Learn how to make soft and chewy Spiced Gingerbread Men from scratch. These buttery ginger cookies are so easy to make and decorate – perfect for holiday baking!
Perfect Gingerbread Cookies 🎄
I make these Gingerbread Cookies every year, without fail. Soft and chewy Gingerbread Cookies made completely from scratch. Filled to the brim with holiday spices and decorated with a simple 2-ingredient icing, these cookies are the ultimate holiday treat.
They can be rolled and cut into any shape you like, so it’s a great activity for the kids!
Without a doubt, one of my favourite Christmas treats is gingerbread. I can eat it by the handful. I’ve already shared my favourite Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies with you and my Gingerbread Loaf Cake, but this year, it’s all about classic Gingerbread Men.
You can make these cookies using just a handful of regular ingredients. They get their delicious caramel flavour from butter and brown sugar, and you can use either golden syrup or molasses for their classic gingerbread taste.
Next comes the spices. I like to use a blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It gives the cookies a little bit of a bite and oodles of flavour. If you don’t have nutmeg or cloves on hand, you can stick to just ginger and cinnamon.
If you like quite a kick, pump up the ginger to a full tablespoon. I LOVE them like this but if you are sharing with the kids, take it down to just 2 teaspoons as per the recipe. Each to their own!
Perhaps the best part about these cookies, is that instead of using royal icing, I just a simple 2-ingredient icing. It takes only seconds to make and it firms up just like royal icing. A few red and green M&M’s and you’re done!
More Christmas cookies to try
- Chocolate Molasses Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- M&M Christmas Cookies
Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies made from scratch.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 135 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
- 160 grams (1/2 cup) golden syrup or molasses
- 1 egg yolk
- 315 grams (2 and 1/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 125 grams (1 cup) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 1–2 tablespoons warm water
- Red and green M&M’s
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar using an electric beater on medium speed until combined. Add molasses or golden syrup and egg yolk. Beat again until a creamy mixture forms.
- Sift in flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Beat briefly until a cookie dough starts to form – it may be crumbly at this stage.
- Sprinkle your bench with some extra flour and then knead the dough for a minute or two using your hands, just until it comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line two cookie sheets or oven trays with baking paper or parchment paper.
- Generously flour your bench and roll out your dough using a rolling pin to approximately 1/8 inch thickness. Dust your rolling pin with flour as you go to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and gently place the cookies onto the prepared trays. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until golden on the edges. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, place the icing sugar in a small bowl and add water, one tablespoon at a time, and stir until it forms a smooth paste.
- Transfer icing to a small piping bag fitted with a small nozzle or use a plastic sandwich bag if you don’t have a piping bag. Decorate your gingerbread men with icing and add a few M&M’s on top. Leave each cookie for about 10 minutes for the icing to set.
Cooking time: If you prefer a crispy cookie that snaps, roll your cookies slightly thinner and bake for a minute or two longer. If you prefer a soft and chewy cookie, roll them slightly thicker and bake for a few minutes less.
Icing: Another easy way to ice these cookies is by using a little bit of melted white chocolate.