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Homemade Gingerbread Men

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My Homemade Gingerbread Men are not only great to eat but can be used as Christmas decorations, edible Christmas gifts,  and you can even use the dough to make my Gingerbread House Log Cabin.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Christmas is all about COOKIES! And one of the most iconic cookies for the holidays have to be Homemade Gingerbread Men Cookies. This spiced cookie dough is so simple to make and the dough goes a very long way. You don’t have to be a pro to make the sweetest looking gingerbread men, with my recipe you’ll have all tips and trick to making these adorable Homemade Gingerbread Men!

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Can Gingerbread Men be made ahead of time?

To get ahead this Christmas, I like to make this dough, and maybe even double it and then pop it into the freezer in big chunks. Then I can take out this Gingerbread Men dough when I know I’ll have guests over and bake off some fresh cookies. This whole recipe should provide you with lots of cookies for friends and family over the Holidays.

How do i make gingerbread?

No matter what shape you choose to bake these into, they pack a holiday punch as they are loaded with spiced and molassas! Ginger, cinnmaon and clove makes these cookies sweet and spicy while the molasses and brown sugar keep this cookie moist and chewy, which is what allows it to be shaped into all kinds of fun things from little me to entire gingerbread cookie homes! The cookie itself is really easy to make and can be made in one bowl with a whisk or hand mixer.

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How to decorate gingerbread men

These delightful little men are so simple to decorate if you have the desire to do so. I fill a bag full of my Royal Icing and go to town. Now, as you can see I am not winning any awards for my cookie decorating skills. However with a few squiggly lines and some festive sprinkles you can transform plain Gingerbread Men into these lovely little guys that look like they might talk to you. Get creative and have fun, if you don’t like the decoration you added simply let it dry then remove it and start again.

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Have you visited my Holiday Baking Headquarters page? You’ll find every recipe you could possibly need for the holidays including Christmas Cookies, Desserts, my best-ever baking tips and more!

If you like gingerbread you’ll love these recipes!

 

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4.73 from 22 votes
Gingerbread Men Cookies
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (6oz/171g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (7.5oz/ 216g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup (9oz/ 260g) molasses/treacle (or honey if molasses isn't available)
  • 4 cups (1lb 2⅛oz, 537g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hours or overnight or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 in. thickness.
  3. Cut out your cookies with cookie cutters. Carefully place them on a baking tray lined with parchment.
  4. Bake at 350oF (180oC) for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Once cooled decorate with royal icing or store then in an air tight container for up to 7 days. The crisper they are the longer they will stay fresh.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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68 Comments

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  1. Chris_0430 on July 8, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Is there any substitutes for the ground cloves? Or… where can I buy it?
    Christopher (My real name is Christopher not Chris)

    • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Christopher! You can buy ground cloves in the spice shops or in the supermarkets. I am not sure where you are and what is available where you are. You can also buy whole cloves and grind them yourself. Gemma 😊

  2. Natasha Arsova on January 2, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I made this cookies for the first time and went very well. I used honey instead of molasses, but they are very delicious and full of christmas and winter flavors. Thank you and Happy new year!

    Best wishes
    Natasha

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      I am delighted to hear that, happy holidays to you too!

  3. Ragini on December 27, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Hi Ms.Gemma. I find it difficult to get molasses in liquid form. How can I make molasses sugar into thick liquid form? Can I boil the sugar with water to get thick consistency? If so, what’s the ratio of sugar to water? Should i refrigerate it and how long can I keep it?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      Hmmm, i dont know about that. I might just replace the molasses with maple syrup or honey in this recipe.

  4. Lexy on December 26, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Hi Gemma,

    In my country we have molasses sugar, it’s not a syrup. Can I use it instead of brown sugar and will I need something syrupy to replace it?

    Thank you for this amazing recipe and Happy holidays!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 26, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Yes absolutely you can use that sugar Lexy.

      Happy Holidays!
      Gemma.

  5. helda on December 25, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    beautiful ginger cookies and they are a hit for all adults and kids.. thanks for the wonderful recipe!
    Merry Christmas, Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 26, 2018 at 6:54 am

      I’m thrilled to hear it was a success!!!

