This soft gingerbread cookies recipe is made by my Great Grandmother, Ouma Bab’s. Her gingerbread cookies are soft, chewy and packed with lots of flavour. Gingerbread cookies are a cheery treat for Christmas!
Whether you like thin gingerbread cookies or thick gingerbread cookies, this recipe is suitable for both. With a cookie roller, roll the cookie dough until about 1/2 inch thick – for a gingerbread cookies that is thick and soft. Otherwise, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch if thin gingerbread cookies are your preference. These thin gingerbread cooking are still chewy but moving your taste buds more towards gingersnaps.
What I love most about this recipe is that it does not require you to wait for a certain amount of time before you begin cutting cookies, or that you need to store the dough in the fridge overnight
You can start baking as soon as your cookie dough is mixed. However, that said, it can be rolled into smaller sausage sizes, covered in cling wrap and kept in the freezer for later use. Just allow the dough to defrost, roll out, press and bake when needed.
This recipe for gingerbread cookies is without molasses, as the flavour of molasses may be undesirable for some. The recipe calls for dark brown sugar instead.
It is easy to come back to this recipe year after year, once you taste the final product. It is super easy to make the gingerbread dough and that makes for an easy go to recipe when Christmas time rolls around for cookie exchanges.
Measuring cups and spoons
How to make soft gingerbread cookies
The quick directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
In a large bowl mix together the flour, dark brown sugar, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
Use the zest side of a grater to grate the lemon or clementine peel.
There is a fast and easy trick to grate the peel of the lemon or clementine. Cover the zest side of the grater with plastic wrap. Grate the lemon or clementine over the plastic wrap. This will prevent the zest to stick in the holes of the grater. Remember to not grate the lemon too deep that the white of the lemon, which is bitter, becomes grated too. Grate only the rind of the lemon or clementine. Add the finely grated peel to the flour mixture.
Cut the softened butter in chunks into the flour mixture. Rub the contents between your fingers to work the butter well into the flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the milk and eggs with an electric mixer.
Add mixed liquid to flour mixture. Now mix the final dough together with your hands. The dough will become very tough, this is good. You can add a little bit more milk if necessary, but not too much.
Use parchment paper or rubber sheets to cover your cookie baking sheets.
To begin rolling out the dough, first flour a countertop generously. Take part of the dough, roughly the size of a kiddies ball, and place on countertop. Flour the rolling pin and begin rolling out the dough.
Roll out the dough until it is roughly 1/2 an inch thick. For thinner cookies, roll out dough until 1/4 inch in thickness.
Using your cookie cutters, press the dough into cookies and add the shapes to the baking sheet.
Place baking sheets into oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on cooling racks.
Watch how we made soft gingerbread cookies
Turn on your favourite Christmas music, and make this the first recipe for your Christmas baking!
Recipe for soft gingerbread cookies
This recipe was passed down from my great grandmother Babs, whom I am only now learning about through this recipe. When recipes are shared from former generations, they carry a special value knowing that they were trusted by other family members. It brings back precious memories of our family helping my grandmother Maria bake before going on holiday to the seaside.
As I baked these cookies, I imagine my great Grandmother Babs baking it in her kitchen many years ago. I imagine it was baked by my grandmother and my parents years after Grandmother Babs.
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Food scale (optional)
- Electric mixer
- Cookie cutters
- Baking sheets
- Cooling racks
- 2.5 kg Flour
- 1 kg Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp All Spice Fine
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon Fine
- 1 tsp Nutmeg Fine
- 1 tsp Cloves Fine
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1-2 tsp Orange/Clementine Peel Grated
- 500 g Butter
- 3 Eggs
- 3 cups Milk
- 4 tsp Baking Soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl
- Grate orange or clementine rind and add to dry ingredients
- Mix butter into dry mix with your fingers, rubbing the dry mix and butter between your fingers
- In a separate bowl, mix milk and eggs
- Add milk and eggs to dry ingredients
- Mix dough together with your hands
- The dough will become tough to mix, add a little more milk if necessary (not too much)
- Roll dough out onto a floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick (or 1/4 inch thick for thinner cookies)
- Press cookies with shapes, and add them to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake cookies in the oven for 20 minutes
- Cool cookies on a cooling rack for 5 minutes
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