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Soft Gingerbread Cookies

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close up overhead shot of Secret Kiss Cookies piled on top of each other on a plate
Classic soft gingerbread cookies are an old-fashioned holiday staple baked from scratch.
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Table of Contents
  1. SOFT GINGERBREAD COOKIES INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS SOFT GINGERBREAD COOKIES RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These simple and delicious soft gingerbread cookies are the best homemade holiday treat to enjoy. The perfect blend of sweet and spicy, this Christmas classic is baked from scratch and then decorated with festive icing and sprinkles.

For more favorite cookie recipes, check out our pinwheels and candy cane kiss cookies.

close up shot of Secret Kiss Cookies topped with frosting and sprinkles on a plate

SOFT GINGERBREAD COOKIES INGREDIENTS

Secret Kiss Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

For the Icing

  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup water

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

MIX-INS: Some people like to skip the decorating and mix in other goodies instead like chocolate chips. I’ve heard caramel or white chocolate chips are delicious additions, too. Add up to one cup of extras into your cookie batter.

DECORATIONS: You could use nonpareils, sprinkles, colored sugars, or Red Hots to decorate these easy gingerbread cookies.

HOW TO MAKE THIS SOFT GINGERBREAD COOKIES RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

STEP TWO: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar.

PRO TIP:

Be sure to use room temperature butter for the perfect, fluffy cookies.

STEP THREE: Add molasses, vanilla, and eggs and mix on medium-low until well combined. The mixture will appear a little separated. 

Secret Kiss Cookies process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Stir the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into the wet ingredients.

PRO TIP:

The baking soda is what helps make this recipe so soft and chewy! If you omit the baking soda, you will end up with a crunchy and crisp gingerbread cookie. 

STEP FIVE: Gradually add the flour and mix until just combined.

Secret Kiss Cookies process shot of ingredients folded together in a bowl

STEP SIX: Use a cookie scoop to spoon large balls of dough onto a cookie sheet. Press down on the dough to flatten it.

Secret Kiss Cookies process shot of scoops of dough placed on a cookie sheet

STEP SEVEN: Bake cookies for 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

For the Icing

STEP ONE: In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add meringue powder and powdered sugar.

STEP TWO: Slowly add the water ¼ cup at a time until you’ve reached a spreadable consistency. Turn mixer on high for 10 to 20 seconds.

PRO TIP:

I didn’t want my icing to be like flood icing, I kept it a little thicker so I could pipe on my patterns and words. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a bit more water.

STEP THREE: With a piping bag and Wilton #3 tip, you can decorate your cooled cookies with your icing! 

HOW TO SERVE

These old-fashioned homemade cookies are a favorite family recipe that grandma always bakes for the holiday season. They’re the best gingerbread cookies for decorating the Christmas tree and sharing with Santa on Christmas Eve along with a warm whipped hot chocolate

These soft cookies are so easy to make, they are the perfect edible Christmas gift idea. Just put them into a cute box with some ribbon and you’re ready for gifting or sharing at a cookie exchange.

STORAGE

ON THE COUNTER: These chewy ginger cookies will last for a week on the counter in an airtight container. If they start to get hard, you can place a piece of bread in the container with them and they will soften back up. 

IN THE FREEZER: The baked cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months.

You can also make this gingerbread cookie dough ahead of time and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then store it in a freezer bag or airtight container until you’re ready for baking. Just pop the dough into the fridge overnight to thaw and then proceed with the baking instructions. 

close up shot of Secret Kiss Cookies with a bite taken out of it

These old-fashioned chewy gingerbread cookies have been a family classic for years. With just the right amount of spice and a handful of simple ingredients, they will make your house smell incredible while baking. After baking, decorate these chewy cookies with homemade icing and sprinkles. They’re the perfect holiday treat to enjoy and share.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze the gingerbread dough and bake it later?

This great recipe lets you whip up the dough ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to bake them. Perfect for the busy holiday season.

Can I use cookie cutters to make gingerbread men with this recipe?

This gingerbread recipe might be a bit too soft to make gingerbread man cookies or gingerbread houses. Try our classic gingerbread recipe for the best gingerbread for cookie cutters and building houses.

Can I mix in chocolate chips?

There are plenty of fun goodies you can mix into your gingerbread dough. Add up to a cup of mix-ins to your cookie batter for bursts of fun surprises.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of Secret Kiss Cookies piled on top of each other on a plate

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

5 from 3 votes
Classic soft gingerbread cookies are an old-fashioned holiday staple baked from scratch.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

ICING:

  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar.
  • Add molasses, vanilla, and eggs; mix on medium-low until well combined, the mixture will appear a little separated.
  • Stir in baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  • Gradually add flour; mix until just combined.
  • Use a cookie scoop to spoon large balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Press down on the dough to flatten.
  • Bake for 9 to 10 minutes at 375°F.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

For the Icing

  • In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add meringue powder and powdered sugar.
  • Slowly add the water ¼ cup at a time until you’ve reached a spreadable consistency. Turn mixer on high for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • With a piping bag and Wilton #3 tip, you can decorate with your icing! 

Notes

TIP: Be sure to use room temperature butter for the perfect, fluffy cookies.
TIP: The baking soda is what helps make this recipe so soft and chewy! If you omit the baking soda, you will end up with a crunchy and crisp gingerbread cookie. 
TIP: I didn’t want my icing to be like flood icing, I kept it a little thicker so I could pipe on my patterns and words. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a bit more water.

Nutrition

Sodium: 221mg | Calcium: 30mg | Vitamin A: 384IU | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 129mg | Cholesterol: 51mg | Calories: 233kcal | Saturated Fat: 8g | Fat: 12g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 28g | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Heather Downs says

    5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet but it looks awesome! Do you think I could substitute gluten free flour in these? My sister is coeliac and would love these.

  2. Ursula Gorman says

    5 stars
    These are a new family tradition for the holidays. Santa will be seeing these for years to come. Three of the 5 of us don’t like Gingerbread cookies, but everyone loved these!

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