Gingerbread People Recipe
Gingerbread People Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Gingerbread People Recipe

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4.5 11 13
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"These soft, chewy cookies are favorites of my grandchildren. They love helping me decorate them!" Joan Truax, Pittsboro, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:30 servings
Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 30 servings


  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Decorating icing and assorted candies

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie (calculated without decorations) equals 99 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 88 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1 starch.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, vanilla and lemon peel. In another bowl, whisk flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter.
  3. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 7-9 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
To decorate with Royal Icing: In a bowl, combine 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water, 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. If desired, tint with food coloring and pipe with a pastry bag and small pastry tips. Keep unused icing covered at all times; beat again on high to restore texture as necessary. Yield: 1 cup icing.
Originally published as Gingerbread People in Taste of Home December/January 2009, p73

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Reviewed Dec. 22, 2011

"I love soft gingerbread cookies, saw this recipe had received high marks, so I was super excited to try it. I would not, however, bother making it again.

The recipe yields a fantastic classic gingerbread flavor, which is why I rated this 2 stars instead of zero. The dough was unworkable. In fact the first batch I made was so dry and crumbly I had to throw it away. Sure that I had done something wrong, I carefully mixed up another batch, only to get the same result. I decided to keep the 2nd batch and use my cookie scoop, which was still tricky. I rolled them in sugar crystals and baked. I ended up with decent cookies, but it was way too frustrating to make it worthwhile."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2010

"first time making gingerbread cookies. loved this recipe. i cut them into snowmen, and bears, which I decorated with white frosting,

into boy and girl outfits, turned out so cute.
the only problem I had with the dough, was that it cracked showing lines, other than that exc. will do again."

Reviewed Dec. 21, 2009

"Is anyone's dough very sticky when rolling it out and cutting? Mine is. Have to add bunch of flour. Any ideas? They are GOOOOOD though."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2009

"They turned out really good and looked perfect when cooked. I had no cloves so used a little nutmeg and apple pie spice and it worked fine. I didn't decorate to look like men but used powdered sugar icing and tiny peppermint candy cane sprinkles. They looked really cute and the peppermint flavored sprinkles gave it a great taste!"

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2009

"Cookies are very good - definitely a keeper!!

Just decorated them with mini M&Ms and green and red sugar and they look terrific.
Grandma in WI"

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