Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

These gingerbread cookies with royal icing have the perfect crispy outside, yet still soft and chewy on the inside. Made with classic spices, these cookies are an easy to make, must-have this holiday season. The perfect addition to any baking tray!

These cookies are simple to make and freeze well so they are a great make-ahead dessert. Added bonus is that it’s a fun DIY activity for kids and adults alike!

How to make Gingerbread Cookies

Add the room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip the butter for about two minutes, until light in colour and fluffy. Then add the brown sugar and whip until while combined.

Add the eggs, molasses, and vanilla to the butter mixture, again mixing well until it is fully combined. You may find the butter separates a little, that is totally normal so don’t even worry.

In a small container mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves stirring to combine. Add half the flour mixture into the butter mixture of the stand mixer. Mix until just combined then add the remaining flour mixture, again mixing until just combined. I like to knead the last little bit by hand as to not overmix.

Separate the cookie dough in half and form two discs. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, which makes this a great make-ahead dough. Take it out when you’re ready to bake.

Once the dough has chilled preheat the oven and line cookie trays with parchment paper. Working one disc at a time, roll out the gingerbread cookie dough to about 1/4” thickness and cut into desired shapes. I did some as trees, and others are simple circles to mail to a friend.

Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, for a 3” cookie cutter. The cookies should be puffy and just crispy on the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool completely before icing.


  • 2/3 cups softened butter
  • 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves

For the Royal Icing:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, add the butter and mix until light and fluffy. Then add the brown sugar and mix again until fluffy. About two minutes.
  2. In a small bowl add the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix to combine then set aside.
  3. Once the brown sugar and butter is well mixed add the egg, vanilla, and molasses mixing again to fully combine.
  4. Now get the small bowl with the flour mixture and add half to the bowl of the stand mixer . Mix on medium high until combined. Add the other half of the flour mixture into the dough, mixing again until just combined.
  5. Separate the dough in half and shape into 2 discs, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  6. Once dough is chilled preheat oven to 350 and line cookie trays with parchment paper. Roll out the dough, one disc at a time, to a 1/4″ thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on prepared cookie trays.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes, cookies should be puffed up and just starting to crisp at the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes on the tray then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Royal Icing Preparation:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fit with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until soft peaks form.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to the whipped egg whites until all the sugar has been added. You will want to occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl while adding the sugar.
  3. Once all the sugar is incorporated add the vanilla and whip on high speed until firm peaks form.
  4. Add colours to your icing as desired. You can also add water to thin the icing if you’d like to change the consistency for filling in cookies. Allow icing to dry before storing, a few hours should be enough for the icing to firm up. The cookies stay fresh in an airtight container about a week, or can be frozen in an air tight container for about 3 months.

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