Gingerbread cookies are such a staple this time of year! These chewy cut out gingerbread cookies are soft and chewy, but hold its shape in the oven. They come together quickly, are easy to roll out, and are perfectly spiced. They are perfect for a holiday party, to decorate with loved ones, or for simply enjoying with a piping hot cup of hot chocolate.
Why you will love these gingerbread cookies
- They're perfectly spiced. Sometimes gingerbread cookies can be overly spiced (too much ginger, way too much molasses, etc.), but these, in my opinion, have the perfect amount of warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and molasses.
- The texture. These cookies are chewy but with a light crisp on the outsides. They are not hard and crunchy. The dough is thick but smooth, which allows them to hold their shape in the oven.
- They are so easy to make. This recipe has simple ingredients - most of which you probably already have in your kitchen! The dough comes together so quickly and the cookies only need 10 minutes in the oven.
- Butter: unsalted butter is the butter of choice so we can control exactly how much salt goes into this recipe.
- Sugar: brown sugar is the sweetener in this recipe - it adds to the chewy texture and molasses flavor of the cookies. We also use powdered sugar for the royal icing if you choose to decorate the cookies.
- Molasses: molasses adds to the chewy texture and the classic gingerbread flavor that we all know and love.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the flour of choice in this recipe - it provides the best texture and crumb in these cookies.
- Leavener: baking soda is the leavener in this recipe - it allows the cookies to puff up and become nice and fluffy.
- Spices: the spices in this recipe are cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. These are all classic gingerbread flavors.
- Meringue powder: meringue powder is added to the icing mixture - this helps give it those classic stiff peaks. You can also sub the meringue powder for pasteurized egg whites!
- Make the cookie dough. Beat together the butter and brown sugar until combined. Add the molasses and mix. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Right on top of the wet ingredients, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and mix until combined.
- Chill the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it is ¼ inch in thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them on a baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Bake. Bake the cookies at 350F for 9-10 minutes until the edges are set and golden brown.
- Make the royal icing. Add the powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, and vanilla extract to a bowl and mix until combined and stiff peaks form.
- Decorate and enjoy! Using a piping bag, decorate the cookies with the royal icing. Enjoy!
Gingerbread cookie baking tips
Don't over mix the cookie dough.
Over mixing the dough can lead to tough cookies that are hard to roll out. Make sure to only mix the dough until the dry ingredients are JUST incorporated.
Chill the dough.
The dough needs very minimal chill time, but don't skip this step! Chilling the dough for 30 minutes gives it the perfect consistency and temperature for success in rolling out the cookie dough.
Don't over bake.
These cookies only need 9-10 minutes in the oven, so make sure to watch them carefully! Any longer and you will be left with a hard, crunchy cookie.
Baking in grams
While I provide volume measurements for the recipes on my blog, I highly suggest baking these recipes using weight. It is the most standardized and accurate way to bake. I carefully recipe test all of my recipes using a kitchen scale, not by using cups, and therefore I cannot guarantee the success of my recipes when using volume measurements.
Other recipes you may like
- Brown Butter Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Chewy Cut Out Gingerbread Cookies
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 grams) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (80 grams) molasses
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅓ cups (160 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder or three egg whites from pasteurized eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons room temperature water
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- food coloring optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the molasses and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Then, right on top of the wet ingredients, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix on low speed until a dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Once the 30 minutes of chilling is done, preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is ¼ inch in thickness. Using a large cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place it on your lined baking sheet with about 2 inches in between each cookie. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
- Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make royal icing using meringue powder: add the powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, and vanilla extract in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then turn the mixer up to high speed and mix for 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. You might need to add more water (to thin) or more powdered sugar (to thicken) depending on desired consistency.
- To make royal icing using pasteurized egg whites: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until frothy. Add the powdered sugar, water, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then turn the mixer up to high speed and mix for 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. You might need to add more water (to thin) or more powdered sugar (to thicken) depending on desired consistency.
- Color the frosting with food coloring as desired. Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off, pipe the frosting on the cookies! Enjoy! Store in an air tight container at room temp.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!