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healthy gingerbread cookies on round plate
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Easy Gingerbread Cookies

Flavorful, whole-wheat gingerbread with just a hint of natural sweetness. These are a perfect holiday cookie to make with the kids. Double the batch to make more.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Servings 8 (Makes about 2 dozen small cookies)
Calories 124kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • sprinkles, raisins, chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a bowl and use your hand to mix together to form a dough. You'll want to be gentle but thorough to incorporate the butter into the dough. (If the dough seems a little too dry once you've incorporated the liquid and butter into the flour, you can add another tablespoon of milk but go easy on the liquid as more will make the dough stickier. It's ready when it holds together when you try to form it into a ball.)
  • Make a flattened disc of dough. Optional: Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. This will make the dough a little less sticky for rolling out, but it works okay to skip this step too if the kids don't want to wait. 
  • Preheat the oven to 370°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough ¼-inch thick between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap. (You can do it on a lightly floured surface, but I always find this easier. You'll want to use parchment paper if you skipped chilling the dough so it doesn't stick.)
  • Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. (Keep an eye on them after 8 minutes since the edges can brown fast. 9 minutes was perfect in my oven.)
  • Remove from the oven, let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Use a small butter knife to spread on the icing or pipe on as desired. If adding sprinkles or other decorations, add them to the iced cookies right away before it dries.

Video

Notes

  • Royal Icing: Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar with a few drops of milk, adding more of either as needed to make a thick icing. Spread on cookies or put into a ziptop bag, seal, and snip one edge off to make a little piping bag for the kids.
  • Cream Cheese Icing: Stir together 4 ounces cream cheese, softened, with 1-2 tablespoons honey until spreadable or pipeable. You can put some into a ziptop bag, seal it and snip one edge off to make a little piping bag for the kids. Add on raisins or chocolate chips as you like!
  • Make-Ahead: You can make the dough the night before or a few hours in advance and store it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. It will need to sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften up, or you can remove it from the plastic, put it onto a plate, and microwave for 5-10 seconds. 
  • Use white whole wheat flour or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat.
  • If the dough seems a little too dry once you've incorporated the liquid and butter into the flour, you can add another tablespoon of milk but go easy on the liquid as more will make the dough stickier. It's ready when it holds together when you try to form it into a ball.
  • Refrigerate the dough briefly to help prevent sticking if desired.
  • Roll out the dough between parchment to prevent sticking. Do this for sure if you skipped chilling the dough.
  • Gluten-free: Use this gluten-free flour from King Arthur and add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to the dough.
  • Dairy free: Use melted and slightly cooled coconut oil instead of butter and plain unsweetened nondairy milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 3cookies | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 184IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg