This post was most recently updated on November 9th, 2022
Our quick gingerbread cookies only chill for 15 minutes! They are perfectly spiced, hold their shape and are perfect for decorating! You might also like our gingerbread cookie boxes or our gingerbread cookie countdown to Christmas!
Watch our step by step video!
My FAVORITE Christmas cookies are gingerbread cookies. I look forward to making them every year! I’m pretty terrible about planning ahead and like quick recipes that don’t need to chill for hours (ahem, this is why I love my bakery style sugar cookies—no chilling!)
Quick Gingerbread Cookies
These QUICK gingerbread cookies only chill for 15 minutes. Yep, that’s it!
The reason that they need to chill at all is because we make them out of simmered molasses, which is hot when poured into the dough mixture. Chilling the dough for 15 minutes allows the dough to cool completely, making it easier to work with and allowing the flavors to settle.
Tip: never eat a warm gingerbread cookie. Always let the cookies cool first—your taste buds will thank you! The flavors get stronger as they cool and sit out!
As an added bonus, watch our video to see how easy it is to decorate sugar cookies! All you need is a batch of royal icing (powdered sugar mixed with water) and a #5 frosting tip! Check out this post to see our tips for decorating holiday cookies with buttercream. You won’t believe how easy it is to make bakery quality cookies!
Gingerbread Cookie Ingredients
- baking soda
- hot water
- ground cloves
- all purpose flour
How To Make Quick Gingerbread Cookies
(This dough is so soft and easy to work with! No need to flour your work surface or rolling pin.)
As mentioned above, we will be simmering the molasses to make our cookies.
You’ll combine the shortening and molasses in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Then you’ll lower the heat to med-low and let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes. Easy.
Next you’ll combine the sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add that to the mixing bowl. Stir.
Add the spices and salt and stir. Then pour the hot molasses mixture into the bowl and give everything a good mix.
Finally, add the flour and beat. You can make these in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but I use a basic mixing bowl and my trusty danish dough whisk. It works great for recipes like this!
Once you have a nice soft cookie dough, allow the dough to cool to room temperature. You can speed this up by placing it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Roll dough out to 1/4″-1/2″ thick and cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet. Gather any scraps and continue rolling and cutting out cookies.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring cookies to a wire cooling rack.
How To Decorate Gingerbread Cookies
Combine powdered sugar and water until you have thick icing. Fill a piping bag with icing and a #5 frosting tip. Outline cookies with royal icing and let set. That’s it! Watch our video to see how to decorate a snowflake, stocking, gingerbread boy, and candy cane!
Quick Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Quick Gingerbread Cookies
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons water
- Add molasses and shortening to a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer or Danish dough hook.
- Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Pour into sugar/egg mixture and stir.
- Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Stir.
- Add hot molasses mixture and stir well.
- Beat in flour.
- Allow dough to cool completely. You can speed this up by placing the bowl of dough (covered in plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for 15 mintues.
- Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2" thick. Cut with cookie cutters.
- Bake cookies on an ungreased (or parchment paper lined) baking sheet at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool a few minutes then transfer cookies to cool on wire rack.
Decorating Gingerbread Cookies
- Combine powdered sugar and water. Add 1/2 teaspoon more water at a time, if necessary until desired consistency has been achieved. I like mine on the thicker side, not runny.Fill a frosting bag with icing and a #5 frosting tip (or make a small slit in the corner to decorate without an icing tip) and outline cookies. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until icing sets up.
Can I substitute butter for shortening in gingerbread cookies?
You can, but the results will be different. Shortening bakes up a softer cookie that holds its shape. Butter bakes up a crispier cookie that is more flat. You can try using half shortening and half butter as a compromise.
How To Store Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookies stay fresh longer than your basic chocolate chip cookie. You can store them in an airtight container at least a week and in the freezer up to six months!
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