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Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies

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close up overhead shot of a plate full of Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies
These darling snowman themed gingerbread man sugar cookies are perfect for holiday baking. 
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Table of Contents
  1. Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Gingerbread man sugar cookies are a fun twist on the traditional holiday cookie. Sweet and soft, these cookies are turned into charming little people that you can have fun decorating any way you want.

close up overhead shot of a plate full of Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies Ingredients

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cookies

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¼ cup butter-flavored shortening 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large whole egg plus 1 large egg white
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Icing

  • 2¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ½ teaspoon almond flavoring 
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • Royal blue food coloring gel (or blue nonpareils)
  • Orange food coloring gel

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

FOOD COLORING: While our instructions direct you to make snowmen cookies, you can get creative with your gingerbread men. Any color of icing would work well for the decoration.

DECORATIONS: You can use any color of nonpareil for the eyes or buttons. We do not recommend mini M&M’s as they do not look quite right for these snowman gingerbread people.

How To Make This Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies Recipe

For the Cookies

STEP ONE: In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Set dry ingredients aside.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP TWO: Using a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the softened butter, butter-flavored shortening, and granulated sugar for 1½ to 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP THREE: Reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the large whole egg and vanilla extract. Beat just until the egg is incorporated. 

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Add the large egg white and mix until well combined.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix just until the flour is incorporated and smooth.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP SIX: Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 10 hours.

PRO TIP:

It is very important that the dough chills for the bare minimum of 10 hours. 12 hours is even better. It may seem like a long time, but it is well worth the wait.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of bowl of dough cover tightly with Saran Wrap

STEP SEVEN: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

STEP EIGHT: Lightly flour your work surface. 

STEP NINE: Divide dough in half. Lightly flour the top of the dough.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of cookie dough on a wooden board

STEP TEN: Using a rolling pin, carefully roll the dough out to ¼-inch to ⅜-inch thickness. 

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of dough rolled out on a wooden board

STEP ELEVEN: Lightly flour the edges of the gingerbread man cookie cutter and cut your cookies.

PRO TIP:

The cookie dough is perfect for all different shapes of cookie cutters and any time of year. 

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of dough cut out with a cookie cutter

STEP TWELVE: Evenly space the gingerbread men, 6 per baking sheet.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of gingerbread man placed on a baking sheet

STEP THIRTEEN: Bake cookies for 10 minutes. The edges of cookies should not brown at all. 

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cookies as the suggested baking time approaches.

STEP FOURTEEN: Remove the cookies and allow them to rest until they are completely cooled. While they are cooling, make the icing.

For the Icing

STEP ONE: Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla flavoring, almond flavoring, and milk. Continue to stir until no lumps are visible and the icing is smooth.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP TWO: Using 2 small mixing bowls, measure ¼ cup of icing for the blue food color and 2 to 3 tablespoons for the orange food color. 

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of bowls of blue and orange icing

STEP THREE: Add 4 to 5 drops of royal blue and 2 to 3 drops of the orange color. Stir well.

STEP FOUR: Using either a decorator’s bag and a small decorator’s tip (Wilton’s #5 tip), or a quart-size Ziploc with a small snip in a corner, carefully outline the edge of the gingerbread man with the untinted icing. Once outlined, carefully fill in the rest of the cookie. Repeat for the other gingerbread men.

PRO TIP:

The easiest way to ice the cookie is to hold the bag straight up to the cookie to make the outline of icing. You can steady the piping hand with your other hand too if needed. Keep going around the outline, filling the icing in. Then use the toothpick to smooth it out. You don’t have to wait for the outline to dry before filling in the rest of the white icing.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of icing spread over the top each gingerbread man

STEP FIVE: If you are using blue nonpareils for the eyes and buttons, place them before the icing begins to harden.

STEP SIX: If you are using the blue-tinted icing, repeat the process of filling the decorator’s bag fitted with the small tip or the snipped Ziploc bag. 

PRO TIP:

For adding the eyes, buttons, and nose, there are two options. You can add them right on top of the freshly piped icing, and they will sink just a little bit into the icing and make a smooth surface, or you can let the white icing harden to touch just a bit (maybe 30 minutes to 1 hour or even overnight depending on your house temperature) and then pipe the features on top, and they will be raised just a little.

STEP SEVEN: Carefully dot the eyes and buttons for the gingerbread men.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of gingerbread man being decorated with icing

STEP EIGHT: Repeat the process of the piping bag or snipped Ziploc bag for the orange-tinted icing. Carefully make a small sideways triangle shape for the carrot nose.

