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Classic Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen large cookies 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Classic Gingerbread Cookies recipe makes soft, sweet and lightly spiced cookies. It's the perfect cookie for shaping and decorating! We love making gingerbread men, Christmas trees and snowflakes, but really any shape would work!


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature (salted or unsalted) (226 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar (220 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup light or dark molasses (do not use blackstrap or cooking molasses) (325 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (22 grams)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (625 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (9 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (3 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves (3 grams)


  1. Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about three minutes, using a hand mixer or the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Scrape down the sides as few times as needed.
  2. Add the egg, molasses, and vinegar. Beat to combine well. The mixture will look a bit curdled.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to the bowl and mix to combine well. The dough should come together when you press it in your hands and shouldn't be crumbly. If anything it'll still be a little tacky to the touch. That's ok.
  4. Divide the dough into two even pieces, wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 90 minutes. Don't skip this step, it helps the cookies to keep their shape.
  5. When the dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working in sections, roll the dough to 1/2 inch thick on a floured surface; cut into desired shapes.
  6. Place shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Gather and reroll "scraps" of dough as needed, using all of the dough.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough.
  9. Leave plain or decorate (here are 6 Simple Ways to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies if you are looking for some inspo).


  • If your dough is too tacky you can add additional flour as needed, it will be a little sticky (and firms up when you refrigerate it) but it shouldn't be overly wet. 
  • If you like your gingerbread on the crispy side, roll it 1/4" thick and bake for 11-12 minutes. If you like it nice and soft (though still very sturdy), roll the dough 1/2" thick and bake for 10 minutes. If you play around with the thickness of the dough and the baking time, you'll discover a cookie that meets your liking. I really like this thick and soft.
  • SEE MORE NOTES in the tips and tricks section of the blog post.
  • The dough can be held in the fridge for 2-3 days before using without any issues.
  • You may need to add up to a 1/2 cup more flour as needed so the dough is workable. I'm cooking from an arid kitchen.
  • I've used both salted and unsalted butter for this recipe and haven't noticed much of a difference, use what you have.
  • You can substitute the white vinegar with apple cider vinegar without any issues.
  • Use light, dark, or "fancy" molasses in this recipe. Do not use blackstrap or cooking molasses as your cookies will be bitter if you use the latter two. Here's a post on how to make gingerbread without molasses.
  • If you refrigerate your cookies longer than the recommend time, let them rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before rolling them out so help the dough not be too stiff.
  • The dough can be made ahead of time and frozen or you can bake and freeze the cookies. Both are great options for making this recipe ahead.
  • This is not the recipe that I use for Gingerbread Houses, this gingerbread house recipe is a bit thicker and much sturdier, it also comes with 2 free gingerbread house templates!
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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