Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling


3 dozen

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
Making Swedish pepparkakor—or gingerbread cookies—is a holiday tradition in our family. I entered these at the Iowa State Fair and took home a blue ribbon.—Kathleen Olesen, Des Moines, IA
Swedish Gingerbread Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons water
  • Red Hots, optional


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in molasses and egg. In another bowl, whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake until edges are firm, 8-10 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, shortening, vanilla and enough water to reach spreading consistency. Decorate cookies with frosting and, if desired, Red Hots.

Can you freeze Swedish Gingerbread Cookies?

Transfer wrapped disks to an airtight container; freeze. To use, thaw dough in refrigerator overnight or until soft enough to roll. Prepare, bake and decorate cookies as directed.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 201 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.