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Gingerbread Man Cookies

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These classic Christmas cookies coated with royal icing in accordance to the festive season is an amazing addition to your holiday season. With ginger, cinnamon, cloves, white pepper and molasses — this gingerbread man cookies recipe is sugar and spice and everything nice!

gingerbread man cookie

As Christmas time comes yet again, it is yet another baking season for Mandy and I. I have always wanted to give gingerbread men cookies a go as I always found the gingerbread man shapes extremely adorable. Mandy and I baked a few batches of Gingerbread Man cookies a few days ago to find some of the best gingerbread cookie recipes. We finally settled on the adapted recipe from Martha Stewart which my kids and I love the most as they produce some amazing chewy gingerbread man cookies with the perfect blend of spices and crisp edges.


scroll ⬇️ to get the detailed and printable recipe

What are Gingerbread Man Cookies?

Simply said, these soft cookies are made from gingerbread and then cut out with a gingerbread man cookie cutter to achieve the shape of gingerbread people. With rounded heads hands and feet, the gingerbread recipe produces a unique cookie dough as it has a blend of spices so your holiday cookies are both sweet yet spicy.

Around the 15th to 16th centuries, Queen Elizabeth I presented visiting dignitaries with gingerbread cookies decorated to look just like them, and hence the first gingerbread man cookies were born.

Traditionally in the shape of humans, some people use gingerbread to make a gingerbread house or even Christmas tree chewy cookies. Not only these, but many others also use cookie cutters to achieve different shapes of these chewy gingerbread cookies. Nevertheless, it is always a fun bonding activity to decorate your gingerbread cookies with your children and family.

gingerbread man cookies

Ingredients in the Gingerbread Man Cookies Recipe

Here is an overview of the ingredients I used to make this chewy with a crisp edge, sweet yet spicy Christmas gingerbread man cookies recipe and why these ingredients are important. For the exact measurements do check out the full recipe down below.

  • Butter: Use softened unsalted butter but make sure it’s not runny or too melted.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: I use dark brown sugar in this recipe as it gives it a stronger flavor so your sugar cookies have a bigger kick to them. Dark
  • Molasses: I used unsulphured molasses as it adds color, flavor, and moisture which is important to create the perfect gingerbread man.
  • Egg: These wet ingredients help bind our dry ingredients together.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour and added more along the way as your work surface will get sticky so you need more to create a floured surface.
  • Traditional spices: Ginger, cinnamon, cloves
  • White ground pepper: This secret ingredient makes your gingerbread extra spicy
  • Baking soda and baking powder: they are leaveners to help the dough rise.
  • Royal Icing: for decoration purposes, I used the royal icing premix
gingerbread man cookie

Baking Tips for Success

There are honestly not a lot of specific steps that you have to look out for as this is a generally simple gingerbread man cookies recipe to make. But here are still some areas you will need to look out for to ease your entire baking experience.

  • Use softened butter: This will prevent chunks of butter from being stuck in a portion of dough and it may affect the consistency and texture.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Use room temperature ingredients for this recipe
  • Add flour: If your dough is too sticky, you can add a tad bit of flour (around a tablespoon or so) but don’t go over the top as your flour mixture will get too dry.
  • Even rolling: Evenly rolling it out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness for the perfect texture. However, how thick you like it to be is extremely subjective so do experiments to achieve the thickness that suits you best.
  • Divide dough and wrap: Before refrigerating, remember to divide your piece of dough and wrap each in plastic.
  • Chill the dough: This cookie dough is relatively more sticky than your normal type of cookie dough, so chilling it before cutting makes it easier to work with.
  • Use parchment paper:  Always use a piece of parchment paper or baking mat when baking to prevent the bottom of your cookies from getting brown too fast.
  • Space out your cookies: Make sure there are around 2 inches between each cookie so they don’t stick together when they bake.
  • Monitor the time: For crispier edges but still chewy centers, bake for 12 to 14 minutes with your oven preheated to 350 degrees.
  • Cool then decorate: Let your cookies cool on a cookie sheet or on a wire rack at room temperature before decorating them with royal icing.
gingerbread man cookie

Storing and Freezing your Gingerbread Man Cookies

You can store your gingerbread man cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for up to a week. If you want these gingerbread man cookies to last wayyy past the holiday season (for up to three months) you can stack your undecorated cookies and wrap them with plastic and then place them in airtight containers in the freezer. When you want to savor them again, let them thaw in the fridge before decorating them or eating them plain.

If you have tried this Gingerbread Man Cookies recipe and loved it, I have more recipes in my recipe section for you to master. For more cookie recipes, you can try my Ginger Snap Cookies (another Holiday favorite), Hello Kitty cookies, Animal cookies, and Burger cookies.

gingerbread man cookie


Yield: 12 – 16 MEDIUM COOKIES
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes

It is baking time for Christmas!!! Mandy and I baked a few batches of Gingerbread Man cookies a few days ago to try out a few different gingerbread cookie recipes. We finally settled on the adapted recipe from Martha Stewart which my kids and I love the most.

Enjoy baking them!


Gingerbread Man Cookie

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup un-sulfured molasses


  • Royal Icing, various colors for decoration (we used royal icing premix)



  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside. (Picture 1)
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the mixing bowl, mix with a hand whisk until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then egg and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix with a spatula until just combined. Divide dough into halve; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (Picture 2 - 8)
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into Gingerbread man with a Gingerbread man cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. (Picture 9, 10, 11)
  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. (Picture 12)
  5. When cool, you can decorate the cookies with Royal icing.

gingerbread man cookie

gingerbread man cookie

gingerbread man cookie

gingerbread man cookie


Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
If you are going to use the original recipe (double portion) you will need an electric mixer to cream the butter and mixing the rest of the ingredients.

Get the full article at

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 11th of September 2018

What can I do if I can't find molasses?

Li Lin

Wednesday 21st of December 2016

Hi, may I know where did you buy the Royal icing premix from?

Craft Passion

Thursday 22nd of December 2016

I bought it from Cold Storage, some baking supply shops should carry it as well.


Friday 14th of November 2014

This is a real art..i'lltry it today in shaa' allah..thanks.


Wednesday 18th of December 2013

wow these look so great!


Friday 13th of December 2013

How many eggs in this recipe? The ingredients list one, but it refers to eggs there and in the directions section.

Craft Passion

Friday 13th of December 2013

It is 1, sorry for the typing error of the plural terms. I have got it corrected, thanks for the question.

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