Soft Frosted Gingerbread Cookies

These tender gingerbread cookies are a must-have holiday tradition in my household.

The warmly spiced cookies have a strong ginger flavor, reminiscent of many Indian foods. I’m actually surprised my kids like them considering the spicy taste.

I guess the dark color from the molasses tricks them into thinking they’re eating chocolate cookies.

Or maybe they just love the soft texture that almost melts in your mouth when you bite into one.

Making Soft Gingerbread Cookie Dough

Start by whisking together 1 1/8 cups each of whole wheat and all-purpose flours, 2 teaspoons dry ground ginger, 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Set the dry mixture aside.

In another bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat 4 tablespoons softened butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy and creamy. Then add in 1 egg and beat on low speed until combined.

To this mixture, add 5 tablespoons molasses,1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Mix well until blended.

Finally, add in the dry ingredients and beat on low until it comes together, forming a crumbly dough.

Place the dough on some plastic and wrap loosely. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it fills in the corners of the plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Place the dough on a cutting board or counter top and roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap, wax paper, or parchment paper.

Cut into shapes and place on baking sheet, leaving some space in between each cookie.

If the dough starts getting too warm while you’re cutting out shapes, pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes.

Bake for 7-9 minutes for softer cookies or 12-14 minutes for firmer cookies. Though my kids like the cookies on the soft side, I prefer them slightly over baked.

Let the cookies cool for a bit on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack.

Glaze for Gingerbread Cookies

As for the icing or decoration, I would definitely recommend trying my lemon icing.

Not only is it probably one of the simplest icings, the tartness of the lemon juice pairs beautifully with the sharpness of the ginger.

The icing does harden a bit, but not as much as a royal icing which uses egg whites.

To make, mix together 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. It should be thick enough to not run off the cookie, but still pourable. 

Place in a piping bag, sandwich bag, or squeeze bottle and decorate. Or simply use a small spatula or knife to spread the icing on.

Once iced, let the cookies sit uncovered for 15-30 minutes so the frosting has a chance to harden a little

Other Decorating Ideas

An alternative to icing is using decorations like sprinkles, nonpareils, or sanding sugar. Or try dried fruit, shredded coconut, nuts, or seeds.

Simply place them on the cookies before baking, making sure to press them in slightly so they don’t fall off.

We used little currants or raisins for eyes and sunflower seeds for buttons.

How to Store gingerbread cookies

This recipe makes quite a bit but the cookies freeze great! They can be stored at room temp for a few days, or frozen for a lot longer.

  • To store at room temperature: Once the frosting has hardened, place the cookies in a large air-tight container or tin, spacing them out so they’re not resting too much on each other. You can also place parchment in between the layers so they don’t stick. Then store them at room temperature for a 1-3 days.

  • To freeze: If possible, freeze unfrosted cookies so the icing doesn’t get damaged. Otherwise, place frosted cookies on a large cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once they’re completely frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag or container.

  • To thaw: Take cookies out a few hours before eating and enjoy with a hot cup of chai, the perfect beverage for these spiced cookies. Check out my ginger mint chai recipe here!

 

What My Kids Say:
10 year-old: “These cookies are soft, sweet, and the icing made me speechless.”
7 year-old: “It doesn’t taste like gingerbread, it tastes like chocolate, which is my favorite type of ice-cream.”

Here are some other recipes you might like

Sweet Potato Donut with Maple Pecan Glaze
Baked donuts made with sweet potatoes and warm spices, then drizzled with a sweet and crunchy glaze.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen cutting board with mini sweet potato donuts with maple glaze and pecans.
Old Fashioned Carrot Cake
A classic fluffy carrot cake paired with sweet and tangy frosting.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen slice of 2 layer Carrot cake slice with cream cheese frosting.
Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu with Bourbon
A fall inspired tiramisu made with pureed pumpkin, spices, coffee, and bourbon.
Check out this recipe
Slice of spiced pumpkin tiramisu with bourbon.
Jackfruit Cake
A tropical sweet cake with chewy jackfruit and crunchy coconut.
Check out this recipe
Rund cake with slices of jackfruit and toasted coconut on top.

Cooling rack with frosted gingerbread cookies.

Soft Frosted Gingerbread Cookies

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A fool-proof simple recipe for a classic holiday gingerbread cookie.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1⅛ cups (135g) whole wheat flour
  • 1⅛ cups (135g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ + ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 tsps ground ginger
  • tsps ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 4 tbsps (56g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (98g) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 tbsps (100g) molasses
  • tsps vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, optional

Lemon icing:

  • ¾ cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients and spices. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat the butter and sugar 2-3 minutes until fluffy and creamy. Add the egg and beat on low until combined.
  • Next add the molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using) and mix till blended well.
  • Finally, add the dry ingredients and beat on low until it comes together, forming a crumbly dough.
  • Place the dough on some plastic and wrap loosely. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it fills in the corners of the plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Place the dough on a cutting board or counter top and roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap, wax paper, or parchment paper.
  • Cut into shapes and place on baking sheet, leaving some space in between each cookie.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes for softer cookies or 12-14 minutes for firmer or harder cookies.
  • Let the cookies cool for a bit on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack.

Icing

  • Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. It should be thick enough to not run off the cookie, but still pourable.
  • Place in a piping bag, sandwich bag, or squeeze bottle and decorate. Or simply use a small spatula or knife to spread the icing on.
  • Once iced, let the cookies sit uncovered for 15-30 minutes so the frosting has a chance to harden a little

Notes

Storage: Once the frosting has hardened, store cookies in a large air-tight container or tin, spacing them out so they’re not resting too much on each other. You can also place parchment in between the layers so they don’t stick. Store at room temp for a few days. Or freeze, then thaw in the fridge for a few hours, and bring to room temp before serving. If possible, freeze the cookies unfrosted, and only decorate when ready to eat. This will ensure your decoration doesn’t get destroyed during storage/freezing.
Keyword cookies, ginger, gingerbread, holiday

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating