We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Gingerbread Cookies?

By Lisa Mohr
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Gingerbread cookies are popular baked cookies formed out of gingerbread dough; they are dark brown in appearance and have a firmer consistency than many cookies. Gingerbread dough is designed to be rolled out flat, so many people use cookie cutters to shape the cookies into specific shapes. Gingerbread cookies are most commonly associated with the Christmas holiday, and they are often formed into holiday shapes, gingerbread men or gingerbread houses.

Although there are several variations on the gingerbread recipe and gingerbread cookies, classic gingerbread cookies have a distinct, rich flavor of ginger and cinnamon. The main distinguishing factor in gingerbread cookies is that the recipe calls for molasses when many other cookies would use sugar. This change in ingredients causes gingerbread cookies to have a sweeter, richer flavor, to be firmer, and remain edible longer than other cookies.

There are many gingerbread recipes available. In one version, you must first mix together 3 cups (720 ml) flour, 1.5 teaspoons (7.5 ml) baking powder, 0.75 of a teaspoon (3.75 ml) baking soda, and 0.25 of a teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt in a small bowl. Then whisk in 1.75 teaspoons (8.6 ml) ground cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) ground ginger and 0.25 of a teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground cloves. Blend until all of the ingredients are well combined.

In a separate, larger mixing bowl, 6 Tablespoons (90 ml) unsalted butter, 0.75 of a cup (180 ml) brown sugar and 1 large egg should be mixed together with a hand blender on medium speed until well blended. Once blended, add in 0.5 of a cup (120 ml) molasses and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract, and mix until blended. Add in the dry ingredients that were set aside earlier.

Once the dough has been made, divide it in half and wrap each half in plastic; let stand at room temperature for at least two hours. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius) and roll half of your dough out on a floured surface. Cut the cookies with the desired cookie cutters, place them evenly on a prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. It is important not to overcook the cookies in an attempt to achieve the normal firmness of gingerbread cookies. Cookies will be soft until they have completely cooled, at which time they will have a harder consistency.

Making gingerbread men requires gingerbread cookie dough to be cut into people-shaped cookies and decorated with icing and, sometimes, candy. Gingerbread houses are also made of gingerbread cookie dough. People making gingerbread houses usually use a different gingerbread recipe — a firmer dough known as German-style gingerbread — to ensure the houses do not collapse. The houses are also usually covered with royal icing and candy and are popular as Christmas decorations.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.