Nov 23


Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

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Decorated Nutcracker Cookies


I couldn’t resist; a few weeks ago I put up a Christmas tree (yes, I know, ahem, a few weeks ago), with some of these nutcracker ornaments.

This little guy got me thinking about nutcracker cookies.

Or cookie I should say.  I only ended up making the one… He took a little longer than usual to finish.  This pic shows the beginning stages of decoration.

Since I’m not very skilled at drawing (or adept at chosing the right side of the cookie apparently), I used an image of Christmas stickers with my KopyKake projector.  First piped the dark outlines, then flooded the first layer.  After that dried I added more layers of detail.

I’m thinking I’d like to try another one with him {below} as the inspiration:

Gingerbread has never been my favorite cookie, but I do like the taste of the recipe I use from my sister-in-law.  It had a bit of a ‘bite’ to it originally (spicy), so I’ve changed it a bit over the years to make it a little more neutral.  (Especially for kids!)  If you like a bit more of a ‘kick’, add one teaspoon more of the ginger, cinammon and cloves and one teaspoon of pepper.

It’s a great recipe for gingerbread houses as well.  If you’d like to try it out, check out the recipe below.

For the royal icing recipe, click here.


Gingerbread Cookie Recipe


For the printer-friendly version, click here.


800 g all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder  *do not use baking powder if you do not want cookies to spread/rise

250 g unsalted butter

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup molasses





1.     In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy.

2.     Mix in spices first, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low.

3.     Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and add to bowl; mix until just combined.

4.     Wrap dough in a disc shape in saran wrap. Let it rest by refrigerating until cold, about 1 hour.

5.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4-inch thick.

6.     Cut shapes out with cookie cutters and place them approximately 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

7.     Refrigerate until firm; at least 15 minutes to 1 hour.

8.     Bake cookies until lightly golden; 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.


Happy baking!



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  1. marian
    May 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes, in the houses I’ve made in the last few years, @ Jenny H.. (i.e. the little houses in the video). I’ll be using it from here on in as I really like it. Before I was using Teresa Layman’s recipe from her books, which I also liked and would recommend, I just like this one a bit better.

  2. Lourdes
    July 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Hello Marian,
    How many cups are 800 g of flour?

  3. Julianne
    October 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    If it helps, in the UK I’ve found molasses in Holland & Barrett before and I’ve always thought that the nearest supermarket equivalent to molasses was treacle (usually found in tins alongside the golden syrup).

  4. Irene
    November 12, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    After googling molasses since it’s not readily available in Australia, a good substitute is treacle which is available. Hope this helps my fellow Aussies. I’m hoping to make a Gingerbread House like the ones on Sweetopia. Thanks Marian xx

  5. Megan
    November 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Hello, Marian. Great inspiration for making a gingerbread house! Kind of a similar question to Jenny H. – you mention in your recipe to omit the baking powder to prevent spreading/rising. Is this recommended for gingerbread houses or do you leave it in?

    • marian
      January 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Megan,
      Sorry for the delay! I just saw this comment now!
      Yes, I also take the leavening agent out of my gingerbread house cookies.
      Hopefully that helps for the next time you make one! (next year?) xo

  6. Liz
    November 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi there. For all the Aussie bakers, I don’t know if it is in all their stores but in Victoria I have found molasses in Safeway/Woolworths. Just made my first batch of Xmas cookies using your recipe Marian. Absolutely delicious!

    • marian
      November 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Liz,
      That’s great news, thanks for sharing! And I’m glad you like the cookies! Would love to see the finished ones if you’d like to share on my Facebook page. xo

  7. Alessia
    December 2, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge! I was wondering for how long can I keep (well closed) this cookies and they will be still fresh?
    I did your recipe for the Royal Icing one week ago and still have some left, may I use it? Or shall I make new Icing?
    I am replacing the half of the molasses with honey, because i like the taste better, hope it works! Now the dough is on the fridge!

