3D gingerbread tree cookies are easy to make and they’re impressive to look at. After all, how many Christmas tree cookies come in 3D form! They’re full of warm, earthy spices and they’re soft in the middle and a little crisp at the edges, like all the best gingerbread should be! Ideal for the cooler months but delicious anytime, gingerbread Christmas tree cookies are one of the cutest festive treats you can make. They also make a lovely edible Christmas table centerpiece, too.
These 3D treats made with gingerbread cookies in a Christmas tree shape are so cute. Boasting the warm, earthy flavours of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, along with vanilla and molasses, these gingerbread Christmas tree cookies are sure to be a hit!
Why You’ll Love Them
Full of flavour: There’s nothing quite like gingerbread cookies with their wonderful warm spices, sweet molasses and pretty royal icing decorations. This is one sweet treat the whole family will love.
Easy to make: This gingerbread Christmas tree cookies recipe comes with a pattern so you can make each half of your 3D gingerbread Christmas tree and then bake and assemble them with ease.
A great gift: Homemade gifts are always appreciated, especially when baked with love. Christmas tree cookies would make a heartwarming gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. They are also a perfect Christmas centerpiece for the holiday season.
Ingredients for Gingerbread Christmas Trees
To make 3D gingerbread Christmas trees, you need flour, spices, baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, egg, molasses, and vanilla extract.
To decorate the Christmas tree cookies, you need white royal icing and Christmas sprinkles, or you can use Christmas themed candies, powdered sugar, or your favourite decorations.
How to Make 3D Gingerbread Christmas Trees
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Combine the dry ingredients: Mix the flour with the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
Start the gingerbread dough: Beat the butter with the brown sugar, and then beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract.
Finish making the dough: Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture, and then divide the dough into two even pieces, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
Make the gingerbread tree cookie shapes: Roll the dough out and then, following the templates, cut out the tree shapes.
Chill the Christmas tree cookies: Arrange the gingerbread Christmas tree shapes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
Bake and decorate the cookies: Bake cookies on the prepared baking sheet until puffy and trim off any unwanted parts with a sharp knife so the two parts will fit together properly. Let them cool completely before decorating cookies with icing on both sides using a piping bag and Wilton #4 piping tip or similar.
Assemble the 3D gingerbread trees: Once the icing has completely set, slot the cookies together so they stand up.
Christmas Tree Template Download
Substitutions and Variations
You can leave out any of the spices you don’t like or use different colours of icing instead of just white. Make sure you are using royal icing though because soft icing or frosting will just smudge. Royal icing sets hard.
You can use regular molasses but I don’t recommend using blackstrap here – it’s too rich and spicy for this recipe and will overshadow the more gentle spice flavours.
How to Serve Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies
These make an impressive centerpiece or you can give them as gifts. Why not pair one with a festive beverage like Santa hat cocktails or chocolate martini? These no bake gingerbread cheesecake jars would be tasty, too. There’s no wrong way to serve wonderful holiday recipes like this one.
Holiday Table Decoration
These holiday cookie trees can also be for decoration, too!
- Use several small gingerbread Christmas trees to create a forest outside a gingerbread house
- Use as a table centerpiece for your holiday table
- Use small trees as with place cards at the Christmas table setting
How to Store 3D Gingerbread Cookies
Store: Leftovers should keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container on the countertop or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze: You can make an extra batch of dough if you like and then thaw it to make gingerbread cookies or more of these tree cookies later. You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months.
Gingerbread Cookies for Christmas FAQs
Yes, absolutely. In fact the dough is ideal for making traditional gingerbread men as well, so you can go with whatever shape, size or design you prefer. For these 3D gingerbread cookies, it’s best to roll the dough out about 1/4-inch thick. If the shapes are thicker, they might not slot together properly, and if they’re thinner they’re likely to break.
Freezing them for 10 minutes helps set the butter until the cookies begin to bake. If you skip this step the butter will melt right away in the oven and the cookies won’t hold their shapes.
Christmas Tree Cookies Recipe
3D Gingerbread Tree Cookies
- 3 and 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 3/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg
- 1/2 Cup molasses fancy
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 Cups icing white royal, for decorating
- assorted Christmas sprinkles optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside for later.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl to the stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar on high until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg, molasses and vanilla and continue beating on high until just blended, about 2 minutes. The dough will look a little strange and may appear that it is separating. This is completely expected and will change as you add the flour mixture.
- Add the flour mixture slowly as you keep beating on high until a dough starts to form.
- Split the dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for an hour. This makes it easier to roll out.
- Roll the chilled dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Use the template and a knife to cut out the 2 shapes. You will need one of each shape to make 1 tree.
- Place the dough cutouts onto the prepared cookie sheet. Place them approximately 1.5 to 2 inches apart. Place the entire cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 mins. This is done to keep the shapes intact. Otherwise the butter will melt too much in the oven and the shape will spread.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. The cookies will be puffy when you first pull them out. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. If the shape needs to be trimmed now is the time to do it, when it is warm. If necessary, trim the cookie with a sharp knife to ensure the two pieces will fit together. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Now comes the fun part! Ice and decorate one side of each cookie. Allow the icing to set. Flip the cookies over and ice the other side and allow the other side to set. Setting time is completely dependant on the brand of royal icing you are using.
- Slid the 2 cookies together and stand them up. This makes a wonderful and tasty Christmas centrepiece.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
These 3D Christmas tree cookies or Christmas table centerpiece are easy to make, deliciously sweet and spicy, and they look so cute. Making the cookie dough is simple and decorating them is lots of fun! You might even want to get the kids involved in this unusual gingerbread cookie recipe.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.