      Thanks for trying it out 🙂
      Gemma.

  6. Anjulee on December 24, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Cookies came out perfectly!! So in love with your receipes.. Thanks Gemma 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on December 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      Thrilled to hear that!!

      Great job,
      Gemma.

  7. Mikkie on December 22, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    💖 Cookies came out wonderfully.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Happy to hear it, Mikkie. Well done to you!

  8. Regina Talbot on December 22, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Gemma,
    This year I wanted to give back to the Community, I made your Sugar cookies, they are sitting as we speak! The homeless are without this year, I wanted to make cookies to hand out to them on a very lonely day for them. Thank you for your Sugar cookie Receipe and your Royal Icing receipe, My neighbor Bee Saunders and I are going out in the Rain to hand out these cookies to those who are less fortunate! Thank you so much for sharing, it means a lot to me and the community!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      That is so lovely! Thank you for reaching out! I am so glad my recipes can be a part of giving back to your community this holiday. Enjoy!

  9. Candy Strickland Krom on December 20, 2018 at 11:41 am

    No way in hell you can mix this dough with a wisk. It’s giving my mixer a workout!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Yes it is a thick dough, enjoy and happy holidays!

  10. Kristina R Bak on December 16, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I tried these for a holiday party. They were AMAZING!
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I paired it with the royal icing recipe. I plan on making them for Christmas day as well.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that, Kristina! Thanks for trying it out 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  11. Sheila Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Hi Gemma!

    I wanted to use fresh ginger as opposed to ground. I have read hat 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root is equal to 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. At Food.com the recommended equivalent is 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger for 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger.

    What do you recommend?

    Many thanks and Happy Christmas!

    -Sheila Stafford

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Hi Sheila,
      you have the same name as my grandmother, Sheila Stafford!
      I do not use fresh root ginger in baking, it is a different thing really, in terms of its flavor certainly, its texture too. The ginger spice is made from the dried root, so it would make sense that the proportion would be 1:4, though this is guess work for me. I am sorry, I have no experience of using fresh ginger root other than in savory food, curries etc. Stem ginger, is a crystallized sweet ginger confection, made from young ginger root, and is very delicious, so There is no good reason not to use it. I will have to try this myself!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sheila Hart Stafford on December 17, 2018 at 3:45 pm

        Hi Gemma –

        I appreciate your advice and the speed of your reply.

        So happy to hear I share your Grandmother’s name! That made my day!

        You may be related to my husband whose grandfather was from Mullingar. It’s a small world…you never know. My family is from Roscommon (O’Beirne) and Mayo (Hart/O’Harte.)

        I will post pictures when my Gingerbread cookies are done. Nollaig Shona!

        All the best,

        (The other) Sheila Stafford 😉

        • Gemma Stafford on December 18, 2018 at 3:06 am

          Sheila, it is indeed a small world, and no doubt there are connections we will never know about!
          Your family come from a lovely part of the world, I do hope you get back there often.
          I am in Ireland right now, happy to be home for Christmas.
          Nollaig Shona duit féin agus do gach duine eile.
          Gemma <3

  12. Liz on December 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Awesome cookie recipe. ❤❤❤❤
    Easy to follow. Kept in frig overnight and the taste was delish. Will be making again.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Hi Liz,
      Thank you for letting me know, I am delighted to have this kind review of this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Shirley Yan on December 13, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Do you think I can use agar suryp to replace molasses? I understand it is really an essential ingredient in this recipe but it is very expensive and not very common to find in the grocery store in my country. Hoping you can give me some advices.
    Cheers,
    Shirley

    • Gemma Stafford on December 14, 2018 at 3:26 am

      Hi Shirley,
      I think molasses may be called something else where you live. It is a common ingredient, a by product of the sugar processing industry, it comes from all sugar sources and should not be expensive. Agave syrup could indeed be used in place of molasses, the flavor will be different, but it will work,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Shruti Ashar on December 20, 2018 at 4:18 am

        Can I use Maple syrup instead of molasses or honey??

        • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

          Yes you can you just wont get as dark of a color. Enjoy and happy holidays!

  14. Jessica Dumont on December 12, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Hi. Ginger bread ” MEN ” are not condusive to the rights of LGQBTrans rights. How do you think we feel especially at the time of Jesus’ Birthday. we should call them ginger bread people

    Great recipe sure loved them ! sub eggs for flax water wooo save the world !!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2018 at 3:12 am

      Hi Jessica,
      I know! right, and I guess that will change in time, when we have finished correcting the lyrics of Christmas songs 😉
      Happy to have you baking with us, and delighted you are finding the egg subs handy. A good way to add a little extra nutrition to your diet too.
      Happy Christmas to you and yours,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Sreya on December 8, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    If i use dark brown sugar can I avoid molasses. And if i can, do I need to use anything instead of molasses?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2018 at 3:52 am

      Hi Sreys,
      Yes! perfect solution. dark brown sugar is really high in molasses, that will be perfect.
      The bold bakers are thinking today, lots of solutions being offered here, thank you for that,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sreya Sarkar on December 13, 2018 at 6:06 am

        Thanks Gemma for your response. Is there anything i can do to prevent the cookies from being chewy. I like it to be crunchy

        • Gemma Stafford on December 14, 2018 at 4:01 am

          Hi Sreya,

          Did you try this cookie? This is a crisp cookie, when it is stored properly it will stay crisp. store in an airtight container in a cool place.
          Gemma 🙂

  16. Jraccoon2003 on December 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    My kids thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. I used honey and baked for 10-12 min. Then I let them cut out and decorate! Thank you for your help. 1st time gingerbread cookie maker.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2018 at 3:21 am

      Hi there,
      That is so good to hear. I love that kids are baking, it is such a mindful thing for them to be doing, and they will always be able to feed themselves! Well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Nishi on November 28, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Hi Gemma, I have been watching your cake videos and going through the holiday recipes for the past few days and cannot wait to try something over the weekend 🙂 you make the whole process look so easy!

    With regards to the gingerbread cookie men is it dry ginger powder that you use in the recipe?

    Nishi 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 29, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Hi Nishi,

      Really glad you like my recipes. Yes it’s dried powdered ginger you use.

      Share a photo of your little men when you are done 🙂
      Gemma.

  18. Karen on November 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Gemma
    Can i use golden syrup instead of treacle?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 22, 2018 at 3:24 am

      Hi Karen,
      You can, but it is not the same thing. Treacle/molasses is a by product of the sugar refining process, what is taken out to make white sugar. If you can get a dark brown sugar/Muscovado sugar, this is rich in molasses and could be used in this recipe.
      Golden syrup is a delicious thing, an invert sugar, like a caramelized sugar syrup, a totally different thing, can be used bot it will give a different result. Try it though, it will not be a fail,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Shweta.U on November 21, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Hi Gemma, could you plz tell me the substitute of molasses coz I don’t think I could find this in Delhi even if I will find it. It will be expensive so can it it work if I skip it??? Plz reply soon so that I could decide my Christmas menu..😊

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Hi there,
      Molasses is really an essential ingredient in this recipe. Never fear though, I bet you can find this local to you.
      Can you find KAKAMBI? this is molasses and should be available to you. What about TREACLE, that will do it too. Failing all of that, JAGGERY/GUR will work well, grind it finely, it is a sugar high is high in molasses.
      There is always a way! you can make a sugar syrup from Jaggery too, useful for this type of recipe. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/corn-syrup-substitute-homemade/) this will do it for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Ronda on November 20, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Hi
    Does honey do the same job as the molasses???
    For how long can i freeze the dough?? TIA