  8. Alessia
    December 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Dear Marian, The cookies are a succes!!! The taste is delicious, and they didnt stick on the parchment paper, everything was great although I think they are not hard enough. I will try with a little more oven… thanks for your help!!

  9. Kelly
    December 6, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian! I love these nutcrackers! Quick question… what did you use for the pink sparkle?

    • marian
      December 8, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kelly,
      Disco dust. (Link in my amazon shop if you’re looking for it). Since I’ve made these, we now know that disco dust is not only non-toxic (as known before), but for decorative purposes only. Just an FYI – put it on parts of your sweets which can be removed or have a few for display only.

  10. Monika
    December 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Omg your cookies are georgius!!! My question ,for the gingerbread house do i have to put the baking powder?
    Best Regard!

    • marian
      December 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Monika,
      I don’t. 🙂
      Have fun baking and decorating! xo

  11. December 13, 2013 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian, can I substitute a little amount of flour with cocoa powder? I love chocolate and would love to bake a chocolate ginger bread house, but can’t seem to find a good recipe for it. Thank you!

  12. Donna
    December 13, 2013 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    Thanks so much for your inspiration. I started baking and decorating cookies after seeing your website. I’m trying this gingerbread recipe as I’m typing. I will use your royal icing recipe (with eggs, as it’s hard to get Meringue Powder in Australia!) When I’m done, I’ll post you a link so you can take a look. Just tasted the cookie Mix – It’s Delicious.
    Donna xo

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Donna,
      So nice to hear from you, thank you for your lovely comment! xo

  13. Damián
    December 15, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Hi, I really enjoy with all your post. I’m Spanish guy living in London, but in Christmas I’m going to Spain. And in Spain it is impossible found molasses, Can I make this recipe without molasses or change for honey? Thank you very much and Happy Christmas everyone!!

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Damian,
      Have you tried it with the honey? Sorry for the delay!

  14. elle
    December 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    hi i am just about to bake a Gingerbread house, was going to double maybe triple the mix and make some Gingerbread cookies as well, can i ask how long will the royal icing last once make it, and also the Gingerbread dough (if i keep both in the fridge?)

    really looking forward to get started 🙂

  15. December 24, 2013 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I finally finished my gingerbread cookies. They are delicious. Feel free to visit my site to take a look at the pictures. 🙂


    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Donna!
      They are so pretty! Glad you liked the gingerbread recipe! xo

  16. flavia
    December 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    That’s a dreamy dough!! I’ve made two batches before from other recipe which were a nightmare to work, then had to make another house for school xmas fair and decided to try yours.. perfect, stress free, and delicious. And it was enough for two houses. Thanks so much for sharing with us. 🙂
    Happy christmas from Ireland 🙂

    • marian
      December 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful, Flavia! I’m super happy to hear that! Merry Christmas!

  17. Judith
    December 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Marian. I learned so much from you and I LOVE all your cookies. I would like to know where do you get your cool cookie cutters. I’m in Winnipeg ,Canada.
    The stores here just got the basics. Judith

  18. May 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    probar este sitio

  19. November 9, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Make a nondairy substitute for baking powder by
    combining 1/4 tsp.

  20. Rachel
    November 21, 2015 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    How long do these cookies/gingerbread houses last after cooking them?

  21. gail
    November 27, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Hey how many cookies will you get from this batch?

    • December 20, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi Gail,
      It depends on the size of the cookie of course, but about 30-35 average sized cookies.

  22. Alicia July-Asante
    December 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian, I tried this recipe and I’m not sure how no one has asked this….is there an error in the amount of molasses? I followed and used the 1 cup and these needed up being molasses cookies..and so dark.The taste was so overpowering that I can’t believe that’s how they should taste, I dumped them all. I found another recipe which only called for 1/2 a cup which turned out perfect and looks like the color of yours. Just wondering, I used fancy molasses. Thanks

    • December 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Alicia,
      Maybe you mis-measured another ingredient? This recipe does not taste overpoweringly like molasses.

  23. Katya
    February 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    These are THE yummiest biscuits I have ever tasted!!!

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