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Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, packed with brown sugar, molasses and warming spices. These gingerbread cookies will become your favorite family Christmas tradition.

gingerbread cookies in the shape of gingerbread men and Christmas trees on the counter with frosting on them.

Decorated Gingerbread Cookies

Is there anything that feels more like Christmas than a big plate of holiday cookies? There is just something about it that screams the Holiday season! And the grand daddy of holiday flavors is gingerbread! Whether it’s these Gingerbread Cookies or good ‘ol Classic Old Fashioned Gingerbread, it’s always a winner.

The brown sugar and molasses cookie base is packed with cinnamon and ginger and has all the flavor you want in a holiday cookie! They are soft and chewy and will make your house smell like Christmas heaven as they bake!

But the best part is the chance to decorate them together as a family! It is absolutely one of my favorite holiday traditions. My icing is super sweet and delicious but also acts as the perfect “glue” to adorn your gingerbread will all your favorite candies!

gingerbread man on the counter with frosting on them.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies ingredients

For The Cookies

  • Butter- You will want to make sure that the butter is softened to room temperature so that it creams well with the sugars.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar- Brown sugar is going to give the gingerbread a wonderfully deep sweet flavor, but it will also keep the cookies soft and chewy.
  • Eggs
  • Molasses- This is a key ingredient to the classic gingerbread flavor.
  • Vanilla
  • Flour– All purpose flour is all we need, here.
  • Ground Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
gingerbread cookies cut out prior to baking.

How to make Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, molasses and vanilla extract and beat again until it is mixed well. 
  3. Scrape the sides again and add in the dry ingredients (the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt) and continue to mix slowly while the flour incorporates into the dough. Dough will be soft but not super sticky. You will want it to be a Play-Dough consistency. If it feels a little to stiff add a little water. If it is too soft add a little flour.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and roll the dough out to 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut our the dough and transfer them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until the cookies have puffed up and the tops no longer look wet and glossy.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the pan for an additional 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

How to make frosting for Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Make the icing by creaming together butter and shortening. When the butter mixture is nice and smooth, add powdered sugar and the liquids while continuing to mix. Icing should be thick and creamy. Add an extra tsp of milk if you need to thin out the icing at all.

Transfer the icing to a piping bag, or a ziplock with the corner cut off and decorate your cookies.

gingerbread man on the counter before they have been frosted.

How to store this Soft Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

The cookies will stay soft and fresh in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They freeze well for up to 3 months!

Decorated Gingerbread Cookies FAQs

Are Gingerbread Cookies soft or hard?

This really depends on the recipe you use and what you prefer. I prefer soft and chewy gingerbread cookies so that is what you’ll get if you follow this recipe.

Do I need to chill my gingerbread cookie dough before baking?

This depends on the recipe. If you follow my recipe, you won’t need to worry about chilling the dough prior to baking.

Why did my gingerbread cookies get hard? 

Your cookies will get hard after they cool if they have been over baked. Make sure to pull them out of the oven one the center of the tops of the cookies no longer look wet and glossy.

Do you decorate gingerbread before or after baking?

If you’d like to decorate before baking, you can add hard candies or sprinkles but classically you will decorate with frosting after they have baked.

pin image for gingerbread cookies with text overlay.

More Christmas Cookies

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5 from 10 votes

Soft Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, packed with brown sugar, molasses and warming spices. These gingerbread cookies will become your favorite family Christmas tradition. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 36


Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

  • 1 cup (222g) salted butter
  • 3/4 cup (172.5g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (184.5g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) molasses
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (608g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Frosting Recipe

  • 6 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp vegetable shortening, can use all butter, if needed.
  • 3 cups (321g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, I like to use clear vanilla
  • milk, to thin


  • Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add in the egg, molasses and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • Add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix together. Start mixing slowly, gaining speed as the flour incorporates. Mix until the dough has come together.
  • The dough should be easy to work with and Play-Doh like consistency. If it is very stiff, add a little water, if it is too soft add in a little flour until you get Play-Doh like consistency.
  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Roll to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut the cookies out.
  • Transfer the cookies to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 6-8 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and no longer glossy.
  • Let the cookies rest on the hot cookie sheet for 5- 10 minutes before transferring to a metal cooling rack.
  • Frost* if desired and serve.
  • Prepare the icing by first creaming together the butter and shortening.
  • Next alternate adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time and the liquid. (powdered sugar, vanilla, powdered sugar, a tiny splash of milk to bring things together, powdered sugar).
  • Add a small amount of milk to get a thick creamy consistency.
  • Transfer to a piping bag and decorate your cookies.
  • Will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Karli Bitner

This blog is a little glimpse into my kitchen, family & life. I hope you’ll giggle the days away with me and enjoy the craziness that goes on at my house. If you are Cookie obsessed like I am, check out my Sister Site, Cookies for Days.

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