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Soft gingerbread man cookies in a cookie tin with fun decorations and icing
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5 from 1 vote

Gingerbread Man Cookies

Thick, soft and chewy, these classic Gingerbread Man Cookies are a fun and festive addition to your Christmas cookie tray!
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Keyword gingerbread cookies, gingerbread man cookies, gingerbread men
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 31 minutes
Servings 34 cookies (using a 3 ½ inch cutter)
Calories 173kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

Optional Icing:

  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Decorative candies, sprinkles and food coloring, if desired


  • Add sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, baking soda and salt to the large bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment 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.
  • Put the mixer back on low speed and add 5 cups of flour (one cup at a time), stirring constantly until the flour is completely incorporated.
  • The dough should be quite thick and slightly sticky. If it’s still too soft and sticky, add additional flour (½ cup at a time), just until a fairly stiff dough comes together. I typically use at least 5 ½ cups of flour total for this recipe -- sometimes up to 6 cups if the air is particularly humid.
  • Plop about half of the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it up, then flatten it into a disc. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Working with one disc of dough at a time (leave the other disc in the fridge to stay cool), roll out the dough to a thickness between ¼-inch and ½-inch on a very well-floured surface. Use a floured cookie cutter to cut the dough into desired shapes. Don't be afraid to continually add more flour as you work, since the dough will become sticky. Re-roll the dough scraps until all of the dough is used.
  • Use a metal spatula to place shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Chill in the freezer (if there's room) or in the refrigerator again for about 10 minutes (this second round of chilling will just ensure that the cookies don't spread in the oven).
  • 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, chewy 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 at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cookies are cool, decorate with desired icing, frosting, candies and decocrations. If you'd like to prepare the icing here, mix together confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is spreadable. If the icing is too thin, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached. Transfer icing to a piping bag and decorate cookies as desired. The icing will set in about 30 minutes.


Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make Ahead:
Prepare the dough up to 1 day ahead and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough discs for up to 1 month. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and then proceed with rolling and cutting as instructed.
To bake the cookies in advance, allow them to cool completely, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter at room temperature before decorating.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 176IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg