Soft & chewy gingerbread cookies with cream cheese frosting are the perfect festive treat to bake this holiday season. Super soft texture, warm & cozy spices, and a fluffy cream cheese frosting make these the most delicious holiday cookie!
These festive cookies are not only delicious, but they are super simple to make! The dough comes together super easy and requires only 20 minutes of chill time.
Why you will love these chewy gingerbread cookies
- The flavors. The combination of flavors in these cookies are *mwah* chef's kiss! I am typically not a molasses fan, but the molasses paired with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves make for an amazing combination and taste explosion!
- The textures. These cookies are unbelievably soft - like melt in your mouth soft. You won't be able to stop at one cookie!
- The cream cheese frosting. Oooooof the cream cheese frosting is what I live for. It is sweet but tangy, super creamy, and makes the perfect topping to these festive cookies.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the key to a soft cookie. It provides the perfect texture and crumb.
- Leavener: baking soda is what helps these cookies spread and give it that crackly top.
- Spices: a combination of warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add so much flavor these cookies.
- Butter: unsalted butter is the butter of choice so we can control exactly how much salt goes into this recipe. We also use butter in the cream cheese frosting.
- Sugar: brown sugar is used in the cookies - it adds a chewiness and moistness to the texture, and heightens the molasses flavor. We also use powdered sugar in the cream cheese frosting and granulated sugar to roll the cookie dough in.
- Molasses: molasses is key in a gingerbread cookie. It adds a ton of flavor and gives the cookies that rich brown color we all know and love.
- Eggs: we use one whole egg and one egg yolk to make these cookies super soft and chewy.
- Cream cheese: cream cheese is used in the frosting, of course! I like the use full fat cream cheese for a thick and creamy texture.
- Whisk the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
- Beat the wet ingredients. Beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the molasses and mix until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix.
- Combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix slowly until a dough forms. Cover the bowl and chill for 20 minutes.
- Roll the dough. Scoop the dough and roll it in the granulated sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are set and lightly golden and the center is puffed up.
- Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you have a smooth, thick frosting. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
- Frost and enjoy! Once the cookies are completely cool, frost the cookies with the icing and enjoy!
Cookie baking tips
I have made many cookies in my lifetime and I have some tips and tricks that I do every single time to ensure my cookies come out *mwah* chef's kiss.
Properly measure the flour.
This applies to all baked goods, but especially in cookies. Too much flour and the cookies will be way too dry and not spread. The best way to measure flour is with a kitchen scale - it is the most accurate. If you don't have a kitchen scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife.
Don't over bake.
Cookies are actually really easy to over bake. You want to pull the cookies from the oven when the edges are crisp and golden but the centers are soft and slightly underdone. This is because the cookies continue to bake when you take them out of the oven - so that slightly underdone cookie center will turn into a soft, perfectly baked center by the time they are ready to eat.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.
Make sure the cookies are stored in a completely airtight container - this will preserve the freshness.
If you wish to freeze the cookie dough, follow the recipe instructions up until rolling the dough in the granulated sugar. Once the dough is in balls, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the frozen cookie dough to a ziplock bag. There is no need to thaw them when you are ready to bake - just roll them in the granulated sugar, then add a minute or two to the bake time!
Baking in grams
I rely on gram measurements when testing recipes because they offer the highest level of accuracy (and less cleanup!). Unlike volume measurements, which can vary, grams provide a reliable and consistent standard. I carefully test all of my recipes using this kitchen scale, therefore I cannot guarantee the outcome when using volume measurements. However, volume measurements are available in the recipe card.
More Christmas cookie recipes
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Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
- 2 ½ cups (313 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 grams) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (80 grams) molasses
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ - ½ cup (50-100 grams) granulated sugar for rolling, optional
Cream Cheese Frosting (Optional)
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or 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, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the molasses and beat on medium-high speed until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
- When your dough has 10 minutes left to chill, preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Using a small cookie scoop (mine is a 1 oz scoop - about 30-35 grams per cookie) scoop the dough and immediately plop it in the bowl with the sugar. Toss to coat. Place them 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are set and lightly golden and the centers are puffed up. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting (Optional)
- Once the cookies are cool, make the cream cheese icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, continuing to beat until it’s a thick frosting. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Frost the cookies and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!