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Gingerbread Man Cookies Recipe with Royal Icing

Who doesn’t love enjoying a delicious gingerbread cookie during the holidays? This year, why not make your own homemade cookies to enjoy? With this simple gingerbread man cookies recipe, you can prepare and decorate your own holiday cookies at home. And since this simple recipe is so easy to make, even the kids can get in on the fun!
Three gingerbread men ständing up touching hands

Who doesn’t love enjoying a delicious gingerbread cookie during the holidays? This year, why not make your own homemade cookies to enjoy? With this simple gingerbread man cookies recipe, you can prepare and decorate your own holiday cookies at home. And since this simple recipe is so easy to make, even the kids can get in on the fun!

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing Pin.

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What Do I Need to Make Gingerbread Man Cookies?

This classic gingerbread man cookie recipe is packed with holiday flavor. The combination of spices and molasses make up the traditional flavor profile in classic gingerbread. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare gingerbread cookies at home:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Unsalted butter
  • Molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Warm water
  • Meringue powder
  • Red and green food coloring

Ingredients for Gingerbread Man Cookies

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How Do I Make Gingerbread Man Cookies?

These delicious cookies are so simple to make! Just follow these easy cookie dough instructions, then grab your gingerbread man cookie cutters to create some adorable holiday treats.

Three gingerbread men ständing up touching hands

 

Step One: Combine the Wet Ingredients

Place the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat until smooth and well combined. Next, add the egg and vanilla extract, beating the ingredients at high speed for around two minutes.

Wet Ingredients

Step Two: Add the Dry Ingredients

Put the flour in your sifter and sift it into a medium bowl. Add the salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk until all the dry ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the butter mixture and mix until a thick dough begins to form.

Dry ingredients

Step Three: Chill the Dough

Remove the dough from your mixing bowl and separate it into two balls. Shape each dough ball into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. The dough can be chilled up to overnight.

Gingerbread cookie dough divided in half and chilling

Step Four: Bake the Gingerbread Men

Take out one of the dough disks and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Continue rolling the dough until it’s around ¼-inch thick. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut the dough and transfer it to a baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, then remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before decorating.

Gingerbread man cutouts

Step Five: Decorate the Cookies

When the cookies are completely cool, prepare the royal icing. Start by adding the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Beat the ingredients together, adding water one teaspoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks begin to form. Separate the icing into different bowls and tint with food coloring, then transfer the frosting to piping bags. Use the icing to decorate the cookies.

Decorated Gingerbread Man Cookies on a sheet pan.

Royal Icing Decorating Tips

If you’ve never used royal icing before, it can sometimes be frustrating. But with these simple tips and tricks, you’ll have beautiful gingerbread man cookies in no time.

  • Test the consistency. Getting the consistency of your royal icing correct is key to easy cookie decorating. Follow the recipe as written, then use a butter knife to test the consistency. Drag your knife across the surface of your icing. If the icing becomes smooth again after five and 10 seconds, it’s ready to use. If it takes longer than 10 seconds to smooth over, it’s too thick – add more water a little at a time. If it takes less than five seconds to smooth, it’s too thin – add more powdered sugar in small increments.
  • Give your arm a place to rest. Shaky hands can cause your decorations to look messy. To avoid messy lines, try resting your arm on the edge of your work surface to keep it from shaking.
  • Shake the cookie after decorating. After adding your gingerbread man decorations to the top of the cookie, give it a little shake. Gently shaking your cookies will help even out the icing and smooth the lines.

Plate of Gingerbread Man Cookies

Should Gingerbread Cookies Be Hard or Soft?

Typically, gingerbread cookies should be soft. But if you’re planning on decorating your gingerbread men, it’s a good idea to make sure your cookies are firm enough to hold the royal icing. When checking to make sure your gingerbread cookies are finished baking, look for lightly browned edges. 

At that point, the edges will be firm but the center of the cookies are often still soft. That’s why it’s important to let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five to 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven. This will give the cookies time to firm up, ensuring they don’t fall apart when you transfer them to your cooling rack.

Gingerbread Men in Coffee Cup

Should I Chill Gingerbread Dough?

Giving your gingerbread dough time to chill is essential. In addition to give the ingredients time to meld, chilling also allows your cookie dough to stiffen. This will make it much easier to roll and cut the dough with your cookie cutters. 

Gingerbread cookie dough should be chilled for at least two hours. But you can make your dough ahead of time and allow it to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

If your dough is too hard to roll when you remove it from the refrigerator, just allow it to sit at room temperature for around five minutes. After that, it should be soft enough to roll out and cut with ease.

Overhead view of Gingerbread Men Cookies

 

Three gingerbread men ständing up touching hands

Gingerbread Man Cookies Recipe with Royal Icing

Who doesn’t love enjoying a delicious gingerbread cookie during the holidays? This year, why not make your own homemade cookies to enjoy? With this simple gingerbread man cookies recipe, you can prepare and decorate your own holiday cookies at home. And since this simple recipe is so easy to make, even the kids can get in on the fun!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Servings: 25 cookies
Calories: 193kcal

Ingredients

FOR COOKIES

FOR ROYAL ICING

Instructions

FOR COOKIES

  • In a bowl take butter and beat until creamy, next add brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium-high speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract, beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Sift and add flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves into the mixture and mix all together to form a dough.
  • Divide the dough into half, make them into a disc shape and wrap them tightly in a plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F or 175 C.
  • Remove 1 disc of the chilled dough and roll out the disc until ¼ inch thick. With the help of a gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut into shapes.
  • Bake the cookies for about 9-10 minutes for soft cookies (to make it little bit crisp bake for few more minutes)
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely after cooling, decorate as desired.

ROYAL ICING

  • In a bowl take powdered sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract and beat for 2-3 minutes adding water gradually (1 teaspoon at a time)
  • Beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Divide the icing into different bowls and add desired colors.
  • Fill it into individual piping bags for decorating.

Notes

NOTE: You can store the GINGERBREAD MAN COOKIES in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 162IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




Danielle

Friday 29th of October 2021

Hi there! I am the Pinterest manager for @getchopfit. We would love to join your Pinterest group board 'Fitness & Food'. We constantly share fitness tips, motivation, workout ideas & more!

Thank you, Danielle