the BEST Gingerbread Cookies

tried & true best Gingerbread Cookies recipe. Cookies, gingerbread, holiday cookies, recipes. | | gingerbread cookies
We adore gingerbread cookies around here. They never fail to make us feel warm & cozy, happy & healthy, & full of joy! I make my best gingerbread cookies and leave them naked.

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Meaning…without frosting.

Rarely do we frost or ice our gingerbread cookies. For one, they get eaten so quickly that I don’t have a chance. For two, my family really doesn’t seem to need the additional sugar to enjoy their charm. And, why fight that? This  recipe is the one that we use to create our gingerbread men, our gingerbread biscotti (coming soon!), and our gingerbread trees (also coming soon). It is one that you’ll put into your files and pull out each year. It’s simple, it tastes great, and why mess with that?

 Like our cooling rack?  It’s a super cheap one.  You can get it here.  Pretty things don’t always need to be expensive!

We have a story here on NellieBellie about my son Levi and his desire to make a gingerbread ninja… this is the recipe used for that. Almost all children that have gone through elementary school have heard the Gingerbread Man story and probably even made gingerbread men in class. It seems to be a tradition developed over the years in elementary schools. And I LOVE IT!!

I simply adore my children learning the value of tradition, of “old-school”, of simplicity, and something that is simply good. No fancy gimmiks with gingerbread cookies.  There doesn’t need to be, does there! And oh, what it does to the soul to eat the best gingerbread cookies (real, homemade ones!) over the holidays!!

So, cheers to you teachers that use gingerbread cookies in class…giant hugs and cheers!! And, to you parents & grandparents that make these every year (especially if you get your kids involved!)…please share with us some of your tips, tricks, creations, and stories about why this kind of cookie in particular is special!

tried & true Gingerbread Cookie recipe. Cookies, gingerbread, holiday cookies, recipes. | | gingerbread cookies
5 from 1 vote

Best Gingerbread Cookies

A basic, delicious recipe for Gingerbread Cookies


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup molasses use dark for stronger flavor, light for a lighter flavor
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour


  1. Beat shortening on medium speed for about 45 seconds, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Beat until combined.
  3. Add molasses, egg, & vinegar. Beat until combined.
  4. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat until combined.
  5. Beat in the remainder, if you can. Otherwise stir it in.
  6. Cover and chill the dough for at least 3 hours (you can leave it overnight, too!)
  7. ----For basic cookies roll the dough into 2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Press down gently (use the bottom of a cup covered in sugar, for a bonus!)
  8. ----For cut-outs roll the dough (about 1/2 at a time) on to a lightly floured surface until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out.
  9. Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes or edges are slightly brown. Cool before icing or frosting.


If you ARE looking for fun ways to put a spin on gingerbread cookies try these…

If you are just looking for awesome holiday cookies and desserts:

And don’t forget to check out our new book Creative Gift Ideas: 52 Unique Gift Sets for Under $20.00 to get some great ideas on what to give those people in your life who are just a little bit harder to buy for.


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