The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

This classic gingerbread cookie recipe is one that has been passed down through my family for generations. It makes the best, most perfect gingerbread cookies for the holiday season.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

When I was a little girl, I can still remember making this homemade gingerbread with my grandmother at Christmas time. It made the entire house smell amazing and heralded the most wonderful time of the year!

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This recipe combines all of the flavors of Christmas with warm spices and dark molasses in a classic gingerbread that you will want to make in your own kitchen. This is the best gingerbread recipe for making cut out cookies, perfect for decorating with the kids this time of year.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

It’s a good idea to stock the pantry with a few different things that I like to have on hand.

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The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fancy or blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Process

Directions:

1. Using a KitchenAid stand mixer or electric mixer, cream together shortening, sugar, molasses and water.

2. Add flour, baking soda and spices.  Mix gradually until combined and a soft dough forms.

3. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

4. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Process

6. Dust surface with flour and roll out dough about 1/4″ thick.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Process

7. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter (or other shapes) to cut out cookies.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Process

8. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 mins.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Process

9. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with the best gingerbread icing.

This recipe makes about 48 regular sized gingerbread. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few weeks or in the freezer for months.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

This recipe is wonderful as is but you can make a few substitutions if desired.

Substitute ingredients:

  • I routinely use room temperature butter instead of shortening in the recipe.
  • Dark brown sugar can be used in place of regular.
  • Fancy molasses, light molasses or dark corn syrup can all be used for molasses.
  • Ground cloves may be left out if you don’t have any.
The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

More gingerbread recipes:

  • This old-fashioned gingerbread cake makes the perfect dessert! It’s baked in a bundt pan and most often served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • These gingerbread bars are covered in a rich, cream cheese frosting. They are full of gingerbread flavor and make the perfect treat for house guests!
  • This eggnog icing recipe takes traditional gingerbread to a whole new level of full flavor.
The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

TIPS FOR HOLIDAY BAKING:

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
  • Participate in a Holiday Baking Exchange!  This is a great way to prepare for a season of holiday entertaining.
  • Start baking early and store goodies in the freezer until they are needed.  I use these large Rubbermaid food storage containers to save a mixture of cookies and bars in my freezer so that I have them ready to go for Christmas parties and gatherings all season long.
The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

If you love this gingerbread cookie recipe, please give it a five star review and help me share it on Facebook or Pinterest.

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

The Best Gingerbread Cookies

Yield: 48
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This classic gingerbread cookie recipe is one that has been passed down through my family for generations. It makes the best, most perfect gingerbread cookies for the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fancy or blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Using a KitchenAid stand mixer or electric mixer, cream together shortening, sugar, molasses and water.
  2. Add flour, baking soda and spices.  Mix gradually until combined and a soft dough forms.
  3. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  4. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper.
  6. Dust surface with flour and roll out dough about 1/4" thick.
  7. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter (or other shapes) to cut out cookies.
  8. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 mins.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with the best gingerbread icing.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

All values are approximate and based on ingredients used by the recipe writer. Always calculate your own individual nutritional values for the most accurate calculation.

Did you make this recipe?

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about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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