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Easy Homemade Gingerbread Dough Recipe

Homemade gingerbread dough recipe so you can make and decorate gingerbread men or cookies at home at Christmas time. Fun kids activity.

Gingerbread man

This is an easy gingerbread dough you can make during the holidays. A delicious, moist spice cookie that kids can decorate and enjoy together. One of many quick easy dessert recipes we’ve shared on The Typical Mom blog. (affiliate links present)

How to Make Gingerbread Men

Last year we made cake mix gingerbread cookies, those were incredible and fun to “dress up”. If you want a really easy gingerbread dough then you could give that a whirl. Homemade is always best though so if you do have some more time I’d go with this one.

You don’t have to make men out of these though, any cookie cutter will do. If you wanted to know how to a make gingerbread house you could use this recipe.

Then bake 11 minutes instead of the 8 so each piece is harder. You can buy the shapes you’ll need here for that idea. Or just use a circle and make “regular cookies”.

Now, just get out two bowls and a mixer to beat butter and sugar together so your mixture gets nice and smooth…..

Gingerbread Dough

Gingerbread Dough Recipe

Yes you can certainly make a diy gingerbread house kit with graham crackers, frosting and candies. I am sure we have all done that as children and those still bring a smile to many faces. They aren’t super yummy to eat though if I’m being honest.

I like to use my pretty KitchenAid stand mixer but you can certainly use an old fashioned hand held one too. It is a bit hard to get this nice and smooth if you just use elbow grease but it can be done if that is all you have. When we have a day of making lots of easy Christmas cookie recipes this is a must for sure.

Another one that came from my Grandmother are Lebkuchen cookies. It is a German spice cookie that reminds me of gingerbread spice flavors but a bit different. You don’t decorate them other than drizzling a simple glaze on top. If you haven’t heard of these I suggest you make a batch one year so you know what I mean by major YUM.

One thing both of these have in common is that you really should chill the dough. This helps to keep it in tact and not really rise. It helps to take away some of the stickiness too so you can roll it out easier.

how to make gingerbread

To get it cooled a bit faster you should divide it in half and wrap in saran wrap. If you gently press your ball down into a flatter hockey puck looking piece it will work better too. Not as thick and won’t take as long to cool, takes 3 hours at least though.

Gingerbread Train

Like I said, use any shapes you like with this dough for gingerbread. Another fun one is to use these cookie cutters to make a long train! Use different colored icing and little candies to jazz the whole thing up.

You can call them The Polar Express cookies. This is what you’re going to need:

  1. All purpose flour
  2. Molasses
  3. Light and dark brown sugar
  4. Room temperature butter
  5. Egg
  6. Vanilla extract
  7. Baking soda

Cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger is what gives you those classic flavors you love.

Gingerbread cookies

Once your pieces are cooled you’ll want to generously flour a cutting board or else it will stick. Throw a little on your rolling pin as well. Then you’ll need fun decorations too.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to make them. There is a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • With a mixer in a large bowl, beat the softened unsalted butter and sugars together until it’s creamy. Add in the molasses and mix together on medium speed. Then add egg and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl add and mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly add flour mixture into your wet mixture. Mix until combined and the consistency of play dough.
  • Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Flatten so it looks like a large hockey puck.
  • Place dough into fridge for at least 3 hours. Take out and on a generously floured surface. Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thick.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes you want. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and lay cookies with a bit of space in between.
  • Place pan into fridge again for 1 hour to chill. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes remove them. You want them baked just until the edges are firm and they’re beginning to crack all over. Repeat with remaining dough cut outs.
  • Put pan on cooling rack but leave on pan to cool completely and harden more.

You do NOT want to overbake these. Remember that as they cool on the pan they will stiffen up but still stay soft in the center. Then decorate with royal icing room temperature.

homemade gingerbread men

Gingerbread Man Decorating Ideas

I mean you really should let the kids just use their imaginations for this. I rolled out some butcher paper. You can use parchment paper too so the dye didn’t get on my white countertops. In little ramekins I had tons of sprinkles, candy eyeballs, edible gold balls, and M&Ms available.

You will want to make your own icing or you can buy thick icing here. White always works well since the decorations are typically colored. The difference between this and the tubs you buy for cake is how thick it is. It will dry really firm too so it sticks to the cookie and won’t be a mess on fingers.

  • Use red hots for eyes and/or buttons
  • Gumdrops and mini marshmallows can be sliced in half or left whole for eyes
  • Thin strips of red licorice can be wrapped around the bodies to create a fun mummy effect

But that’s not all….. 😉 You don’t even have to bake these in the oven. You can use your homemade gingerbread dough, cut into shapes and “bake” air fryer gingerbread cookies now too! Fantastic for a small batch.

cake mix gingerbread men

Here are a few my kids made this way a few weeks ago, that was a fun weekend. If you only want to make a few you totally can make half a batch of this or freeze half too for later. If you do the latter you will want to slide the wrapped half into a freezer bag before you put it into your freezer.

Thaw in your fridge overnight and bake the next day or month. If you make all or some of these and have leftovers you will want to keep them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out. Small plastic containers are fine but I once again prefer freezer bags. That way you can suck all the air out so they stay fresh longer.

Always keep leftover cookies on your countertop, never the fridge. They will get too hard if cooled. Want a softer version? Try our zucchini gingerbread loaf recipe too.

Want to see a few of my favorite things you might want to write on your Christmas list this year??!! 😉 Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

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Gingerbread Dough

Homemade gingerbread dough recipe so you can make and decorate gingerbread men or cookies at home at Christmas time. Fun kids activity.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies, dough, gingerbread, homemade, men
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 30
Calories 133kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Ingredients

Instructions

  • With a mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy. Add in the molasses and mix together. Then add egg and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl add and mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly add dry into your wet mixture. Mix until combined and the consistency of playdough.
  • Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Flatten so it looks like a large hockey puck.
  • Place dough into fridge for at least 3 hours. Then take out and on a generously floured cutting board roll out one half of dough into 1/4" thick all the way across.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay cookies with a bit of space in between.
  • Place pan into fridge again for 1 hour to chill. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes just until the edges are firmer and cookies are beginning to crack all over.
  • Put pan on cooling rack but leave on pan to cool completely and harden more. Then decorate when room temperature.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Gingerbread Dough
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 133 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 115mg5%
Potassium 138mg4%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 125IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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