Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies

Soft, festive gingerbread man cookies with warm winter spices – made from scratch and all fancied up for the holidays! Get the recipe and whip up a batch this weekend.

Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies – Soft, festive gingerbread man cookies with warm winter spices – made easily from scratch! | thecomfortofcooking.com

Bring in the merriment and mugs of cocoa, y’all! I am admittedly obsessed with Christmas this year.

The house is glittering and gorgeous and dripping with holiday cheer, but the amount goodies my oven is churning out is getting ridiculous. Though, I’ve discovered something. It’s not as much about how much I love sweets as it is about keeping my body from turning into one giant icicle. A warm oven churning away keeps the house cozy, right?

… Can you tell I live with a man who refuses to budge on the thermostat?

Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies – Soft, festive gingerbread man cookies with warm winter spices – made easily from scratch! | thecomfortofcooking.com

I’m not getting any complaints from him on all the cookies (and slightly higher electric bill), though. This past weekend brought heaps of buttery jam thumbprints, salted caramel sauce, peppermint marshmallows, and stacks of these scrumptious golden gingerbread men… so cute you could gnaw their little arms and legs right off!

And I did.

Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies – Soft, festive gingerbread man cookies with warm winter spices – made easily from scratch! | thecomfortofcooking.com

… Or maybe that was just all the other gingerbread men not playing nice. They’re gonna be on Santa’s naughty list for sure!

Gingerbread men have been on my must-conquer cookie list forever, and I was so happy to have such great success with this recipe. You’ll love it for your Christmas cookie baking, and these make great gifts, too! The dough was easy peasy to roll, and by cutting the shapes and freezing for a few minutes before transferring to your cookie sheet, your gingerbread men don’t get warped by your warm hands. Loved that tip by the recipe’s rave reviewers!

A fine tipped squeeze bottle made piping on the royal icing a breeze, and so far they’ve stored beautifully (nice and soft) for 5 days in an airtight container. Totally my go-to holiday cookie for years to come!

In collaboration with Zappos, I put my own sweet spin on a recipe they suggested to me, to share with you! They’re in my turf of Austin, TX this weekend (Dec. 14-15), touring the city with their gingerbread man. You can follow his adventures at #ZapposGingerbreadMan and be eligible to win great prizes if you do!

Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies – Soft, festive gingerbread man cookies with warm winter spices – made easily from scratch! | thecomfortofcooking.com

Anyway, back to the good stuff. COOKIES!

You’ll love these easy, festive gingerbread men loaded with warm winter spices and cheery charm. The dough bakes up a spicy, soft cookie that creates an incredible aroma in your home. Plus, these little men are just as delicious as they are cute to look at! Whip up a batch this weekend to get in the holiday spirit, and sneak a batch over to someone on Santa’s “nice” list!

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PrintPrint Recipe

Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies

Yield: Makes about 24 cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the dough:

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla. With your mixer on low speed, gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

Gather dough with your hands into a ball and divide dough in half. Shape each half into a round disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate up to 4 days. Let dough come to room temperature before using.

To roll and bake:

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll each portion of dough 1/4-inch thick between two sheets of waxed paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. Remove excess dough from around the cookies (as best you can), and transfer wax paper sheet to the freezer. Freeze for 10 minutes, then remove shapes to your lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. This makes transferring the cookies while keeping their shape SO much easier!

Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-9 minutes. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Once cookies are completely cool, decorate as desired.

To decorate with royal icing:

Make royal icing by combining 1 Tablespoon meringue powder with 2 cups powdered sugar and 3-5 Tablespoons water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat icing until smooth and matte, about 5 minutes. Add more water to thin, if necessary. Separate icing into batches and tint with food coloring. Using piping bags or squeeze bottles with fine tips, pipe icing onto cooled cookies.

Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.



Cookie recipe adapted from Zappos via Food.com

Disclosure: A similar version of this recipe was suggested to me by Zappos and I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own.


57 Responses to “Spiced Gingerbread Man Cookies”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — December 13, 2013 @ 5:23 am

    Gah! These are too cute Georgia!! Love it.

  2. #
    Paula — December 13, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    These little guys are adorable. Very happy that you found a recipe you like. Don’t you just love the smell of gingerbread baking in the oven? Have a wonderful holiday!

