Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men


Of all the Christmas Cookies out there, we can all agree that no cookie spread is complete without Gingerbread Men. Am I right? They have been my favorite holiday cookie since I was a little girl, and my Mom used to make them every year. Her healthier version used whole wheat flour and honey to sweeten and I loved them. They were soft, but almost too soft, always leaving a broken arm or head hanging around. So, we tried to sub out the honey for real sugar and they were crispy, (which I don’t care for.) So, I had kinda given up finding my perfect Gingerbread Man, crisp edges, and super soft & chewy middle, (that don’t fall apart!)


I’m sure you know what’s next- that I found them in this awesome recipe! These are so chewy it’s crazy and they hold up great for decorations and handling. The flavor is awesome with lots of spice and what can I say? It just makes me so darn happy to see these smiling faces looking up at me.

This recipe uses a bit of an unconventional method for making the dough. Everything is cut together with a food processor creating a sandy mixture and then the wet ingredients are added. The dough is rolled out between two sheets of parchment and chilled- making it pretty quick before they’re ready to roll out and cut. (Most recipes require hours of chilling time, I appreciated how quick this was!)

I’m definitely making this recipe a staple in my Christmas Cookie repertoire- who knows, maybe I’ll try to tweak my Mama’s healthier recipe for my kids someday, but for now this is a hands-down fave!


Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men

Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men

Yield: 2 dozen


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup 6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda and process until combined, just a few seconds.
  2. Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture is sandy and looks like a fine meal- no big clumps. (This only took about 15-20 seconds.)
  3. With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk; process until dough comes together.
  4. Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer.
  7. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into men or other shapes. Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets 1 inch apart.
  8. Gather scraps and chill while you cut out the second sheet of dough. You can keep re-using the scraps, but may need to add some flour and continue to chill the dough. If the dough gets really soft, freeze the whole sheet for 10 minutes before baking.
  9. Bake cookies 8 to 11 minutes or until the edges are set- do not overbake. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
  10. Decorate with royal icing once cooled! (The recipe I used is linked below!)


Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated The Royal Icing Recipe I used is from Bake at 350. :)

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I dont have a food processor at home, only a kitchen aid and a blender. would either of that work in place of a food processor?

    1. This was first time I made them and first time I’ve ever used my food processor to make cookies. I’m a senior citizen and will definitely try making them the old fashion way with a mixer the next time!

  2. These look adorable. What size is your cookie cutter, and where did you get it? Thinking about making these! Wondering if I could get away with a little WW pastry flour in there.

    1. I ordered it on Amazon Mama. It is 3 inches. I honestly wouldn’t add any WW flour. The texture of these is just so perfect- I don’t think it’s worth it. It doesn’t change the “healthy” factor enough to make them less tasty. I am happy to bring my cutter if you want to make the dough and we can cut them when I get home :)

  3. I have to admit, any and all roll-out cookies kind of scare me…but these are so cute that they’re totally worth the self-imposed anxiety!

  4. Hello, I tried your recipe and it’s really delicious! My only issue was that it was very sticky to the point that it was very difficult to cut out the shapes and I had to keep putting it back in the freezer and working quickly. I’m thinking of illuminating the milk or decreasing the molasses, otherwise please let me know if I’m doing something wrong. Thank you

    1. I agree. I think it would be better to use a mixer and then you could tell the consistency better and know if you need to add more flour. I could tell it was very sticky when I took it out of the food processor so got my pie mat out and put some flour on it, then put the cookie dough on. Sprinkled some more flour on and kneaded it in. This helped.

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