An Easy Recipe for Soft Gingerbread Cookies


These gingerbread cookies are a simple, delicious recipe to make for Christmas!

Emily McCracken, Staff Writer

Is it truly Christmas if you don’t make gingerbread cookies? I have always made dozens of different cookies for me and my family to enjoy during the holiday season, and gingerbread cookies have always been one of our favorites. Although the outcome of making these cookies is always worth it, I never seem to enjoy the actual process itself. There is always too much rolling and cutting involved; I wanted a recipe that was easy, quick, and tasted just as good. After searching through Pinterest, I stumbled upon a recipe on Joy Food Sunshine that I have made a handful of times now, and they turn out perfect every time!

The edges of these gingerbread cookies are crispy with a soft and chewy center that is perfectly spiced. Unlike most holiday cookie recipes, there is no decorating involved. It yields only around a dozen cookies, but it can easily be doubled due to the minimal ingredients that are used. Although, if you enjoy additional icings or extras to the top of your desserts, this recipe also leaves the baker with three optional suggestions: (leave them plain, roll in sugar, or add a delicious glaze!)

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup butter (one stick, softened)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Simple Gingerbread Glaze (optional):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1 ½ Tbsp milk


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl, using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat for 60-90 seconds or until mixture is smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
  5. Transfer dough, either in a container or covered with cling wrap, to the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  8. Use a small cookie scoop to measure 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp portions of dough and roll them into balls.
  9. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes in preheated oven until the tops appear just set.
  11. Let the cookies sit for five minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool.
  12. Enjoy!

Simple Glaze (optional):

  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp milk.
  2. Slowly add more milk if needed until you reach a thick but pourable consistency.
  3. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Let harden (at room temperature or in the refrigerator)


Once you’ve finished baking, these gingerbread cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, one week in the fridge, and up to one month in the freezer!