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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 minus frosting; 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 cookie (calculated without frosting): 118 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 128mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

Reviews for Gingerbread Men Cookies

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denys.king User ID: 1113712 258561
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2016

"Great recipe, but I did make some tweaks to make it more manageable. I did not add the 2 Tbsp of water. I found the dough to be plenty wet enough without it. I also am a lover of the deeper gingerbread flavor, so I added 1 tsp of cinnamon as well as 1/2 tsp of cloves along with everything else. My family devoured them!"

Lauren User ID: 8995592 258546
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2016

"Awesome recipe except for the amount of flour. I make cutout cookies all the time and knew this just was not enough flour. I added probably another 1/2 cup and chilled the dough for 2 hours. 30 min would not have been enough. Thanks for the recipe!"

dzurcher User ID: 6366355 258529
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2016

"These are great tasting gingerbread cookies. Soft and moist on the inside but firm on the outside. The flavor was spiced perfect. My husband said they tasted just like the gingerbread we had in Germany's at their Christkindlesmarkts.

I took the suggestion of other reviewers and skipped the water. The dough was a little difficult to work with being sticky but with more attention to making sure your pin and table has flour on it and being careful it wasn't a problem to roll and cut. A huge success and keeper."

Eloisa User ID: 8994701 258496
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2016

"My first gingerbread and it's great! Soft and chewy. And delicious!

Starting a new tradition here in Brazil lol
Thanks for this perfect recipe!"

Darrell User ID: 8988345 258280
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2016

"Tried a few other recipes before this one....While others came out too dry and crumbly or like a cannon ball these set up great!!!!! chilled 2-3 hours easy to roll came out soft and delicious!!!!!!"

Nancy User ID: 8978291 257598
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2016

"TOTAL FAIL! WAY too soft! After 30 minutes in the fridge was still too soft. Left overnight and attempted to roll out. Even with a very generous flouring was difficult to roll. After cutting cookies, they could not be lifted onto the cookie sheet. Tried to pull the dough back together to mix in some more flour the dough completely stuck to the counter and my hands. Needed my daughter's help to scrape the dough off my hands and into the trash."

Emily User ID: 8972649 257081
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2016

"These are SO good!!! I have celiac and my toddler has a gluten sensitivity, so I replaced the wheat flour with Cup4Cup Gluten Free flour. I didn't even have ginger, but I used pumpkin pie spice and really...I didn't miss the ginger. It had so much spice and flavor - got tons of compliments on them! I also put the dough in the fridge overnight to make it a little more workable, and it worked perfectly. This will be our go-to recipe. My toddler LOVES them :)"

judontmesswithme User ID: 7075186 245716
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."

Hakesh2000 User ID: 8680316 240641
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!!!"

SheriSebGabe User ID: 8674835 240155
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. :("

windgated User ID: 8674456 240111
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2015

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

Kresimira User ID: 8175465 239869
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!"

dan808 User ID: 8669842 239830
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."

TheyCallMeAl User ID: 8666794 239641
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"

Caligirl7737 User ID: 8666410 239612
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."

Kap10 User ID: 8664572 239508
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."

krysfielder User ID: 5728656 239441
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."

terryecita User ID: 7183872 239332
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...."

whirleycook User ID: 6530905 239141
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."

victoriaadentonn User ID: 8650723 238846
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."

Dawn Hurning User ID: 1198475 237019
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!"

scottholly505 User ID: 8209945 217709
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."

Gengen101 User ID: 8170196 215341
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!"

ashleyoffman User ID: 8163061 215083
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2014

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

smallkitchencooking User ID: 8132346 97657
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"

loraineschoenfield User ID: 7557460 170967
Reviewed Jul. 11, 2014

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

SSperber12 User ID: 7539442 96236
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013


tarka84 User ID: 7512504 128162
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

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

rosalie91 User ID: 1476783 78248
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."

dverzic User ID: 762717 165429
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...."

tonyg1723 User ID: 7055841 78247
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."

Kimberly McDannell-Bell User ID: 7046406 152229
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2012


gustolette User ID: 7040659 105736
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."

mrose895 User ID: 6830303 105734
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!"

aiwaniec User ID: 6723257 154230
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2012

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

Cattus User ID: 222361 96133
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"

lambchop21 User ID: 6952998 151488
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2012

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

marrisa_s User ID: 6152461 170962
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2012

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

[email protected] User ID: 1289836 208965
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!"

sandielynn6 User ID: 4363076 151487
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."

kerryopp User ID: 1015542 166298
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."

mistaya User ID: 4532395 128155
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."

connierecipes User ID: 1127630 166297
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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