STEP NINE: Allow the gingerbread men cookies to completely dry.

PRO TIP:

The icing usually sets within just a few hours but is perfect if left to dry overnight.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies process shot of completed cookies drying on a cooling rack

How To Serve

Add these adorable chewy cookies to a tray full of other Christmas cookies, including our Christmas pinwheels and Grinch cookies. These delightful treats would be delicious served with a warm cup of whipped hot chocolate to wash them down.

Check out our other festive cookie recipes, including our gingerbread men cookies and Christmas sugar cookies. Both are perfect recipes to use your cute cookie cutters.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Store any leftover gingerbread man cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze these decorated chewy gingerbread cookies, sealed in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the cookies to thaw before serving.

close up overhead shot of Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

This gingerbread cookie recipe is so much fun to make and decorate. Make these adorable snowmen cookies or change them up and decorate them in an entirely different way depending on the season.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze these cookies?

This delicious recipe can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container. Just make sure to thaw them on the counter before serving.

Do I have to chill the dough?

For best results, you need to chill the dough so that it is easier to roll and cut using the cookie cutters.

Can I use store-bought icing?

Any cookie decorating icing, whether homemade or store-bought, is perfect to make your gingerbread men fancy.

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close up overhead shot of a plate full of Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies

5 from 3 votes
These darling snowman themed gingerbread man sugar cookies are perfect for holiday baking. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¼ cup butter-flavored shortening 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Icing

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ½ teaspoons almond flavoring
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Royal blue food color gel (or blue nonpareils)
  • Orange food color gel

Instructions
 

Cookies

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and cream of tartar. Set it aside.
  • Using a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the softened butter, butter flavored shortening and granulated sugar for 1½ to 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the large whole egg and vanilla extract. Beat just until the egg is incorporated.
  • Add the large egg white and mix until well combined.
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix just until the flour is incorporated and smooth. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 10 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Lightly flour your working surface with flour.
  • Divide the cookie dough in half. Lightly flour the top of the dough.
  • Using a rolling pin, carefully roll the dough out to ¼ inch to ⅜ inch.
  • Lightly flour the edges of the gingerbread man cookie cutter and cut your cookies.
  • Evenly space the gingerbread men, 6 per baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. The edges should not brown at all.
  • Remove the cookies and allow them to rest until they are completely cooled. While they are cooling, make the icing.

Icing

  • Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla flavoring, almond flavoring, and milk. Continue to stir until no lumps are visible and the icing is smooth.
  • Using 2 small mixing bowls, measure ¼ cup of icing for the blue food color and 2 to 3 tablespoons for the orange food color.
  • Add 4 to 5 drops of the royal blue and 2 to 3 drops of the orange color. Stir well.
  • Using either a decorator's bag and a small decorator's tip (Wilton’s #5 tip), or a quart-size Ziploc with a small snip in a corner, carefully outline the edge of the gingerbread man with the untinted icing. Once outlined, carefully fill in the rest of the cookie. Repeat for the other gingerbread men.
  • If you are using blue nonpareils for the eyes and buttons, place them before the icing begins to harden.
  • If you are using the blue-tinted icing, repeat the process of filling the decorator's bag fitted with the small tip or the snipped Ziploc bag.
  • Carefully dot the eyes and buttons for the gingerbread men.
  • Repeat the process of the decorators bag or snipped Ziploc bag for the orange-tinted icing.
  • Carefully make a small sideways triangle shape for the carrot nose.
  • Allow the cookies to completely dry.

Notes

  • It is very important that the dough chills for a bare minimum of 10 hours. 12 hours is even better. It may seem like a long time, but it is well worth the wait.
  • The cookie dough is perfect for all different shapes of cookie cutters and any time of year. 
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cookies as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • The easiest way to ice the cookie is to hold the bag straight up to the cookie to make the outline of icing. You can steady the piping hand with your other hand, too, if needed. Keep going around the outline filling the icing in. Then use the toothpick to smooth it out. You don’t have to wait for the outline to dry before filling in the rest of the white icing.
  • For adding the eyes, buttons, and nose, there are two options. You can add them right on top of the freshly piped icing, and they will sink just a little bit into the icing and make a smooth surface, or you can let the white icing harden to touch just a bit (maybe 30 minutes to 1 hour or even overnight depending on your house temp) and then pipe the features on top, and they will be raised just a little. 
  • The icing usually sets within just a few hours but is perfect if left to dry overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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