  3. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — December 13, 2013 @ 6:21 am

    These are too cute!

  4. #
    Mel — December 13, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    I’ve never seen such picture perfect gingerbread cutouts, Georgia. So cute!

  5. #
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — December 13, 2013 @ 9:01 am

    Aww how cute are these?? Gingerbread men have been on my list forever, thanks for the recipe! And happy Christmas baking! :–)

  6. #
    Kelly — December 13, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    These look so adorable Georgia! Love those cute gingerbread men faces especially around the holidays :)

  7. #
    Marcie — December 13, 2013 @ 9:26 am

    I do gingerbread men every year — they’re my favorite! Yours are adorable…even the naughty one!

  8. #
    The Café Sucre Farine — December 13, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    Adorable, just adorable. And thanks for the tip of the squeeze bottle, great idea!

  9. #
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health — December 13, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    your cookies look perfect, so flawless.

  10. #
    Kathi — December 13, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    Dang if those aren’t the most perfectest little men ever!!!

  11. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — December 13, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

    I had high hopes of getting around to making gingerbread cutouts this year, but it hasn’t happened yet. These cookies are positively adorable, Georgia!

  12. #
    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — December 13, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    So stinkin’ cute! And I love the one with the frown and bite out of it! Merry Christmas!

  13. #
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — December 13, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    These little gingerbread men are adorable!

  14. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — December 13, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

    yayyy for lots of baking!

    These gingerbread men are SO cute and perfect, and I can practically smell how delicious they are!

  15. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — December 13, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

    These are so cute! I made gingerbread men to share tomorrow, and they did not turn out this cute! My frosting job is just not as good – love the bows!

  16. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — December 13, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    These are adorable, some of the cutest Gingerbread Men I’ve ever seen! I’d love one to nibble on right now. =)

  17. #
    Liz — December 13, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

    These are adorable! I stink at piping…and wish I could make a gingerbread man half as cute as yours!!!!

  18. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — December 13, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    So cute, Georgia! Piping definitely is easier from a squeeze bottle for beginners. Gorgeous photography as always, my friend. Thanks for sharing. Pinning!

  19. #
    Kumar's Kitchen — December 13, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    nothing beats cutely decorated gingerbread man cookies for celebrating this season….these have come out of the oven perfectly scrumptious,thanks :-)

  20. #
    ATasteOfMadness — December 13, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    I have been craving gingerbread cookies for a few days now. These look like the perfect recipe!

  21. #
    Tieghan — December 13, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

    These photos and these cookie are gorgeous! I would love to find some time to make these! PINNED!

  22. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — December 14, 2013 @ 1:53 am

    How cute is this?! And that frownie gingerbread man is adorable.

  23. #
    Ramona — December 14, 2013 @ 8:13 am

    Wow!! I just showed these to my kid and they went crazy about them. You could not make these cuter if you tried. They are absolutely adorable. I especially love the sad little fellow wiih a bite in him. :) I give you a standing ovation on the most perfect looking gingerbread men I have ever seen. :)

  24. #
    Sandie@afoodieaffair.com — December 14, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    These cookies are so cute! They sound delicious! And I know what you mean about the thermostat. I have the same problem, and I’m in New England and it’s coooold!

  25. #
    sarah k @ the pajama chef — December 14, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    these are so cute!

  26. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — December 14, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    Oh my goodness, these are adorable!!!

  27. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — December 14, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    I was going to make gingerbread men this year, but haven’t had the chance yet!! Georgia, these are just perfect. Love the little man without an arm and a sad face. I laughed out loud seeing that one! Also – their bow ties. Cutest cookies in the world.

  28. #
    lizwaterson — December 14, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

    Yes turning the oven on to keep warm sounds like the perfect excuse to keep baking!! These are too cute, love how puffy the cookies look!

  29. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — December 14, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    These might be the cutest gingerbread men I’ve never seen – I love how puffy they are!

  30. #
    Bill — December 14, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

    Beautiful job on these gingerbread men, Georgia! Picture perfect! One of these years I’m going to get motivated to make Christmas cookies! Thanks for a great post!

  31. #
    Angie@Angie's Recipes — December 14, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

    They look picture perfect, Georgia. Totally cute!

