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gingerbread cookies on a light background

Gingerbread Cookies

It’s not Christmas without Gingerbread Cookies! This tried and true gingerbread cookie recipe is packed with festive flavors and spice. Sandwich them together with jam, caramel, or chocolate to turn them into gingerbread linzer cookies!
Prep Time 21 hrs 38 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 32 cookies


  • ½ cup 113 g butter
  • 5 tbsp 105 g molasses
  • 5 tbsp 105 g honey
  • cup 75 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 ⅔ cups 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Linzer Gingerbread Cookies

  • ½ cup jam preserves, dulce de leche, ganache, or Nutella for filling
  • powdered sugar for topping

Royal Icing

  • ½ cup 120 ml pasteurized egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 ⅔ cups 453 g powdered sugar


  • Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the butter, molasses, honey, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted, and all of the ingredients are well combined, remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • When the butter mixture has cooled, whisk in the egg yolks, vanilla, and milk.
  • Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until a dough forms. The dough will be crumbly.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape into two discs. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and roll out one disc at a time on a lightly floured surface to ¼-in thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes, then bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Cool the gingerbread cookies completely on wire racks before decorating.
  • Once your gingerbread cookies have completely cooled, make the royal icing.
  • Pipe or spread the icing on the cookies and immediately top with decorative sugar. Allow the icing to set completely.

Royal Icing

  • Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer until frothy.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar.
  • Continue beating for 5 minutes in medium speed until the mixture thickens and becomes glossy.

Gingerbread Linzer Cookies

  • To make gingerbread linzer cookies, use cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Use a smaller cookie cutter or a sharp knife to cut out the centers of half of the cookies. Alternatively, use linzer cookie cutters. Once the cookies are baked and completely cool, spread fruit preserves, dulce de leche, chocolate ganache, or Nutella on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with powdered sugar or decorate with royal icing. Top each solid cookie with a cut-out cookie.


  • This recipe yields about 32 gingerbread cookies or 16 linzer cookies.
  • Do you have to chill gingerbread dough? Yes! The dough must be chilled before rolling. Chilling allows the dough to rest which helps the flour absorb moisture.
  • Do you have to freeze gingerbread before baking? Freezing the gingerbread for 10 minutes before baking allows the cookies to hold their shape. It also prevents the cookies from cracking.
  • How do you know when gingerbread cookies are done? You will know when the gingerbread cookies are done baking when the edges are dry and slightly golden. 
  • How long do gingerbread cookies last? Gingerbread cookies will last for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. Undecorated cookies may be frozen for up to 3 months.
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