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Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

Our two boys linger around the kitchen when these homemade gingerbread cookies are baking. I make this gingerbread cookie recipe throughout the year using a variety of cookie cutters. —Christy Thelan, Kellogg, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    5 dozen


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla frosting of your choice
  • Red and green paste food coloring


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle, about 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake until edges are firm, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Tint some of the frosting red and some green; leave remaining frosting plain. Decorate cookies.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Make your life easier by rolling the dough directly on a piece of parchment dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Use the cookie cutter to create shapes and remove the excess dough. Then, slide the parchment onto the baking sheet and bake away!
  • View our tutorial on how to make gingerbread cookies.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cookie: 77 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 69mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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    Average Rating:
    • thebigapple
      Dec 26, 2019

      Excellent recipe and received many compliments. The only thing I did differently was add a teaspoon of vanilla extract since I noticed that many gingerbread cookie recipes had it as an ingredient.

    • Elizabeth
      Dec 24, 2019

      IT’s Christmas Eve and we made these cookies last night and my daughters wanted them again this morning for breakfast. Great recipe!!! If it tends to be a little dry just add a tablespoon or less of water. We’ve tried a lot of Gingerbread cookie recipes, this is by far the easiest and the best!

    • Jraineri123
      Dec 23, 2019

      No comment left

    • Sarah
      Dec 21, 2019

      Followed directions and mixed in a mixer. Mine was also very crumbly and dry and even couldn't hand mix to get to stick better. I added 1 tablespoon of butter and another 1/4 cup of molasses. It seems to be held together better now. Not sure if my kitchen air is too dry or moist? It's about 65 degrees F in the home with 67% humidity. Wrapping for fridge and then will roll out for cookies.

    • Emily
      Dec 21, 2019

      Instead of frosting I used cinnamon imperials and baked them, they turned out great! Thank you (:

    • ReneeMurby
      Dec 15, 2019

      I made a triple batch last night and wrapped the discs in plastic wrap to refrigerate overnight. The dough came together nicely and was easy enough to work with. I did let it sit on the counter a bit before rolling. They went to a family cookie party today. The house smelled heavenly for hours.

    • Bow
      Nov 21, 2018

      These turned out great! I followed the recipe exactly and mixed by hand. I let it refrigerate overnight. Once it came out of the fridge, it needs to sit for a few mins before I could get it out of the bowl, so I'd recommend putting it in satan wrap to refrigerate rather than a bowl. I took someone else's advice here to roll them out thicker so that they wouldn't be too crunchy, so I rolled them out to about 1/4in thick. It was perfect, and, at 1/4on thickness, I baked at the same 350 degree temp but for 10 mins, and they cooled down to be just the right softness. Here is the exact cookie cutter I used! It's bigger so it makes them a good size for decorating:

    • Margaret
      Oct 15, 2018

      I was concerned about this recipe after reading the negative comments regarding taste and dryness/crumbling of the dough. Once again, I'm shaking my head wondering what went wrong for those leaving negative reviews. Made these precisely as directed, no need to add water, dough was wonderful to work with, and taste is very pleasant. The only thing I did was mix everything by hand (something I always do) and everything was perfect.

    • Malcolm
      Mar 4, 2018

      after fridge, knead until pliable. best gb recipe ive had

    • ghhhtf
      Jan 6, 2018

      Way too dry! It was basically molasses coated flour after everything was mixed. I had to add water to get it to even resemble anything like cookie dough. Very disappointing and a waste of good king Arthur flour.