Delicious gingerbread cut-out cookies that can easily be made vegan friendly, plus gluten and refined sugar free with listed substitutions!
Baking and decorating cookies is definitely one of our favorite family traditions each Christmas season. Bags of flour & sugar, and pounds of butter are used up in the process, resulting in dozens of adorably decorated sweet treats we generously pass on to family and friends. Each year I love going out to look for unique cookie cutters to add to our collection, which is a mixed bag of old vintage cutters from my grandma, to newer, colorful metal and plastic cutters we’ve picked up here and there. My favorites are the snowflake cutters because, just like no two snowflakes are alike, there are hundreds of different ways you can decorate a snowflake cookie and they seem to turn out pretty no matter what!
These gingerbread cookies are perfect for using cute cutters because they don’t spread too much and generally hold their shape well in the oven. How thin you roll the dough will determine how crisp the cookies will be. I usually roll them about 1/4-inch thick for more soft cookies, but the crisp & crunchier thinner cookies are equally as delicious. Sometimes I even rolled them into balls for soft and chewy gingerbread cookies that give you that yummy flavor without having to go through the tedious process of rolling and cutting, which is especially good if you don’t have a crowd of people there to help!
The dough is soft and slightly sticky, so I suggest rolling between parchment paper to make it easier. It also makes clean up a breeze!
Package them up in a cute treat box or tin for an adorable and delicious Christmas gift everyone can enjoy! I mean, who wouldn’t love to receive a package of these cute & festive gingerbread cookies for the holidays?! I know I sure would! Enjoy, friends!
Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 2-3 dozen 1x
Delicious gingerbread cookies that can easily be made gluten and refined sugar free with listed substitutions! Perfect cookie dough to use with all of your Christmas cutters!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend, (divided) plus more for rolling
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- pinch of black pepper, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or dairy-free butter, softened or vegetable shortening
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg or flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
- Combine 2 cups flour, spices, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, begin to beat softened butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and egg/flax egg. Mix until creamy.
- While mixing on low speed, gradually add flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat until dough is thoroughly combined.
- Mix in last 1/2 cup flour as needed. You may not need the full amount. You want a soft dough that’s not too sticky. Refrigerating the dough for at least 30-60 minutes helps it roll out better, but I’ve also made them right away. The raw cut outs are just more delicate.
- Before rolling out, preheat oven to 350F. Roll dough out to about 1/4″ thick. The thinner the dough, the crisper the cookie. Roll more thick if you want a soft cookie.
- Roll between two pieces of parchment paper for best results. If dough begins to stick, dust surface with a little extra flour.
- Cut out shapes with cookie cutter and carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, an inch or two apart. Re-roll scraps and cut out more shapes. Continue to do this until all the dough is used up. (Alternatively, you can make plain gingerbread cookies by rolling dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet and flatten slightly with your palm. Bake as directed below)
- Place pan into preheated oven and bake for 9-12 minutes, until edges are set. Thinner cookies don’t take as long as the thicker ones do. Let cool thoroughly before decorating.
- This is the icing I used to decorate the cookies. Mix 2 cups powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3-5 tablespoons milk or water. Start by stirring in 2 tablespoons of milk and then add more a little at a time, just until the icing is thin enough to pipe. Do not add too much or the icing will spread and not hold its shape. Add more powdered sugar to thicken or more milk to thin until you get the right consistency.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Cookies, Dessert, Gluten Free