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Gingerbread man cookies are popular with kids and grownups alike. They’re soft, sweet and full of wonderful warm spice flavour. Whether you’re looking for gingerbread men cookies for Christmas or you simply can’t get enough of the warm, spiced, sweet taste, there’s nothing not to love about this amazing gingerbread cookie recipe. They’re easy to prepare, simple to shape with cookie cutters and of course fun to decorate.

A homemade gingerbread man cookie on a plate for Christmas.

These buttery, soft gingerbread men hold their shape perfectly and they’re simple to make. Paired with frosting and candies, you can decorate your gingerbread man cookies however you see fit.

Love these gingerbread cookies? You might also enjoy making these easy reindeer cupcakes or trying these fun chocolate covered strawberry reindeer for the holidays!

Easy gingerbread men cookies on a red plate.

Why You’ll Love Them

Oh so tasty: It’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t love gingerbread men. The combination of warmly spiced cookie dough, soft sweet frosting and little candies results in a wonderful cookie that simply melts in the mouth.
The best gingerbread recipe: Perhaps you’ve made gingerbread men before and you weren’t that impressed with the flavour and texture. This recipe is a little different. Instead of using a lot of flour to keep the molasses-heavy dough from being too sticky, the dough is chilled before baking to firm it up without needed to throw in all that flour that would otherwise dull the flavour.
Easy enough for baking newbies: There’s no reason to opt for store-bought gingerbread man cookies, not when it’s this simple to make your own! There’s really nothing difficult about this gingerbread recipe at all.

A decorated gingerbread man Christmas cookie.

Ingredients for Gingerbread Man Cookies

To make this gingerbread man cookies recipe, you are going to need flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, white and dark brown sugar, molasses, egg, vanilla extract, ginger, and cinnamon.

Ingredients to make an easy gingerbread man cookie recipe.
Homemade gingerbread men cookies on a platter. They are decorated with canned frosting and M&M candies.

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Mix the dry ingredients together: Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Combine the other ingredients: Cream the unsalted butter, white and brown sugar, molasses, egg, and vanilla.
Now combine both mixtures: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until you have a sandy-textured dough.
Chill the dough: Roll the cookie dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap before freezing it overnight or for at least 4 hours. If you have very sticky dough, don’t worry – that’s because of the molasses and it’ll get less sticky when chilled.
Cut out the gingerbread cookies: Roll out the gingerbread cookie dough on a lightly floured surface and use gingerbread man cookie cutters (here) to cut them out, then arrange on a parchment paper covered baking sheet or several baking sheets.
Preheat oven and bake them: Let the cookies bake in the oven until the edges are crisp, then let them cool completely.
Frost them: Combine white frosting with powdered sugar and pipe this on to the cooled gingerbread cookies to make the eyes, smile and decorate the arms and legs. Decorate with mini M&Ms candies.

Decorating gingerbread men for Christmas.
Making gingerbread man cookies for holiday baking.

Substitutions and Variations

Use small candies or red hot candies in place of the mini M&Ms if you like. You can also swap the vanilla for another extract if you want to try a more unusual take on this recipe.

Christmas cookies on a plate.

How to Serve Gingerbread Man Cookies

Gingerbread man cookies are great with anything from a cold glass of milk to a hot coffee or in fact any other drink you like. Oh, and if you are a gingerbread lover, you might like to try gingerbread trifle or gingerbread cheesecake too!

Easy Christmas gingerbread cookies.
Easy gingerbread man cookies for a holiday cookie exchange.

How to Store Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Store: This gingerbread man recipe will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. A cookie jar will work but, for optimal freshness, choose an airtight tin or similar container.
Freeze: If you want to freeze your perfectly chewy gingerbread cookies, that is possible and gingerbread freezes well. Wrap each gingerbread man individually.
Thaw: When you’re ready, let the chewy gingerbread man cookies thaw unwrapped at room temperature. Doing it this way prevents condensation which would make them soggy.

Kids can help decorate these gingerbread man cookies.

Gingerbread Man Cookies FAQs

Are gingerbread man cookies supposed to be hard or soft?

This recipe produces gingerbread men which are soft and chewy. If you forego the chilling time and instead add extra flour to counter the stickiness, that’s a timesaving way to make them, but not only will they out harder – they’ll be drier and less flavourful too. So, it’s highly recommended that you make time for the chilling, as it gives them a wonderful texture and also ensures they hold their shape during baking.

Can you swap the soft frosting for royal icing?

Royal icing is often used to decorate cookies because it sets hard and you can stack the cookies without smearing the frosting. However, the soft frosting is better for these delicious gingerbread man cookies because it’s tastier. Just don’t stack the cookies, else the frosting will smudge.

A gingerbread man cookie with a bite missing.
A gingerbread man cookie made for Christmas parties.

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

5 from 33 votes

Easy Gingerbread Man Cookies

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Gingerbread man cookies are popular with kids and grownups alike. They're soft, sweet and full of wonderful warm spice flavour.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 32

Ingredients 

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ Cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ Cups light brown sugar
  • ½ Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, pure
  • M&M mini’s, red and green

Frosting

Instructions 

  • In a medium mixing bowl, place 3 cups of flour, 2 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups light brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup of molasses, 1 large egg, and 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the contents of the dry ingredient bowl to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will appear sandy. Use your hands to form a ball. Wrap the dough ball tightly with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a flat surface with a light dusting of flour. Unwrap the dough and divide it in half. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to ¼ inch thick. Use your cookie cutter to make the gingerbread man shapes. Repeat until all of your dough is gone. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Place into oven and bake cookies for 8 to 11 minutes or until the edges are set and crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating (about 10 minutes). While the cookies are cooling, mix (1) 16-ounce tub of white frosting and 1 cup powdered sugar using a hand or stand mixer.
  • Once the cookies have thoroughly cooled, place the white frosting mixture in a piping bag and cut a small hole in the tip. Give your gingerbread man some eyes, a smile, and some buttons. Use your creativity to personalize your cookies!

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 0.005mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

You’re going to love these old-fashioned soft and chewy gingerbread cookies. They’re soft, warmly spiced, sweet, and perfect for festive or special occasions. Also, it can be lots of fun to decorate gingerbread cookies!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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