Gingerbread cookies are a staple of the season, but I'm not talking about the hard, crunchy, store-bought kind. The best gingerbread cookies can easily be made at home, and each bite will be chewy and flavorful, with the perfect balance of spice. Oh, and did I mention they're all smothered in creamy frosting? If you love gingerbread cookies but haven't been able to find the perfect recipe, look no further.
This recipe incorporates some of the best flavors of the season with cinnamon, cloves, and, of course, ginger. With a simple spice lineup, the flavor of the ginger is really highlighted with every bite, so the cookies are not too sweet and not too spicy. And topped with cream cheese frosting, these cookies accomplish an impeccable balance of flavor and decadence. If you're looking for a dessert to try out for the holidays or you simply want to make a batch for yourself (we did), once you try this recipe, you won't want to ever try another one (sorry, gingerbread people).
- For the Cookies:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup molasses
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8-ounce block full-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla pure extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
- In a large bowl, combine your flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
- In another large bowl, add your butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat your ingredients until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, add your eggs one by one, beating your mixture after each egg. Finally, add your molasses and beat until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Next, grab your dry mixture and slowly incorporate it into your wet mixture, beating on low. Continue to mix until everything is just combined — don't overdo it. Once your mixture is combined, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least two hours but up to one day.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll your dough into 2-inch balls and place them on your lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Gently press down in the middle of each ball to flatten them slightly.
- Bake one sheet at a time, for about 9-10 minutes or until your cookies have puffed out and look golden.
- Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to fully cool before adding the frosting.
- For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat your cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed and add in your confectioners' sugar a little at a time, until everything is combined. Then, add in your lemon juice and zest, and beat until your frosting is thoroughly mixed and smooth.
- Once your cookies have cooled, spread your frosting over the top of the cookies and optionally decorate with sprinkles.
- 12-16 cookies
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes
- Total Time
- 29 minutes, 59 seconds