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5 from 17 votes

Old-Fashioned Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies

Take a step back in time with a classic holiday treat! These simple and delicious Old-Fashioned Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies have been loved for generations -- and you will soon discover why!
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Keyword Christmas cookies, gingerbread cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 38 cookies
Calories 138kcal
Author Blair


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (plus additional 1 -1 ½ cups of flour, as needed, to form a workable dough)


  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment. Set aside.
  • Add sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add softened butter, evaporated milk, and molasses. Mix again until completely combined, starting on the lowest speed so that the liquid doesn’t splash out of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed until the butter and sugar are creamed together and completely smooth.
  • Put the mixer back on low speed and add 4 cups of flour (one cup at a time), stirring constantly until the flour is completely incorporated.
  • The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to your fingers, so if it’s still too soft and sticky, add additional flour (½ cup at a time), just until a fairly stiff dough comes together.
  • When the dough is smooth, roll it out to ¼-inch thickness on a very well-floured surface. Use a cookie cutter or a round biscuit cutter* to cut the gingerbread into desired shapes. I used a round biscuit cutter with a 3-inch diameter.
  • Place shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly golden brown but still soft. Make sure that you don't bake them for too long or they will become hard and crispy. To maintain the soft, cake-like texture, pull them out of the often while they're still soft and let them firm up slightly while they cool.
  • Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.



Recipe adapted from MakingHistoryNow.com
*I use a round biscuit cutter that measures 3 inches in diameter.

Storage And Other Tips

  • While there is plenty of molasses flavor in this cookie recipe, the spices are mild. These are not "spicy" cookies. Instead, they contain just very subtle notes of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. If you prefer a stronger flavor, you can increase the ginger to 1 tablespoon, add ½ teaspoon of cloves, and ¼ teaspoon of allspice -- the cookies just won't taste like the authentic Williamsburg gingerbread.
  • These cookies will keep for 1 week in an airtight container
  • You can also freeze these cookies, make a big batch and freeze some for later
  • Always allow the cookies to cool completely before storing
  • Wrap the cookies tightly in cling film and foil before freezing
  • Feel free to decorate these cookies with royal icing and sprinkles, enjoy some festive baking
  • Cut these cookies into different shapes, gingerbread man, hearts, stars or other festive shapes


Serving: 1large cookie | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.3g | Protein: 1.5g | Fat: 5.1g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 14.1mg | Sodium: 68.2mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 12g