  32. #
    Anna (Hidden Ponies) — December 15, 2013 @ 1:39 am

    These are so perfect! I love gingerbread men but can never get them a consistent thickness, I am a terrible dough roller. Gorgeous job!

  33. #
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty — December 15, 2013 @ 8:16 am

    Ahhh, I love these! I am totally into classic gingerbread men this year, after making them with the kids at a friend’s house. Nice touch of red on the limbless cookie … laughing. :)

  34. #
    JulieD — December 15, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    These are sooo cute, Georgia!! Hope you guys have a happy holidays!!

  35. #
    John@Kitchen Riffs — December 15, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    I can never resist gingerbread men! When I was a kid it was my favorite cookie. And one that I still like a lot now. Great decorating job!

  36. #
    Amy @ swiss miss in the kitchen — December 15, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Aw these are the cutest gingerbread men I’ve probably ever seen!

  37. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — December 15, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    I love that frown faced one! Scrolling down I was like wait… was that just? Made my day. These look delicious!

  38. #
    Mo — December 15, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

    almost too pretty to eat…almost

  39. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — December 15, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

    These cookies are just so darling!!

  40. #
    michael — December 15, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

    Awh, those look really good! You shouldn’t make any with sad faces!!

  41. #
    Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen — December 15, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    These are so adorable, Georgia! My mom made gingerbread men every single year so they really take me back. Nothing smells better baking in your oven than a batch of these. Beautiful job :)

  42. #
    Erin | The Emerging Foodie — December 15, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    These are adorable, Georgia! And I bet they’re just as delicious, too!

  43. #
    Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes — December 16, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    These are so stinkin’ cute! Love the little guy with the bite out of him, he’s frowning because he knows what’s next!

  44. #
    Dina — December 17, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    they look perfect!

  45. #
    Jaclyn — December 17, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    These are soooo cute! You decorated them perfectly!

  46. #
    Patty — December 17, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    These little guys are just the cutest gingerbread men ever ;)

  47. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — December 19, 2013 @ 6:41 am

    These are the cutest cookies ever, Georgia! :) Sooo so adorable.

  48. #
    plasterers bristol — January 5, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    Yum, i love gingerbread biscuits, and been looking for a nice recipe for ages…Thanks for putting this up…


  49. #
    femke — October 29, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    I have a question: Here in Belgium, we don’t have ‘molasses’. I googled it and i think it’s some sort of syrup. What would you recommend to replace it with? Is it a crucial ingredient?


    • Georgia — October 29th, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

      Molasses is essential to gingerbread, so unfortunately I’m not aware of any substitutions.

  50. #
    serpil — November 14, 2014 @ 9:00 pm


    Yes you can!

    This is a list of substitutes for molasses from Cook’s Thesaurus:

    dark corn syrup OR
    maple syrup (works well in gingerbread cookies) OR
    honey OR
    barley malt syrup (weaker flavor; use 1/3 less) OR
    brown sugar (Substitute 1.5 cups brown sugar for every 1 cup molasses)

    it obviously wont be the same but these are good substitutes

  51. #
    Recovering Expat — November 26, 2014 @ 9:12 am

    In Europe, molasses is called treacle.

  52. #
    Kristen — December 9, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

    I searched the internet and spent a lot of time reading & comparing recipes before opting to use yours, and it was marvelous! Your ratios used more vanilla and a winder variety of spices than most – plus I thought your suggestion about freezing the dough would be a helpful step. Bottom line: these cookies are delicious! A total winner that I’ve printed and will save for future years. Note: we subbed milk-free butter for the traditional butter, and the taste and texture were still just wonderful.

  53. #
    Jennifer elder — December 9, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

    Any other icing suggestions? I don’t really want to buy meringue powder as I don’t foresee needing to use it again. Thanks y’all! Can’t wait to try this recipe! My son loves to bake with me!

    • Georgia — December 10th, 2014 @ 9:16 am

      You can frost these with a small piping tip with any homemade icing, though just keep in mind it won’t set firmly like the icing shown in this recipe. I think Wilton may make some premade royal icing, which you can find at craft/cake decorating stores.

  54. #
    ashley carte — December 16, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    These were so delicious and soft…will be using this recipe again and again!! Thank you.

  55. #
    Audrey — February 10, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

    I just found this blog and it’s wonderful!! Nice pictures!

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