Soft Gingerbread Cookies with Maple Glaze

Let’s make Soft Gingerbread Cookies this holiday season! Soft, pillowy gingerbread with sunken centers and slightly crisped edges, plus little nooks and crannies packed with ginger spice and molasses. These are SO GOOD!

Soft Gingerbread Cookies Pin

‘Tis the season, friends! But not the season for firm, crisp, dryish gingerbread that you can literally build tiny houses from. This season, let’s make some soft pillowy gingerbread with sunken centers and slightly crisped edges and open crackly crags of gingery spice and rich, but not overwhelming, molasses. Let’s roll them in sugar, get them baked to perfection, and dip them in a mapley glaze. Yes? Yes.

The hallmark flavors of gingerbread are molasses and ginger, so once we’ve got those going on in all the right proportions, who says that gingerbread cookies can’t be a textural wonder of soft and chewy and crackly and tender-buttery-crisp all in one glorious bite? 2021 is the year to reinvent “gingerbread” into a cookie that we really, truly love.

No gingerbread men splat flat on a pan. Go all out this year. Get your Christmas music playing, your cozy candles lit, get your tried and true baking sheets, your favorite mixing bowls, and your holiday spirit at the ready. Let’s do this.

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Gingerbread cookies on a sheet pan

Deliciously SOFT Gingerbread Cookies

It’s hard to describe just how good these are, these spicy-sweet little gingerbread pillows. There’s certainly a time and a place for the darker, more crisp peppery gingerbread, but that is not this. These cookies are suuuuper soft, light and coppery, almost melty in their ginger spice, with the slightest crunch from the edges and little sugar sprinkles.

And if your family has always gathered round a floured surface, armed with rolling pins and cookie cutters, fear not! Sure you may not be stamping out little shapes or battling with royal icing, making sure the gingerbread people don’t look like sorta scary clowns with drippy icing smiles, all while making sure your toddler isn’t eating too much dough…but will you miss that part? (Okay fine, maybe…these are the beautiful chaotic memories we cherish). 

But there are memories to be made around these as well. Gently rolling the soft gingerdough balls in the snowy sugar. Getting the perfect half dip of creamy maple glaze once they’re out of the oven. Going a little extra and piping tiny little holly leaves and berries on them or maybe just a few festive sprinkles. Gathering round the oven to see who can smell the warm sweet ginger bake first. 

Also, can we talk about that maple glaze? Subtle, sweet, and smooth taking these just one notch above magnificent. Just…come on.

Gingerbread cookies with icing and holly sprinkles on a sheet pan

Key Ingredients For Gingerbread Cookies

For these truly remarkable gingerbread cookies, you’ll need the staples — flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and salt. There’s a little extra baking soda in there to ensure a good spread, so they go wider and flatter in the oven. This is key to their positively clutch texture. Beyond that, let’s round up this delicious list, shall we?

  • molasses
  • ground ginger
  • extra sugar for rolling
  • maple syrup
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • lil’ holly sprinkles if you’re extra (so cute, so fun, so merry)
Gingerbread cookies on a plate

How To Make Gingerbread Cookies From Scratch

Once your ingredients are assembled and your heart is ready and your kitchen windows are fogged from the heat of your oven, it’s cookie-baking time, and is there any other better time on this planet?

  1. Make your dough. Cream butter and sugar, and then incorporate egg and molasses. Add your dry ingredients and mix until you have a soft dough. Pinch off a piece because it’s the holidays, but also don’t eat raw dough, and also merry everyday to you.
  2. Roll and bake. Scoop dough into small balls and then take one teeny extra step to gently roll them in sugar until they literally sparkle. Line your sheet and bake.
  3. Maple glaze. Whisk together your glaze ingredients until smooth. Dip one side of your slightly cooled, slightly flattened cookies in to coat. Now’s the time to add sprinkles if you’re feeling it.

There is already so much joy in cookies and these are big-time joy-bringers. There’s just something so special about gingerbread, with all its cozy and merry and bright. So fill your jars, your holiday platters, your care packages and gift boxes, your kiddos’ eager hands. Leave them on your plates for Santa and sneak them in the night like magic.

We hope your holidays are filled with all the best things this year, like family and friends and gingerbread.

Gingerbread cookies with a bite out of them

Soft Gingerbread Cookies: FAQs

How should I store these cookies?

Store these cookies in a sealed container at room temp for 3-5 days (if they even last that long in your house).

Are there any substitutes for molasses?

It won’t taste exactly the same, but maple syrup can work in a pinch.

Can you freeze these cookies?

Yes! Just bake ’em up and freeze any leftovers in an air-tight container.

Notes on flour and the added weight specification: how you measure your flour will have a big impact on the thickness of the cookies, so if you have a scale and you’re able to measure to get it exactly right, that would be my recommendation! But if you’re measuring flour without a scale, my method for the 2 1/4 cups is to just scoop the measuring cups into the flour bag or canister and level them off. More on this in the notes of the recipe.


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Let’s make Soft Gingerbread Cookies this holiday season! Soft, pillowy gingerbread with sunken centers and slightly crisped edges, plus little nooks and crannies packed with ginger spice and molasses. These are SO GOOD!

Gingerbread Cookies

Maple Glaze

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses; mix until incorporated.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Mix until a soft dough forms.
  4. Scoop into small balls (a little smaller than the size of a golf ball) and roll in sugar. Bake for 9-11 minutes; remove from pan so the cookies can sink / flatten slightly as they cool. 
  5. Whisk maple glaze ingredients together until smooth (it will be very thick – if it’s too thick, just add a teaspoon more milk at a time until it becomes dippable, but we want this to be very thick so it sets nicely). Dip one side of the cooled cookies into the maple glaze, run the edge of the cookie along the side of the bowl to remove excess drips, set on a piece of wax paper, and add a few festive sprinkles before the glaze sets! 


330 grams of flour is the perfect amount to achieve the texture and flat look of the cookies shown in the photos. If you find that your first batch is a bit flatter than you’d hoped, mix in a tablespoon or two of flour to the rest of the dough to get a thicker center.

Give these cookies some holly sprinkles to bring them over the top! I bought these ones on Amazon (affiliate link).

For this recipe I use unsulphured molasses. For most of my testing I used the Grandma’s brand which can be found in the baking section of many grocery stores. Blackstrap molasses is less sweet and would not be recommended here.

The glaze should set to become fully dry to the touch with just an hour or two of sitting on the counter. For the best / most beautiful and travel-proof glaze results, you might want to wait to glaze until within a day of serving. The cookies can be baked ahead and stored (without glaze) in the freezer until you’re ready for glaze!

I prefer the flavor of the maple glaze which is why that’s how the recipe is written, but if you need a glaze that is more sturdy, using melted white chocolate will also work and it will hold up a bit better to changes in temperature, storing in tins, etc.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: soft gingerbread cookie, gingerbread cookie, christmas cookie

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