These Frosted Gingerbread Cookies are thick, chewy, and slathered in cream cheese frosting! Made with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and molasses, they’re bursting with flavor! Perfect for Christmas cookie season!
Holiday baking is in full swing, my friends! And I have SO many treats to share with you before I head home to Philly for a long and leisurely Christmas break.
Have you started your holiday baking? Are you traveling anywhere for the holidays? What are some of your favorite holiday flavors?!
You know I love ALL the holiday flavors. But I’m an enormous fan of anything involving ginger! So I’ve been steadfast in baking as many gingerbread recipes as possible this season. So far we’ve made chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies, gingerbread latte cupcakes, brown butter gingerbread men (these are the kind you roll out to like 1/4-inch thick and top with royal icing), and now, frosted gingerbread cookies.
Spoiler alert: I also have a gingerbread cake coming for you next week! Can you tell I REALLY love gingerbread?!
But for now, let’s talk about these lovely little gingerbread cookies! Each bite is:
- soft and chewy (really!)
- perfectly spiced
- richly flavored
- slathered in homemade cream cheese frosting
- and so DELICIOUS
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
To make these cookies you’ll need:
- all purpose flour: for structure.
- ginger, cinnamon, and cloves: our spices! increase a bit for very richly spiced cookies, or decrease for a more mild flavor!
- baking soda: leavening agent that will help the cookies puff up. should NOT be substituted with baking powder.
- salt: to balance out the flavors. do not skip it!
- unsalted butter: salted butter will work in a pinch! just reduce the salt called for in the recipe. be sure your butter is softened to room temperature before making the cookie dough.
- granulated sugar: for sweetness and structure.
- light brown sugar: adds sweetness and moisture to the cookies.
- vanilla extract: enhances the other flavors.
- eggs: use large eggs, and bring them to room temperature before you begin baking.
- molasses: be sure to use a variety of mild molasses, not blackstrap!
- cream cheese: full-fat cream cheese works best, but a reduced-fat variety will work. allow it to come to room temperature before using.
- confectioners’ sugar: for a silky smooth cream cheese frosting, sift your confectioners’ sugar before adding it to the frosting.
- fresh lemon juice and lemon zest: adds a pop of bright flavor to the frosting! fresh orange zest could also work! but would slightly change the flavor profile.
- adorable gingerbread man sprinkles: BECAUSE THEY’RE SO DARN CUTE!!! These are optional, but if you can find them, I highly recommend using them! They don’t add a ton of flavor, but they add a ton of cuteness and are a great conversation starter.
How to make Gingerbread Cookies
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Set this bowl aside until needed.
- Beat the butter, both sugars, and the vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add in the molasses and beat until combined. Then reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, beating just until combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill the dough for at least two hours! If you don’t chill the dough, it will spread too much as they bake.
- When you’re ready to bake, you’ll want to preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll the dough into 2″ balls and them arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Space them about 2 inches apart for spreading!
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden.
- Cool cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely, top each cookie with a swirl of cream cheese frosting and then decorate with sprinkles
These gingerbread cookies are so delicious they can be left unfrosted… but why would you want to?! Fluffy cream cheese frosting and sprinkles make everything better ♥♥♥
So go on, spoil yourself with a batch of these frosted gingerbread cookies! Serve them with good coffee or tea and ENJOY.
If you try these Frosted Gingerbread Cookies, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day.
More Gingerbread Recipes:
- Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes
- Eggnog Frosted Gingerbread Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Frosted Gingerbread Cookies
For the Gingerbread Cookies:
- 2 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 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 (mild, not blackstrap)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- (1) 8 ounce block full-fat cream cheese, VERY soft
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, VERY soft
- 1 tablespoon vanilla pure extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Sprinkles, optional
For the Gingerbread Cookies:
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Add butter, both sugars, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, continuing to scrape the sides as needed. Add the molasses and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (or up to one day).
When ready to bake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Roll the dough into 2" balls and arrange on prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down on the center of each cookie. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 9-10 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden.
- Remove pan from oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all cookie dough. Once cool, frost with cream cheese frosting, top with sprinkles (if using), and serve.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until completely smooth; about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted confectioners' sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Add in lemon juice and lemon zest and beat for an additional minute. Once the cookies have completely cooled, spread the frosting over the top of each cookie and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.