Gingerbread Cookies and Royal Icing


Gingerbread Cookies and Royal Icing

Get into the spirit with these easy to make, aromatic holiday gingerbread cookies with royal icing.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 dozen


Gingerbread Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 8 tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Royal Icing

  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white (Can use 2 tbs egg-white powder instead)
  • 6 tbs water or milk
  • food coloring (Optional)



  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg until evenly incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, but longer if you can.
  • When ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature until it has warmed enough to be pliable but still firm. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half between sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4-1/3 inch thick. . (You could use a lightly floured surface instead of plastic wrap, but that will lighten the cookies' color.)
  • Cut shapes of your choosing and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake until cooked through but still a little soft, about 12-15 minutes. For a firmer cookie, cook closer to 18 minutes.
  • Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool, and let cool completely before coating with icing.

Royal Icing

  • Beat the powdered sugar, egg white, and liquid on high until shiny and thick. Sometimes conditions like humidity can influence the proportions. So if it's too runny, add more powdered sugar, and if it's too thick, add more liquid. Ideally, it should be thin enough to easily move through a pastry bag, but thick enough that it sets in the same place you put it.
  • Allow icing to set before packaging up or presenting.