My Favorite Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Colonial Articles, Historical Articles | 4 comments


I recently attended a Christmas tea party at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. One of the dining room decorations used gingerbread men, and these sweet little cookies reminded me of the gingerbread men that I’ve made with my son and daughter ever since they were toddlers. I’d love to share my recipe with you!



Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup solid shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup molasses (I use either Grandma’s or Brer Rabbit mild flavor molasses)

Combine flour, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder in a bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream shortening, sugar, and egg until fluffy. Add molasses; beat well. Stir in half of flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Add remainder of flour mixture, mixing with wooden spoon or hands until dough is all one color. Shape into two balls, wrap each in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Remove one package of dough from the refrigerator. Allow dough to stand until the dough is easy to work with – about 10 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out dough about 1/4-inch thick. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the men. Place on prepared cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.

After gingerbread men have cooled completely, ice and decorate. You can use either buttercream or royal icing and cinnamon candies, raisins, gumdrops, and thin licorice for edible decorations.


A wall shelf with gingerbread men at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg

Photographs ©Cynthia Howerter

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern is an historic tavern located in Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia.


  1. I love gingerbread. It sounds like an easy recipe to try. Have a great Christmas.

    • Hi, Erin! I hope the gingerbread men turn out well for you! My children and I made this recipe for years. Don’t forget to put some icing on them as it seems to bring out the flavor of the cookies. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  2. Can just smell the aroma in your kitchen. Makes me wonder if you made your springele cookies yet. I haven’t.

    • I thought of you this morning, Marge, and I was wondering if YOU have made the springerles yet! It’s been a long time since I’ve made them. I sure wish we lived near each other; we’d have such a great time getting together. Thank you, precious friend.

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