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Gingerbread Men

Recipe Level: Easy Recipes

You can't beat a classic! Crisp, gingery and full of holiday spice, these classic gingerbread men cookies are a Christmas favourite. Change the shapes to trees, houses or anything you'd like and use the recipe as your base.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* For best results, read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Classic Gingerbread Men Cookies

It’s almost Christmas time! And gingerbread men (or women) are the ultimate Christmas Cookie. Especially when you pair these gingerbread treats with a warm cup of tea or hot cocoa (sitting by the fire of course ).  They are full of flavour and warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses. These holiday cookies are perfect for sharing with the whole family, for cookie exchanges, or for hostess gifts.

If you know me personally you’d know I love to give gifts from my kitchen and share my passion for baking with the people I love and care about. It’s such a simple gift to share and it gives me so much joy. Isn’t that what it’s all about – enjoying the simple pleasures in life? This is the perfect cookie to do just that! Or even to have friends over to bake together!

A group of good friends of mine finally found some time during the holiday season to spend a night together, celebrating Christmas and enjoying catching up.  It’s a rarity to get us all together these days so it was nice to be able to fit it in before the holiday craziness! I couldn’t think of a better time to share some cute, yummy little gingerbread men than with good friends! The best part was getting a picture of their kids the next day enjoying their gingerbread. It’s the simple joys! Merry Christmas Friends.

Gingerbread Men Cookies


  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Fancy molasses
  • Blackstrap molasses (also known as cooking molasses)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves
  • Baking soda
  • Salt


As cute as these little guys are you don’t have to stick to making gingerbread ‘people’. You can make a variety of Christmas cookies. Try making Christmas trees, stars, and reindeer, or use your favourite holiday cookie cutters. You can even use the gingerbread recipe to make a gingerbread house!

Classic Gingerbread Men Cookies
Classic Gingerbread Men

Tips For The Perfect Homemade Gingerbread Men Cookies

  1. Chill the dough: After mixing the ingredients, refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. This helps it firm up, making it easier to roll out and cut into shapes. If you’re dough is cracking while trying to roll it, it means the dough is too firm (cold) let it rest for approx. 10-15 minutes and try again.
  2. Rechill the dough scraps so it’s easy to handle and to roll again.
  3. Flouring the work surfaces: Use flour sparingly when rolling out the dough to prevent sticking. Too much flour can make the cookies dry.
  4. Spice balance: After you’ve made the cookies once, take note and adjust the spice levels to your liking.
  5. Icing tip. Getting the perfect consistency for royal icing can be tricky. If you want a thicker icing add more icing sugar, for a thinner icing add lemon juice or if possible more egg whites (just a little bit at a time).
  6. Icing tip. If you don’t have a piping bag to decorate, you can use a zip-lock bag and cut off the corner of the bag.
  7. Let the icing set. Be careful not to rush the setting time for the icing. Royal icing will dry fairly fast, but to ensure a firm, set icing let cookies sit out to set for an hour or two before packing up and storing.
  8. Bake time. Don’t overbake the cookies. Remember the they will firm up as they cool.

How To Make Gingerbread Cookies

Step One: Make your gingerbread cookie dough using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat your wet ingredients together and add your dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together. Divide dough in half and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm. Meanwhile, heat oven to 325˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two: Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface approx. 1/4 inch thick. Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter cut out men and place on your baking sheets. Bake for approx. 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are just starting to turn brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cookies are cooled decorate with Royal Icing .

Gingerbread Men
Classic Gingerbread Men Cookies
Classic Gingerbread Men Cookies

Gingerbread Men

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Crisp, gingery and full of holiday spice, these gingerbread cookies are a holiday favourite.

  • Author: Alie Romano (adapted from Canadian Living)
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup (113 g) fancy molasses
  • 1/4 cup (85 g) blackstrap (cooking) molasses
  • 3 cups (384 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and both types of molasses to the butter mixture until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl add flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Mix together.
  3. Add the flour mixture in 2 to 3 batches to the butter mixture, and mix well until dough rolls into a ball.
  4. Divide dough in half and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes or until firm.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325˚F.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Once your dough is ready, roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface about 1/4 inch thick. If your dough is too cold to roll let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling.
  8. Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter cut out men and place on your cookie sheet about an inch apart.
  9. Bake for approx. 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are just starting to turn brown. They will firm up as they cool.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  11. Once cookies are cooled ice with Royal Icing (recipe Below).


Gingerbread men cookies last a long time. Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks at room temperature. Or freeze cookies for up to two months. 


  • Serving Size: 1 Plain Cookie
  • Calories: 133
  • Sugar: 8.8g
  • Sodium: 84mg
  • Fat: 4.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 22.3g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1.9
  • Cholesterol: 17mg

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie


Royal Icing

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A classic, simple royal icing recipe that can be used to fancy up cookies, cakes, and all sorts of treats.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 8 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: British


Units Scale
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 12 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)


  1. In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy (about 3 minutes), add lemon juice if using.
  2. Slowly add icing sugar.
  3. Raise the speed to medium – high until icing is thick and shiny. This should take about 3 minutes (If you feel the mixture is still too runny at this point you can add more icing sugar to help stiffen it up, just add a little at a time).
  4. Add icing to a piping bag and pipe on cooled cookies.
  5. Let air dry for at least an hour or until rock hard.


Royal icing is a bit of a trial and error to find the consistency that you like to work with (thick or runny). Rule of thumb is one egg white to one cup of icing sugar. Remember when the icing is runny the icing will spread out.
Also the icing needs lots of time to air dry (I like to let my cookies air dry overnight).
The cookies will keep 2-3 weeks in an air tight container.


  • Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
  • Calories: 44
  • Sugar: 10.7g
  • Sodium: 3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 10.9g
  • Protein: 0.3g

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie


What happens if I don’t chill the gingerbread dough?

Chilling the gingerbread dough is very important; without it, rolling out the dough for shaping and handling the dough becomes very challenging. Also, the gingerbread men are prone to spreading in the oven if the dough isn’t chilled beforehand.

Can I make gingerbread cookie dough in advance?

Yes, you can make gingerbread cookie dough well in advance! Once you make the dough store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Or you can freeze it for two months. Make sure to wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag.

You may also like:

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Meringue Icing
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Meringue Icing

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8 years ago

Ah childhood memories… These look seriously amazing.

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Alie Romano



I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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