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Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

I love baking cookies, I’m no Bridget, and my cookies may not be works of art, but they’re yummy.

For most people, the sugar cookie is THE definitive cookie of Christmas baking and Decorating, and I do love a good sugar cookie, but aside from sugar cookies, I don’t think any cookie (for me) is more synonymous with Christmas than the Gingerbread Man.

Gingerbread Man Cookie

I don’t know if it’s the ingredients themselves, the collective smell of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the house as the cookie dough is being readied for baking…

gingerbread Cookie Dough

or the feel of the cookie cutter in my hands, or the shape of the cookies, but there’s just something about gingerbread men that just makes it feel like Christmas has arrived.

Gingerbread Men Cookies

I don’t think any Christmas Cookie Decorating party is complete without gingerbread men cookies to decorate. There’s something about these little people that unleashes the creativity in kids (and brings out the kid inside every adult)

patrick with his gingerbread man cookie

Traditionally, at least in my experience, while the gingerbread men are the first decorated…

decorated gingerbread men

They’re usually the last eaten – at least by the kiddos.

I love the spicy bite that traditional gingerbread men cookies have, but most kids’ palates aren’t.

The past couple of years I’ve been playing around with gingerbread cookie recipes trying to find one mild enough for the kiddos, yet still appealing to adults, this year – every single gingerbread cookie was decorated AND eaten!  I call that success 🙂

What is this magical recipe you ask?

Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Kid friendly gingerbread men cookie recipe.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time:8 mins
Total Time:1 hr 38 mins


  • 3/4 C PACKED Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 stick 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Molasses
  • 3 3/4 C sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Measure out 3 1/2 C of all purpose flour and sift into a bowl. Spoon the flour into measuring cup(s) do NOT PACK!! Once you have 3 3/4 C flour measured out, pour it into a separate bowl and add in the nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Sift these ingredients together until fully combined and set aside.
  • In your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until thoroughly combined, add in the eggs and molasses and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients 1 C at a time until it's all been added and mixed in. You may have to forgo the mixer and use a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the fridge until firm, about 45 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and let sit while you line cookie sheets with parchment paper, flour your work surface lightly and dust your rolling pin with flour.
  • Using 1 C of dough at at time, roll the dough out on your floured surface until it's 1/8 to 1/4" thick - depends on you.
  • Use your favorite cookie cutter, cut out your gingerbread and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake about 8 minutes, or until they just begin to brown on the edges.
  • Place on wire racks to cool.
  • Use your favorite icing recipe, or this one from Bridget
Servings: 2 dozen cookies
Author: Rachel


The Seasonal Seven by McCormick: While we all enjoy many festive dishes during the holidays, trend data shows that just seven flavors provide the true taste for the most sought-after recipes.This Holiday, McCormick is calling them the “Seasonal Seven” – cinnamon, nutmeg, poultry seasoning, ginger, sage, vanilla, and peppermint. These spices, herbs and extracts are a true taste of the holidays, providing you with an unforgettable meal to celebrate festive occasions.

 My time, talented and participation as one of the McCormick Seasonal Seven ambassadors has been compensated and I have received product for my use in creating recipes and sharing my thoughts and photographs with y’all, my thoughts and opinions are, as always, 100% my own and not provided to me by anyone else.

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  1. I am a single father and I do not really cook a lot, however, your recipe sounds lovely and it’ll be fun for my son. I’m gonna give it a try.

  2. Thank you so much for providing a kid-friendly recipe for my family as well as my students. Both love to listen to the stories and want to bake their very own Gingerbread boy or girl. Looking forward to baking them, but before I do, should I use unsalted butter or salted butter? Also will a handheld mixer work just as well as the stand mixer (I do not own one)? Thanks for answering my questions. Blessings and Merry Christmas. 🙂

  3. Hi there. I followed the recipe exactly but my dough seems really dry and crumbly. It was 3 3/4 cups of flour, right? Any way to salvage it? I am trying to roll it out and it keeps crumbling apart! Thank you!

  4. Made these cookies today for my nieces class to decorate. I am not a fan of gingerbread but these are really good! Thanks!

    1. Hi Sunny,

      I just looked it up, and they’re definitely similar! I’ve never used one of her recipes or cookbooks, but I guess great minds think alike 🙂 Have a delicious week! Rachel

  5. As per some comments above, I also had a crumbly dough. I tried to salvage it by adding some milk to make it more “doughy”. Seemed to have worked for now. I’m leaving the dough in the fridge over night and baking/decorating with my 2 year old tomorrow. Hope it works!

  6. do you think I could use this recipe for a gingerbread house? I’ve made the cookies last year but I don’t remember if they were sturdy enough to be a house.

  7. Sorry to say, but this was a Very Disappointing recipe – so dry and crumbly, flour sifted or not. Far too much flour, bottom line. I am an experienced baker and this was one of the worst recipes I have come across in awhile. Should have read some of the other reviews before I wasted the effort.

    1. Hi Candace Ann,

      I’m so sorry you didn’t have luck with these, it’s very frustrating when you get excited about a recipe and it doesn’t turn out. Did you sift the flour before starting to add it and sift with the dry ingredients per the instructions? Not sifting the flour or packing the flour in the cups has caused others problems (dry dough/crumbly) once we figured that out they had great success. I hope you’ve had a great holiday season and hope you have a wonderful 2018! Rachel

    2. Candace,
      I almost thought the same when I started mixing the dry into the wet ingredients. But I kept at it with a wooden spoon and the dough eventually came together into a nice big ball. After refrigeration, it was the perfect moisture level to roll out. Too wet and it would not have worked for rolling and cutting out shapes. My family and I made these last night and felt these came out perfectly and definitely were very kid-friendly as far as taste is concerned. I encourage you to try again, exactly as written. Sometimes baking can be finicky!! But the results are so worth it. We will be making the royal icing to decorate today!

      1. Hi Regina! Thank you so much for the comment and for answering Candace! I’m so glad y’all had success and enjoyed the cookies! Happy Holidays!!

  8. Excited to try this, Rachel! Would you happen to have a weight (in grams) measurement for the flour in this recipe? Weighing would certainly help getting the proper amount. (since that seems to be one the challenges bakers have found)

    Thanks for letting me (us) know! 🙂

    1. I will measure it out and see if I can give you an approximation… I’m terrible about remembering to weight ingredients! Thank you for the reminder. 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  9. I made the recipe – it does appear crumbly at first but if you give it a final mis with your hands and then roll it up – it will get much more moist once in the refrigerator for an hour or more.

    I like sweet, so the second time i made these, i added 1/4 cup more brown sugar and 1/4 cup more molasses – came out awesome!

  10. Just found this recipe and read it plus all the comments. Will be making these with my 4 grandchildren. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I wanted them to make something they would eat. Merry Christmas.

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