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2018 at 6:14 am

      Hi Ronda,
      NO! Honey is a different thing. Molasses is the dark/black juice removed from sugar cane/beets/palm/etc during the process of refining sugar. In other words it is the stuff they take out in order to give us white granulated sugar. In brown sugar, depending on which one you get, some of it remains, and this is true of raw sugars/coconut sugar/palm sugar too. We add it back to granulated sugar too to give us brown sugar.
      So, in some places you will find degrees of molasses remaining in the sugar, like Dark Brown (muscavado) demerara (a light brown sugar originally from Guyana), Jaggery (a raw sugar in India, Pakistan, south East Asia) etc etc. Then there is treacle (partly refined sugar/molasses). So many types.
      In the gingerbread men molasses/treacle will be the best choice. I have not tried honey, but it is a different thing, a fructose, and I think it will give a good but different result.
      I hope this is not too much information, and that it helps,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ronda on December 8, 2018 at 7:26 am

        Thanks a lot for the information. Though, i dont have molasses, so i used honey, and it came out more than great. Woooooow, i am speechless for how tastey these cookies are. Sent u a picture on private meesanger. Thanks again

        • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2018 at 1:43 am

          Hi Ronda,
          Good for you! well done, I am happy that these worked out so well for you. I am looking forward to seeing them when I go to that platform.
          Thank you for this lovely review,
          Gemma 🙂

  21. Olive on July 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you very much for this! I will definitely try it.

  22. Said on May 11, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Hi Gemma Stafford
    Thank you

  23. Saraabulaban on December 24, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    About How many cookies does it make??

    • Gemma Stafford on December 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Makes loads, roughly 25-30 if memory serves me right

  24. Snarky Spice on December 22, 2017 at 4:52 am

    I would like to make soft gingerbread cookies, not roll out and cut. Can this recipe be adapted to produce soft and chewy cookies? Also, are there any specific requirements for the molasses? A big thank you in advance. Gemma is my favourite YouTuber

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Hi there,
      Gingerbread cookies tend to be crisp. Molasses will do this for you.
      Here is a recipe from all recipes (http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/29656/chewy-gingerbread-men.aspx) which suggests it is chewy, I can see why, but I think you will need to try it.
      Molasses is what is removed from cane etc. in the manufacturing process to give you white sugar. It is different to sugar, adds a different dimension to your bake. look at the two recipe side bt side, that will tell you,
      Gemma 🙂
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Neelu on December 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Hi,

    Do you have any suggestions for if I want to double the recipe? I tried doubling the recipe and found that it was not as spicy anymore and tasted too much like Molasses. Also, would it be a good addition to add nutmeg?

    Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Hi there,
      When you double a recipe you need to be really careful that you double very ingredient. I would say write out the recipe, and multiply each ingredient, this wil help you.
      Nutmeg is a wonderful spice, and with cinnamon and ginger it makes a great mixed spice. You can rock this up to suit yourself, but if you are making a double batch, be careful.
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Padmaja Paul on December 19, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Hi,

    We prefer eggless at home. How can I replace egg in this recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Hi,

      Have you seen my egg free chart? it helps you replace eggs in your baking

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  27. Mridul jain on December 15, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Can I substitute brown sugar? If I can with what???

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2017 at 7:08 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, with white sugar/jaggery/palm sugar etc.
      You can also make your own brown sugar if you can find treacle/molasses. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/make-brown-sugar/).
      For this cookie the sugar adds color, and a slight caramel flavor, but white will work too. Try it,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Emily on December 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    I just made these and they are Soo good! I baked mine for 7 minutes so that they were soft and chewy

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Yay! I’m delighted to hear that Emily 🙂

  29. Sara on December 7, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Is it possible to make this dough a few days ahead of actually baking it?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 8, 2017 at 4:04 am

      Hi Sara,
      Yes, make your dough, wrap it carefully, and it will keep for a few days in the fridge. It will keep a lot longer in the freezer,
      Gemma 🙂

      • sara on December 8, 2017 at 8:44 am

        thanks gemma!!! I tried your single ginger bread cookie last night and it was AMAZING!! 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2017 at 9:18 am

          Delighted to hear that, Sara 🙂

  30. Sandra on December 2, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Hi Gemma, I am lactose intolerant, whith which can I substitute the butter?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Hi Sandra,
      A hard margarine, for baking will do it for you. Try not to use the ones formulated for spreading, these are usually in a tub, the baking one in a block.
      This will be good for all of your baking needs, it is a vegetable sourced ‘butter’.
      Gemma 🙂

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