof ball like me can follow this and get it right anyone can. I do hope I'm not being too bold as to offer one alternative though. I used light brown sugar and real ginger and oh dear lord. Yum yum yum yum"

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2015

"Amazing recipe! I used light brown sugar in mine and they came out fantastic! Wish it gave me the option to post a picture."

Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015

"I created an account, just to rate these cookies! I have a batch in the oven now, and they smell wonderful. After reading prev. reviews about dough being too moist, I omitted the 2 tbsp of water, and the recipe was perfect. No extra flour required, easy to handle prior to, and after refrigeration. Dough is forgiving when re-rolling, providing you are very light on the flour while doing so. Easy recipe to follow, will definitely be boxing this one for future use. Thanks for sharing."

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2015

"Very yummy cookies. I was concerned when I read the other posts about the dough being too soft so I did put in a little extra flour, and I guess it must have helped because the dough was very easy to work with and the cookies were still soft and delicious."

Reviewed Dec. 13, 2015

"These cookies have a wonderful flavor, just spicy enough and not overly sweet--exactly what I'd hoped for. I baked these with my granddaughter and her playmate. We followed directions precisely. The dough was more like a thick batter, but I refrigerated it as directed. Unfortunately, it was far too soft--it couldn't be handled, much less rolled out.

By generously flouring hands, dough, and pastry cloth, I managed to pat out enough to cut some cookies. The dough was still too soft to lift onto the cookie sheet, so I mixed more flour into it. In fact, if I made the recipe again, I would add as much as another full cup of flour.
To get the crisp texture I wanted, I baked at least 12 minutes. Because the flavor is so good, I hate to downgrade this. But the dough was a sticky mess, so...."

Reviewed Dec. 10, 2015

"I really like this recipe as opposed to others I've tried. My dough was a little soft but not to the point I couldn't work with it, just floured the board well when rolling it out, if you have to do this be careful about the amount of flour. Too little, and they will stick to the board; too much and your cookies will be streaked with flour. Stayed true to the recipe, except I used freshly ground nutmeg instead of the pre-ground from the supermarket and a half and half mix of unsalted butter and margarine. I like the spice mix, just the right balance of spicy and sweet. I also like that the cookies don't seem to suffer if you have to roll and re-roll the dough a lot. In my oven, 12 minutes was just right."

Reviewed Dec. 6, 2015

"Made these gingerbread men with my toddler to handout to our loved ones around Christmas last year. I fell in love! It's a rather easy recipe and they are absolutely divine to the taste. I did have trouble finding an equally-yummy royal icing, though. I found a recipe for the icing elsewhere, but it tasted so tart that I tried my best to keep it at a minimum, only doing eyes and a smile on our men."

Reviewed Nov. 9, 2015

"This is one keeper of a cookie.WOW! If you love soft, just right spiced gingerbread men, this is a must try recipe, you won't be disappointed!"

Reviewed Jan. 12, 2015

"These are really fabulous. Not too spicy but with great flavor balance. I added a pinch of clove and was very happy with the outcome. Even my teenaged spice complainer gave them a thumbs up! I rolled them out a little bit thicker , baked 10 min. Recipe made approx 24 4 inch gingermen. They were perfect! PS. I thought rollout was a cinch. A lot of extra flour would not be advisable. Just a thin layer on board and rolling pin, just be careful."

Reviewed Dec. 19, 2014

"I'm hosting the family this year for Christmas, and came across this recipe, I'm overly impressed with the reviews, and am about to give it a shot.

Question though, do they freeze well, and taste the same afterwards? I was looking to get a head start on my christmas baking
I would appreciate the feedback!"

Reviewed Dec. 16, 2014

"These are AMAZING!! Soft on the inside, yummy all around!"

Reviewed Nov. 30, 2014

"For my first time ever making gingerbread men cookies, I used this recipe and some of a Good Housekeeping (I know; how "mom" of me) . They turned out well, and were a hit at our "Thanksmas" party this weekend. I have not been much of a baker to use a rolling pin. When it says to let the dough cool, definitely do so. It helps to prevent it sticking to the pin. I would also say generous amounts of flour is perhaps most important. All in all, good recipe. @kitchen_cook #smallkitchencooking"

Reviewed Jul. 11, 2014

"sometimes I add more molasses and ginger...and omit the allspice...perfect every time! LOVE this recipe!"

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013


Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"great recipe, and the cookies stayed soft on the inside but crispy on the outside!"

Reviewed Aug. 30, 2013

"We made these cookies wks ago and the were crispy and held up well with icing and did not get soft. The best part was the grand and grt grand kids loved them."

Reviewed Dec. 28, 2012

"My first time making gingerbread cookies from scratch and they turned out pretty good! I left them a little thicker so they were fairly soft which I like. Now if I could only decorate better...."

Reviewed Dec. 25, 2012

"Best gingerbread I have ever made! Very easy and not too spicy! My husband, who normally hates gingerbread, ate it right up! The allspice is a nice change from the cloves that are normally in gingerbread."

Reviewed Dec. 20, 2012


Reviewed Dec. 16, 2012

"Excellent! Easy to roll out, delicious. Plenty of flavor, yet not too spicy for the youngest. I find these are best rolled a bit thick, closer to 1/4 inch, but then I like a puffy cookie."

Reviewed Dec. 6, 2012

"Of all the recipes for gingerbread cookies I've been trying since last Christmas, this is definitely a keeper. They do not taste too much like molasses and have that nice spicy ending taste to them. The texture may turn out crunchy if you roll the dough out thin enough, but they can also be a little soft if you roll the dough out thick. In both cases, they are excellent!"

Reviewed Dec. 3, 2012

"Cookies came out perfect, everyone commented on how tasty they were..I had to make another double batch!"

Reviewed Nov. 16, 2012

"I've never made gingerbread men, or any other kind of "cutout" cookies before - these came out perfect the first time I tried this recipe...taste was wonderful, too!

-Katie R"

Reviewed Nov. 4, 2012

"I took this recipe to work and they all loved it! I was really good!!"

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2012

"These were great!! The perfect chewy gingerbread cookie! Will definitely be making these again"

Reviewed Dec. 10, 2011

"Made these today and they will now be my go-to gingerbread recipe. I liked how this recipe is a bit lighter than other gingerbread recipes. Not quite so heavy on the molasses. Great texture and flavor!"

Reviewed Dec. 5, 2010

"This were so good! They will be on my list for Christmas for sure this year. The only thing I did different was I substituted real maple syrup for the molasses only because I did not have any on hand and they turned out delicious."

Reviewed Dec. 22, 2009

"Love this recipe. This is our second year making these and they are delicious. Super easy and nice and soft. The kids have a blast decorating them."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2009

"Not only did these turn out great, they taste great and were so much fun getting my grandson and daughter to help decorate."

Reviewed Dec. 4, 2009

"I lost my old gingerbread recipe that we loved made for more than 40 years. I found this one and tried it, not expecting it to be as good. It's BETTER! The dough is much easier to work with than my old recipe, and the cookies are delicious. I made a double batch, with more than 70 cookies that are bigger than 4". I hope to make these for the next 40 years!"

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